Religion watchdog seeks AF Academy investigation

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A religion watchdog group has asked the Defense Department to investigate whether the Air Force Academy has given a Christian group improper access to the campus to proselytize cadets.

Academy officials said they began looking into the claim when they first learned of it earlier this month and haven’t found any evidence to support it.

In a written statement, the academy said it is committed to respecting students’ and faculty members’ religious freedom.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week asking for an investigation of the actions of a group called Cadets for Christ.

One of the group’s leaders didn’t immediately return a call Thursday.

Weinstein’s letter also said he was told by an Air Force Academy cadet that he is among more than 100 cadets who pretend to be fundamentalist Christians to stay in the good graces of other students and staff at the school.

The letter stated that these cadets attend fundamentalist Bible studies and “feign devoutness” at religion programs.

Academy officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on that allegation.