Touchstone has dug out an old article I hadn’t seen on the Air Force’s unbalanced reaction to (totally justified) criticism of its chaplains at the Air Force Academy. In the past, commanders were simply supposed to appear neutral in their duties towards all religions, not giving anybody reason to believe that they could suck up or get special favors. The guidelines now allow any commander to say or do nasty stuff about any religion, but do not allow them to “appear” to favor any particular religion, even personally.
This has unleashed all the bureaucratic weirdness of which the Air Force is possible — and more.
In the past, it was common for folks in command to let people know about stuff that the chaplains could do to help them. (Which is important, because chaplains do a lot of morale and family stuff for everyone in a unit, and they are someone whom airmen can talk to without fearing they’ll get reported, because chaplains have confidentiality privileges; they don’t just conduct services.) Now commanders are forbidden to even mention such things; chaplains are supposed to do it all. Even though there are a lot more command position people than chaplains.
Anyway, Touchstone also links to a new letter signed by a good chunk of Congressmembers from Air Force areas, protesting some further problems with the Air Force’s new chaplain/religion policy.