Monday, August 29, 2005

AP insanity conflux

The AP, which has assiduously ignored Cindy "my son was killed by Jews" Sheehan's anti-semitic comments and hero status in certain realms, now discovers the cause of such anti-semitism: the Air Force Academy.
The guidelines, which apply to the entire Air Force, were drawn up after allegations that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.

Ah, note the implication, not so subtle, that "evangelical influence" inevitably leads to anti-Semitism. Which, of course, explains why the "neo-con" cabal has so much influence with the current "evangelical" President.

But there is more:

Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate who says his sons have been the target of anti-Semitic slurs at the school, said the new guidelines fail to control evangelical zealots.
Now, I wonder if the person who wrote this had any sense of irony, given that the original 'zealots' were Jews, resisting the oppressive Roman government...

But there is more (italics mine):

The guidelines do not ban public prayer outright and say short, nonsectarian prayers may be included in special ceremonies or events, but only to lend a sense of solemnity and not to promote specific beliefs. Nor do they bar personal discussions of religion, including discussions between commanders and subordinates. They caution Air Force members "to be sensitive to the potential that personal expressions may appear to be official expressions."
Now, remember that this is an article implying that the Air Force did not go far enough (all the quotes are from people who so believe). Is the AP, that staunch defender of the First Amendment (for elites) advocating restrictions on freedom of speech? Evidently they are, if you are of the wrong religious persuasion.

Kool-aid, anyone?


Anonymous said...

Do you not think that there was something wrong with this sort of behavior?

"The report said that during basic training, cadets who declined to go to chapel after dinner were organized into a "Heathen Flight" and marched back to their dormitories. It said the Air Force's "Chaplain of the Year" urged cadets to proselytize among their classmates or "burn in the fires of hell"; that mandatory cadet meetings often began with explicitly Christian prayers; and that numerous faculty members introduced themselves to their classes as born-again Christians and encouraged students to become born again during the term."

Of course, I don't know whether that's true or not, but that sounds like an attempt to repress the non-Christian first amendment rights to me. Sounds like something needed to be done.

From the Washington post at:

I think you misread the original article entirely, but since you didn't link o it, I'm going to have to guess that this is it:,13319,FL_prayer_083005,00.html

Weinstein is complaining that, "The Air Force's official policy remains that the Air Force reserves the right to evangelize anyone in the Air Force that it determines to be unchurched." This sounds like a valid complaint to me. Do you think it's okay for the Air Force to evangelize?

The paragraph you quoted which mentions "Nor do they bar personal discussions of religion" comes AFTER these two paragraphs:

'Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., a member of the academy's oversight board, praised the new rules, which are to be finalized after feedback from commanders in November.

"These guidelines send an unmistakable message that religious intolerance within the Air Force is unacceptable," he said.'

It is clear to me that the AP is first presenting comments from those who think the guidelines don't go far enough, then some comments from those who think they do go far enough, THEN a general overview of the guidelines!

I think it's an absurd reading of the article to think that the AP is insinuating that the Air Force *should* ban personal religious discussion. Look for bias hard enough and you're bound to find it.

max said...

I marched in heathen flight many times. It was not an insult, any more than anything else the rest of freshman year (greeting, running the strips, training sessions, spirit missions, etc). After the evening meal, you could go to chapel (in Bible thumper flight) or back to the dorms in heathen flight. So? I never cared one way or the other. Some people just need to get a thicker skin, I guess.

Mikey is wrong in his complaint. The "Air Force" does not "reserve the right to evangelize anyone..." His whine is about individuals, and all the allegations were about individuals (mostly cadets) and mostly in evangelical protestant services. The report gives lie to his claim, so either he didn't read it or ignored it.