Last night I got the opportunity to talk to my good friend, U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Ben Gardner. The title "cadet" is new as of yesterday. Previously he was "Basic Cadet Ben Gardner," which means that his life has been a living nightmare for the past several weeks. But beginning today he's on his way to becoming just like Maverick or Iceman from Top Gun. I tried to get him to go by the name "Goose," but he thought it would mean a few extra push-ups, not to mention that Goose dies in the end. It's okay, Goose is his dog's name anyway.

I've only had one chance to visit the Air Force Academy, which is known for its beauty as much as its status as one of the elite military academies in the world. The crowning jewel of the Academy is the chapel, which stands 150 feet high, and boasts 17 spires which point to the heavens. (I'm told the number of spires is insignificant. The architect decided on 17 because it was the most cost effective).

Inside the chapel, cadets can choose from one of five different worship spaces:

The Protestant Chapel is on the upper floor, accented with beautiful stained glass windows that draw the eye to a huge cross that is suspended from the ceiling.

The Catholic Chapel is in the south section of the ground floor. A large glass mosaic is its focal point, containing a ten-foot image of Mary, and one of the Angel Gabriel. The Holy Spirit appears in the mural as a dove. In front of the mural sits the altar, which holds a large crucifix.

The Jewish Chapel is designed as a circle within a square, which signifies the global mission of the USAF, and the overlasting presence of God. The foyer surrounding the synagogue portion of the Chapel is paved with stone imported from Jerusalem. The synagogue also boasts a copy of the Torah that was saved from Nazi destruction during World War II.

The chapel itself is gorgeous. The meticulous attention to detail and beauty in each chapel has made the USAF chapel a tourist attraction for many who travel through Colorado Springs. But the most interesting part of the chapel barely makes the tour. There are two other rooms in the Chapel, that would go unnoticed by the average tourist who didn't know they existed. That's right, in the extravagantly decorated, meticulously detailed USAF Academy Chapel, there are two rooms in the basement with no decorations, no symbolism, and virtually no beauty. They're simply marked "Other." Cadets who worship in the "Other" rooms can check out religious accessories for their belief system at the front desk.

I guess a part of me is amazed at the bravery of a person who will worship in a room titled "Other." Another part of me is, of course, saddened. But to me what's worse than a cadet who chooses to worship in a room marked "Other," is the people all across the world who worship the god named "Other" and don't even realize it.

It seems particularly rampant in America. We go to churches where "Jesus is our homeboy," or where we're determined to "Git 'er done for God," but where the God of the Bible is rarely mentioned, much less worshipped and revered. Instead, we've put God in a box where we want Him, and by the time we're done wrapping Him up, He's a different god altogether. When god ceases to be worshipped as God, we might as well worship in the "Other" room. Unfortunately, that's what many of today's churches should be relabeled, and yet they don't even know it.