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Jul 05 2012

FTB Blocked on Air Force Computers; Christian Fighter Pilot Not Blocked

Earlier this week I was contacted on Facebook by an Air Force tech sergeant who told me that FTB was being blocked on Air Force computers. The reason he was given for our site being blocked was that FTB is a “blog based” site. So, this airman checked to see if religious “blog based” sites were also being blocked. What he found was that christianfighterpilot.com, the blog of Air Force Major Jonathan C. Dowty was not blocked.

Major Dowty’s blog is best known for its posts bullying low ranking, non-Christian enlisted military members who can’t respond to defend themselves because Major Dowty is a superior officer. But recently, with the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the main theme of his blog has become the promotion of his anti-gay opinions. He also frequently posts political content, including criticizing Obama (his commander-in-chief), and has done quite a bit of bashing of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Yet the Air Force has not blocked Dowty’s blog, which he calls his “ministry.”

The tech sergeant who let me know that FTB is being blocked is the subject of a post on Major Dowty’s blog this morning. Dowty was apparently trolling atheist Facebook pages again, and saw that the tech sergeant mentioned in the comments on a Facebook post that he’s going through the system to try to get FTB unblocked and/or to get christianfighterpilot.com blocked, since both FTB and religious sites like christianfighterpilot.com should be treated equally. FTB and christianfighterpilot.com are both blog based sites that express opinions on religion, LGBT issues, politics, etc. Therefore, the Air Force either has to block both or neither.

I will, of course, be following this issue closely, and will post any updates as the tech sergeant navigates the system and fights to get the Air Force to treat atheist/secularist and religious websites equally.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    sherylyoung

    Thanks Chris. How could we know these things if we didn’t have people like you to get the word out? Keep us updated on how we can help.

  2. 2
    jacobdiemer

    As of right now, http://www.christianfighterpilot.com is blocked on my air force base

  3. 3
    Chris Rodda

    Thanks for the “intel,” jacobdiemer. The tech sergeant may have succeeded, and, if so, deserves a big round of applause. Actually, he deserves a big round of applause just for taking on this issue. Can you please post (or send me) the exact message you got when you tried to log onto christianfighterpilot.com?

  4. 4
    sherylyoung

    I posted the following on CFP’s blog and it’s awaiting moderation. Doubt it’ll pass:

    “I was in the Air Force myself, for 9.5 years. Seldom have I been more ashamed than I am of the notoriety of the “Christian Fighter Pilot” and the hateful speech on your blog. It’s truly people like you who give all Christians a bad name.

    I’m a non-Christian and I now assume anyone wearing a cross is bigoted, self-righteous and against health care for my daughter. Pre-natal testing showed a chromosome abnormality. I did not miscarry, partially because of the good care I got from an Ob-gyn who calls his god Allah. Now, thanks to the ACA, she has good health care until she is 26yo. After that, I guess the good “Christians” like you just assume she should die and not be a plight on wealthy Christian tax-payers.

    Many of the times I wore my “Mess Dress” I was actually on the arm of a fellow officer who happened to be gay. I’m proud of my Air Force service and embarrassed by people like you who are without compassion. I will work very hard to ensure your blog no longer appears on computers paid for with my tax money.”

  5. 5
    Raging Bee

    Maybe FTB could get around the ban by calling their blogs “ministries?” That sounds silly, but I bet there’s a “freedom of religion” law somewhere on the books that Major Doody is exploiting and you’re not.

    Just say you believe in a God who wants you to question his existence.

  6. 6
    samsalerno

    It blows my mind that this type of activity still exists after the Rock Beyond belief kerfuffle. This guy continues to dick on. Thankfully we have people out there that are for the real equality of America.

  7. 7
    emc2

    FTB is blocked at DIA HQ in DC because it is a blog, but I have not checked other sites. They have an odd content filter, though. I was researching something and tried going to a travel site for some information, only to find it was blocked because the filter claimed it was a porn site.

  8. 8
    jacobdiemer

    The exact message is “Blogs/Personal Pages”.
    As emc2 says, the content filter is odd. It seems they automatically block anything running on wordpress, which could explain FTB. Technically, all blogs are supposed to be blocked.

  9. 9
    Mike Morrison

    I know a thing or two about computers, and I assure you, it is a mistake to assume the AF did this on purpose. Content filters, as two others have stated, can appear to be “odd.” Most use a keyword system. The administrator of the network would add certain keywords, and the filter would automatically block sites containing those keywords.

    I dunno about CFP, but this blog literally has the word “blog” as part of its name. And as someone else pointed out above, it uses WordPress. I never went to CFP, and will never do so. Don;t want to contribute hits to that site. The administrator can also block certain sites that are missed by the filter, and can unblock certain sites that are blocked. It is extremely easy for some sites to “fall through the cracks.”

    So yeah. Bottom line: I wouldn’t jump to the conclusions that this was done on purpose.

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