Air Force Officer Told to Remove Bible from Desk
May 03, 2013
An Air Force spokesperson said personnel are not allowed to proselytize but are free to express their personal religious beliefs so long as it “does not make others uncomfortable.” But a critic pointed out an Air Force officer was told to remove a Bible that was on his desk.
“When on duty or in an official capacity, Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable,” Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley said in a statement to Fox News. “Proselytizing (inducing someone to convert to one’s faith) goes over that line.”
Tingley said Air Force leaders “must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.”
That statement has caused alarm among a number of religious liberty groups – including the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
“What does ‘As long as it does not make others uncomfortable’ mean,” executive director Ron Crews asked Fox News.
He said last year an Air Force officer was told he could no longer keep a Bible on his desk because it “may” appear that he was condoning a particular religion.
“Air Force officers must be allowed to live out their faith in a way that is consistent with their faith,” Crews said. “If the Bible is important, then an Air Force officer should be able to have one on his desk.”