Plantiffs ask to expand lawsuit over religion in Air Force
DENVER – Lawyers for a group of active and retired officers applied to amend their lawsuit against the Air Force on Thursday, asking a federal judge to declare the service’s new guidelines on religion unconstitutional.Mikey Weinstein, a graduate of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, filed the suit in October, claiming the academy was unconstitutionally imposing evangelical Christianity on cadets. Active-duty officers joined the suit later.The original lawsuit asked only that the court bar illegal proselytizing throughout the Air Force.The Air Force issued its religion guidelines last summer and then amended them in February. Weinstein and other critics said the revised guidelines allowed evangelicals to promote their religion and allowed senior officers to influence the religious choices of their subordinates.Group targets Focus on the Family founder COLORADO SPRINGS – A group is targeting Focus on the Family founder James Dobson for work against a proposed Indian casino also opposed by a client of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.The Campaign to Defend the Constitution, an online effort to combat “religious right” influence, launched a New York Times ad and TV spots in three markets Wednesday. Besides Dobson, the campaign targets Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.Abramoff fought the proposal from the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians on behalf of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, which has a casino. In e-mails made public during a Senate investigation, Abramoff and Reed took credit for getting Dobson to produce radio ads. Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud in January.Anglican leader rules out rewrite on gay sexLONDON – The leader of the international Anglican Communion has ruled out new debate on the teaching that gay sex is “incompatible with Scripture.”Looking ahead to a 2008 conference of the world’s Anglican bishops, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he detected little support for re-examining the 1998 conference’s resolution that condemned gay sex, clergy ordination of persons in same-sex relationships and church blessings for gay couples.In a letter to “primates” who lead 38 the Anglican branches, released Thursday, Williams acknowledged “bitter controversy” on the issue. But “in my judgment, we cannot properly or usefully reopen the discussion as if (the 1998 resolution) did not continue to represent the general mind of the Communion.”
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