Evangelical Groups Praise New Air Force Religion Guidelines

February 10, 2006

Source: Rocky Mountain News


On February 10, 2006 the Rocky Mountain News reported, "Revised guidelines for religious tolerance issued Thursday by the Air Force brought praise from evangelical Christians and cries of outrage from other religious groups. The new guidelines retreat from earlier rules that made strong statements protecting religious diversity and condemning intolerance by one religion toward another, critics said. But evangelical Christians, who condemned the earlier rules as restricting their right to proselytize other faiths and nonbelievers, say the new rules restore their right to freedom of speech and worship. The original guidelines issued in August grew out of charges from members of minority faiths that they were targets of slurs and discrimination by the Air Force Academy's evangelical Christian majority. The original rules called for tolerance of religious 'diversity' at the academy and throughout the Air Force. They labeled as 'unacceptable' disrespectful conduct based on religious beliefs. No such language is contained in the new guidelines. Instead, they state that the Air Force 'will remain officially neutral regarding religious beliefs' and will accommodate the free exercise of religion and other personal beliefs. Praise for the new guidelines flowed from evangelical groups."