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Dear The Air Force: What The Hell Is Wrong With You?

August 5, 2011

What. Is. This?

Seriously, Air Force chaplains? Seriously?

I know I don’t need to write a piecemeal take-down of this bollocks, and I don’t need to rail. But I’m gonna lose it anyway because this is not okay.

When you have Pagans struggling at the AF Academy to get a simple circle of rocks set aside for their religious purposes, and all the while, you’ve been using Christian doctrine throughout an ethics course, there’s something wrong with you. (And all the “we’ve supported the Pagans getting their circle the whole timeis a load of crap heavier than that created by the combined forces of the Tea Party. Have a wee discussion with TSgt Longcrier, and he’ll give you the what what.)

When Jews are called whiners in mass e-mails of the official variety, yet they’re being told that Jesus says it’s okay to nuke other countries, there’s something wrong with you.

When those who disagree with the policies that allow evangelical Christians to pressure others are fired from their positions, there’s something wrong with you.

When that monster Breivik extensively quotes folks who’ve spoken at the AF Academy, there’s something wrong with you.

When atheists want equal time at the AF Academy and are flat denied, there’s something wrong with you.

When you have Pagans at the AF Academy dealing with open hostility*–and tell me there wouldn’t have been a HUGE FREAKING RAWR of fundie outrage on Faux News if the Christian chapel there had been decorated with a symbol of our faith–and all the while, this ethics course has existed in this incarnation, there’s something wrong with you.

I wish this were only a problem at the Air Force. Fortunately for the rest of the services, the AF gets to take the full shot on this one. Not that they don’t deserve it, but when problems like this happen in other services, they ought to be trotted out, so that the world can see the pale, hairy ass of that service.

For example, when I witnessed a Catholic Navy chaplain telling his boss he couldn’t deal with me because his religion apparently prohibits him even talking to me (a chaplain said this, people – the dude who’s responsible for working toward freedom of ALL religion on his base), I knew there was something wrong with the Navy, too. Later, when the head chaplain flat ignored my follow-up e-mails after I met with his temporary vacation-time replacement, I knew once again there was something wrong with the Navy.

These issues are pervasive throughout the services. But for today, I declare to the Air Force that you have major issues to work through, especially since it appears that the worst instances are at the Academy, where the future leadership is being indoctrinated.

You are screwed up, Air Force. Fix it.

*And I absolutely disagree with Mikey Weinstein saying it would be like painting a swastika on a synagogue. The Xians-as-Nazi-oppressors crap is completely unfair and untrue. That analogy is based largely on the Inquisition, which did not actually oppress any Pagans or Witches, since our religion didn’t exist back then, kthxstfu. And also, though we do face a lot of prejudice still, we’re not being burned at the stake, and we’re not being dumped into mass graves, kthxstfubai. A more appropriate analogy would be hanging a pentacle, a Thor’s hammer, a goddess figure, etc. by the front door of a church. It’s hostile, it’s potentially threatening, but it’s nothing like a swastika aimed at Jews.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. libarmywife permalink*
    August 5, 2011 12:20 pm

    Thank you so much for saying this – and saying this so well. I’m sick of having someone’s religion shoved in my face when we attend a function. So sick of it. Religion is a personal issue, I don’t think it should be part of the institution! whatever my beliefs, they are mine. I won’t impose them on anyone, if I am in someone’s house for dinner, I will bow my head as they observe their own traditions. But to be Ordered to do so while attending a function for my husband’s employer – just irks me.

  2. March 8, 2012 5:13 pm

    There is an organization called the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, and while their site is pretty bleak they do have some great resources. I have just offered to redesign their website for them to raise awareness for this beautiful organization.

    • Air Force Infidel permalink
      March 10, 2012 10:55 pm

      Amber, I’m a member of the MAAF as well as a follower of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (Mikey Weinstein is my hero) and Rock Beyond Belief on facebook. These organzations keep me sane and give me hope. As far as we have to go, there has been progress in the past year. It’s still mostly like banging your head against a brick wall, but from time to time there is a crack though which the sun shines! It’s great that you are offering MAAF real help. Thanks for what you do.

  3. David L permalink
    July 13, 2012 6:29 pm

    I think everyone religious and non religious need to be sensitive to others. I am religious and I understand the need and place for religion and for not having religion. It irks me that chaplains aren’t meeting the spiritual needs of all people. It irks me that people can’t tolerate words coming out of someones mouth if the are religious in nature. We all just have to stop being such dicks left, right or center. Flipping drama over this while our country suffers, our troops suffer and so on. I am 100% behind the pagans on this and I am a Libertarian Orthodox Christian. I would hate it if I couldn’t practice my faith or if someone forced me to practice theirs.

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