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DENVER (AP) -- Consultants from Yale Divinity School told the Air Force Academy last summer that a Protestant chaplain had promoted Christianity with a fire-and-brimstone warning during cadet basic training.
The Yale report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, was compiled after the visitors attended the training at the academy's request in July.
Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said Wednesday that commanders had taken the Yale report into consideration when they developed religious tolerance classes that are now mandatory for cadets and staff.
The classes were a response to complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.
''We're making strides out here. We recognize the problem,'' Whitaker said.
In the religious tolerance classes, cadets and staff are told that teachers and commanders should not invite cadets to attend their churches. Whitaker said the academy is developing a follow-up program that will include firmer boundaries on permissible behavior.
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The academy, still emerging from a sexual assault scandal, had asked the Yale team to review how the school's chaplains serve cadets.
Kristen Leslie, a Yale professor of pastoral care who led the group, said the chaplain told 600 cadets ''to go back to their tents and tell their fellow cadets that those who are not born again will burn in the fires of hell.''
She said the fact that the people speaking to cadets were in positions of power ''suggests the cadets were supposed to assume this was the party line.''
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) -- Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.
There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the past four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet.
The 4,300-student school recently started requiring staff members and cadets to take a 50-minute religious-tolerance class.
''There are things that have happened that have been inappropriate. And they have been addressed and resolved,'' said Col. Michael Whittington, the academy's chief chaplain.
More than 90 percent of the cadets identify themselves as Christian. A cadet survey in 2003 found that half had heard religious slurs and jokes, and that many non-Christians believed Christians get special treatment.
''There were people walking up to someone and basically they would get in a conversation and it would end with, `If you don't believe what I believe you are going to hell,''' Vice Commandant Col. Debra Gray said.
Critics of the academy say the sometimes-public endorsement of Christianity by high-ranking staff has contributed to a climate of fear and violates the constitutional separation of church and state at a taxpayer-supported school whose mission is to produce Air Force leaders.
They also say academy leaders are desperate to avoid the sort of uproar that came with the 2003 scandal in which dozens of women said their complaints of sexual assault were ignored.
''They are deliberately trivializing the problem so that we don't have another situation the magnitude of the sex assault scandal. It is inextricably intertwined in every aspect of the academy,'' said Mikey Weinstein of Albuquerque, N.M., a 1977 graduate who has sent two sons to the school. He said the younger, Curtis, has been called a ''filthy Jew'' many times.
Other critics point to a series of incidents, including:
--The Air Force is investigating a complaint from an atheist cadet who says the school is ''systematically biased against any cadet that does not overtly espouse Christianity.''
--The official academy newspaper runs a Christmas ad every year praising Jesus and declaring him the only savior. Some 200 academy staff members, including some department heads, signed it. Whittington noted the ad was not published last December.
--The academy commandant, Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, a born-again Christian, said in a statement to cadets in June 2003 that their first responsibility is to their God. He also strongly endorsed National Prayer Day that year. School spokesman Johnny Whitaker said Weida now runs his messages by several other commanders.
--Some officer commission ceremonies were held at off-campus churches. In a letter dated April 6, Weida said the ceremonies would be held on campus from now on.