“…as officials confirmed for me —
it was mostly because of Weinstein’s
in-your-face activism that
Air Force Instruction 1-1,
Section 2.11, came into existence…”
Robert F. Dorr
Author of books, magazine articles and newspaper columns. Published about 75 books, 10,000 magazine articles, 5,000 newspaper columns.
Dorr served in the United States Air Force in Korea (1957–60) and spent 24 years as a Foreign Service Officer (1964–89) with the U.S. State Department. He held senior positions in Washington after tours of duty in Tananarive, Madagascar; Seoul, Korea; Fukuoka, Japan; Monrovia, Liberia; Stockholm, Sweden; and London, England.
Began writing opinion columns in Air Force Times newspaper in about 1992, and now writes the weekly “Back Talk” opinion column. Married, two grown sons and a Labrador retriever.
The following editorial was written by
esteemed author and retired diplomat
Robert F. Dorr for the Air Force Times:
An unscientific poll of current, former and retired Air Force members tells me most don’t want a colleague trying to convert them. “I can think for myself,” said a senior master sergeant. “The preaching should stay in the chapel,” said a captain. Both sent me their opinions via email.
Former Air Force Capt. Mikey Weinstein, chairman of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me in an Aug. 21 telephone interview that commanders place pressure on troops every day to accept their religious beliefs.
“If you think that kind of behavior has stopped, you’re wrong,” he said.
Weinstein vehemently opposes what he calls “illegal command pressure.”
He’s right. But it’s not easy to be in agreement with him. Weinstein has a relentlessness that can be off-putting, even to people who share his opposition to proselytizing in the military. He told me he receives death threats. He told me he is “the most reviled graduate of the Air Force Academy.” He was in the Class of 1977.
Still — as officials confirmed for me — it was mostly because of Weinstein’s in-your-face activism that Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11, came into existence Aug. 7.
It’s titled “Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” It cautions leaders to “avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.”
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