Today, Liberty Institute expressed outrage at an Air Force Academy decision to erase a cadet’s Bible verse from a dry erase board hanging on his dorm room door. The decision came in response to a complaint from Mikey Weinstein, President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. According to an Air Force spokesperson, the incident was not punishable, but “a teachable moment.”
“If the cadet didn’t violate any rules, then why was the quote removed?” said Michael Berry, Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel and Director of Military Affairs. “It appears that the Air Force now believes Bible verses are a violation of AFI 1-1.”
The cadet wrote on his door the Bible verse Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
The Air Force’s action violates Department of Defense Instruction 1300.17, a new Pentagon regulation meant to protect religious liberty. “This is a blatant violation of 1300.17 and the Constitution,” said Berry. “But the Air Force seems to think that AFI 1-1’s neutrality towards religion requirement means forbidding religious freedom. If that’s true, then I suggest the Air Force officials read DODI 1300.17, which supersedes AFI 1-1 and guarantees religious freedom for all service members.”
Liberty Institute, the largest nonprofit legal firm dedicated solely to defending religious freedom in the U.S., stands ready to defend, for free, any cadet whose religious rights have been violated.
About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a national nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, inside our military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.