05/18/2005: Thought for the Day:
Finally, we are aware of at least two cases in which highly qualified individuals were dissuaded from attending the Academy and entering into the Air Force officer corps — despite longstanding and fervent desires to do so — after learning of the official culture of religious intolerance and hostility toward those who do not subscribe to and practice evangelical Christianity. When the Air Force is denied the service of the country’s best and brightest young people because they feel excluded from the Academy by religious intolerance, the armed forces and the Nation as a whole are weakened. What is more, in light of the traditional role that military-officer training has played in cultivating local, state, and national leaders in both the public and private sectors, the effective exclusion from the Academy of highly qualified, highly motivated young men and women on the basis of their religion — or their unwillingness to conform to the religious practices of those in charge — is the very archetype of the "message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community," that the Constitution forbids.
--Report of Americans United for Separation of Church and State on Religious Coercion and Endorsement of Religion at the United States Air Force Academy
Len on 05.18.05 @ 07:36 AM CST