Springs Academy came under severe fire this past year for proselytizing
charges in which non-Christians were reportedly discriminated against
in what some critics called an overly-Christian atmosphere.
investigation turned up only a small amount of evidence, and the Air
Force reported that proper steps had been taken.
Now members of
Congress are calling new guidelines adopted by the Air Force, which
call for only nonsectarian prayers to be prayed on campus, “…merely a
euphemism declaring that prayers will be acceptable so long as they
censor Christian beliefs.”
Jones (R-NC), spearheaded a signature-gathering effort in Congress for
a letter he sent to the president earlier this month.
signed by both Republicans and Democrats, states: “We are disappointed
and gravely concerned to learn that the Christian military chaplains
are under direct attack and that their right to pray according to their
faith is in jeopardy.”
Opponents of the policy say that the Air Force move is a precursor to a Pentagon-wide policy.
newspaper The Hill quoted Jones who said that, “We think it is
extremely damaging, and that is denying the First Amendment rights of
all of our chaplains.”
He pointed out
that that while the executive order would apply to chaplains of all
faiths, that the focus is specifically on Christian chaplains.
The letter added
that, “Current surveys in the military indicate that upwards of 80
percent of soldiers identify themselves as Christians, and such
censorship of Christian beliefs is a disservice not only to Christian
chaplains but also to hundreds of thousands of Christian soldiers.”
members of congress are calling on President Bush to overturn a new
policy, recently enacted by the U.S. Department of Defense in light of
a recent Air Force Academy controversy, which they say violates the
first amendment rights of Christian chaplains.