Do the Bible and nuclear military training mix? Some U.S. Air Force members and their supporters say “no way.”
Following debate, the Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years after complaints that class material included Biblical passages. CNN reports:
The course, entitled, “Christian Just War Theory,” used passages from both the New and Old Testaments to make the case to missile launch officers that going to war can be a moral choice. The Christian Post sheds more light on the course’s controversial contents:
A PowerPoint presentation obtained from the course referenced scripture verses such as Hebrews 11 to show that people of faith can and have engaged in war, in a section entitled “War and Faith.” The section also cited biblical figures including Abraham, Samson and David as religious figures that fought wars in a righteous manner…
The course also taught ethical principles such as a “win at all costs will cost you.” A nuclear ethics section encouraged trainees to consider the deadly power of nuclear weapons and ask such questions as “Can you imagine a set of circumstances that would warrant a nuclear launch from the U.S. knowing that it would kill thousands of non-combatants?”
The Air Force suspended the class on the same day that a complaint was filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on behalf of 31 instructors and students. The military will now review whether the material should be amended or if the class, itself, should be axed. Fox Nation has more:
…the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the course violated the Constitutional Separation of Church and State. The organization was created to “directly battle the far-right militant radical evangelical fundamentalists” in the military.
David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, admits that the Bible verses were an “inappropriate approach” to teaching the material. But, he explains that the course was intended to show missile launch officers that their job is extremely difficult.
Considering the conditions and circumstances under which nuclear decisions are made, the class was supposed to highlight the elevated level of ethics that one must have when conducting missile warfare.