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Conservatives flip out over Air Force Academy spending $380 so pagan cadets can worship

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Conservative publications are up in arms because the Air Force Academy spent $380 to allow cadets to attend pagan events in keeping with their personal faith.

Judicial Watch, a conservative publication, sent a Freedom of Information Act request in October seeking records about “Earth-based worship” for the 2013/2014 academic year, according to the website.

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“The Air Force Academy leadership is attacking traditional Christian beliefs but will fund witchcraft and ‘faery magick’?” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Christian website WND. “These records show the misplaced priorities in the Air Force and why traditional Christians increasingly feel unwelcome in the Air Force Academy.”

In response, Judicial Watch got documents showing the Academy paid $260 for two cadets to attend the Beltania Festival, an Earth-centered celebration in Colorado. Judicial Watch reported that the festival encouraged participants to dance around maypole.

“While the maypole dance is fun and a highlight of the festival, it is not the main reason anyone would attend and mischaracterizes the importance of the event and the serious nature of their involvement,” Rev. Joy Burton of Living Earth Church, which hosted the festival, told Raw Story. “In the cadets’ case, religious rights activist and minister, Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, was our special guest. In addition to offering spiritual classes and ceremonies, there was a ceremony to honor veterans and active duty members of the military in our community with Circle Sanctuary’s Pagan Military Service Ribbon.”

The academy also spent $120 for four cadets to attend the Denver Witches Ball.

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The kicker here seems to be that in 2013, the Academy made the phrase “so help me God” optional in its cadet oath.

“Unfortunately, pressures to impose a secular, anti-religious culture on our nation’s military services have intensified tremendously during the Obama Administration. This pressure exists across the armed services, but it has become extremely acute in the United States Air Force (USAF),” the ultra-conservative Family Research Council is quoted as stating.

In December, the academy said its cadets have the right to observe any faith, or no faith at all, after they received complaints about football players praying in the end zone.

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“The United States Air Force Academy places a high value on the rights of its members to observe the tenets of their respective religion or to observe no religion at all,” the academy said in a statement. “The United States Air Force Academy will continue to reaffirm to cadets that all Airmen are free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all. The players may confidently practice their own beliefs without pressure to participate in the practices of others.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump is ‘a bottomless pit of emotional need’ with a ‘desperate’ desire for friends: NYT’s Charles Blow

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New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow called out the president in his Sunday editorial for always associating the country with himself.

The byproduct of narcissism is that everything surrounds the narcissist. Such is the case with President Donald Trump's latest series of tweets talking about "My Stock Market" and quoting a fan referring to him as the second coming of Christ.

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‘Disconnected from reality’: NY Times editor ridicules Trump for being a ‘farce’ of a president

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President Donald Trump has an early morning meeting Monday with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. He also has a full day of meeting with the G-7, but that wasn't his focus in the early morning hours.

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My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!

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