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The report on the Air Force Academy investigation into claims by cadets of religious intolerance and promotion of evangelical Christianity has been released. While not finding “overt religious discrimination,” it does find that the Academy “failed to accomodate minority beliefs.”
“There was a lack of awareness on the part of some faculty and staff, and perhaps cadets in positions of authority, as to what constitutes appropriate expressions of faith, particularly in this setting: in superior-subordinate relationships in a government institution,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, who headed the report, told a Pentagon briefing. ….Without offering details, the report said cadets had made “religious slurs” and “disparaging remarks,” and some members of the faculty and staff had expressed strong religious beliefs “in ways that others found offensive.”1 Year of 5280 for justSubscribe Today »
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The Air Force, in making a statement about the report, blames the offensive behavior on immaturity by cadets and unspecified “barriers.”
“General Brady found that a combination of immature behavior by peers and barriers to reasonable accommodation had made some adherents to minority beliefs feel ignored by the institution,” Acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael Dominguez said in a memo accompanying Brady’s report.
The Air Force can spin all it wants, but the report spells out incidents that obviously include faculty….not just students. Bloomberg News reports:
Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado have been subject to religious intolerance, including banners, e-mails, speeches and advertisements promoting Christianity, military officials reported today. The 100-page report by the Air Force cites incidents that include the academy’s commandant repeatedly giving a “J for Jesus” hand signal to cadets, the hanging of a “Team Jesus” banner in the football team’s locker room, and the placement of leaflets promoting the “Passion of the Christ” movie at all 4,000 place settings in the academy dining hall.
The “few bad apples” meme isn’t going to cut it.