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Religious intolerance at Colorado
Springs, CO's Air Force Academy

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Overview:

According to the Associated Press in 2005-AUG, allegations surfaced:

"...that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive....An Air Force task force concluded that some students and staff at the school have the perception that the academy favors evangelical Christians and is intolerant of those who do not share their faith." 1

The Associated Press reported that the Academy's No. 2 chaplain, Captain Melinda Morton, said that she was fired for speaking up about religious intolerance among cadets and staff. She co-wrote a report in 2004 which criticized "strident" evangelizing of cadets by [conservative] Christian officers. She alleged that evangelical Christians wield too much influence at the Academy. Major General Charles Baldwin, the Air Force's chief chaplain said that she wasn't fired, only reassigned to Japan. 2

The Air Force issued an interim set of guidelines at the end of 2005-AUG concerning the free exercise of religion . The guidelines are to be applied beyond just the Air Force Academy; they apply to all Air Force personnel. They may eventually be enforced across the entire Armed Forces.

Harper's Magazine reported in their 2009-MAY issue that evangelical Christian proselytization and lack of religious freedom continues within the U.S. military.

Topics covered in this section:

bullet Allegations of intolerance. Events from 2004-JUL to 2005-APR
 
bullet Events from 2005-MAY. Report. Congressional oversight. Guidelines
 
bullet Text of interim guidelines
 
bullet Reactions. Why in Colorado Springs? Problem remains in 2009

References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Air Force releases prayer guidelines," Associated Press, 2005-AUG-30, at: http://www.foxnews.com/
  2. "Chaplain says she was fired. Claim comes amid inquiry into alleged intolerance at AFA," Associated Press, 2005-MAY-13, at: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/

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Copyright 2005 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2005-MAY-14
Latest update: 2009-APR-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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