Is the U.S. Air Force a Christian Air Force?

There are obviously many non-Christians who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), but there is growing evidence that the USAF is, despite claims to the contrary, institutionally Christian. According to a recent article in USA Today, an Air Force recruiter has filed suit against the USAF because of consistent proselytizing by superior officers. (Thanks to Eddie Tabash for pointing this out to me.) The article states:

The 12-page court filing says guest speakers at conventions of Air Force recruiters in 2003 and 2005 told Burleigh and other recruiters that “they needed to accept Jesus Christ in order to perform their job duties” and “to use faith in Jesus Christ while recruiting.”

When the plaintiff resisted his superiors’ efforts at proselytizing, he became the target of lower performance ratings than peers who attended religious activities such as prayer groups and church.

I don’t have much to say, except the obvious. If the allegations are true, then what the superior officers in the Air Force Recruiting Service are doing is not only conduct unbecoming a United States Airman, but illegal and indeed unconstitutional behavior. It would constitute an abuse of power by zealous Christian airmen trying to coerce a lower-ranking airman into becoming a Christian. (On a philosophical note, one wonders if the same individuals who are trying to coerce lower-ranking airmen into becoming Christians also use the “Free Will Defense” against arguments from evil for God’s nonexistence, but I guess bullies don’t have to be philosophically consistent.)

A Challenge to Christians

What I’d like to know is if any of the Christians who read this blog believe that such behavior is wrong and are willing to condemn it. I’m especially interested in whether the Christian bloggers who read this blog are willing to condemn the behavior on their own blogs.

A New Non-Profit Devoted to Military Religious Freedom

On a related subject, Jim Lippard just made me aware of a new non-profit organization devoted to military religious freedom: the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. They have a very polished website and also a brand new blog. The fact that non-Christians with ties to the U.S. Armed Forces even feel it necessary to create such a foundation is a sad commentary on the state of religious freedom within the U.S. Armed Forces. In any case, check out their organization.

About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03955914560649695452 ENLISTER

    I don’t believe this for one second! I have been a recruiter ( low ranking) for 5 years. THis guest speaker that spoke was prob a chaplain or civilian and has nothing to do with recruiting service. I am a Christian and most of my co workers may be but don’t attend church and receive great performance ratings. I believe there is more to the story than what is published. Superiors in recruiting are capable of fraud and deceit( from what I have seen) but they have never in three squadrons that I have seen forced any kind of religion on anyone. Instead I have been pressured to lie on forms and falsify documents in regards to recruiting, but that is another story you can read on my blog http://www.airforcerecruiting.blogspot.com


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