Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Saluting the Captain

Air Force Chaplain Captain Melinda Morton, a Lutheran pastor who blew the whistle on religious intolerance at the U.S. Air Force Academy, has resigned her commission, after 13 years in the service.

Morton had been forced to resign her job at the Academy, and was transferred to a post in Japan, after her observations were made public. She also became the target of some vitriolic bloggery at the hands of the Religious Right, as evidenced here .

I salute Captain Morton for having the courage to speak truth to power despite the personal and professional cost. Her criticisms of the Air Force Academy only underscore what many of us know from personal experience -- that there are conservative evangelicals out there whose vision of Christianity is as a militant, nationalistic, triumphalist, bullying, take-no-prisoners movement that reminds this correspondent, at least, less of the Gospel and more of 1930's-era National Socialism.

Captain Morton makes me proud to be a member of the ELCA, and I wish her all the best. The Air Force's loss is our church's gain.


bls said...

FYI, Andrew Sullivan is writing about the Air Force Academy report today. He quotes a faculty member there as saying "Whether they realize it or not, people of religion are selecting kids of religion to fill USAFA." IOW, the selection process is a sort of cloning of religious conservatism.

This is one reason to support a draft, actually. It's really not a good thing for one particular group - of any sort - to be in essence taking over the military. If that doesn't happen, we should hope that more liberals will join in the future - and hope they'll be selected.

(Courageous of you to brave the Freepers, BTW.)

LutheranChik said...

I agree about the draft; I like the European model, where you can opt for military or non-military service -- but everyone has to do it, no exceptions. (And for those of you who are thinking, "Oh, that's easy for some middle-aged broad to say -- you're not going to get drafted" -- hey; I may not be able to pass the pushup test, but if Uncle Sam offered to pay me room, board and spending money for two years of VISTA-ish public service...sign me up. I'm serious.) The Greatest Generation's greatness was grounded in its diversity; and one can make a compelling argument that the stakeholdership in American society forged by pulling all these individuals together regardless of class and ethnicity is what helped create a national consensus for progressive social programs in this country.

Re the Freepers -- coming from a part of the country infested with brownshirted nuthatches, I'm rather used to them. Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome...