Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America welcomed the efforts outlined today by the U.S. Air Force to address allegations of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy. The Report of the Headquarters Review Group Concerning the Religious Climate at the U.S. Air Force Academy, issued today, recognizes that, while neither institutional nor widespread religious discrimination are present at the Academy, there has been a “failure to fully accommodate” all members’ religious needs and “inappropriate expression” of religious beliefs have occurred.
The UOJCA expressed its concerns over the allegations of religious intolerance at the Academy last month in a letter to Acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael Dominguez.
Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the UOJCA, issued the following statement:
The Review Group’s report is encouraging because it clearly recognizes that a “perception of religious intolerance” exists at the academy, and that the religious beliefs and practices of members of various faiths have not been appropriately accommodated.
Critically, the report offers substantive recommendations for reform, including the establishment of clear policy guidelines for commanders and supervisors regarding inappropriate religious expression, a plan to promote increased awareness of and respect for religious differences, and internal controls and corrective actions to ensure that the Air Force provides a climate of religious tolerance for all staff and cadets.
We hope and expect that the Air Force will implement these measures immediately. Matters of religious liberty and accommodation are too important to receive anything less than the full attention and energy America’s distinguished military devotes to other aspects of its mission.