Monday, April 30, 2012

Air Force No Longer Requiring Bibles On Bases

The U.S. Air Force will no longer require that Bibles be put on its checklist of items in lodging facilities on its bases.

The move comes in response to a complaint from the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers that the presence of the Bibles was "special privilege for Christianity."

The books are placed in Air Force rooms by Gideons at no cost to the government.

The MAAF said their goal is to fight "insensitive practices that illegally promote religion over non-religion within the military or unethically discriminate against minority religions or differing beliefs." 

The Blaze reports that after a legal review, Air Force officials ruled there is no requirement to have Bibles in the lodging checklist. They added that there were no plans yet to remove the books from Air Force Inns.

"We continue to review the situation and weigh our multiple First Amendment responsibilities and obligations," Air Force Personnel Center spokesman Mike Dickerson said in an email. 

Bible supporters say Air Force officials are bowing to political pressure to create a "religion-free" zone.

"They're removing (them) from the checklists, (the result being that) whoever cleans the rooms is no longer required to check whether the Bible is in place," Dr. Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain, told The Blaze

"So if somebody steals one of those Bibles or if they're confiscated by atheist complainers or put in the trash, then sadly Christian people will not have access to read the Bible at night," he said.

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