Revised Guidelines on Religious Expression Issued by Air Force

February 9, 2006

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: RNS

On February 9, 2006 Religion News Service reported, "The Air Force issued revised guidelines on religious expression Thursday (Feb. 9), reiterating its official neutrality on matters of belief but making subtle changes in language that drew both criticism and praise from disparate groups... 'We will respect the rights of chaplains to adhere to the tenets of their religious faiths and they will not be required to participate in religious activities, including public prayer, inconsistent with their faiths,' the new document reads. Reduced from four pages to one, the latest 'interim' guidelines were released after the Air Force received feedback on a previous version issued in August. Air Force officials said they heard from religious groups, members of congress and others and interviewed 500 Air Force personnel. Jennifer Stephens, an Air Force spokeswoman, said it is likely that Air Force officials will make the latest guidelines the permanent ones, but she said the service branch 'will need experience with how the guidelines work in practice before deciding on the finalization date.'"