Sixty-six members of Congress have penned a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asking him to address what they say is an “alarming pattern of attacks on faith in the Air Force.” According to the Air Force Times, the congressmen blame Air Force Chief of Staff Norman Schwartz (a member of the internationalist Council on Foreign Relations, pictured at far right) for cultivating the attack on religious expression, which they say includes removing Latin references to God in an Air Force unit logo, deleting Christian references from a missile training course, taking Bibles off an Air Force accommodations checklist, and prohibiting commanders from informing Air Force service members about Chaplain Corps programs.
“When our sons and daughters join the military, they are not signing away their First Amendment right to religious liberty,” the congressmen said in their epistle to Panetta. “Unfortunately it seems that some parts of the military are intent on prohibiting religious expressions rather than protecting it.”
The congressional protest is being led by Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va., pictured to the left of Schwartz), who said in a statement: “The Air Force has repeatedly capitulated to demands from groups that seek to remove all traces of faith from the military and the public square…. Those who sacrifice so much for our nation must be assured that they need not leave their faith at home when they volunteer to serve.”
The 66 congressmen pointed to a September 201l memo in which General Schwartz warned Air Force commanders not to proselytize or show favoritism toward a particular faith. Schwartz issued the memo shortly after the Air Force suspended an ethics course for incoming nuclear missile officers that included Bible references and launched a review of all officer training on ethics and character development.
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