navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle snapchat-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square googleplus history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share share2 sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

Religious freedom group plans media blitz during Obama's visit to Air Force Academy

May 25, 2016 (Photo Credit: MRFF)

A religious freedom advocacy group has hoisted a new billboard in Colorado Springs denouncing Christian influence over the U.S. Air Force Academy — just in time for President Obama's commencement speech there next week.  

"Welcome Mr. President To Our AF Academy. Why is Jesus Commander In Chief Here?" reads the message sponsored by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The billboard on the east side of I-25, is just part of a media blitz that the group, headed by Mikey Weinstein, is planning for the president's visit.

There's also a plane that will be pulling a banner ad with the same message on May 31 and June 1, and more than 1,300 15-second cable TV ads in the Colorado Springs area from May 27 to June 2.

The foundation, a group that opposes proselytizing in the military, for years has criticized the academy for favoring Christianity over other religions, or no religion. 

"The United States Air Force Academy's adhering to the constitutionally guaranteed right of separation of church and state in the U.S. military is a train wreck," Weinstein, president and founder of the organization, wrote in a statement. 


"The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been in literally countless fights with USAFA since February of 2004. MRFF currently represents 414 cadets, faculty and staff at USAFA, of which 372 are Protestant or Roman Catholic." 



The Class of 2016's graduation on June 2 will mark the second time Obama has delivered a commencement address at the academy. It will also be his last time as president addressing a graduating class at one of the nation's service academies.


Oriana Pawlyk covers deployments, cyber, Guard/Reserve, uniforms, physical training, crime and operations in the Middle East and Europe for Air Force Times. She was the Early Bird Brief editor in 2015. Email her at

Next Article