Check out the TB2K CHATROOM, open 24/7               Configuring Your Preferences for OPTIMAL Viewing
  To access our Email server, CLICK HERE

  If you are unfamiliar with the Guidelines for Posting on TB2K please read them.      ** LINKS PAGE **



*** Help Support TB2K ***
via mail, at TB2K Fund, P.O. Box 71, Coupland, TX, 78615
or


Starnes: What's going on at Air Force Academy? God's word vs. Pentagon's word
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Behind Enemy Lines
    Posts
    105,875

    15 Starnes: What's going on at Air Force Academy? God's word vs. Pentagon's word

    What's going on at Air Force Academy? God's word vs. Pentagon's word

    By Todd Starnes

    Published March 13, 2014

    | FoxNews.com

    The Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition, a group of two dozen like-minded religious liberty organizations, announced Thursday that they are ready to offer assistance to any Air Force Academy cadet who faces repercussions for writing Bible verses on their hallway whiteboards.

    The Air Force Academy admitted Wednesday that a cadet leader had to remove a Bible verse he had displayed outside his dorm room because it offended non-Christians and could “cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality.”

    The controversy started when a cadet leader posted a passage of scripture on his whiteboard with a quote from the New Testament book of Galatians. “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” the verse from Galatians 2:20 read.

    Friends of the cadet tell me the young man had posted the verse several months ago and considered the New Testament passage as a source of inspiration.

    Mikey Weinstein, director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me that 29 cadets and four faculty and staff members contacted his organization to complain about the Christian passage.

    "Had it been in his room -- not a problem," Weinstein told me. "It's not about the belief. It's about the time, the place and the manner."

    He said the Bible verse on the cadet's personal whiteboard created a hostile environment at the academy.

    "It clearly elevated one religious faith [fundamentalist Christianity] over all others at an already virulently hyper-fundamentalist Christian institution," he said. "It massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny, exceptionalism and supremacy at USAFA."

    Exactly two hours and nine minutes after Weinstein complained to Air Force Academy Superintendent Michelle Johnson, the Bible verse was erased from the cadet leader’s whiteboard.

    A spokesman for the Air Force Academy confirmed that the religious text was cleansed from the board – even though there is no specific rule against posting religious messages.


    "The whiteboards are for both official and personal use, but when a concern was raised we addressed it and the comment was taken down," Lt. Col. Brus Vidal, Air Force Academy spokesman told me in a written statement.

    Johnson said in a written statement that the verse was removed because there was a “potential perception” problem.

    “The scripture was below the cadet’s name on a white board and could cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality,” the superintendant said.


    The original complaint was filed by an unnamed cadet, she added.

    “Another cadet promoted a discussion of appropriateness, according to policies that leaders will avoid actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to subordinates.”

    Johnson said the Christian cadet “voluntarily elected to erase the scripture.”

    Anybody else have trouble believing that?


    The Christian cleansing of the Bible verse led to a small uprising among cadets. At least a dozen posted Bible verses on their personal white boards and some even went so far as to post passages from the Koran. Those verses were not removed, presumably because the cadets were not in leadership positions.

    So I posed the following question to the Air Force Academy. Would they have directed a Muslim cadet leader to erase a passage from the Koran? The academy has yet to answer my question – but I suspect well all know the answer.


    Retired Army General Jerry Boykin, now with the Family Research Council, told me the superintendent’s statement is an example of “politically correct double speak.”

    “What about the rights of the Christian cadets who have a constitutional right to express their individual faith?” he asked. “If a scripture scares the faculty this much, then it is unlikely that they will be very effective when confronted by a committed enemy who is willing to die for his or her beliefs.”


    Boykin accused the academy of violating the constitutional rights of the cadets.

    “This academy should be training warriors who can deal with difficult situations and determined enemies,” Boykin said. “A scripture is hardly a threat.”

    Several cadets reached out to me by phone and shared with me their grave concerns about how Christians are being treated at the Air Force Academy. They agreed to be interviewed, provided I did not reveal their identities.

    “It’s been suggested that we keep our faith to ourselves,” one of the cadets told me. “It’s even too risky to go out into the hallway and talk to a Christian friend about your faith. It’s because there are people here who are so easily offended. If someone overheard us talking about Christianity, they could file a complaint. They could say we were having that discussion in a public space.”

    “It’s gotten to the point where you can’t walk to class without stepping on somebody’s toes,” another cadet told me.


    The cadets told me many of their peers are outraged over the anonymous person who complained to Weinstein’s group.

    “Whoever did that, do so without even addressing the cadet first,” the cadet said. “It’s incredibly disrespectful to the cadet – going behind his back. Is that the kind of officer you want in the military leading people?”

    The cadets said they are sick and tired of the “uber-sensitivity” that’s infected the academy.

    “People are so apt to be offended by something that is totally respectful,” he said. “If you read the verse the guy put on his door – it’s a personal expression of faith. There’s nothing disrespectful about that at all.”


    But the Air Force Academy may not agree with that assessment.

    Both cadets told me that yesterday afternoon, they were told by their leadership to “be respectful with what you put on your bulletin board and what you put in public places.”

    “The implication was that the Bible verse was somehow disrespectful,” the cadet told me.
    Weinstein is vowing to take the Air Force Academy to court unless they punish every cadet who posted a Bible verse on their bulletin boards.

    “This is an absolutely horrible, shameful disgrace,” he told me. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an open rebellion like this happening at any military academy. It’s like they’re sticking their middle finger up at what the academy did.”

    Weinstein likened the posting of the Bible verses to racism.

    “You cannot put a picture in front of your room of a white person whipping a black person,” he said. “You can’t put a picture of anything that’s denigrating outside your room.”

    He also wants the military to consider court martial proceedings against the cadet leader who originally posted the verse from Galatians. He called the cadet a “fundamentalist.”

    So how does Weinstein define “fundamentalist?”

    “When they want to follow the Great Commission in a time, place or manner that violates the Constitution or DOD directives,” he said. “In this case, this is a perfect example. Putting those messages up are a violation of time, place and manner and that moves you into the fundamentalist Christianity perspective.”

    The Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition announced it stands ready to represent any cadet brought up on charges. The coalition includes the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, Liberty Institute and Thomas More Law Center.

    “Suppressing religion is wrong whether it is done behind an Iron Curtain or in a dorm hallway,” said Gary McCaleb, of the Alliance Defending Freedom. “Certainly such raw anti-religious discrimination has no place in America’s Air Force.”

    The brave cadets who spoke to me said it’s disturbing to watch the academy trample on the Constitution. They said the current state of affairs at the Air Force Academy can be summed up by a message someone had posted on their dorm wall.

    “You can’t pick and choose what freedoms you’re going to defend,” the poster read. “You can either defend them all or you can defend none of them.”


    Print Close

    URL

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/...pentagon-word/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    8,431
    Freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

    Prep up spiritually folks. Like the Jews, we're going to be vilified (already started), dehumanized, then rounded up and extinguished. We go against everything they stand for and they don't like the reminder of thier sin thrown in their faces. But they will face the Creator whether we are here or not. You can't hide and excuse your sin away forever. You either repent and accept the payment that Christ made for you, or you die and suffer the wages yourself.

    Liz Metcalf - Independent Avon Representative
    www.LipstickLiz.com - Liz@LipstickLiz.com

    Are You Looking for an Independent Avon Representative? Let me be yours!
    Makeup, skincare, bath & body, fashion, shoes, jewelry, intimates, children's, home and more. Check out my website for monthly freebies, give-aways, contests, discounts and promotions.

  3. #3
    Two issues here: one - obviously people should be free to write on their own personal boards what they wish, unless of course there is some implication from a commander that he expects his or her troops to agree with his/her religion (as opposed to simply sharing it.

    Two - a lot of this is backlash the Academy brought on itself when a few years ago it allowed a number of seriously evangelical officers to effective base performance partly on the troops seeming to conform to the religious views of the officers (and staff) in question. A number of non-Christian soldiers complained, included (if I recall correctly) a Jew and an Agnostic (among others). Complaints were made that cadets were heavily pressured (or even required) to attend Christian services as part of their training program - I do not remember all the details but do remember the complaints were upheld and changes ordered.

    Now, I suspect things may have swung too far the other direction; it is wrong to force soldiers to participate in religious services which violate their own belief systems but it is also wrong to ban religious troops from sharing their own belief systems in their private areas.

    Personally, if it were me, I think I would simply encourage everyone to post things from their own traditions (from the Havamal to the Old Testament or the Atheist Review); again the except could be when a commander might be giving the impression that all his or her troops need to agree with the statements and adopt them for their own personal beliefs in order to get ahead. Otherwise, it is either a personal board or it isn't...

    And remember, freedom to quote the Bible and attend services on base; is the same freedom that allows other soldiers to have that stone circle for their own Pagan ceremonies as well - that is what freedom of religion is about, not banning things but allowing everyone to express their own, but express is not the same thing as force either.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The loose buckle of the bible belt
    Posts
    7,479
    The Air Force Academy is coming off an era in which evangelical Christians were notoriously intimidating those not of the EC faiths. Perhaps in over-reaction to that, the pendulum may have swung too far in the opposite direction.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Northeast Colorado
    Posts
    1,212
    Quote Originally Posted by bethshaya View Post
    Freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM reigion
    Just remember that goes for ALL religions, not just the Christians.

    I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.

    @FatTurkeyFarm on twitter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    8,431
    Quote Originally Posted by Broken Arrow View Post
    Just remember that goes for ALL religions, not just the Christians.
    I have no problem with anyone of any other religion posting things about their religion, or people of no religion. I do have a problem with people infringing on my right to practice or speak about my faith. Like how at my work, we have a room set aside so that Muslims can pray, but we can't book a conference room at lunch to have a ladies bible study. Why do they get a private room solely for their prayers, but we can't even book a public room at lunch for an hour?

    Liz Metcalf - Independent Avon Representative
    www.LipstickLiz.com - Liz@LipstickLiz.com

    Are You Looking for an Independent Avon Representative? Let me be yours!
    Makeup, skincare, bath & body, fashion, shoes, jewelry, intimates, children's, home and more. Check out my website for monthly freebies, give-aways, contests, discounts and promotions.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bethshaya View Post
    I have no problem with anyone of any other religion posting things about their religion, or people of no religion. I do have a problem with people infringing on my right to practice or speak about my faith. Like how at my work, we have a room set aside so that Muslims can pray, but we can't book a conference room at lunch to have a ladies bible study. Why do they get a private room solely for their prayers, but we can't even book a public room at lunch for an hour?
    I have a couple of things to say.
    We, as westerners, are afraid of "offending" any race other than whites and any religion other that the Judeo-Christian religion that this country was founded under.

    As a person of jewish faith, it pisses me off when I see a jewish person defending these kind of things. Evidentially Mr. Weinstein needs to mind his own business. His actions reflect poorly on the rest of us and the one thing we do not need is to be vilified.

    Anyone that states that muslims are not the problem, it is the radical muslims that are the problem has to really understand the basic muslim philosophy,
    "ALL INFIDELS MUST DIE, ALL NON MUSLIMS ARE INFIDELS".

    Until we understand this, we are done.
    The Obamas at start and After their term.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    12,433
    Quote Originally Posted by Broken Arrow View Post
    Just remember that goes for ALL religions, not just the Christians.
    I can't recall, offhand, where Christian groups have sued to prevent an atheist from speaking or writing his views, even publicly. Maybe I've led a sheltered life.
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The loose buckle of the bible belt
    Posts
    7,479
    Quote Originally Posted by Garryowen View Post
    I can't recall, offhand, where Christian groups have sued to prevent an atheist from speaking or writing his views, even publicly. Maybe I've led a sheltered life.
    You may have led a sheltered life. What normally happens is that the atheist club or whatever is prevented fro meeting; it's the atheists that then have to sue to get the right.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Behind Enemy Lines
    Posts
    105,875
    Show me. I want to see evidence of THREE instances over the past five years where that's been needed. Anywhere in the US would be fine. Prove it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The loose buckle of the bible belt
    Posts
    7,479
    Here's the first one, a recent story from the local newspaper:


    Pisgah High accused of thwarting secular club
    Feb. 15, 2014

    CANTON — The Haywood County school system is investigating a complaint that Pisgah High School refused to let a student form a chapter of the Secular Student Alliance in violation of federal law.

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a letter to Anne Garrett, superintendent of Haywood County Schools, that the student was told that such a club wouldn’t “fit in” at the school and that no staff sponsors were available.

    “Whatever the stated reasons for denying the request to form an SSA group at Pisgah High, this result is unacceptable,” Patrick Elliott, a staff attorney with the foundation, said in the letter. The school system “has a legal responsibility to ensure that student groups wishing to form under the Equal Access Act may do so.”

    The letter sent this month also was signed by Christopher Brook, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.

    Garrett said the school system is investigating the allegation and that school board attorney Pat Smathers will respond to the letter.

    “Since it seems to be a legal issue with them, it’s only appropriate that our school board attorney respond to it,” she said. “I have a student issue and she has made an allegation, and we will look into it and see what happened.”

    Garrett wouldn’t say if the student was blocked from forming the chapter or if a law was broken.

    “I am not going to address a student issue publicly,” she said. “We will follow the law and make sure that we don’t do anything to infringe on anyone’s rights.

    “Students are entitled to form groups,” Garrett said. “The student needs to talk to the principal and find out what procedures they need to follow.”

    The Equal Access Act requires all schools receiving federal funding to refrain from discriminating against student groups on the basis of their religious, philosophical or political beliefs.

    The national Secular Student Alliance, which promotes secularism and scientific inquiry, has 379 chapters, including 45 in high schools, according to the group.

    “We always attempt to resolve situations like this by amicably informing the administrators of the rights of their secular students,” said August Brunsman, executive director of the alliance. “However, in this case the administrators were entirely unresponsive.

    “We have reached out to our partners at the Freedom From Religion Foundation to get the aid of their legal team in making sure secular students at Pisgah High School don’t face unequal treatment and discrimination.”

    The student’s father, Cash Wilson, said the school should be more inclusive.

    “A secular club is a welcome addition to any school, but especially a school here in the zealous mountains of North Carolina,” he said. “It will help secular students no longer feel alone and ostracized. I’m hoping the school administration won’t fight this.”
    http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pb...nclick_check=1

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts


NOTICE: Timebomb2000 is an Internet forum for discussion of world events and personal disaster preparation. Membership is by request only. The opinions posted do not necessarily represent those of TB2K Incorporated (the owner of this website), the staff or site host. Responsibility for the content of all posts rests solely with the Member making them. Neither TB2K Inc, the Staff nor the site host shall be liable for any content.

All original member content posted on this forum becomes the property of TB2K Inc. for archival and display purposes on the Timebomb2000 website venue. Said content may be removed or edited at staff discretion. The original authors retain all rights to their material outside of the Timebomb2000.com website venue. Publication of any original material from Timebomb2000.com on other websites or venues without permission from TB2K Inc. or the original author is expressly forbidden.



"Timebomb2000", "TB2K" and "Watching the World Tick Away" are Service Mark℠ TB2K, Inc. All Rights Reserved.