Legal Motion Issued to Stop Lawsuit Preventing Evangelism in Air Force

A Christian legal group filed a motion against a lawsuit designed to prevent any member of the Air Force from sharing his or her religious views with another member while on duty.

The Alliance Defense Fund, said that the Weinstein v. United States Air Force lawsuit could “significantly impair” the constitutional rights of military men and women by silencing religious speech.

The current guidelines state that no member of the U.S. Air Force may “evangelize, proselytize, or in any related way attempt to involuntarily convert, pressure, exhort or persuade a fellow member of the USAF to accept their own religious beliefs while on duty.”

Joe Oster, senior litigation counsel for ADF, called the guideline “an outrageously broad request,” according to the Associated Press.

"We want to see the case dismissed because it's an affront to everything our nation was founded on," he said.

ADF is currently representing Major James Glass, a chaplain, and Captain Karl Palmberg, an F-16 fighter jet pilot.

“Their ability to share their faith and to candidly discuss religion a they put their lives on the line for this country will be in jeopardy. They seek to intervene to protect their interests,” states ADF in their motion.

The lawyer for Michael Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and Air Force Academy graduate, differed with the motion to intervene.

“It’s hard to believe someone could object to having the Air Force follow the First Amendment," he said. "The idea that we are somehow infringing on somebody's freedom of speech is ridiculous."

Palmberg, however, said in a released statement that it’s a case of religious freedom.

“After over five years of service and over 500 F-16 flying hours both overseas and at home, I consider my constitutional right to discuss my faith without censorship or fear of retribution as valuable to the military and the future of our nation as the aircraft, bombs, and bullets I am trained to employ.”

ADF says it “will keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel through the legal defense and advocacy of religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and traditional family values.”