Americans United Urges Air Force to Ban Official Promotion of Religion

November 4, 2005

Source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

On November 4, 2005 Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported, "Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged the Air Force to adopt guidelines that bar the official sponsorship of religion and coercive forms of proselytization by senior officers and chaplains. Attorneys with Americans United were invited to comment on proposed guidelines on religious activity by Air Force officials. In a seven-page letter delivered Nov. 2, AU Legal Director Ayesha Khan and Assistant Legal Director Richard Katskee outline a series of recommendations to strengthen and clarify the guidelines. Khan’s and Katskee’s recommendations include: prohibiting official prayer at any event where attendance is mandatory; adopting a clear rule barring the proselytization of subordinates by senior officers; banning proselytization by chaplains and developing clear guidelines dealing with use of government e-mail system to disseminate religious messages... The proposed guidelines have been attacked by Religious Right groups and their congressional allies. U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) and 70 members of Congress have written to President George W. Bush, urging him to issue an executive order permitting chaplains to pray in a sectarian manner."