Any U.S. citizen who believes there is not a serious problem in the U.S. Armed Forces with fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity, must be, as I often remark to my students when I describe some particularly egregious and otherwise inexplicable failing, "smoking some good stuff."
With the college football season set to officially begin on August 23, many collegiate teams find their rosters in question, with a number of football players accused of sexual assaults against other students. Should the university's investigation override a legal presumption of innocence? Maybe.
MRFF agrees with the Freethinkers Club that their group should be able to participate in S.P.I.R.E., but does not condone the manner in which these cadets chose to protest the Academy's refusal to recognize them as a S.P.I.R.E. group.
One of the speakers at this year's National Character & Leadership Symposium was Kelly Shackelford, the President & CEO of the Liberty Institute, which describes itself as "the largest legal organization dedicated solely to defending and restoring religious liberty in America."
If the Department of Defense doesn't want to be dealing with situations like the one at the Air Force Academy all the time, then an Equal Opportunity (EO) policy covering sexual orientation needs to be put in place. At any time, President Obama could issue an executive order.
The U.S. Air Force Academy cannot give closeted cadets the personal courage to come out. That is a decision that only they can make for themselves. But what the Academy can do is recognize that there are closeted LGB cadets who find the atmosphere unwelcoming.
As the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), I read a lot of emails that come into the foundation -- emails from supporters, from people asking for our help, and, of course, from detractors.
Optionally adding the words "so help me God" is, of course, anyone's right. These words, however, should not be a part of the official oath, where they inevitably lead to situations in which cadets are forced or coerced to say them.