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AIR FORCE GUIDELINES ON RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE EXPECTED AFTER AUG. 1

Rocky Mountain News (CO) – Saturday, July 16, 2005
Author/Byline: Clayton Woullard , Rocky Mountain News
Edition: Final
Section: News
Page: 17A
New Air Force guidelines on religious tolerance will be finished Aug. 1 at the earliest, said a rabbi appointed to help the service develop the policies.

Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff said drafts of the guidelines are being reviewed by Air Force top brass. He spoke to reporters after a meeting of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, a panel that reviews morale, discipline, curriculum and other issues at the school.

The board will continue its meeting today with a presentation by Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady, Air Force deputy chief of staff for personnel, on the findings of the Air Force investigation into claims of widespread religious discrimination at the academy.

Less than a week after the report was issued on June 22, Resnicoff was appointed as special assistant for values and vision to the Air Force secretary and Air Force chief of staff.

Resnicoff became one of the highest-ranking chaplains in the Navy, where he served 28 years before retiring as a captain last year.

Resnicoff’s task is to ensure respect for religious pluralism in the Air Force.

Resnicoff would not say what specific issues the guidelines would address.

Air Force investigators spent several days at the academy earlier this year.

They looked into claims that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious discrimination had become pervasive because of the influence of evangelical Christians on the campus.

About 85 percent of Air Force cadets consider themselves Christians, according to the Department of Defense.

An Air Force report dismissed claims of overt religious discrimination but said it found “perceptions” of a pro-Christian bent at the 4,300-student school.

Sen. Wayne Allard, a member of the Board of Visitors, had said he hoped to review draft policies at the meetings this weekend. Allard last month said the academy’s school year could not start without more detailed guidelines on religious tolerance.

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