A curious mix of vigilant atheists and devout Christians are celebrating the Air Force's decision to suspend a Christian-themed course taught to nuclear missile launch officers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. For almost 20 years, military chaplains presented these officers with slides filled with biblical references such as "Revelation 19:11 Jesus Christ is the mighty warrior" and Christian literature, such as St. Augustine's Just War Theory, in an attempt to dismantle the moral and ethical qualms of annihilating human beings with nuclear weapons. Surprise! Not everyone liked it. Last week, the Air Force suspended the course after 32 missile launch officers reported the religious bent of the briefings to the watchdog group Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Cue a Bill O'Reilly Culture Warrior™ moment? Not so fast. It seems both believers and non-believers are pleasantly amenable to the policy change.
The secularists News of the course's suspension was met with jubilation over at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (their founder shown above) which found it violated their idea of church-state separation. "I feel safer already," cheered a reader. "The bible is not exactly a good guideline for a launch officer." Another added "I guess being a faith-head helps when it comes to killing millions of people." Getting into the details, Jason Leopold at Truthout writes "The document's blatant use of religious imagery and its numerous references to the New and Old Testament would appear to constitute a violation of the First Amendment establishing a wall of separation between church and state and Clause 3, Article 6 of the Constitution, which specifically prohibits a 'religious test.'"