Dear Gen. Schwartz,
I was very heartened to hear about your recent release of guidelines for maintaining “government neutrality regarding religion.”
When I met you at [a recent event] in the DC area, you told me that you’ve always seen the Air Force as “a team sport.” Your advocacy of First Amendment rights makes me feel included as part of that team.
As both an officer’s wife and a Wiccan priestess, it has been painful for me to be excluded by the invocations given at nearly all formal Air Force events. Hearing about specifically Christian-centric actions like the nuclear ethics training makes me even more concerned for servicemembers who are not Christians and what they must go through on an all-too-frequent basis.
Thank you for speaking out against efforts to co-opt military means for improper, intrusive, and unwelcome religious proselytization. Your reminder to the Air Force as a whole to respect both the Establishment and the Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment for all people shows how you are upholding your oath to protect and defend the Constitution to its fullest extent and working to create a service culture that embodies the American ideal of religious liberty. For that I offer my deepest thanks.