Air Force Academy sued by graduate: Mikey Weinstein challenges proselytization

November 1, 2005

Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate who has been a sharp critic of the school, has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the air force from encouraging what he considers to be unconstitutional evangelistic practices. Weinstein filed the complaint October 6 in a federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Weinstein contended that the air force has not changed its policies regarding evangelizing at the academy.

He cited comments made by Brigadier General Cecil R. Richardson, the air force’s deputy chief of chaplains, who told the New York Times: “We will not proselytize, but we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched.” But the Los Angeles Times reported October 11 that until August the air force had guidelines for its chaplains that may have led them to believe it was their role to push Christian beliefs. Without giving details, air force general counsel Mary L. Walker said in a letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times that the guidelines document was “withdrawn from use” on August 10.