More than 60 Republicans have signed a letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta accusing the U.S. Air Force of being “hostile to religion,” according to Fox News.
The letter, drafted by Reps. Todd Akin (R-MO), Diane Black (R-TN) and Randy Forbes (R-VA), calls on Panetta to investigate a series of cases where the Air Force “succumbed” to pressure from outside groups, such as the removal of a paragraph from a Squadron Officer School training document saying: “if you attend chapel regularly, both officers and Airmen are likely to follow this example. If you are morally lax in your personal life, a general moral indifference within the command can be expected.”
The paragraph was taken out following a complaint by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that claimed the line “creates the inescapable impression that regular church attendance is a requirement for commissioned Air Force officers in order to demonstrate positive morals to subordinates.”
In a statement, the Air Force said airmen are free “to exercise their constitutional right to practice their religion, in a manner that is respectful of other individuals’ rights to follow their own belief systems.”