To Whom It May Concern,
Until recently I would have disagreed with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s viewpoint on the United States Air Forces Academy as being an institution that “elevated one religious faith (fundamentalist Christianity) over all other.” As an Agnostic at the Academy I have felt that overall, I have been equally treated and that religion has not played a major issue.
However, after the Fox news article was released about the Bible verse being removed from a cadet’s whiteboard, a population of the cadet wing has in turn, responded with addition religious quotes placed outside their doors in the public hallways; one of which being the original quote that was removed. Attached are 9 examples of religious quotes that have been posted. I understand that these responses are quick reactions but I believe that they are a violation of AFI 1-1. Theses posts, quotes, and comments on social media have created a hostile environment and have lead to a decrease in unit cohesion and morale and are unprofessional in the military environment.
Although I am disappointed in the actions of my fellow classmates, I am more disappointed that they can not recognize that these actions can be offensive to others. I believe that Academy leadership recognized their mistake and corrected it by making the cadet take down their quote. I am hoping that we can bring this to their attention in order to resolve this situation in a positive manner.
While I recognize that the Academy is not perfect, I believe that we can learn from examples such as this to better promote a culture of respect and human dignity.