Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fighting for Religious Freedom in the US Military

Very interesting article about a former Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) who is fighting against the tide of Evangelical domination of the US military.  Mikey Weinstein has built Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to push back against the elements trying to foster an Evangelical christian military.  I have written before about my one visit to the US Air Force Academy, where I found the atmosphere to be pretty oppressive.  And I didn't live there.

I am not surprised to find that Weinstein and now his son have experienced much hostility for not being of a certain brand of Christianity.  I am only slightly surprised that of the complaints Weinstein receives is from Catholics and non-Evangelical Christians.  Not that surprising because I saw the animus aimed against these kinds of folks back when I lived in Lubbock.  But still, one should be shocked and definitely appalled that any government agency, let along the ones with the guns and engaged in significant interactions with Muslims and others in major missions, would allow such an environment to develop and persist.

The Pentagon, during my year, did not have the same oppressive environment, although I didn't have too many people on my side when there was a ruling in the news about "Under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance.  I argued that it did not need to be there, they argued that it did.  But I didn't face any discrimination for being outspoken or for being a non-believer or a non-Christian.  I have a hard time believing my experience would have been so positive at the US Air Force Academy.

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