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Saturday, June 11, 2005

NY Times to Air Force: Over Your Dead Body

Somehow we've come to a point in time when, if an Air Force Academy student asks for God to be his co-pilot, he's violating some nebulous church / state prohibition and is to be imprisoned - or worse.

Or so think the godless at the New York Times and in the superintendent's office at the Academy.
Zealots at the Air Force Academy

In an overdue burst of candor, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy has acknowledged that his campus is so permeated with evangelical proselytizing that it will take years to rid the institution of religious intolerance. Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr. said he finds the problem of cadets unfairly pressured to adopt Christian beliefs and practices occurring throughout "my whole organization," with offenders among faculty, staff and students.

"Perception is reality," the general apologetically declared of numerous complaints that cadets' constitutional rights have been violated by militant evangelists wielding peer pressure with the blessing of authority figures in the chain of command. (
link)
To those of us who hold to the quaint notion that words still have meaning, the general is saying "there is a perception but there is no reality."
In an authorized study, Yale investigators concluded the problem was rife.

Yet the superintendent's admission was the Air Force's most honest acknowledgment of how bedeviled the campus is. "If everything goes well, it's probably going to take six years to fix it," General Rosa estimated.

... it will take much more prodding, especially civilian pressure from President Bush, Congress and taxpayers, to undo the damage and restore the separation of church and state as a showcase principle at the academy.
Interesting choice of words - "bedeviled." Do you get the impression from the heated rhetoric that there are going to be mass burnings at the stake at the Air Force Academy until this scourge is wiped out?