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Air Force Academy's religious respect program could soon go service-wide

A program teaching cadets at the Air Force Academy respect for religious beliefs could be taught in Air Force bases across the country if academy chaplains have their way.
BY ERIN PRATER (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Published: November 3, 2012

“Some have suggested that we continue to revise our scenarios to ensure their sensitivity and to ensure that there are no subjective or implied messages sent as we continue to develop the series,” Menchion said.

David Oringderff, executive director of the Sacred Well Congregation, an international Wiccan fellowship, said he had high hopes for the program.

“Two years ago the program was just starting out, and I didn't think it was going to succeed, at least not the way it did,” he said. “After I left the conference, I felt that there'd be progress. But I was not prepared for the extent of the positive outcome.”

Retired Air Force Col. Frank Clawson, director of military relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also said he was pleasantly surprised by the difference the program made in the academy's culture in two years.

“In the military, you really have to be a cohesive team,” he said. “If you have people who are being segregated out because of their beliefs and not included in a team, you're going to be less effective.”

MCT Information Services