From the Family Research Council
The hot seat just got hotter for Air Force officials at [Friday’s] House Armed Services hearing. With the backdrop of Scripture scrubbing and Christian harassment at the branch’s Academy, a routine budget debate turned into a fireworks display over the Air Force’s growing hostility towards faith in the ranks. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Walsh were originally scheduled to talk about branch spending until conservatives intervened, demanding a detailed explanation of the events that unfolded at the Academy. Representatives from Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) to Democrat Mike McIntyre (N.C.) took turns grilling the duo on the incident, which ultimately resulted in a cadet erasing Bible verses from his dorm whiteboard.
Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) pressed the pair on “what other inspirational quotes cadets have been forced to remove from their personal whiteboards other than verses from the Bible.” Secondly, he said, “I want to point out this to you, General. When you come in my office, I chair the Sea Power Subcommittee, [and] over the door you walk through I have our national motto engraved ‘In God We Trust’…. How [is that] any different from this cadet placing his own personal message over his own personal whiteboard? And how is this offensive to leadership principles?”
Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Michael Turner (R-Ohio) echoed Forbes’s concerns, urging James and Walsh to “make every effort to promote and preserve religious liberty for our service members.” For Congressman Lamborn, the incident is personal. “The Air Force Academy is in my district, and like Rep. Forbes, I’m very disturbed by what happened with this cadet. I think it’s a suppression of religious rights, and I’m going to ask you in a minute about funding cuts at the Air Force Academy — and I want to defend the academy, but my job has been, frankly, made a little bit harder because of that.”
Join them in speaking up for the Air Force’s cadets by signing our [FRC’s] petition here!
Read more: FRC.org
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