Saturday, March 18, 2006

The U.S. Air Force's institutionalized Christianity

Jeff Lowder reports on a new lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force for religious discrimination:
The 12-page court filing says guest speakers at conventions of Air Force recruiters in 2003 and 2005 told Burleigh and other recruiters that "they needed to accept Jesus Christ in order to perform their job duties" and "to use faith in Jesus Christ while recruiting."
When the plaintiff resisted his superiors' efforts at proselytizing, he became the target of lower performance ratings than peers who attended religious activities such as prayer groups and church.
This is following a previous lawsuit last October by Mikey Weinstein against the U.S. Air Force regarding institutionalized Christianity at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs:
Over the past decade or more, the suit claims, academy leaders have fostered an environment of religious intolerance at the Colorado school, in violation of the First Amendment.

Weinstein claims that evangelical Christians at the school have coerced attendance at religious services and prayers at official events, among other things.
Lowder's blog post also reports on the creation of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to combat these unconstitutional practices in the military. This foundation was started by the same Mikey Weinstein who filed the October 2005 lawsuit. On the advisory board is Pedro L. Irigonegaray, who did an excellent job cross-examining witnesses who promoted intelligent design at the Kansas Kangaroo court hearings last May.

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