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Wednesday, May 04, 2005


As a child of a major service academy, I find the recent religous intolerance at the Air Force Academy very disturbing, and I can't help but see it as part of a dangerous trend going on in our country.


"Among the allegations are that cadets are frequently pressured to attend chapel and take religious instruction, particularly in the evangelical Christian faith; that prayer is a part of mandatory events at the academy; and that in at least one case a teacher ordered students to pray before beginning their final examination. The report said it found that non-Christian cadets are subjected to "proselytization or religious harassment" by more senior cadets; and that cadets of other religions are subject to discrimination, such as being denied passes off-campus to attend religious services. The report said that in at least two cases "highly qualified individuals were dissuaded from attending the academy ... after learning of the official culture of religious intolerance and hostility toward those who do not subscribe to and practice evangelical Christianity." -CNN

That's odd... the military acting intolerant? I refuse to believe it.

Oh, yeah - they kill people, too.
Each of the three federal military academies has had there moments of idiocy in each of their histories (USMA cheating scandal in mid 70’s, USNA cheating scandal and Tailhook late 90’s, USAFA sexual harassment this decade), but those Air Force guys just can’t seem to stay out of trouble out there. I read the pentagon report on the findings of the recent sexual misconduct by males cadets (It’s clear to me female cadets were raped and the chain of command ignored or covered it up), and was utterly shocked by the atmosphere that the academies Superintendent let prevail that made it possible for these cases to happen.

The AFA is the new kid on the block amongst the other two, but for reasons I can’t explain, their fourth class system is stone age in comparison to what USMA and USNA have matured to. After reading about how ass backwards the institution was on the acceptance and outright persecution of their female cadets, I have no reason to doubt that the stories we’re hearing about now related to religious discrimination don’t come as any shock.

What is shocking is this: Yes, as I have stated, the other academies have experienced their share of scandals in their past, but each time following, a thorough investigation was conducted, solid recommendations were made, and changes in policy and personnel were made. For these guys to be publicly exposed during the sexual abuse scandal so recently and now this, says that either the analysis and review was weak and/or they hired the wrong guys to implement.

I remember my dad telling me about the briefing that the sup gave them re: the first class of female cadets to attend USMA. He said the sup and some pentagon brass came up and met with the entire staff. The sup addressed the staff and basically said, “Women will be arriving here to join the class of 1980. We will support this mission 100%. If anybody on staff here currently is unprepared to support the integration of women at West Point with 100% of their capabilities I will have your resignation on my desk in the morning. Clear?”. There was some grumbling and resistance that first year, but by the time the female class of 1981 reported for R-Day the following year, women in dress gray seemed common place.

This is the approach USAFA needs to take with this matter right now.
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