Air Force investigating constitutionality of religious activities at Academy Jamie Sterling at 8:18 AM ET
[JURIST] Acting Air Force Secretary Michael L. Dominguez [official profile], announced Tuesday that the Pentagon will investigate reported religious activities at the Colorado Springs United States Air Force Academy [official website] to determine if the climate there respects the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the US Constitution. Alleged on-campus proselytizing and favoritism for Christians came to light [Americans for the Separation of Church and State report, PDF] after internal surveys and reports of religious discrimination from cadets. The Air Force Academy recently launched a religious respect training program [Air Force Academy press release] directed at "educating cadets, faculty members and base employees on the importance of respecting the spiritual beliefs of a diverse force". This is the second legal investigation at the Academy in two years; the first involved gender discrimination against 150 female cadets. The latest task force will be lead by Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady [official profile], who is expected to publish a report by May 23. Americans United for Separation of Church and State [advocacy website] have welcomed the probe [press release] and say they will monitor the proceedings closely; the conservative Focus on the Family [advocacy website] has meanwhile criticized the investigation, saying that if the Air Force were to ignore religion, they would ignore "the ultimate meaning of life." Read the Air Force Secretary's press release on the investigation. AP has more.
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