Wiccans and pagans at the Air Force Academy have a worship area on campus made up of stones set in a circle. Recently, someone placed a wooden cross at this site. The reaction of the Academy was boilerplate. Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why he is contacting members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee:

If I visited a Grotto on a college campus and saw a symbol of some other religion there, I would complain. But if that was all there was to it, I would not treat the incident as an example of hate speech. By comparison, Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould did just that when the cross was found at the pagan site. “We absolutely will not stand for this type of destructive behavior,” he said.

“Destructive”? None of the stones were kicked about, and there was nothing else left to destroy. “I consider this no different than someone writing graffiti on the Cadet Chapel,” he continued. In other words, Gould believes there is no difference between neutering a religious symbol and defacing religious property. He also sees a cross at a pagan site as the equivalent of graffiti on a church. This is more than overkill—it is grossly insulting to Catholics and Protestants.

The cross was also compared to a swastika. Mikey Weinstein, a past graduate of the Academy who incredibly has clients of his watchdog group on campus, said that the cross at the pagan site was tantamount to having a swastika in the Jewish center! Weinstein has long insisted that Evangelicals are guilty of intolerance at the Academy, though a 2005 report on this issue found “no overt discrimination.” But the report did detail examples of religious intolerance against Catholics and Protestants.

These remarks have added to the chilling atmosphere that Catholics and Protestants must endure. I wrote to the Congress in 2005 about this matter, and I am doing so again. We need to know why hypersensitivity to non-Christians has evolved into insensitivity to Christians.

Contact: Michael.Gould@usafa.edu

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