From the NY Times:
Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.
There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the past four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet.
The 4,300-student school recently started requiring staff members and cadets to take a 50-minute religious-tolerance class.
I don’t know what is going on here, but it doesn’t sound good. Specifically when you have this sort of thing coming from the leadership:
The superintendent, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, conceded there was a problem during a recent meeting of the Board of Visitors, the civilian group that oversees the academy.
”The problem is people have been across the line for so many years when you try and come back in bounds, people get offended,” he said.
The board chairman, former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore, warned Rosa that changing things could prove complicated. He said evangelical Christians ”do not check their religion at the door.”
Here we go again. Some basic infor about the academy:
More than 90 percent of the cadets identify themselves as Christian. A cadet survey in 2003 found that half had heard religious slurs and jokes, and that many non-Christians believed Christians get special treatment.
”There were people walking up to someone and basically they would get in a conversation and it would end with, `If you don’t believe what I believe you are going to hell,”’ Vice Commandant Col. Debra Gray said…
Rosa and other academy leaders say some among the large number of Christian cadets — nearly 2,600 are Protestant, some 1,300 are Roman Catholic, and about 120 are Mormon — may not realize that evangelism is unwelcome among their fellow students. The corps of cadets also includes 44 Jews, 19 Buddhists and a few Muslims, Hindus and others. There are 15 chaplains and one rabbi.
Again, I don’t know what is going on, and I am suspicious of anything that comes from the pressure cookers that are our military academies, but there has to be a little something to this story. At any rate, the reason I am posting this is not to engage in Christian bashing, but to expose this absurd statement:
Two of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian groups, Focus on the Family and New Life Church, are headquartered in nearby Colorado Springs. Tom Minnery, an official at Focus on the Family, disputed claims that evangelical Christians are pushing an agenda at the academy, and complained that ”there is an anti-Christian bigotry developing” at the school.
Whee! Focus on the Family and James Dobson again. Gotta love it. Now on to the statement from Mr. Minnery-
Of 4300 students, 90% are Christian. That means that 44 Jews and 19 Buddhists (world renowned for their bigotry) are terrorizing 3870 Christians.
For those of you keeping count, that is one Jew for every 88 Christians, and one Buddhists for every 204 Christians. Talk about tyranny of the minority!
I wish I could see videotape of Minnery saying that with a straight face.