August 3, 2005
Like the majority of Americans, the Senate doesn’t appear to like religious extremists:
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — The Senate has put off an Air Force proposal to promote the No. 2 officer at the Air Force Academy, a born-again Christian who has been criticized for proselytizing in memos and speeches.
Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida’s name was on a list of 21 Air Force generals nominated to receive a second star, but the Senate did not act on his promotion.
Weida, a 1978 academy graduate, was nominated May 9 for promotion to major general. Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens said Tuesday the Senate pulled Weida’s name off the list before Friday’s vote.
… The Air Force inspector general’s office cleared Weida in June of six of seven allegations he improperly shared his faith, saying he did nothing wrong. That included his June 2003 “guidance” to cadets telling them they are “accountable first to your God.” He also urged cadets and staff to pray.
An investigators’ report did not detail the remaining allegation, saying only it was under review.
“The root of this problem is not overt religious discrimination, but a failure to fully accommodate all members’ needs and a lack of awareness over where the line is drawn between permissible and impermissible expression of beliefs,” stated the report, headed by Air Force Lt. Gen. Roger Brady.
Yeah, right. Doesn’t sound like what happened to the youngest son of Mikey Weinstein—a 1977 graduate of the academy and a White House attorney in the Reagan administration—who says he was called a “fucking Jew” and told that Jews were responsible for “executing Jesus.” And it doesn’t sound like what other investigators found either:
A team from Yale Divinity School said in April it found evangelical Christian proselytizing commonplace at the academy, which has about 4,400 students, and cited “stridently evangelical themes” by staff. The team described a campus chaplain telling cadets they would “burn in the fires of hell” if they were not born-again Christians.
The watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State released an April report detailing allegations that academy instructors proselytized in classrooms and that senior cadets harassed non-Christian junior cadets over religious beliefs […] The report found a “perception of religious intolerance” at the academy, inadequate guidance regarding religious expression and cited a need for training in the area of religious diversity and respect.
For once, the Senate seems to have been reading the right reports.
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