Last March an Air Force cadet voluntarily erased a passage from Galatians off of his message board on his door after a complaint was filed to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and the Air Force Academy Superintendent. Subsequently a petition was started that gathered some 105,000 signatures requesting to restore the First Amendment freedom of religion and expression.
Religious freedom urged at Air Force Academy
By Kristen Eicher/WORLD News Service
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) — The Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition teamed up with the Family Research Council to deliver a petition with 105,000 signatures to the Air Force Academy seeking the restoration of First Amendment freedoms, particularly religious liberty, to cadets at the Colorado Springs school.
Religious freedom and the First Amendment have been a source of conflict at the academy in recent years. In 2011, administrators issued an apology for an email regarding the Operation Christmas Child outreach of Samaritan’s Purse to send holiday gifts to impoverished children around the world.
Most recently, in March of this year, a cadet leader voluntarily removed a Bible verse from the whiteboard on his dorm room door after someone complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. The verse, Galatians 2:20 reads, “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
The petition, delivered June 25, directly relates to the Bible verse controversy. It voices concern about a culture of fear produced by eradicating religion. “If cadets are taught to be afraid of Bible verses, how will they respond against terrorists who are willing to die for their cause?” the petition asks.
Mikey Weinstein, who leads an organization devoted to limiting religion in the military, had argued that the presence of the Bible verse “pours fundamentalist Christian gasoline” on an Air Force Academy religious culture he believes is “raging out of control.”
Read the complete story about religious freedom controversy at the Air Force Academy at the Baptist Press.
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