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Air Force to look into religious reference

June 1, 2005 at 11:42 AM   |   Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS, June 1 (UPI) -- The outgoing top cadet sent fellow U.S. Air Force Academy students a message with religious references that apparently defied an Air Force warning.

Wing Commander Nicholas Jurewicz sent the message Tuesday via e-mail to some 3,000 other cadets, the Denver Post reported. The message contained quotes from the Bible and people such as presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gens. George Patton and Colin Powell, the newspaper said.

The message was sent less than a week after Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper told commanders that using their positions to promote religious beliefs was inappropriate. Air Force officials said they would look into whether Jurewicz' message violated Jumper's memo.

Capt. MeLinda Morton, who said she was fired as the academy's chaplain because she spoke about proselytizing there, told the Post she had been read the message from Jurewicz and it supports her complaint.

"It talks about developing yourself in terms of character," she told the newspaper. "Clearly the message is, if you're going to resources your character here at the Air Force Academy, you do that with evangelical spirituality."

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