When travelers on Frontier Airlines pick up its in-flight magazine, they got a dose of aviation news -- and a Christian message.
The publication, Frontier Magazine, is pubished by a former Frontier pilot but is independent of the Denver-based airlines. The airlines buys a few ads for each issue, looks over the final proof of it and puts it on its planes, but otherwise editor C.A. (Chick) Smith is on his own.
According to the Writer's Digest, a guide for free-lance writers, the "magazine's primary goal is to promote aviation and the Christian ethic."
Stevens, a born-again Christian, said the one religious article in each issue is "low key. You can't get real deep in this kind of magazine."
Many of the articles, he said, are about persons who say they have overcome disabilities or other problems through the help of God or Jesus Christ.
In one such article, a young marathon runner who had suffered serious injuries in an auto accident prayed continuously after being told she would never again walk. She's now running six-mile marathons. Another article told of a pilot who credited his survival after being shot down to his belief in God.
Larry Bishop, vice president of corporate communication for Frontier, said the airline has never received any criticism from passengers about the magazine. The only negative feedback, he said, has been from the publishers of other inflight magazines.
"We've been quite careful at the corporate level to be sure that the inspirational articles aren't religious and don't favor one denomination over another," he said.
Asked whether he was troubled by the fact that his estimated 3.6 million readers are a "captive audience," Stevens replied, "That's the American way. They don't have to read it if they don't want to."