For the first time, Air Force Major Jonathan C. Dowty, the Christian Fighter Pilot, has had to make a change to one of his egregiously offensive blog posts.
For years, the Air Force has let Major Dowty get away with far more than what anyone would reasonably consider the First Amendment rights of an active duty member of the military, taking virtually no action when this Christian supremacist officer was cyber-bullying lower ranking non-Christian service members and posting potentially libelous statements, and even letting him get away with posting insulting and disparaging remarks about superior officers.
(If you’re not familiar with Major Dowty and his “Christian Fighter Pilot” blog, see my previous posts about about his disturbing obsession with Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and his cyber-bullying of non-Christian enlisted service members.)
So, what was it that finally crossed the line in the eyes of the Air Force? The virulently homophobic Major Dowty’s recent post attributing an incident of bestiality in the Marine Corps to the repeal of DADT.
As I wrote a few weeks ago:
… Air Force Maj. Jonathan C. Dowty, a.k.a. the Christian Fighter Pilot, whose countless blog posts about the repeal of DADT show his obvious distress over the repeal not causing any of the catastrophic problems predicted by his fundamentalist brethren, is gleefully attributing this bestiality incident to the repeal.
Maj. Dowty begins one of his posts this morning, US Marine Arrested for Indecency with Dogs:
“Apparently, he thought the repeal of DADT meant he didn’t have to live a lie, and wouldn’t be punished just for loving someone…er, something…whatever.”
A few days later, MRFF’s Director for LGBT Affairs, Edith Disler, wrote the following letter to the Secretary of the Air Force and United States Air Force Chief of Staff:
Michael B. Donley
Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670
General Mark A. Welsh III
Chief of Staff, United States Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670
Re: Major Jonathan C. Dowty, USAF AIR ARMAMENT CE/SEF
Eglin Air Force Base Safety Office, Flight Safety Element Section
1001 N. Second St.
Eglin AFB, FL 32542
Dear Secretary Donley and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Welsh,
Every fiber of my logic screams that Air Force Major Jonathan Dowty just isn’t worth the time it’ll take to write this letter. I can easily reason that the Air Force deserves whatever public affairs nightmare Major Dowty will eventually bring on, for the PA “train wreck” is not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.” But, in equating bestiality and same sex relationships Major Dowty has personally insulted not just all lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, not just personnel he must work with (theoretically “lead”) every day, and not just me. Please see the attached link and screenshot of Major Dowty’s post in question. Major Dowty has, by virtue of his implication, cast cowardly assertions which imply that I, my partner, and our children are but animals. So, I must speak out.
I served the Air Force as a commissioned officer for 25 years, having been an ROTC cadet and a Civil Air Patrol cadet for the nine years before that. I’m the great grandchild of a Baptist preacher, the grandchild of a Lutheran minister, the child of a Lutheran minister, and the first cousin of a Methodist minister. Never did I confuse my responsibility to respect the Constitution and take care of the people in my charge with my religious convictions or conventions. But apparently officer training, professional development, and leadership are not what they used to be. Major Dowty seems confused as regards his responsibilities to his people and his Constitution, and not one Air Force professional, apparently, has the courage to set him straight. As a result Major Dowty clearly sees himself as superior to the directives of Department of Defense and Air Force leadership. He also clearly sees himself as superior to the teachings of Christ, for the rants and insults cast by the “Christian fighter pilot” are as un-Christ-like as any I’ve ever seen or heard.
We all know that when we swear our oath of commissioning we limit our freedom of speech, and that our promise to lead our people means that we lead them equally and without prejudice, regardless of our personal convictions. Given Major Dowty’s readiness and willingness to disregard policy and leadership, do you REALLY think he’s conducting himself as an Air Force officer should? I’m immensely disappointed that the Air Force I served for so long has failed in its duty to take corrective action. This lack of disciplinary action gives the impression that Air Force leadership is cripplingly weak and being held hostage by a brand of Christianity which has pathologically misinterpreted the words of Christ. I have seen Air Force commanders punish so many enlisted members and officers for so much less, but Major Dowty’s commanders seem paralyzed to act. On behalf of the 654 lesbian, gay and bisexual service members represented by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF: http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org), in order to send a supportive message to all people serving in the Air Force, and in the name of decency, we insist that Major Dowty’s commanders take swift and severe corrective action under Air Force Instruction (AFI) 1-1 and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Edith A. Disler, PhD, MBA, Lt. Col. (USAF) Ret.
MRFF Director for LGBT Affairs,
Advisory Board Member,
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Lt. Gen. Richard C. Harding, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Air Force
General Janet C. Wolfenbarger, Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Brig. Gen. David A. Harris, Commander, 96th Test Wing, Air Force Materiel Command, Eglin Air Force Base, FL
Randal G. Mathis, Esq., MRFF Lead Trial Counsel
Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq., MRFF Founder and President
Shortly thereafter, the offensive comment was removed from Major Dowty’s blog post.
Here are screen grabs of the original post …
… and what’s there now:
We don’t know the exact reason that action was taken this time — if it was the new Chief of Staff, the fact that Major Dowty recently moved to new base and has a new commanding officer, the particular subject matter of Major Dowty’s post, or something else — but, as I said, this is the first time the Air Force has done something about this disgrace of an officer, which is a very good sign. We’ll have to wait and see if it was a fluke or if it signals a genuine improvement in the Air Force’s leadership regarding the disgraceful and contemptible online behavior of officers like the Christian Fighter Pilot.