The United States Air Force Academy finds itself in a sticky situation as it attempts to defend the decision to allow an Atheist event within days of condemning a Christian cadet from writing a Bible verse on the note board attached to his personal door.
A club approved for Academy cadets, The Freethinkers Club, sponsored “Ask an Atheist Day” last week. The event was heavily advertised on official emails sent to the Cadet wing, on the bulletin screens throughout the Academy, and during an assembly on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a cadet was told to remove a Bible verse he wrote on the white board hanging outside his dorm room. Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
"It clearly elevated one religious faith, fundamentalist Christianity, over all others at an already virulently hyper-fundamentalist Christian institution. It massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny, exceptionalism and supremacy at USAFA," said Weinstein.
Mr. Weinstein has some strong opinions when it comes to Christians serving in the military, he feels they need to go. He has said the U.S. faces "incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation's armed forces."
The American Center for Law and Justice, advocates for freedom of religious speech, have expressed their concern over whether the military will begin court martialing Christians based on "angry atheist" demands. According to Jay Sekulow, ACLJ chief counsel, Mikey Weinstein is heavily critical of a fundamentalist Christian influence in the military and has even said that “some Christians should be completely banned from service.”
The uproar over the seemingly double standard of religious expression is growing. Christian groups are beginning to speak out against the Air Force Academy's decision to remove the Bible verse.
Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement, “The incident reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of religious freedom. Not only is the notion that cadets have to abandon or hide their faith as a requisite of military service not supported by law, it is actually discriminatory to brave men and women of faith that desire to serve their country."
The ACLJ is meeting with military academy officials to discuss the constitutional rights of service men and women. They have started a petition to U.S. Military Academies and the Department of Defense in support of religious liberty. The petition states,
"Religious liberty in our military is secured by the Constitution. Stop censoring the free speech of cadets. Protect religious liberty in our Armed Forces and ignore angry atheist agitators.” Sign petition here.
As a sign of solidarity, a population of the cadet wing has posted their own religious quotes outside their doors in the public hallways.
Weinstein is calling for the Air Force Academy to take action against any individuals posting scripture messages on their doors. He said they deserve non-judicial punishment at the very least, but went on to say they could see their pay docked, be kicked out or even go to jail.