6.20.2009

The Fight Over Evangelizing, Proselytizing, Crusading Military Chaplains

First, we see domestic terrorists, anti-immigration, neo-Nazi hate groups gathering in the internet & in front of Fox "news." Then we see neo-Nazis signing up in droves in our Military. And now, we have Army chaplains hellbent on holy war proselytizing from our army pulpits.

We live in very dangerous times, people.

From Newsweek's Kathryn Joyce:

The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word.

Ever since former president George W. Bushreferred to the war on terror as a “crusade” in the days after the September 11 attacks, many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world. That perception grew as prominent military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin described the wars in evangelical terms, casting the U.S. military as the "army of God." Although President Obama addressed the Muslim world this month in an attempt to undo the Bush administration's legacy of militant Christian rhetoric that often antagonized Muslim countries, several recent stories have framed the issue as a wider problem of an evangelical military culture that sees spreading Christianity as part of its mission.

A May article in Harper’s by Jeff Sharlet illustrated a military engaged in an internal battle over religious practice. Then came news about former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s Scripture-themed briefings to President Bush that paired war scenes with Bible verses. (In an e-mail published on Politico, Rumsfeld aide Keith Urbahn denied that the former Defense secretary had created or even seen many of the briefings.) Later in May, Al-Jazeera broadcast clips filmed in 2008 showing stacks of Bibles translated into Pashto and Dari at the U.S. air base in Bagram and featuring the chief of U.S. military chaplains in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, telling soldiers to “hunt people for Jesus.”

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