Air Force Academy Protects 'Unchecked Christian Extremism' of Tweeting Bible Verses
The Air Force Academy ruled that Bible verses shared on a football assistant coach's Twitter account did not violate policy or law because they were private statements on a social media profile with the proper disclaimer. The Academy was responding to a request from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to investigate "Christian evangelizing via Twitter, blatantly violating Air Force regulations."
Tight ends Coach Steve Lobotzke has shared multiple Bible verses on his Twitter account, many of which proclaim the gospel.
MRFF attacked these tweets as evidence of "unchecked Christian extremism" at the Air Force Academy. "Lobotzke's official twitter feed is filled with illicit proselytizing in the name of Jesus Christ and even includes such biblical citations juxtaposed with pictures of official football team meetings," the group alleged in a statement to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The Academy dismissed these charges, however. "Upon looking into this matter, we learned that all athletic coaches' social media accounts are personal and not maintained by the Air Force Academy," the academy responded in a statement.
"The views and comments within these accounts are personal and not the views of the Air Force Academy or Air Force," the statement reiterated. "However, we appreciate that the accounts could appear official and have advised that an appropriate disclaimer be included to avoid confusion in this regard."
The description of Lobotzke's Twitter account leaves little room for confusion. "Follower of Christ, family man, and football coach. Tweets are my own views," it reads. Anyone mistaking his tweets for official Air Force Academy pronouncements should reconsider his or her position.
"The Academy remains committed to protecting individuals' right to practice any religion they choose, or no religion, provided their practices do not violate policy or law, or impede mission accomplishment, military readiness, unit cohesion, standards or discipline," the Academy's statement concluded.
MRFF responded less than cordially to this news. "This is complete and utter (expletive), there will be a lot more to come on this," the organization told the Gazette.
Next Page: How this attack on Lobotzke's freedom of speech violates MRFF's own mission statement.