Government argues Air Force religion lawsuit be dismissed |

Government argues Air Force religion lawsuit be dismissed

DENVER – Justice Department attorneys have told a federal judge that an Air Force Academy graduate has no legal standing to sue the Air Force over allegations of proselytizing by chaplains and that the military already has safeguards in place against improper religious pressure.The motion also faulted the lawsuit for ignoring a distinction that a high-ranking Air Force chaplain drew between proselytizing and evangelizing.Mikey Weinstein, the lead plaintiff in the suit, ridiculed that argument Friday, calling it “preposterous.” Weinstein’s lawsuit claimed the Air Force illegally pushed evangelical Christianity on service members, including cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The case is in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., where Weinstein lives.The government motion, dated last week, again asked U.S. District Judge James Parker to dismiss the case. It said Weinstein and his co-plaintiffs haven’t shown they would be harmed by the alleged proselytizing and that their claims have no substance.Weinstein said anytime a senior officer asks to discuss religion, a lower-ranking service member would feel coercion.

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