Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., said the problems are deeper than investigators indicate. They urged the Air Force to tighten compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws, and said Congress should use its authority to make sure that happens.
They said investigators offered excuses for cadets, faculty and staff instead of acknowledging there is a "pervasive and coercive religious environment."
"It is not a whitewash, but it does resemble a milquetoast," Israel said.
This is so awesome. Does Congressman Israel have a chart in his office, measuring exactly at what point something crosses over from being a milquetoast into full-on whitewash territory? What's the cutoff point? And where does it become an actual cover-up? If the investigation had been more thorough, would he have downgraded it to a rubber-stamping?
This is nice, too, from conservative senator Wayne Allard:
"I believe we should focus on the fact that the Air Force investigation found that the academy leadership is aggressively dealing with this issue and that a significant majority of individuals contacted expressed an opinion that the overall climate at the academy has improved over the past two years," said Sen. Wayne Allard (news, bio, voting record), R-Colo., a member of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.
So, what he's saying here is that what we should focus on is not the pervasive discrimination or the numbingly frequent reports of inappropriate behavior and anti-Semitism in a government-funded facility, but rather on the fact that the facility is getting serious about dealing with the issue. And, plus, the majority of individuals -- who, coincidentally, are the Christian students and staff at the academy -- think things are getting better! Rephrased: "I believe we should focus on the fact that the congressional investigation found that the Klan leadership is aggressively dealing with this issue of lynching and that a significant majority of southerners contacted expressed an opinion that the overall climate in Mississippi has improved over the past two years," said Sen. Strom Thurmand, the leader of the Segregationist Party.
There have been complaints at the academy that a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and that another Jew was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet.
Well, sure! I mean, look, let's face it, those people DID kill Christ, and besides, who wants some dirty Jew flying planes anyway? His yamulke or mezuzah or matzoh or whatever it is might slip down over his eyes and then he would crash.
A banner in the football team's locker room read: "I am a Christian first and last ... I am a member of Team Jesus Christ."
According to the Air Force Academy's website, Team Jesus Christ was 5-6 last year, suffering key losses to UC Berkeley (a.k.a. Team Satan), the University of Utah (a.k.a. Team Joseph Smith), Navy (a.k.a. Team Sodom), and Brigham Young University (a.k.a. Team The Mormons Own Your Fundie Asses).
Also, there have been complaints that cadets were pressured to attend chapel, that academy staffers put New Testament verses in government e-mail, and that cadets used the e-mail system to encourage others to see the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of the Christ."
This isn't such a big deal. I mean, yeah, they used government e-mail to get people to see a bad movie, but it could have been worse. It could have been Garfield: The Movie.