Tuesday, February 2, 2010

AFA a work in progress

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Even as the Air Force Academy bragged about its open-mindedness in allowing the construction of a prayer circle for earth worshippers, somebody doesn't approve. As you can see by this photo, taken the weekend of Jan. 16, someone has a problem with those who don't buy into Christianity.

The incident caught the attention of Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation who first raised the religious intolerance issue at the academy in 2005.

But Weinstein, an academy grad, praises AFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, who immediately ordered the cross removed and admonished base personnel.

"This is an instance of how to do things differently," Weinstein says of Gould's head-on attack of those intolerant of others' beliefs. "We're very pleased. The academy is trying to address this."

But Weinstein also is concerned about the incident pointing up "terrible underlying disrespect for the U.S. Constitution."

"We have to be on it every second of the day," he says.

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, who sponsors the group and describes himself as a Pagan, told the Associated Press he's heard no criticism of the new worship space but its presence was just made public.
"So far we haven't had any real issues," he says. Really? Perhaps he isn't aware of the cross incident. He says 15 to 20 cadets have shown an interest in Earth-centered beliefs, and eight to 10 regularly attend Monday night meetings.

The prayer circle, on a hill overlooking the Cadet Chapel and Visitors Center, is to be dedicated in March.

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