Christian soldiers in the New Rome

Despite the long-standing tradition of the separation of church and state, every major political candidate in every election always make his/her Christian faith known.  It's a prerequisite for political success.  No, it's a necessary condition for even being considered.

I find this very disturbing.  I'd much rather the candidates be grilled the other way around.  Do we really want someone with his/her finger on the button who waits and prays for the imminent apocalypse?  Do we want someone who believes in talking snakes presiding over the system that governs an advanced industrial country?

Unfortunately, the Christian Right knows how to strategize and is well-funded, and they've reached their tentacles all throughout the U.S. government, all the way up to the top.  There might be a handful of legislators who aren't religious, but the executive and judicial branches are headed by the religious.

It's not just in the visible places: the military is being overwhelmed by the evangelical tide.  David Antoon, former Air Force officer for 30+ years, recently wrote a fantastic piece on this.  He chronicles their infiltration of the Air Force Academy, and coincidentally in other important positions in the Department of War and—surprise surprise—at Blackwater, the hidden minions of DoW.

    In order to better understand this shift to a religious ideology at this once
secular institution, I called the Academy Association of Graduates (AOG). Its
response: "We don't get involved in policy." What I didn't
know was that the AOG, like the academy, had affiliations with James Dobson's
and Ted Haggard's powerful mega-churches. When Dobson's Focus on
the Family "campus" was completed, the academy skydiving team, with
great ceremony, delivered the "keys of heaven" to Dobson. During
some alumni reunions, the AOG arranged bus tours of Focus on the Family facilities
in nearby Colorado Springs, Colo. I also learned that the same Monday night
Bible studies discussed at orientation were taught by bused-in members of these
evangelical mega-churches and that some spouses of senior academy staff members
were employed by these same religious institutions. It seemed that my beloved
United States Air Force Academy had morphed into the Rocky Mountain Bible College.

    The academy chaplain staff had grown 300 percent while the cadet population
had decreased by 25 percent: from six mainline chaplains to 18 chaplains, the
additional 12 all evangelical. The academy even gained 25 reserve chaplains,
also nonexistent in earlier times, for a total of 43 chaplains for about 4,000
cadets, or one chaplain for every 100 cadets.

    In the following weeks, a uniformed Army Maj. Gen. William Boykin began sharing
his Christian supremacist views from church pulpits around the country, declaring
that he was "God's Warrior" and that "America is a Christian
nation." He demeaned the entire Muslim world by stating that his God was
bigger than a Muslim warlord's god and that the Muslim's god "was
an idol." He received little more than a token slap on the wrist. At the
time, Joseph Schmitz, then the Department of Defense inspector general (Schmitz
is currently the chief operating officer of Blackwater International), found
that Boykin had committed no ethics violations.

There are plenty of Christians who take the decent side of this issue and who would say these people are distorting and dishonoring the teachings of Jesus, Paul of Tarsus, and those who follow in their footsteps.  I don't mean to kick them out of the tent.  But it's clear that the Dobsons, the Bushes, and the rest of the religious-military-industrial complex need to be checked.

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So is it more than the Jews and the Blacks?

Like you I'm pretty paranoid about infiltration of my beloved government by groups that I despise and fear. In my case it's the Jews and the blacks. But maybe the evangelical Christian infiltration is worse right now.

(I also fear and despise people who don't understand sarcasm.)

Uh ? That makes you a racist

Uh ? That makes you a racist and an antisemite you realize that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kidding... kidding 

Black is black, it doesn't

Black is black, it doesn't imply a particular way of thinking or a set of belief. Jews are NOT proselytes like Christian, hence if there were an inherent danger in the Jewish though itself, it would be far less dangerous than if it belongs in a memetic religion like Christianism.

Point is, there's a qualitative difference. I do not suscribe to the fear of the OP but it is not unfounded.

You are splitting hairs to evade

You are struggling to find distinctions. You thought you had a distinction between blacks and evangelicals: blacks are a race. But - oops, Jews are a religion. So you found a narrower distinction - Jews don't proselytize. So the expulsion of the Jews from Spain was bad but (say) the expulsion of evangelicals from the military might not be so bad. And if I came up with some group that did proselytize (like socialists), you would come up with another distinction.

Point is, you can always come up with distinctions, rendering yourself utterly unable to learn from history. Oh, Judaism is exclusive and Christianity is inclusive (if you want to go the other way, excusing anti-semitism while distinguishing it from anti-christianism). And so on and so forth.

If you want to learn from history, you need to quit the habit of making finer and finer distinctions so as to evade obvious parallels, because as long as you keep that habit you can always prevent yourself from accepting any lessons, because you can always find some distinction. There are obviously deep similarities between religious intolerance and bigotry and racial intolerance and bigotry. There are obviously deep similarities between paranoia about "infiltration" by various groups. Remember Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare? Considered on balance a bad thing in retrospect. Communists are neither a race nor a non-proselytizing religion. Maybe the distinction you would draw between communists and evangelicals is that communists are an ideology rather than a religion. I can't really predict what new excuse you will come up with to avoid the obvious.

Christians have funny beliefs. This is one of Randall's reasons for not wanting them in charge. But if "funny beliefs" is a serious criterion, rather than just being a tool to selectively bash Christians, then that pretty much excludes everyone. I don't recall ever getting to know anyone really well, without discovering some belief which seemed rather odd to me. Talking snakes is the least of it. What can a belief in talking snakes do? Much less harm than a belief in the value and mission of government, which pretty much excludes from government service anyone who actually wants to be in government service. Which is, by the way, perhaps a worthy goal (i.e., to exclude absolutely everyone from government who wants to be there). Maybe that's what Randall really was trying to say, but it came out as anti-religious intolerance.

I am not trying to evade

I am not trying to evade anything nor did I didn't say anything about expulsion. I am saying that there are more reasons to be concerned by this brand of christianism in governement than judaism or being black.

zero point one is larger than zero point zero

there are more reasons to be concerned

Which means very little. 0.1 is larger than 0.0 but still pretty small. But one can easily come up with reasons to be concerned about anything, and in fact people came up with reasons to be concerned about Christians, about Jews, about communists, about blacks, and about many other groups. In fact, someone could make a case that there are more reasons to be concerned about blacks or homosexuals or Jews or women or Irish or Italians or college students than about evangelical Christians. It would be very easy to do, simply by selecting the aspects one wanted to be worried about. I already pointed out that the funny-beliefs reason only works if one applies it selectively.

 

Exactly right! You hit the

Exactly right! You hit the nail on the head, problem solved: we really don't need to worry about anything! Everything is fine, it's all about perspectives. Now that we don't need to worry about different kinds of people and their influences in the government, we can just shut these sites down and move along!