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Lawmaker Says Air Force Class Suspension Over Bible Verses 'Misinterprets 1st Amendment'


"inappropriate approach"

Back in early August, The Blaze brought you the controversy surrounding a missile training course that the Air Force suspended following complaints about the inclusion of Bible verses in the curriculum.

Now, Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) is asking for a detailed report from the Air Force that explains why the course, entitled "Just War Theory," was canned (the course was taught at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base).

Clearly bothered by the Air Force's willingness to amend the course to remove the Christian passages, Cornyn sent a letter of concern to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. In the note, which was given exclusively to Fox News Radio, he wrote:

"...suspending a course like this because of references to religious texts misinterprets the First Amendment.  Although our Founding Fathers rightly included language in the Constitution that precludes the Federal government from establishing an official religion, this language does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references.  The First Amendment is intended to guarantee an individual’s right to the free exercise of religion according to his or her conscience." [You can view the entire letter here.]

Others, of course, disagree with Cornyn's take on the matter. Despite the fact that the course had been implemented for 20 years without incident, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) says that it violates the constitution's intent to keep church and state separated.

On the MRFF's web site, the group -- which has taken a hand-on role in this matter -- describes itself as follows:

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The MRFF filed a complaint back in August on behalf of 31 missile launch officers, threatening to file a lawsuit if the Air Force refused to suspend the course.

Following Cornyn's letter, there's no telling what the Air Force's response will be. As The Blaze reported last month, David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, says that the MRFF's concerns have led the military branch to conclude that the inclusion of the Bible verses is an "inappropriate approach" in today's society.

(h/t Fox News)

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