FEATURED INBOX POST – Our Air Force Academy Cadet Daughter’s Physical Altercation

Dear Mr. Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF,

Our daughter (cadet name and rank withheld) is a cadet at the Air Force Academy in Squadron Number (cadet Squadron No. withheld). Earlier today she experienced a frightful situation that left her terrified and we as her parents, furious.
Thank you, Mikey, for taking our several calls for help. Thank you too for taking the time to talk to our daughter several times today.
Here’s briefly what happened. As you know the word got out around the Air Force Academy very fast about the one cadet who had their white board message of a New Testament biblical verse taken down. It seems that the news stories on the matter got out on Facebook and Twitter and other social media to the point that it flooded the Air Force Academy cadets. Apparently there was a protest movement initiated by certain very Christian cadets to put many more religious messages up on many white boards around the cadet campus in the Squadron outside hallway areas. This became very disconcerting and troubling to our daughter and many of her fellow cadets. She decided to do something about it. Her way.
Our daughter wanted to make a point as to how she felt the placing of Christian religious messages in the official Squadron hallways outside of the cadet rooms was a direct violation of the regulations.
We are a (Protestant denomination withheld) family and raised our daughter in the same (Protestant denomination withheld) faith. Despite the way we raised her in only our faith our daughter respects all faiths and also those who are not religious at all. To make a point about how terrible the white board religious postings are she wrote on her white board the following message “There is no evidence that any God has ever existed”.
Almost immediately she was shouted down by 2 larger male cadets. Both of who out ranked her in seniority. They yelled at her and shouted that her message was “anti-faith” and that it was “an insult to all people of faith” and that she was targeting only “Christians”. They yelled that merely putting a biblical verse on a white board “did not insult anyone else”. They said that it did “not insult atheists and that it “only proclaimed the Christan faith” and that it “did not tear down those nonbelievers”. They were very, very mad at our daughter. They started to wipe off our daughter’s message. She felt she ahd every right to put it up there if all of the other Christian messages were allowed. She tried to stop them but they overpowered her. They pushed her and forcibly held her back from stopping them. The whole thing took less than a minute to happen. Our daughter ran away and called us. She was beside herself and crying. We were more afraid than we’ve ever been.
We called you Mikey and were surprised you answered your own phone. After speaking with you we called our daughter back so she could talk to you. She also called and you answered right there and then. Thank you for speaking with us all.
We were trying to determine the best way to proceed. Our daugher is adament that she wants to drop it and we support her. We do not want to disappont you by not “going public” but we all feel that the resulting pressure will be too much. For our daughter and our family to bear. None of us trust that the Air Force Academy internal agencies would properly handle any follow-on investiagtion. She has 2 bruises from the shoving that occurred. As she tried to prevent her white board message from being removed by the 2 other male cadets.
You asked us to send you this email to at least go on the record with the MRFF as to what happened. We are all still very confused and shaken by it all. The Academy chiefs have blundered and created a monster now.
Mikey and the MRFF, please respect our privacy and our decision to remain anonymous. We know that is not what you wanted us to do but it is what we want to do. You may use this email any way you wish to. As long as our identities are not shown.
Thank you, Mikey and the MRFF for being there for us and our cadet daughter and for all the others you speak for.

xxxxxx and xxxxx xxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx, xxxxx
xxx-xxx-xxxx

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    5 Comments

    1. Kurt Van Tassel

      I can not tell you how much this saddens me but does not surprise me at all. I have had many conversations with ReligiousTards the likes of those cadets. I see no other way around this. Somehow we need to have some spies attend the academy and bring this entire thing out in the open. The religious leaders and cadets can not be allowed to run roughshod over those cadets having higher intelligence just because they happen to be a minority.

    2. Jack Couch

      I am neither Christian or a fan of our military leaders, in fact as an adolescent I was threatened with being sent to the Air Force Academy as a punishment for being gay. I mention this to point out that even someone who is COMPLETELY outside of the academy society feels sickened that your daughter is being disrespected in such a manner by her classmates and fears standing up to them due to the attitude ingrained in the administration.
      I do not blame you for not wanting to take point in this fight but I do hope that you clearly and thoroughly leave a paper trail that another student can use as collaborative material at a later date.
      I am also very glad that there are people like Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF to aid your daughter and family.through attacks such as your daughter suffered. She is a brave young woman up against a neanderthalic, patriarchal system and those cowards who manhandled her are an embarrassment in so many ways.
      Best wishes to you and yours as well as a huge thank you to Mikey and the MRFF

      Jack Couch
      Sacramento, CA

    3. Phil

      To the unnamed cadet, her parents and Mr. Weinstein,
      What happened was very, very, wrong. And that is putting it lightly. In no circumstance should any person use physical violence and coercion to shout down the thoughts and ideas of others. The fact that two boys (and use the term “boys” intentionally) used their size and strength to overpower and intimidate a woman is sickening. The fact that they used Christianity to justify it breaks my heart.

      I’ll be honest. I disagree with the response you’ve had to the verses on the white boards, Mr. Weinstein. Above all, I’m a born again believer in Jesus Christ, who has saved me from my own foolishness. But I, and any believer who knows Christ, should never get behind such bullying.

      So, unnamed cadet and parents, as a Christian, I’m sorry. Sincerely. Those boys claim Christ, and they might be Christian, but there actions don’t reflect what I believe in. I hope the very best for all of you.

      -Phil
      USAFA Class of 2009

    4. Gunther

      Unfortunately, Phil, history including military history has plenty of examples of physical violence and coercion to shout down (actually to physically and mentally crush) the ideas and thoughts of others. In the book Command Culture, the books talks about the difference of training regarding US Army and German Army officer and officer cadets. German officer cadets were not allowed to mentally and physcially brutalizes each other because they had different opinions and viewpoints and the regular army staff assign to officer cadet schools did not tolerate such behavior.

      I always thought that the officer cadets were the best and brightest of our nation but after reading the book Command Culture, and looking back at the US officer corps for the last 120 years, to me, they are like the 18th & 19th centuary British soldiers – they are the best and brightest when it comes to being the scum of the earth.

    5. Over the past few years I have been reading quite a bit about the Christian religious promotion activities and conflicts it has cause at the Air Force Academy. I think it is outrageous the military command structure has allow it to go on for so many years.
      In my judgment the problem is a command problem. Even though religious radicals cannot be excluded from attending the Academy, the school administration can set down some inviolable rules of conduct about acting in any fashion for religious reasons in public areas at the Academy and/or holding themselves out as service members. Private prayer or meetings would not be under such rules unless those activities were used to get around those rules. There should be repeated formal group instructions about the separation of religion and the state as a constitutional principle and one of the very founding blocks of our country.

      It is a disgrace that the Academy administrations have condoned or allowed religious promotion and activities to go on for so long.. Officers who condone this conduct or do not act to ban or stop it should be dishonorable discharged. Why hasn’t anything changed on this issue over the past ten years or so. Shame on the Command.

      Pete
      Retired lawyer with experience in litigation on freedom of religion and speech and
      an atheist

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