UPDATE: More about the AFA coach tweeting salvation messages


Air Force Academy chapel - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Air Force Academy chapel
UPDATE: After we pointed out that links to coaches' Twitter accounts were still available on the Air Force Academy's websites at 9:09 a.m. today, we asked the academy about that. We just received this message at 1:52 p.m. from the academy, "The links are no longer there."


After waiting for a week for a response from the Air Force Academy about why a football coach is using academy images and proselytizing comments in his Twitter account, the academy said it had removed from its website links to the athletic staff's Twitter handles.

But, turns out, that wasn't true. Because the links were still available on a separate Academy webpage containing social media information.

Here's why that's important. Football staffer Steed Lobotzke was posting Bible verses and Christian message on his Twitter account that clearly identified him as being with the academy. The academy ruled that OK, because it was his personal account and he had entered a disclaimer saying the posts were his own beliefs, not those of the academy.

The armed services are barred from promoting one religion over another, because doing so would send the wrong message to the ranks; i.e., that if you don't believe what your commander believes, you can't get promoted. Or worse, the men and women in uniform are waging a holy war against any other religion in the world.

So when it was discovered the coaches' Twitter links remain on the AFA website, we asked the academy Why?

We haven't heard back. But we have heard from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which has been grousing about this since at least Dec. 2.

Monday, MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein sent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, AFA superintendent, this letter:
Lt. General Johnson,
This letter is in specific response to the ludicrous and unconstitutional determination by the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) that there is nothing wrong with one of its football coaches, Steed Lobotzke, using his Twitter account as a platform to evangelize and proselytize his personal version of the Christian faith.

The publicly released statement by USAFA on Friday, December 9, 2016 that "all athletic coaches' social media accounts are personal and not maintained by the Air Force Academy Athletic Department" is both specious and meaningless given the incontrovertible fact that the personal Twitter accounts of its coaches, including that of Steed Lobotzke, are directly linked to on what is, in fact, the official Air Force Academy athletics website.

In that ridiculous December 9, 2016 statement, USAFA further asserted that: "The views and comments within these accounts are personal and not the views of the Air Force Academy or Air Force. However, we appreciate that the accounts could appear official and have advised that an appropriate disclaimer be included to avoid confusion in this regard."

Advising the coaches to put a disclaimer on their "personal" social media pages is not remotely good enough by a long shot considering that USAFA is still promoting the religious evangelizing/proselytizing on the "personal" Twitter page of Steed Lobotzke by, incredibly, linking to this "personal" social media page on the official Air Force Athletics website's "Social Media" page. ( http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/ot/13-social-media.html )

Therefore, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) hereby demands that the link to Steed Lobotzke's "personal" Twitter account either be immediately removed forthwith from the official Air Force Athletics website, or, alternatively, if it is allowed to remain on this official USAFA website, that an appropriate disclaimer be prominently posted on the official Air Force Athletics website's "Social Media" page making it ABSOLUTELY clear that these tweets are the "personal" Twitter accounts of the coaches and further stating that the content posted on these "personal" social media pages does not in any way represent the official views of the Air Force Academy, the Air Force or the Department of Defense.

This demand is not negotiable. 
As we've previously reported, when then-coach Fisher DeBerry hung a banner in the locker room about "Team Jesus Christ," the academy reprimanded him.

When we hear something from the academy, we'll update.

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