Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Air Force Academy Evangelical Crisis - The Report is in!

Regular visitors to this site know that this the religion scandal at the Air Force Academy has become a pet project of mine. With the Academy literally only a short bicycle ride from my house, this is one of those hometown issues that has national importance. 

First lets lay out the timeline:


April: Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida issues advisories to staff, faculty and cadets urging observance of National Day of Prayer.

June: Weida issues a commander’s guidance telling cadets their first duty is to God.

February: A faculty and staff survey shows half of non-Christians feel people at the academy respect individuals whose religious views and faiths are different from their own.

March: Fliers promoting Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” are placed at every cadet’s place in the cafeteria.

July: Yale University Divinity School observes a week of basic training. It advises that “stridently evangelical themes” encourage religious divisions. The report isn’t made public until April.

August: More than half the cadets responding to a survey report hearing religious jokes, comments and slurs. One-third of non-Christian cadets say they believe Christian cadets get preferential treatment.

November: The academy says it received 55 complaints of religious intolerance dating to 2000.

Nov. 17: Football coach Fisher De-Berry hangs a banner in the athletic department stating, “I am a Christian first and last . . . I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.”

February: DeBerry says religion is “what we’re all about” at the academy.

March 29: The academy launches Respecting the Spiritual Values of all People, RSVP, a training program of 50-minute sessions for small groups of cadets, faculty and staff.

April 28: Americans United for Separation of Church and State says its investigation finds cadets frequently are pressured to attend chapel and receive religious instruction. Report is sent to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

May 3: The Pentagon announces a task force review of the academy’s religious climate.

May 9: Weida is nominated for promotion to major general.

May 12: Academy chaplain, Capt. Melinda Morton, says she is fired for speaking out about claims of religious intolerance. Air Force officials say her duties changed as part of a planned reassignment. The Anti-Defamation League calls for the Air Force to put Weida’s promotion on hold.

May 24:
Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper sends a message to all major commands reminding them to be sensitive to all religions and for commanders to not use their office to promote a specific belief.

June 3: Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr. tells a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League in Denver the academy has religious bias problems that could take up to six years to fix.

June 8: The Air Force reveals Weida is under investigation by the Air Force inspector general for “specific allegations of improper conduct.” The academy confirms the retirement of Morton’s boss, Col. Michael Whittington, has been put on hold pending a Pentagon inspector general’s investigation of Morton’s dismissal as executive officer.

June 19:Rosa accepts a position as president of The Citadel but will remain at the academy for several months.

June 21: Captain Morton resigns her commision. 

Thanks to the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph for this timeline.


Posted by Christopher on 06/23 at 05:44 AM
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Monday, June 06, 2005

Social Security’s Real Problem

As the House and Senate return back to “work” this week, the talk of Social Security reform will once again return to the forefront of media coverage.  Whether you are in
favour of Private Accounts or think the government provided defined benefit route is the best, there is one underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

There is a great little column today from Michael Barone, one of America’s leading watchers of politcs. Barone is right of center, but is well respected by everyone.  In this article:

he talks about the benefit increases that came around in 1972, thus propelling retirees out of poverty and the SS trust in the direction of insolvency.  But even Barone misses the point of what came shortly after the 1972 change in benefits. 

In January of 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Rowe Vs. Wade that there was a constitutional right to abortion.  Some states had already passed abortion laws, legalizing the practice, while placing some restrictions on timing and access. 


Posted by Christopher on 06/06 at 11:37 AM
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Friday, November 05, 2004

A Theological Reflection on What the #$BLEEP*! Do We Know? ? Hope Beyond Quantum Physics?

What follows before is my attempt to exegete this movie, and in the end to draw some helpful and I believe true elements from this presentation.  I personally loved the film?but then I have strange tastes in movies.  I have seen in four times, and have laughed at the narrative shown to us to support the films theories and thesis.  Having said that?

The challenge of the movie ?What the #$BLEEP*! Do We Know?? is that it is not easily categorized.  Is it a documentary?  Is it a fictional film?  Is it modernist?  Is it postmodernist?  Well?yes, no, and wrong question.

First let me say that this movie is the strangest concoction I have experienced.  It is one part Quantum Physics, one part Pluralistic and New Age theology, and one part physiology and importance of intention.  It is not, as some have billed, a ?real world Matrix.?  Far from it (though The Matrix trilogy itself allows for a lot of connections to this and many other movies and narratives)!  Instead, it the story of a worldview that the makers of the film are inviting you to believe in ? in fact, they would say, it is the only true narrative out there (point one on why this is not really postmodern, but more modern or hypermodern).


Posted by Christopher on 11/05 at 11:03 PM
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Friday, October 15, 2004

Hugh Hewitt’s Question - Why America is mad about Mary Cheney comment.

Hugh Hewitt on his website today asks, ?Why is America so upset over the Mary Cheney comment??

Hugh Hewitt on his website today asks, ?Why is America so upset over the Mary Cheney comment?? (see yesterday?s post on Lesbian Daughters).  I think it is a great question ? why has this raised the ire of so many?


Posted by Christopher on 10/15 at 09:50 PM
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"Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is himself the way." Karl Barth


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