The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is at it again, this time demanding that a USAF officer at a Colorado Air Force Base be “aggressively punished” for having a Bible on display at his workstation.
According to the Colorado Springs Independent, MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein is going after a Peterson Air Force Base officer, making demands that Major Steve Lewis be punished for having his Bible on display at his workstation- citing that it is worthy reprimand for violating the separation of church and state.
“The basic premise of the Air Force instruction [on religious freedom], grounded in Department of Defense policy, grounded in law is, people have an inherent right to free exercise of religion within boundaries,” said Colonel Damon Feltman, commander of the 310th Space Wing. “At the same time, people have freedom to be left alone. It’s finding that right balance. The challenge of the commander is to be sure both people are treated fairly.”
One source at Peterson AFB -who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of repercussion- says that the Bible’s open-sight placement and highlighted passages belies an insinuation that the command favors one religion over others.
“It certainly gives the appearance of favoritism toward one religion,” says the source. “I’m a Christian myself, and it’s concerning. I don’t think people should be promoted or given opportunities based on whatever [religion] they are. It should be about your performance.”
Weinstein says that the placement of the Bible in front of the computer keyboard at the workstation is offensive.
“Major Lewis has created an around-the-clock Christian Bible Shrine on his official USAF workstation desk that has been in prominent static display for years,” Weinstein said. “The pages in his open Bible on his USAF desk never change, ever.”
Colonel Feltman says the situation will be reviewed for compliance in response to the complaint.
“We’re going to go back and look at that to see if we’re in compliance and if not, we’re going to take corrective action,” he said.
Feltman added that “If a person has a Koran display or book of Satan, they’re free to have that on display and read it as long as they’re not proselytizing, trying to entice someone to their particular viewpoint.”
Lastly, Feltman stated that members who file complaints through the proper command channels are exempt from retaliation, as such acres are “patently illegal under the Department of Defense, Air Force and federal law.”
Weinstein says he’s satisfied with the Colonel’s response and notes he was informed that the investigation would be open and transparent.
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