Air Force to Probe Religious Climate at Colorado Academy

A couple weeks ago, the Air Force Academy came under scrutiny for its religious climate. The other shoe has now dropped.

Air Force to Probe Religious Climate at Colorado Academy (WaPo, A3)

The Air Force said yesterday it is creating a task force to address the religious climate at the U.S. Air Force Academy, following allegations that its faculty and staff have pressured cadets to convert to evangelical Christianity. The acting secretary of the Air Force, Michael L. Dominguez, ordered the task force to make a preliminary assessment by May 23 of the religious atmosphere on the Colorado Springs campus and its “relevance . . . to the entire Air Force.” He named Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for personnel, to head the effort.

The investigation is the second major probe of the academy in two years. In 2003, dozens of former female cadets came forward to say they had been sexually assaulted at the academy, prompting an overhaul of its policies toward women.

It’s unfortunate that the Academy leadership has had to bring outsiders in to help them with two major scandals in as many years. One hopes they get this fixed.

Related:Air Force Academy Unfriendly to Non-Christians

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, Religion
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. The vast bulk of the complaints are stuff along the lines of:
    “Official meetings are held in a church” (like the same kind of church most of us vote in)
    “This Christian believes non-Christians are going to hell” (in other words, how dare they believe something I don’t agree with)
    “Those Christians shows Mel Gibson’s the Passion and invited me to watch” (Oh, the horrors)
    “This Christian asked me if I wanted to get saved.” (Say yes or no, and quit whining)
    “The school showed a picture of Jesus on their Christmas calendar” (don’t they know Christianity is supposed to be censored?!?)

    Basically stupid stuff like that. The push is from the group Atheist United for the Suppression of Christians…er…I mean Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and anti-Christian hate group.

  2. Herb Ely says:

    Author Gregory Pierce sets forth a basic principle of workplace spirituality (for my review click here): people need not hide their spirituality, indeed ought to practice it, but its practice should not interfere with the flow of work. For example, if my attorney were to talk to me for six minutes about the benefits of meditation in controlling tension and then charged me $25 for the discussion, it would be a violation of a spiritual principle (thou shalt not steal).

    Similarly there are many spiritual principles that should be practiced at the AF academy – eg. truth telling is a spiritual principle that supports the mission.

    If Christian officers and cadets want to witness, they should be able to do so – on their own time. If they are interfereing with the function of the academy they are misusing taxpayer funds.

    All this, of course, assumes that the Air Force academy has a morally valid mission.