Saturday, June 04, 2005

Out of control

Yet another example of the right-wing religious wingnuts in this country bringing out the worst behavior: Air Force Academy Chief Admits School Bias

The Lieutenant General in command said, "I have issues in my staff, and I have issues in my faculty — and that's my whole organization."

The article added, "He said he admonished the academy's No. 2 commander, Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, a born-again Christian, for sending an e-mail promoting National Prayer Day."

A Brigadier General has to be told this? It said the Brigadier General agreed it was incorrect to do this once he was confronted, but the message (in essence, the establishment of religion in a government institution) was already out there.

More from the article: "The academy has been under investigation because of complaints that evangelical Christians have harassed cadets who do not share their faith. Some cadets have complained of anti-Semitic slurs."

The tone in any organization either comes from the top or is very strongly impacted by the signals received from leadership. However we look at this, the President (who, of course, is the military's Commander-in-Chief) and his cadre are responsible for yet another example of intolerance. We're going in reverse as a nation, and I hope the day comes when the people responsible for today's right-wing politics feel the shame they so richly deserve. The Founding Fathers would be appalled.


Andy said...

I don't think we're going in reverse, I think we're going off-road in a new, scary direction.

I have read all sorts of upsetting things about what goes on at the Academy and how non-Evangelical types are pressured and harrassed. Having said that, though, I would disagree that there's something inherently wrong with a school official merely sending out an email promoting a religious event. It all depends on what the email actually said, and whether people felt pressured to attend rather than invited. But we can't get so hysterical over religion because of a few nutcases with zero judgment that it becomes a social offense merely to discuss and promote your faith.

Jess said...

Andy, I respect your feelings and your faith, but we’re not simply talking about a school official. We’re talking about a high-ranking member of the military, acting in that capacity, apparently utilizing a government resource to send his message, in the setting of a government, military institution. That’s over the line. If he wants to go home and send things out to friends about it, that’s his business. This, however, was over the line, especially given the coercion implicit in a message from a General to those beneath him in a military setting.