9/28/2011 – MRFF Posts Billboard of US Air Force Chief’s Religious Freedom Edict in Air Force Academy’s Backyard

Statement from MRFF President and Founder Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein:

Today MRFF has paid for a public billboard in Colorado Springs containing the entirety of USAF Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz’s Sept. 1, 2011 watershed directive on the imperative of religious neutrality to all USAF members. MRFF takes this extraordinary action in direct reaction to USAF Academy Superintendent Michael Gould’s astonishing refusal to distribute Gen. Schwartz’s directive to all Academy personnel under his command. MRFF has twice demanded that Gould so distribute this directive from the Commander of the most powerful air force on planet earth.

As a result of Gould’s ludicrously transparent and revelatory refusal to distribute the USAF Chief of Staff’s religious neutrality directive to all Academy personnel, staff, cadets and government contractors, MRFF’s client load at the Academy has shamefully and precipitously skyrocketed from 297 to 341 in just the last 9 days. Since Gould will not spread this critically important message of religious neutrality generated by his boss, General Schwartz in the Pentagon, MRFF is compelled, yet once again, to do Gould’s duty for him.

With this billboard displaying Gen. Schwartz’s desperately needed demand for religious equanimity, MRFF will give voice to the voiceless who suffer from horrendous religious oppression and tyranny everyday under Gould’s control at the Constitutionally-challenged U.S. Air Force Academy. Personally, as President and Founder of MRFF, Gould’s willful, abject failure to do that which is clearly right here can perhaps best be characterized by the observation that I have never known a more vulgar expression of betrayal and deceit.


COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE – Miffed AFA critic puts religious respect memo on billboard

Air Force Academy critic Mikey Weinstein, miffed that a four-star’s memo on religious respect wasn’t e-mailed to cadets at the Air Force Academy, published the 200-word memo himself Tuesday on a Colorado Springs billboard.

Weinstein runs the New Mexico-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation and claims cadets are frequent victims of evangelical Christian proselytizing at the academy. He praised a memo to commanders issued Sept. 1 by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, that told them to not push their religious beliefs.

He demanded that the academy give a copy of the Schwartz memo to all 4,000 cadets, along with all other airmen, civilians and contractors on the campus…

Click to read full article. Also featured on MSNBC.com


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    4 Comments

    1. Scott

      When the USAF Chief of Staff sends out a memo that is supposed to be distributed to all Air Force personnel, wouldn’t the deliberate failure to do so be a refusal to follow a direct order? Why isn’t General Schwartz disciplining General Gould?

    2. Bill

      I agree, Scott. Are taxpayers footing the bill for a well-armed cult? In the absence of discipline, are evangelicals commanding the USAF?

      Okay, it cannot be accidental that in order to post this, the Captcha “words” I must enter are “eunuch, dyjour.”

    3. Dan

      Umm Scott, you’re only partly right… The order needs to be a lawful order, not just AN order. For example (and yes, this is an easy one), a commander tells someone under his command to go kill all the non-combatants just because he says so, this is an example of an UNlawful order. So he’s not being disciplined because there’s no real ground there. Unfortunately, people like our current President believe they are above the law and can take the laws into their own hands and “discipline” our hard-working military personnel simply because they don’t like something they’ve done, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong or because they need to save face instead of being willing to take some heat for their own screw ups.

      As a former military member I can tell you that I NEVER saw anyone being pushed to go to any religious service (of any kind), nor was there ever any proselytizing going on. So these folks that feel they are being abused by someone else who dares to speak their mind need to remember that they both still have the Freedom of speech. I have had people outside of my military experience attempt to silence me from speaking my mind until I remind them of the fact that I too still have my Constitutionally granted rights to the freedoms of speech and (both to and from) religion.

      Bottom line,if you disagree with what someone else believes and they are trying to share it with you, then don’t listen, no one can stop you from that.

    4. Mark

      Hmmm. Free exercise? It is unfortunate that the Chief of Staff has chosen to make a muddle of the issue. His very words are so tortured he has nearly rendered them useless. Perhaps Mr. Gould had chosen to protect the cadets from such circuitous thinking in favor of outcomes based on reasoned instruction with an eye toward leaving people to form their own opinions on such matters.

      Leadership has always been an art. The Air Force has always recognized this. And since religion is an inescapable attribute of human behavior for most people, it is part of the interaction that makes Leadership an art.

      Attempting to carve it off from the “function” of any non-Chaplain official positions is to create rather than reduce the potential for abuse or errors in Leadership.

      Seeking to separate those values from an individual that contribute directly to their success in the art of Leadership is, in a word, dangerous.

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