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Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages to train missile launch officers



The Air Force has suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery to teach them about the ethics of war.

The course had apparently been taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for more than 20 years, but officials pulled the plug after an article from the liberal Web site Truthout.org appeared online last week.

The group obtained a PowerPoint presentation used in the course that referenced religious figures including Abraham, John the Baptist and Saint Augustine. The presentation also said that there are “many examples of believers engaged in wars in the Old Testament” and “no pacifistic sentiment in mainstream Jewish history.”

David Smith, a spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, said that the program had initially been designed to “help folks understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. In the missile launch industry, it takes a certain mindset to be able to walk in the door and say, yes, I can do that.”

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