February 16, 2017
An advocacy group has filed a complaint with the Air Force Inspector General’s Office seeking the removal of religious-themed posters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said his organization opposes displaying the posters at Air Combat Command facilities on the installation because they’re “sexist, offensive” and use male-dominated and faith-based speech.
The foundation represents 16 officers, non-commissioned officers and civilian clients — including nine women — in its effort to remove the posters, he said.
One poster, located in Building 602, depicts lights beaming upward where the Twin Towers once stood before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and reads: “Men cannot live without faith except for brief moments of anarchy or despair. Faith leads to convictions — and convictions lead to action. It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood.” The line is quoted from AF Manual 50-21, dated August 1955.
The command, after reviewing one complaint over the posters, said officials have “decided to leave the display unaltered,” spokesman Maj. AJ Schrag said in a statement to Military.com.
“The posters do not officially endorse, disapprove of, or extend preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief, which is the standard established by regulation that would warrant action,” Schrag said in an email Tuesday.
“The posters are historical, two in a series of seven quoting various sections of a 1955 Air Force Manual. Although we do not have a record of when the posters were first displayed, they have been there at least six years,” he said.
“The literal meaning of the two quotes identified in the complaint — the importance of personal faith in a broad sense and the importance of an individual’s rights and freedoms — are appropriate and consistent with established traditions of using historical documents to promote reflection and inspiration,” Schrag said.
The incident snowballed last week after a female airman — not identified by MRFF for fear of reprisal — responded to an Air Force Times’ article spotlighting the issue over two posters.
“As a proud American woman and equally proud officer in the USAF, those posters from an AF Manual from the mid-1950s serve only as a hurtful reminder of the second class citizenship women had to suffer for generations prior to eventually being guaranteed equal status under the Constitution we all swear our oaths to support and defend,” the female airman wrote Feb. 8.
More at Military.com
Disclaimer: This article was not written by Silent Soldier.