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Air Force Academy coach defiantly tweets Bible verses despite complaints

(Wikimedia Commons/Staff Sgt. Sean Harp)U.S. Air Force Academy football players say a prayer prior to the start of the Air Force vs. Navy football game at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 4, 2014.

The group that is known as Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) complained to the Air Force Academy regarding the Bible messages posted by one of the academy's football coaches on social media.

Steed Lobotzke, the tight-end coach for the Air Force Academy Falcons, caught the ire of MRFF after he posted several Bible verses, such as Romans 8:38, John 1:1, and John 3:3, on his personal Twitter account, The Stream reported.

In its Dec. 7 letter to the Air Force, it described Lobotzke's tweets as "overt, ongoing, and illegal." The group asserted that the coach was violating Air Force regulations for evangelizing via Twitter.

The MRFF complained that the Lobotzke's account can be viewed on the Academy's official website social media page and pointed out that the first words on his biography were "Follower of Christ."

The organization claimed that it gave the "appearance of USAF endorsement" despite the disclaimer on Lobotzke's biography stating that his tweets were his own views.

The Air Force Academy, however, did not find anything wrong with Lobotzke's tweets.

"Upon looking into this matter, we learned that all athletic coaches' social media accounts are personal and not maintained by the Air Force Academy Athletic Department," said Air Force Academy spokesperson Meade Warthen in a statement to Military.com.

"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," Warthen added.

Lobotzke continued posting Bible verses on his account, and he also retweeted messages of encouragement that he received from other Twitter users.

In response to the Air Force Academy's decision, MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein said: "This is complete and utter (expletive), there will be a lot more to come on this."

The group sent another letter to the academy on Dec. 12, calling its decision "ludicrous and unconstitutional."

In its press release, MRFF reported that the Academy has removed the social media page that linked to Lobotzke's and others' account from the official website.

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