Yale University. Calendar. Directories.

YDS Home>Notes from the Quad>Archives

About People

Continuing News About Religious Climate at Air Force Academy

Background articles:

"The report, while a good first step, seems a little at odds with the assessment of the situation at the Academy by its own Superintendent, who said the problem was so pervasive it affected the whole institution. An environment of religious intolerance has no place at one of our nation's military academies. It is clear that the Air Force leadership takes this problem seriously, but now they must rigorously implement their own recommendations and keep working on this issue until this problem is fixed." Lois Capps '64 M.A.R. and U.S. Representative from the Santa Barbara, CA area, in a statement made June 22 after release of an Air Force panel report investigating the religious climate at the Air Force Academy.


“Religious freedom is a bedrock principle for which the United States stands, and which the military is meant to defend. Unfortunately the environment at the U.S. Air Force Academy appears consumed by religious intolerance.” Lois Capps '64 M.A.R. and U.S. Representative from the Santa Barbara, CA area, in a June 20 speech before the House of Representatives criticizing an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2006 that would weaken language aimed at requiring the Air Force Academy to maintain a climate free from coercive religious intimidation. The Act was ultimately approved with the weakened language.


“Given the lack of collegiality among the chaplain staff, at the end of the day it was incredibly difficult to stay.”

Capt. MeLinda Morton, Air Force Academy chaplain and critic of what she and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Kristen Leslie argue is an overly evangelical atmosphere at the Academy, explaining her decision to resign from the military.

“Air Force Chaplain Submits Resignation,” New York Times, June 22, 2005


Christopher Sawyer '75 M.Div. and chair of the Yale Divinity School Advisory Committee, has been honored with the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chattahoochee Nature Center for his leadership in efforts to protect the banks of Georgia 's Chattahoochee River. According to a report of the award in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sawyer oversaw creation of the Chattahoochee River Greenway, which involved raising more than $160 million and encouraging landowners to donate property. The greenway now includes more than 10,000 acres of open space along nearly 70 miles of the river.

“We needed a place to cook, but we also wanted a space that would serve as the center of our home and family life... a haven in the larger house that is now our home.

Berkeley Divinity School Dean Joseph Britton describing the need for a second kitchen at Berkeley Center, where he and his family share space with students.

“To Share Is Divine. But the Kitchen?” New York Times, June 9, 2005


Richard Hiers, YDS '57; Yale Ph.D. '61, has published an article on biblical law and the death penalty in the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review ["The Death Penalty and Due Process in Biblical Law," 81 UNIV. OF DETROIT MERCY LAW REVIEW 751-843 (2004)]. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hiers was an assistant-in-instruction in Old Testament for Brevard Childs and B. Davie Napier. Since then, his career path has included both religious studies and law. Off prints of the article are available by contacting Hiers by e-mail at rhiers@ufl.edu. Hiers is emeritus professor of religion and affiliate professor of law, emeritus, at The University of Florida

Ted Loder '55 B.D. has written a new book, Loaves, Fishes, and Leftovers. According to the publisher, Augsburg Books, the book “is an invitation to be honest about our deepest questions and to embrace the mysteries of faith rather than the comfort of certainties.” The book grew out of group discussion about questions such as: Why is there evil in the world? Does my prayer affect God's response? Augsburg says the book “reflects the deep faith concerns many people experience yet find muffled by the rituals of worship, the professional roles of clergy, or the presumptions of the church.” For almost 40 years, Loder served as senior minister of the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia.

“Moderate Christians are less certain about when and how our beliefs can be translated into statutory form, not because of a lack of faith in God but because of a healthy acknowledgement of the limitations of human beings. Like conservative Christians, we attend church, read the Bible and say our prayers.” Former U.S. Senator John Danforth '63 B.D. New York Times Op-Ed Page, June 17, 2005


“Tim brings a lot of smarts and energy to anything he's involved in usually to the great benefit of the companies he's involved with.” Robert Apatoff, CEO of Rand McNally, DePauw classmate and fraternity pledge brother of Timothy C. Collins '82 M.B.A., member of the Yale Divinity School Advisory Board, senior managing director, CEO and founder of Ripplewood Holdings. In a June 5, 2005, article about Collins in the Canton Repository, Canton, O.