Air Force clears commandant at academy of proselytizing |

Air Force clears commandant at academy of proselytizing

AIR FORCE ACADEMY ” The Air Force Inspector General’s office has cleared a top Air Force Academy general of proselytizing non-Christian cadets, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens said Wednesday.

Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida had faced seven allegations that he improperly shared his faith. The Air Force Inspector General’s Office in June cleared him of six of seven allegations, including his June 2003 “guidance” to cadets that said they are “accountable first to your God.” He also urged cadets and staff to pray.

The academy said the allegation of which he was cleared Wednesday was “using a religious communicative code to facilitate the proselytizing of non-Christian cadets.”

“Gen. Weida has readily acknowledged that his actions were inappropriate and has taken positive, visible corrective actions that reflect his true character,” Stephens said.

Last month the Senate dropped Weida off a list for military promotions. The academy said his elevation to major general is still supported by the Air Force.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State said it conducted an invstigation at the academy that revealed the academy forced cadets to pray at certain functions and urged cadets to evangelize.

The Air Force set up a task force to investigate the claims. It said in June that it found no overt religious discrimination at the school but there was a lack of sensitivity and confusion over what’s permissible in sharing one’s faith.

New religious tolerance guidelines that clarify the rules have been issued by the Air Force, which are expected to become permanent later this year.

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