USAF Academy Head Chaplain Tells New Faculty: “There is No Wall Between Church and State”

Dear Mikey,

I saw the recent MRFF release about the USAF Academy (USAFA) Chaplain’s office publicizing books for evangelical Christian authors and, frankly, I’m not surprised. After all, what can you expect from an organization headed by a callous, unprofessional and uneducated individual who doesn’t even understand the Constitution his organization defends? During new faculty orientation this summer, this same Chaplain (USAF Academy Head Chaplain, Col. Robert Bruno) stood up in front of over a hundred new USAFA faculty and told them that “there is no wall” between church and state! Maybe for him there isn’t, but for the rest of us, it’s a pretty clear concept. He then railed against the “increased secularization” that has eroded morality in our society and proceeded to deliver a 15-minute “homily” on why USAFA has only the “perception” of religious intolerance, despite documented instances of proselytization and even “HR decisions influenced by faith affiliation!” Seriously! If this is the individual that the leadership is relying on for counseling in religious toleration matters, no wonder the institution has completely lost the bubble!

But the worst part was the characterization of you and the MRFF (you weren’t mentioned by name, but it was obvious who he was talking about) as maintaining a “constant drumbeat” with an “alleged narrative of proselytization” that is “actually an attack on religion!” I can’t believe this guy collects a DoD paycheck, much less on for an O-6 Full Colonel!

Thank you and MRFF for standing up to the religious zealots that, in your absence, would have long-ago turned USAFA into a theological seminary. They just don’t get it, and I can’t understand why our leadership (at all levels) doesn’t either. No wonder we keep having to have “religious toleration” training. (In addition to half a day during orientation, we recently completed another half a day within our academic departments) Maybe instead of just writing some meaningless and ineffective training, the Air Force should take some REAL action to correct all the instances of religious intoleration at USAFA. If they can’t, then they should just shut this place down.

(USAF Academy Professor and Active Duty Officer’s name, rank, USAF Academy Faculty position, title and Faculty Dept. withheld)

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