Air Force Allegedly Used Jesus to Recruit

March 10, 2006

Source: Yahoo! News/USA Today

On March 10, 2006 USA Today reported, "A vocal critic of Pentagon policies on religion in the ranks filed court papers Thursday alleging that an Air Force recruiter in New Mexico was asked 'to use Jesus Christ as a recruiting tool.' Michael 'Mikey' Weinstein, a 1977 graduate of the Air Force Academy, filed suit against the Air Force in federal court in Albuquerque last October. Weinstein and four other plaintiffs allege illegal proselytizing by evangelical Christian chaplains, officers and cadets at the Air Force Academy and throughout the service. The plaintiffs - including one of Weinstein's sons who is an Air Force officer - filed a motion Thursday to amend the lawsuit, challenging the Air Force's 'interim guidelines' on religious expression issued last month. The latest filing seeks to add another plaintiff, Master Sgt. Phillip Burleigh of Alamogordo, N.M., a 24-year veteran. It alleges that Burleigh, an Air Force Reserve recruiter at Holloman Air Force Base, 'has been subjected to regular and persistent proselytizing by his superior officers' against his will and 'in violation of his constitutional rights'... The filing says his problems began in 1997 with 'aggressive proselytizing' by his supervisor and lower performance ratings than colleagues who attended prayer groups and church."