Fighting for our servicemembers' rights, so they can fight for ours.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

MRFF Accuses Lt. General Steven L. Kwast Of Violating AFI 1-1 in
River Region Living Magazine


The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent a formal third party Inspector General Complaint, dated Thursday, January 19th, 2017, to Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB) in Montgomery, Alabama on behalf of its 33 clients (22 of whom are practicing Christians). MRFF filed the complaint against United States Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, Commander of Air University at Maxwell AFB. MRFF finds Lt. Gen. Kwast in violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1 (AFI 1-1), sections 2.11 and 2.12.

Lt. Gen. Kwast is quoted in the publication River Region Living Magazine based in Montgomery, Alabama, dated January 12th, 2017, as saying:

"I'm not so arrogant as to think that I can make any plans unless God's in it. God opens opportunity all over the place. My goal is to be prepared for any opportunity that God puts in front of me. It doesn't matter if that's being a ditch digger in California or President of the United States. It's about being prepared so that someday God can say 'well done, my good and faithful servant.'"

Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast openly discussed his (Christian) faith by, among other faith-based statements, quoting New Testament scripture from Matthew 25:21, as being the paramount guiding force in his decisions. As stated in his quote, Lt. Gen. Kwast is incapable of making a single decision without being influenced by his one Christian faith.

MRFF contends that the endorsement of Christianity as the influencer in his decision making, as clearly stated in the published quote by Lt. Gen. Kwast, is a blatant violation of AFI 1-1, specifically sections 2.11 and 2.12, which state:

2.11. Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation. Every Airman is free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all. You should confidently practice your own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own. Every Airman also has the right to individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs, to include conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs, unless those expressions would have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment.

2.12. Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.

MRFF demands that the Inspector General conduct a thorough investigation of Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast's transgression with regard to his violation of AFI 1-1, sections 2.11 and 2.12, and that he be aggressively punished.


The Family Research Council, an organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (based in Montgomery, AL), lists 20 ways the Trump administration can "address values issues" within the first 100 days of office.


Click to read on Family Research Council site


Senior Air Force Officer Explains the Significance of AFI 1-1, Sections 2.11 and 2.12 in an Email Received by Michael L. “Mikey" Weinstein, President and Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation:

To: Mikey Weinstein ([email protected])
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2017 7:31:17 PM
Subject: Re: USAF Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast Violates AFI 101, Section 2.12

Wow isn't this just greatest example of free speech and religious freedom in the military?  Many (at least in this part of Alabammy) would think so until they do a little exercise in transposition.  Let's just change the word "God" everywhere that Steve "Killer" (his actual USAF pilot's “call sign") Kwast uses it with Allah, Odin, Vishnu, or "The Flying Spaghetti Monster."  As for his reference to King David, you can just keep King David for the first transposition and maybe "Chef Boy-Ar-Dee" for the last one (I'm not up on Viking or Hindu demi-gods well enough to suggest a viable alternative here).  First, ask yourself, if that was the case would he EVER have made three stars?  As we say in the military:  November-Foxtrot-Whiskey.  Would he have been chosen Citizen of the Year?  Would they have printed this story?  The answer is simply no. Killer, however, knows that with Christianity there exists an acceptable oversight and enforcement vacuum that's willing to overlook almost anything so long as it follows a biblical tilt.  In the mean-time, all of the thousands working for him and attending his schools (SOS, ACSC, SAASS, AWC, etc) and working in his think-tanks have to ask themselves... "Am I being judged on my compliance with his code of Christianity when it comes time to choose the distinguished graduates in my class? "  "As an instructor working for Killer, do I need to espouse the same reliance on the same superstitions that he relies on, or can I pick my own?"  "Can I REALLY to believe (or not believe) as I choose or does my entire command structure expect me to be, act and worship as a Christian like this man?"  Moreover, in this community, am I even WELCOME if they choose as their citizen of the year (military) a person that's so overtly, in-your-face, must-be Christian?"  Let's say that you're thinking about a faculty position at one of these schools and you're NOT (gasp!) evangelical, dominionist, publicly, verbally, declaratively Christian like Killer.  Do you dare apply for a job?

Try the exercise folks.  Replace God with "Flying Spaghetti Monster." and ask yourself how ridiculous and out-of-place this sounds.  Replace God with Allah and ask yourself if it doesn't sound a little threatening.  How would our President-elect react to that? (Where are my Spirits of Ipecac?)

AFI 1-1 exists for a reason--to protect our airman against the pressures of proselytizing superiors who would judge them based not on their job performance, but their religious motivation for accomplishing their jobs.  Not just Christians who do this (even though they're the most common violators), but all Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and rabid, in-your-face atheists who could never imagine ANYONE working for them that's a Christian.  They're all WRONG and AFI1-1 protects us all from them.  Do your job.  Follow orders.  Keep your private, mission-irrelevant religious, political, and other PRIVATE biases to yourself.  They are NOT part of your oath to support and defend the Constitution!

Killer's had a great career.  He's served long and, we suspect, honorably in most cases.  But a certain stain and stench will remain after he's gone because he's also turned off MANY people to service in our Air Force with this screed and (I suspect) many similar declarations before this one. We'll also never know how many great airman have left the Air Force over the past 30 years because they didn't think Killer and those in his organizations would treat them fairly if they weren't overt evangelical Christians.  We'll NEVER know that damage, but as someone who's served just as long, I can guarantee you that it exists.  And that stinks.

A Senior Air Force Officer


MRFF Sends Formal Third Party Inspector General (IG) Complaint to Maxwell AFB on Behalf of its 33 Clients (22 of whom are practicing Christians):

From: Mikey
Subject: USAF Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast Violates AFI 101, Section 2.12
Date: January 19, 2017 at 4:01:38 PM MST
To: Maxwell Air Force Base
Cc: Information Weinstein

**MRFF desires to file an immediate formal Third Party IG Complaint against LGEN Kwast for violating AFI 1-1, as per the below, on behalf of its clients at Maxwell AFB....thank you, Mikey Weinstein, Founder and Pres., MRFF 505-250-7727

Original Email From MRFF Client at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama exposing Lt. Gen. Kwaft for Violating AFI 1-1:

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Subject: Article in River Region Magazine Montgomery AL

Mikey, Please see below. I saw the print version of this magazine in the Dr.'s office this afternoon and was disturbed that this article about Lt Gen Kwast featured him in his military uniform while the entire last paragraph is preachy about his faith and how it guides his decision-making. I know military members are not barred from speaking about their faith at all, but I was under the impression that doing so in uniform (especially when you are the Commander of Air University) was usually frowned upon. Further, in the print version (not the online version) there is a reprint of his official AF picture with the caption "I'm not so arrogant as to think that I can make any plans unless God's in it" written on top of it. I snapped a photo of this picture on my phone and can text it to you.

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