Some Serious Words about Religious Bigotry in the Military
Ensuring that it does is the raison d’etre of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Indeed, the very reason for the existence of MRFF, the organization that I head, is the toxic environment of religious bigotry, intolerance, and oppression that lies systemically and ubiquitously across the entirety of the United States armed services as a living, breathing, metastasizing national security threat. This enormous danger has compelled us to tirelessly persevere in our campaign for Constitutional compliance. Schwartz’s issuance of a memo on “Government Neutrality Regarding Religion” back in September 2011 was one result of our fervent Constitutionalism. The memo’s release was terribly discrete and its application appallingly discretionary. At some USAF installations, the men and women under Schwartz’s command treacherously saw fit to keep the memo under de facto quarantine, accessible only to officers of the most senior rank. For weeks this travesty played itself out at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), my alma mater and a hotbed of unconstitutional Christian extremism and Dominionist fundamentalism. Did Schwartz lift a finger against these open acts of obstructionist insubordination? Of course not. Following a literal torrent of complaints from numerous officers, NCOs, staff, and cadets at USAFA, our civil rights foundation was finally forced to erect a highly visible public billboard down the street from the Academy containing the text of the entire memo. This billboard’s display led to frenetic damage control efforts by USAFA that were ultimately crowned by the open distribution of the memo throughout the Academy’s Cadet Wing (student body). MRFF’s billboard (and overall efforts) forced that victorious outcome.