New information in the Air Force Academy religious discrimination scandal was revealed today by USA Today and The New York Times. An Air Force Academy chaplain who criticized "strident" evangelizing by Christian officers said Wednesday that she was fired by the academy's head chaplain.
Captain Melinda Morton is one of many who have come forward to criticize preferential treatment for evangelicals at the academy. Last July, a two-page memo by Morton and Yale Divinity School professor Kristen Leslie reported that an academy chaplain urged cadets to pray for those who didn't attend a worship service. The chaplain also told the cadets to remind others of the consequence of not attending the service: "[that] those not born again will burn in the fires of hell."
Although fewer than one-third of cadets identify as evangelical Christians, "there's certainly an impression that evangelicals here have the leadership on their side," one staff member told The Times. "And there's a feeling among people who are atheists or people who are other varieties of Christian that the leadership does not really accept them."
This new information comes on the heels of a recent report by Americans United for Separation of Church and State that caused the Air Force to convene a task force to examine the problems. We can only hope that their preliminary report, to be issued May 23, will reflect the gravity of this situation.