The U.S. Air Force has cancelled a course entitled “Christian Just War Theory” that was required for all nuclear missile launch officers, reported the Associated Press. The course, which has been taught for the past 20 years by military chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is being revised following complaints by some participants that Scripture was used by teachers to show that war can be a moral endeavor, explained David Smith, a spokesman for the Air Force Air Education and Training Command. While the Air Force once felt the Bible-based training was necessary “because of the nature of the job” missile officers might be called upon to do, Smith said, it is now considered inappropriate in a society that has become increasingly pluralistic.
According to CNN, the Air Force suspended the ethics class “after 31 missile launch officers reported the religious nature of the briefing to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,” a secular watchdog group that targets faith in the armed forces. Mikey Weinstein, a spokesman for the organization, said that there were several things the missile officers “found disgusting. The first was the fact that there is actually a slide that makes it clear that they’re trying to teach that, under fundamentalist Christian doctrine, war is a good thing.”
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Photo: A U.S. Air Force chaplain's assistant lights an altar candle with a long-handled lighter in preparation for a Christian worship service.