Mr. Weinstein, I am a Firstclassman (senior) at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). To many who think they know me but actually do not at all, I am considered an “ideal cadet” and stand high in my class in every category. I guess you could say that I’m kind of the leader of an “invisible” group of well over a hundred or so fellow cadets who support everything you and MRFF have done and are doing here at the Academy. You and MRFF are our advocates and champions. I am a Protestant and straight. Most of our group are the same, but some are LGBT and Catholic and a few are of other faiths including atheists and agnostics. I will not say whether I am male or female because I don’t want to give them an edge in ever finding out who I am. I expect you will show this to others and I hope you do.
For a long time you asked us to trust the “system” here at USAFA and take our religious persecution grievances “up the chain” or to other reporting elements. You told us all the time that the Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Gould, and his staff would have our backs and not let anything bad happen to us if we came forward. We told you that was crazy. We told you that many times. Then, when Lt. Gen. Gould refused to make public the “Climate Study” data, after first describing it as positive, and then all the bad information leaked out, we thought that was the final straw. Then, this morning we all saw in “Falcon Clips”, sent all over USAFA from the USAFA Public Affairs people, the hyper “anti Mikey/MRFF” blog submission from something or someone called “[Fundamentalist Christian Air Force Officer’s Website Redacted]”? We now know that person to be an active duty USAF Officer and USAFA grad, of course, with about an endless number of axes to grind. USAFA didn’t know that too? Impossible.
That pretty much sealed the deal for all of us. USAFA is now distributing even individual blogger’s pro Christian supremacy sentiments to everybody who exists here? Mr. Weinstein, USAFA is literally overrun with Christian conservative fanatics. And the leadership here either knows this or is ridiculously blind to it. If any of us gave even the slightest indication that we weren’t one of their number, our lives would be even more miserable than they already are due to the fact that we are all living lies here. Despite the Cadet Honor Code we all lie about our lives. We have to. We don’t have a choice. Thus we are all “invisible” to our tormentors. They will never find us. My own parents don’t know. Only my finacee knows and he/she is one of my classmates and a fellow member of our underground group. I keep “Christian” books and “Christian” CD’s in my room so others will be fooled and leave me alone and not suspect that I’m not actually with the USAFA “Christianity is the Only Way” program here, even though I consider myself to be a Christian. Sometimes we got to their “bible studies” or attend SPIRE events and hold our breath that we’re not “outed”. Many of this group I kind of lead do exactly the same things.
It is so much of the total culture here that to object even slightly immediately brands you as suspect. And if you are suspect, then you are in trouble. We all need those discretionary academic instructor points. We all need our AOCs and Wing and Group and Squadron staffs to want to support us. We all want more playing time with our athletic teams. We all need help from “the system” in an infinite number of ways but we will never get that help if we do not appear to be extreme conservative evangelistic Christians in every way. The news article says that you are now back “At war with USAFA”. Join the club.
(Name, Cadet Rank, Cadet Squadron and Cadet Wing Title withheld)