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MRFF Contact: Bekki Miller
Tel. (337) 356-8696
[email protected]

Church-state separation
organization, protesting
USAFA leader's vows to
proselytize, posts second
billboard in Colorado Springs

Monday, November 18, 2013

    (COLORADO SPRINGS) The brazen assertion by a leader at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) that he WILL proselytize to "everyone that I work with" at the Academy, and the Academy's stunning, baseless defense of this individual, has provoked the latest barrage from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). The organization has posted a billboard at the doorstep of the Academy in Colorado Springs, the second one this month alone, and the third one posted in the city in 2013.

    The billboard is located on one of the city's busiest thoroughfares at the southwest corner of Garden of the Gods and Centennial, facing east.

    The national civil rights organization's furious reaction was provoked by a scandalous hate-mail sent to the foundation by the USAFA prep school's head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director, Allen Willoughby. The email, dated November 6, 2013, was addressed to former White House counsel to the Reagan administration, USAFA Honor Graduate, and MRFF Founder and President Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein.

    The email read, in part:

    "God will always be a part of the US Military even when you are gone to meet him face to face... I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with."

    Further fuel was added to the fire when the Academy issued a statement defending and exonerating Willoughby, stating that the hate-mail was sent "in his personal capacity," and that "no action is being taken against the individual."

    In an interview, Weinstein responded: "This is the best example of how wretched the climate is there, the brazen boldness of Christian supremacy. It's an absolute disgrace. We want an apology to me, my family and the foundation, and we want him disciplined."

    The MRFF billboard features a quote by Willoughby accompanied by the words "We get it, but we won't tolerate it!" The billboard includes a graphic depiction of an American flag festooned with Christian crosses which is meant to symbolize the unconstitutional, theocratic fifth column which permeates USAFA.

    The MRFF currently represents 435 USAFA cadets, staff and faculty clients, 372 of whom are practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics.

    Mr. Weinstein and the foundation have frequently come to blows with the USAFA administration in the past decade due to the permeating, profound presence of, and support for, fundamentalist evangelical Christianity at the Academy.

    Last month, MRFF also posted a billboard at North Nevada Ave. and Garden of the Gods Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Colorado Springs, CO. MRFF's purpose was to protest the continued usage of unconstitutional religious tests at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), namely the usage of the phrase "So Help Me God" within its honor oath. Neither of the Academy's sister service schools, West Point or Annapolis, use that phrase in their respective honor codes.

    Under fierce MRFF pressure, in October the Academy made the unconstitutional religious phrase "optional."

    A litany of previous religious liberty violations at USAFA, also exposed by MRFF, have led to alleged "thorough investigations" by the U.S. Air Force and supposed continued efforts to establish a "religious sensitivity training regimen." As recently as mid-October, 2013, Mr. Weinstein met personally with USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson to inform her of several unconstitutional religious civil rights violations affecting cadets, staff and faculty at USAFA. However, Weinstein has subsequently decried the recently-appointed Superintendent for her inability or unwillingness to challenge the deep-rooted Christian fundamentalist dominance existing at the Academy.


AFA sparks another billboard

Monday, November 18, 2013

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Amazed at a U.S. Air Force Academy staffer's vow to keep proselytizing, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation put up a billboard today to call attention to the issue.

  • We reported last week about Allen Willoughby, head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director at the academy's prep school, who wrote to Weinstein saying he plans to talk about Jesus to his co-workers. This is a violation of Department of Defense and Air Force Academy policy; yet, the academy says it will do nothing about it.

Click to read at CSIndy

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