WASHINGTON, DC — The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, an organization of chaplain endorsers representing more than 2,000 chaplains actively serving the armed forces, has contacted senior Air Forces officials asking that they refrain from viewpoint discrimination and allow chaplains to speak freely on issues of faith.
Chaplain Kenneth Reyes, senior chaplain at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, recently published an essay regarding the history of the phrase “No atheists in fox holes” on the “Chaplain Corner,” a page on the base’s website. His essay merely discussed an issue of faith, and in no way attempted to coerce any particular belief or action. After a complaint from Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, however, the base commander immediately removed Reyes’ essay from the website.
“The base commander’s action violated an essential right of military chaplains to fulfill what they are commissioned to do: speak on issues of faith to military personnel,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director for Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “We are extremely disappointed that, once again, Mikey Weinstein complains, and the Air Force immediately complies, trampling the basic rights of military chaplains in the process.”
“It is a sad day for the Air Force and for our country when chaplains are censored for speaking about faith. We are calling on the Air Force to apologize to Chaplain Reyes and to put his essay back on the base website,” Crews said.
The Chaplain Alliance’s letter to the base commander may be read here.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Linch (Public Domain)