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Friday, February 10, 2017


MRFF AND THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (NOW) JOIN FORCES!

MRFF and NOW
Demand Sexist Posters of Faith be Immediately Removed at Air Combat Command (ACC) Headquarters, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia

(See posters and text below)

MRFF's OPEN DEMAND LETTER

Demand Letter from MRFF's Legal Affairs Coordinator
Tobanna Barker to Air Combat Command Commander
Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle Demanding the Sexist Posters of Faith at Joint Base Langley-Eustis be Removed Immediately

Sent Thursday, February 9, 2016

Click to read entire letter

Click to read Air Force Times article about the Sexist Posters of Faith at Joint Base
Langley-Eustis, Virginia


NOW's OPEN DEMAND LETTER

Open Demand Letter from Terry O'Neill, President of The
National Organization for Women to Air Combat Command Commander Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle

According to a recent article in the Air Force Times, the Air Combat Command headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia has refused to remove sexist, offensive posters from their facility. Read NOW's letter to commander General Carlisle condemning this decision, below.

Thursday, February 9, 2016

Click to read entire letter

Click to read letter on NOW's Website

Click to read Air Force Times article about the Sexist Posters of Faith at Joint Base
Langley-Eustis, Virginia


Female USAF Officer/MRFF Client
at Langley AFB Outraged by
Sexist Posters of Faith

From: USAF Officer's E-Mail Address Withheld
Subject: Outraged at ACC Sexist and Faith-Based Posters
Date: February 8, 2017 at 3:23:05 PM MST
To: Mikey Weinstein

Mr. Weinstein, Sir,

I am a female (USAF Officer's rank withheld) in the United States Air Force stationed at Air Combat Command (ACC) Headquarters at Langley AFB, Virginia.

I have been an Air Force Officer for (number of years withheld) and currently work as a (ACC job description) in (ACC office unit designation withheld). Please keep all of my personal information confidential but the rest of what I am saying here is for use by the MRFF as you all see fit to fight and right this wrong.

I would like to state that I am a thankful MRFF client. I also want to state that I am outraged by the clearly sexist and male exclusivist messaging of the two posters currently on display here at ACC which were the subject of the February 7, 2017 AF Times article on a matter of protest brought by MRFF on my behalf and the behalf of 15 other ACC USAF personnel.

As a proud American woman and equally proud Officer in the USAF, those posters from an AF Manual from the mid-1950's serve only as a hurtful reminder of the second class citizenship women had to suffer for generations prior to eventually being guaranteed equal status under the Constitution we all swear our oaths to support and defend. It took decades of sacrifice and advocacy by strong women (and men who cared) to provide us a level playing field today. But not at ACC it seems.

My own (familial relationship withheld) had to go through this while she was a cadet at the Air Force Academy. The infamous "Bring Me Men" sign was finally taken down in the Fall of 2004 but only after the AF Academy suffered terrible repercussions in the media from the sexual assault scandal revealed there in 2003.

Although I consider myself a Christian, I am also very offended by the obvious messaging of those two posters which mandates a necessity to have faith in "God" to be a proper airmen. But which "God" I ask myself?  Let me tell you, Mr. Weinstein, that there is little doubt about that. We get conservative Christianity shoved down our throats here enough by our middle and senior ACC leadership all the time. The public display of these two posters, with their words of required male and religious dominance, from a thankfully bygone era over 60 years ago are directly counterproductive to a functioning and effective ACC work environment. The USAF prides itself on "excellence" as a core value. Those posters are something far less. Must one be a woman or a non-Christian to understand this?

I do not wish to come forward at this time to anyone due to the almost certain likelihood of reprisal by my chain of command. I have spent considerable time making this decision with my family. Thank you Mr. Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation for speaking for us to ACC leadership and eliminating the chance that I or the others you are representing can be targeted for speaking out against this sexist and faith-based injustice. Please do whatever you all can to have those posters removed from sight permanently.

v/r

(USAF Officer's name, rank, AFSC, ACC office symbol, e-mail address and phone numbers all withheld)


MRFF represents 16 USAF Officer, NCO and civilian clients in opposing the Sexist Posters of Faith displayed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA.
9 are females, 4 are Christians and the others are Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic,
Humanist and Secularist

(Click image to enlarge)

Left Poster Reads:
“Men cannot live without faith except for brief moments of anarchy or despair. Faith leads to convictions - and convictions lead to action. It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood... It is obvious that our enemy will attack us at our weakest spot. The hole in our armor is our lack of faith. We need to revive a fighting faith by which we can live, and for which we would be willing even to die. It is the only way that we shall be able to get meaning back into our lives. It is our only safety in all this muddled world." -AF Manual 50-21, August 1955.

Right Poster Reads:
“The idea uppermost in the minds of the men who founded the United States was that each and every human being was important. They knew that the importance of man came from the very source of his life - because man was made in the image and likeness of God, he had a destiny to achieve. And because he had a destiny to achieve, he had the unalienable rights and the inherent freedom to achieve it. That is the basic idea of our democracy. That is the keystone of our way of living. Discard that central thought and there is no meaning to our Declaration of Independence; there is no validity to our Constitution" -AF Manual 50-21, August 1955.


AIR FORCE TIMES
COVERS MRFF

Despite complaints, ACC will not remove posters that
assert faith's importance

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A pair of posters that focus on the importance of faith, which have been on display at Air Combat Command headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, for years, will not be altered — despite recent complaints about them — according to command officials. 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation had contacted the base about removing the posters after complaints from the Langley community. In addition to objections to the faith-based message of the posters, which quotes a 1955 Air Force Manual, the foundation's president and founder, Mikey Weinstein, also complained that the posters only referenced male and not female airmen. 

Weinstein said MRFF filed the complaint of behalf of 16 Air Force officers, NCOs and civilians. The complainants included nine women, according to Weinstein. He said four are Christians and the others are Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, humanist or secularist. [...]

Click to read more


Email to Mikey Weinstein From MRFF's Lead Client Regarding Sexist Faith-Based Posters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis

From: USAF Officer/MRFF Client
Subject: Religious quotes in ACC bldg 602, Joint Base Langley Eustis
Date: January 27, 2017 at 4:30:44 PM MST
To: Mikey Weinstein

Mikey. This is (USAF Officer’s name and rank withheld). I’m a (additional USAF-related identifying information withheld).

I have served (number withheld) yrs active duty and have been (additional USAF-related identifying information withheld). I’m currently working for (unit designation withheld) assigned as a (USAF job title withheld) to the Air Combat Command (specific ACC unit withheld) at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Virginia.

I’ve *attached two photos taken in the central stairwell of the ACC A3T and A5/8/9 Headquarters Building (Building Number 602) across the street from Air Combat Command Headquarters. The photos were taken on Tuesday, January 17th 2017.

Both photos, while possibly posted to represent "USAF Heritage", clearly violate AFI 1-1, para 2.12. Their messages clearly advocate a higher value in religious Airmen over non-Religious Airmen, and communicate a necessity for religious faith to be successful as Airmen. Both photos quote from AF Manual 50-21 dated August 1955—the heart of the Red Scare when being non-religious was viewed as a trait of Communism and hence a threat. Additionally, as the “Bring Me Men” ramp at the USAF Academy was renamed, one of the quotes on these photos harkens back to days of male dominance in the Air Force, and is not appropriate.

I’m requesting your assistance in contacting ACC leadership to have these photos removed. As we discussed on the phone, from countless interactions, overheard conversations, and blatant violations of AFI 1-1, there is a general assumption in the halls and cubicles of ACC that Airmen are religious--specifically Christian. I fear for younger airmen who feel the overwhelming pressure and perceived expectation of religiosity from supervisors and co-workers.

But I also have concerns about my future and standing based on the atmosphere of assumed religiosity. I know the ACC Commander and my direct leadership have witnessed violations (specifically at a recent ceremony attended by all ranks that completed with the singing of a religious hymn (http://www.hymnary.org/text/lord_guard_and_guide_the_men_who_fly) instead of the Air Force Song, and an invocation directed to “Jesus Christ.” I was there to witness that along with the ACC Commander and the Commanders of other directorates in ACC. Even at a retirement ceremony, there must be consideration of all Airmen present, especially if their Commanders are present, in uniform, and it is a clearly designated military ceremony on base.

Photo 1 Reads:
“Men cannot live without faith except for brief moments of anarchy or despair. Faith leads to convictions - and convictions lead to action. It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood... It is obvious that our enemy will attack us at our weakest spot. The hole in our armor is our lack of faith. We need to revive a fighting faith by which we can live, and for which we would be willing even to die. It is the only way that we shall be able to get meaning back into our lives. It is our only safety in all this muddled world." -AF Manual 50-21, August 1955.

Photo 2 Reads:
“The idea uppermost in the minds of the men who founded the United States was that each and every human being was important. They knew that the importance of man came from the very source of his life - because man was made in the image and likeness of God, he had a destiny to achieve. And because he had a destiny to achieve, he had the unalienable rights and the inherent freedom to achieve it. That is the basic idea of our democracy. That is the keystone of our way of living. Discard that central thought and there is no meaning to our Declaration of Independence; there is no validity to our Constitution" -AF Manual 50-21, August 1955.

Let me know what else you need from me.

Thank you for all you do.

V/R
(U.S. Air Force Officer’s name, rank, work and personal e-mail addresses, all phone numbers, AFSC and specific ACC unit all withheld)

*click to view photos


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