Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Soldiers for the Right Christ

by expatbrian

godsarmy.jpgChristian fundamentalists have a strong presence in our military and due to the very structured system of rank, anyone who believes otherwise is open to ridicule, humiliation and even abuse. (entire article)

Since his last combat deployment in Iraq, Jeremy Hall has had a rough time, getting shoved and threatened by his fellow soldiers. The trouble started there when he would not pray in the mess hall. "A senior ranking staff sergeant told me to leave and sit somewhere else because I refused to pray," said Hall.
Hall was reprimanded by a major who called him a troublemaker, and threatened to block his reenlistment attempts. The major accused Hall of holding a meeting of "athiests and freethinkers". Wow! That freethinking will get you every time!

A former air force lawyer has formed a group to protect the rights of these "freethinking soldiers". He has received over 6,800 testimonials from military personnel, many of them Christians, who have been harassed and even punished in attempts to force them to accept a strict fundamentalist evangelical view of Christianity.

On the other side of the battle is the 15,000 member strong Officer's Christian Fellowship (OCF). Their stated mission is

"to achieve a spiritually transformed military with embassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit". It professes belief in the "eternal blessedness of the saved and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost".
ocf.jpg Just what we need. An army of fanatics committed to the concious punishment of the lost. Are we sure this is still America?

So, in other words, these fundamentalists, led by an organized group of officers, is violating one of the most basic rights of the very Constitution they are sworn to uphold. And they're so righteous that you don't have to be a Muslim or a Jew to incur their wrath. They even hate the non-fundy Christians.

No surprise to me at all. The American military is home to many of the most narrow minded, ignorant and racist losers that our country produces. And that includes both the enlisted and officer ranks.

I'm sure that many veterans would agree that a primary reason they did not and would not even consider a career in the military is because it would mean having obey these uneducated, simple minded bigots for the long term.

While some make the military their career to escape poverty or for educational opportunity, many simply don't have what it takes to succeed in the real world. For them, the military is a second mother. It feeds them, houses them, takes care of them when they are sick, clothes them and tells them exactly what to do and when to do it. And unless you really, really screw up, you'll never get fired. They are utterly and completely dependent.

These new fundamentalist Christians fit right into that. And while the Pentagon is spewing its expected rhetoric about "religious rights" and "respecting tenants of faith", they are circling the wagon's to protect these jerks.

I don't care what any individual chooses to believe as long as they keep it to them selves and don't try pawn it off on me. But if I'm in a combat situation, depending on the guy next to me to have my back, I don't want someone with a religious agenda. I want someone who can and will pull the trigger.



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6 Comments:

Anonymous rockync said...

The world is getting to be a truly scary place when this kind of fanatism is not only condoned but encouraged.

8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Onward Christian soldiers. Pretty scary.

8:57:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

This is one of the things about a volunteer military that scares me the most. It's become a separate culture in many other ways too, from the bizarre haircuts to the barbaric religious practices. Am I paranoid to think about how far this might go toward producing a military junta?

Perhaps something akin to the Swiss or Israeli would, even though I've always been opposed to the draft, be the best way to insure that our military was consistent with the values of the general public.

9:00:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

"I want someone who can and will pull the trigger."

I don't even want that.

9:50:00 AM  
OpenID expatbrian said...

You are so right, Cap'n. The range of those who might be expected to enlist, especially in time of war, is very narrow. What is that mindset? What is the character like of a person who would do that? Do we have reason to be afraid of having a military full of people with those character traits?
I for one, believe in compulsory national service of probably 2 years. This service could be in the military or in other domestic programs whether they be civil defense, fire fighting, or social services such as Vista.
It not only helps the country, it gives our young people a much needed sense of responsibility and value. And as you say, it broadens the gene pool.

6:48:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I agree and it would help solve our problem with unemployed, uneducated street brats who might just discover a purpose or learn a skill.

11:50:00 AM  

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