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Arthur Schlesinger Jr.: What in God’s Name Is Going on at the Air Force Academy?

Barking mad.

There is the curious episode of the recent attempt by evangelical Christians to take over the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Air Force Academy is a government institution on the model of West Point and Annapolis, sustained by taxpayers’ money and accountable to the Department of Defense. Yet for the last four years evangelicals have created a pervasive atmosphere of intolerable religious harassment and discrimination.

The second in command, a born-again general, propagated his faith through speeches and memoranda. Chaplains joined in. There were 55 complaints over four years. A Jewish cadet was told, for example, that the holocaust was punishment for Jews because Jews had killed Jesus. The Academy superintendent asked the Yale Divinity School to investigate the situation, and the Yale team endorsed the complaints. The chief chaplain asked a woman chaplain to denounce the Yale report. She refused, saying she agreed with the report. She was ordered to Okinawa where she can be assigned to Iraq or Afghanistan.

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