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Air Force Suspends Christian-Themed Ethics Training Program

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The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages.

The course, called “Christian Just War Theory” was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and used Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.

But the watchdog group, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the course violated the constitutional separation of church and state and filed a complaint last Wednesday on behalf of 31 missile launch officers—both instructors and students.

David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, said the main purpose of the class was to help missile launch officers understand that “what they are embarking on is very difficult and you have to have a certain amount of ethics about what you are doing to do that job.”

He said the class was suspended the same day the complaint was filed.

The class is currently under review by Air Force officials who will determine whether or not to revise the material or end the class.

“In an effort to serve all faiths, we try to introduce none in our briefings and our lectures,” Smith told Fox News Radio. “Once we heard there were concerns, we looked at the course and said we could do better.”

Smith said the inclusion of the Bible verses was an “inappropriate approach” in a “pluralistic society.”

“The use of Bible passage and other elements was just inappropriate,” he said. Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, hailed the military’s decision to suspend the course. “We’re very pleased that the Air Force did it,” Weinstein told Fox News Radio. “Had they not done that, we would have filed an immediate class-action lawsuit in federal court to force their hand.” 

Read the rest of this story on Fox News.

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