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Air Force Eases Rules on Religion


By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 10, 2006
New Guidelines Reflect Evangelicals' Criticism, General Says )

dogemperor [userpic]
Intelligent Design Bumper Sticker on an Officer's Car

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]navytron89) I actually saw this bumper sticker on my way to work at the Naval Base and no one said a thing.

Current Mood: amused
dogemperor [userpic]
Force Ministries

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]ammitbeast)

"Onward Christian Soldiers"?


Saw this site mentioned in Brian Fleming's documentary The God Who Wasn't There.


Current Mood: not that surprised...
dogemperor [userpic]
Congressmen Urge Bush to Protect Military Chaplains Religious Liberty


The battle and controversy continues:

Congressmen urge Bush to protect chaplains’ religious liberty
Nov 8, 2005
By Tom Strode
Baptist Press

WASHINGTON (BP)--Members of Congress are calling on President Bush to preserve the religious freedom of chaplains in the armed services.

Senators and representatives, led by Rep. Walter Jones, R.-N.C., wrote the president asking him to issue an executive order protecting the “right of military chaplains to pray according to their faith.” The 71 representatives and two senators said in the letter they had learned in all the military branches “it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian chaplains to use the name of Jesus when praying.”

The lawmakers focused most of their attention on guidelines recently proposed for Air Force chaplains, describing them as restrictive and suppressive. They also expressed concern that the guidelines, if adopted, might be implemented in the other branches of the armed services.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Update on ADL's condemnation of dominionism

The ADL has not only confirmed now on their website their condemnation and concern regarding dominionism, but also has written a specific letter to Ha'aretz newspaper clarifying that their concerns are regarding dominionism, not Christianity in general. (Ha'aretz, as you recall, originally broke the story on ADL officially taking a stand against dominionism.)

The ADL is now the second major anti-hate group, and the first Jewish-affiliated anti-hate group, specifically to take a stand regarding the tactics of dominionist organisations; the first group was the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has written an extensive report on dominionist hate speech, is now investigating multiple dominionist groups, and has listed two Christian Reconstructionist groups (as well as the major group spewing nearly all of the pro-"degaying therapy", anti-gay/les/bi/trans spew used by dominionist groups, in particular the AFA, Freedom's Heritage Forum and Repent America) as hate groups equivalent to the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazi groups. (In fact, most of the same groups the ADL has listed as being of specific concern are the same groups listed by SPLC as of concern.)

I have been in contact with the ADL giving them some backgrounder info (and also giving them some additional information regarding at least one "Christian Zionist" group associated with dominionist groups that has claimed ADL support, as well as info re the AoG being the *other* major force in targeting Jews for conversion; the latter has been a concern for them for awhile). The ADL will need support from non-dominionist groups in the coming months, as (at least based on the Ha'aretz article comments) dominionists are *already* starting to dead-agent them.

The ADL has given some condemnation of attempts by the Southern Baptist Convention of promotion of "Messianic Jew" (as in "kosher dominionist") groups, but this is the first time they've explicitly come out against dominionism in general.

In another indication of the ADL's new antidominionist stance, they have issued a statement that the "Bible curriculum" promoted by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools is unacceptable due to it being essentially a dominionist indoctrionation program. (Texas Freedom Network, a major antidominionist group, has already reported on how the NCBCPS curricula is heavily skewed towards dominionist viewpoints, and a long list including many Biblical scholars and theologians has joined in the condemnation of that particular program. The same curricula was the target of a court challenge in Florida which led to it being removed from the schools in that state.)

The ADL is also a party in filing an amicus curae brief in a court case involving a public school board in Louisiana opening meetings with dominionist prayers and in fact blatantly refusing to allow nonsectarian prayers; the ADL has also recently issued statements criticising promotion of creationism and "intelligent design" in schools as well as statements criticising the USAFA tolerating dominionist abuse of non-dominionist soldiers.

dogemperor [userpic]


Alliance Defense Fund 'advocacy group' follows usual tactics; cries 'repression' due to balking of Air Force Academy dominionists

(& no; that wasn't the headline - though should have been)

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Sex and the Faithful Soldier


This NYT article talks about the evangelical version of 'sexual purity' and how it's being seeded in the military along with some very nasty misogyny:

Sex and the Faithful Soldier

ADD another item to the well-equipped soldier's duffel. An evangelical radio ministry has developed a book kit meant to help soldiers protect their sexual purity, and is raising money to send 6,000 kits to chaplains who have requested them.

The kits, from New Life Ministries, which broadcasts on 150 stations nationally, is intended to promote Bible-based abstinence from pornography, adultery, nonmarital sex and masturbation. "Your goal is sexual purity," the authors write. "You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife."Read more... )

The Revealer has some additional thoughts on this program:

NYT Chuckles at Fundies, and Does Their Work For Them
30 October 2005

Jeff Sharlet: Are U.S. military chaplains promoting homophobia and discrimination against non-Christian women on taxpayer time? The New York Times reports that New Life Ministries plans to send 6,000 sexual abstinence kits, titled "Every Soldier's Battle," to U.S. military chaplains who've requested them as counseling tools for soldiers. The Times notes that the kits are a spin-off of the bestselling "Every Man's Battle" series, but reporter John Leland doesn't bother to investigate the source of kits, books created to help conservative evangelical men erase lust, masturbation, wet dreams, and women who don't conform to the books' vision of "male headship" from their lives. Women, meanwhile, must help men by wearing chaste clothing and not bending over in their presence. Married women must provide for their husband's satisfaction at regular intervals, regardless of their own desires.

Last spring, I wrote about the series for Rolling Stone: "The authors of the books hold up the books of Joshua and Ezekiel as armor against non-Christian women. 'Mixture,' they write, 'can destroy a people.'" The authors refer to sexually active, unmarried women with the name "Betty Jo 'B.J.' Blowers," and consider homosexuality a satanic deception to be cured through vigorous Bible study. According to the Times, "Sgt. First Class Daniel L. Roberts, a chaplain's assistant at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, requested 200 kits for troops in basic combat training." Another chaplain's assistant, Michael Music, led 100 men through the program while stationed in Iraq.

The Times seems to find it all amusing, if perhaps helpful to soldiers struggling to keep their marriages together. The peddlers of the "Every Man's Battle" series, meanwhile, must appreciate this infographic from the paper of record, tongue so firmly in cheek that it functions as advertising you couldn't buy.

dogemperor [userpic]
Video: Soldiers in New Orleans spooked by spirits


This video is worth watching for the chaplain's statement that "wherever US Soldiers go, God goes with them." What the heck? Are they Crusaders, now?

This illustrates the growing influence of the dominionist oriented majority that are now in the Army and Air Force chaplain corps. Mainline chaplains are disappearing rapidly.

dogemperor [userpic]
USAFwithdraws evangelicizing policy


A small step away from the craziness:

Air Force withdraws evangelizing policy
Lawsuit alleges officers imposed Christianity

By Robert Burns, Associated Press | October 12, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force has withdrawn from use by its chaplain service a code of ethics that endorsed evangelizing military service members who are not affiliated with a religion.

The move, disclosed by Air Force officials yesterday, followed a lawsuit by a Jewish graduate of the Air Force Academy, Mikey Weinstein of Albuquerque. He said senior officers and cadets illegally imposed Christianity on others at the school.

The code of ethics -- issued by the Air Force Chaplain Service in January -- includes the statement: ''I will not actively proselytize from other religious bodies. However, I retain the right to instruct and/or evangelize those who are not affiliated."Read more... )

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Air Force Withdraws Evangelizing Paper


From today's Washington Post: "The Air Force, facing a lawsuit over alleged proselytizing, has withdrawn a document that permitted chaplains to evangelize military personnel who were not affiliated with any faith, Pentagon officials said yesterday.

The document was circulated at the Air Force Chaplain School until eight weeks ago. It was a "code of ethics" for chaplains that included the statement "I will not proselytize from other religious bodies, but I retain the right to evangelize those who are not affiliated."

Full text under cut )

As you can see, Focus on the Family is not going down easy, what with their VP of public policy announcing "[I]t is the job of an evangelical Christian chaplain to evangelize. It's protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free exercise of religion." He's forgotten that the First Amendment doesn't mean he gets to trample everyone else's Constitutional rights.

dogemperor [userpic]
An American in chains

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]ns_kumiho)

"When an administrative assistant in the navy chaplain’s office showed me a slanderous and hatefilled diatribe against Muslims that was to be inserted into a weekly newsletter to hundreds of Christian military personnel on the base, I decided it was time for action.

It began, “Egyptian Muslim Mohammad Farouk hated Christians . . . in an attempt to obey the Koran and please Allah, Mohammad and his friends began to assault and harass Christians in their village . . .” It claimed that the Koran instructs Muslims to espouse violence and hatred, the opposite of the truth."

~James Yee, Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay

Although only slightly on topic, this article is pretty bad for the US if true.

dogemperor [userpic]


'Air Force Sued Over Religion'

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"...where ever the soldiers go, there goes the word of God..."

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Faith-Based Military Recruitment


Molly McKasson writes in the Tucson Weekly:

Last winter, about the middle of my son's senior year, he dropped in on his friend Jim (not his real name), who was in the midst of being rushed by an Army recruiter. Clay recognized the sergeant from Tucson High, where he'd been "working" the cafeteria for several weeks, catching potential soldiers during lunch. Clay sat quietly waiting for him to leave.

The conversation went something like this: Jim didn't have money for college. No problem; the Army would provide up to $70,000, plus other expenses. Jim didn't think he'd like being ordered around so much. No problem; his Army aptitude score would quickly put him in a position of authority.

At the end of his pitch, the recruiter turned to Clay, who wasted no time in laying out his opposition to the occupation of Iraq. The recruiter leaned in close and said softly, "You obviously don't know what kind of world it is out there, man. Have you ever read Revelation?"

Clay must've given him a blank stare. "From the New Testament?" the recruiter said.

Clay didn't recall it from Sunday school. "Read it. You'll change your mind."

dogemperor [userpic]
A few news articles (and a request!)

Archive of an sfgate.com article regarding dominionists in the military (and in particular the hijacking of the chaplaincy):

Info on dominionists damning the victims of Katrina further (and claiming the hurricane is divine retribution): http://www.religionnewsblog.com/12148/Wrath-of-God--but-why-gets-many-reasons

And a request for readers:

Per http://www.religionnewsblog.com/12151/Brokaw-to-Focus-on-Evangelical-Movement Tom Brokaw was supposed to have a show on 8 September focusing in part on the dominionist/Avengelical group "New Life Church" in Colorado Springs (one of the largest churches in the US, and at the very heart of the dominionist movement in Colorado Springs).

Did anyone happen to catch this show or have any comments?

dogemperor [userpic]
Latest news on dominionist misbehaviour

notes how the dominionist/Avengelical chaplains at the US Air Force Academy are blatantly disregarding both court orders and orders from the US Military to stop blatant prosyletisation and harassment of non-Avengelicals.

Speaking of Colorado Springs:
http://journals.aol.com/richardbk8/TheSentryNewsDigest/entries/1020 reports on how dominionist pressure is attempting to shut down a Samhain gathering at an American Legion post (which allows anyone, including other religious groups, to attend)--thus showing the dominionist rot is pretty much endemic in that town. :P

A group associated with a pastor in Columbus Ohio (and his dominionist/Avengelical group, the "Ohio Restoration Project") is apparently soliciting members in Texas: http://blog.au.org/2005/09/austin_altar_ca.html

The major Republican gubernatorial candidate in Ohio is apparently linked with aforementioned dominionist: http://www.citybeat.com/current/news3.shtml (Among other things, it gives some backgrounder on the group Rod Parsley runs--he runs a church called World Harvest Center ("World Harvest Center" is a very common name for dominionist churches, to the point that "World Harvest Center" or "World Prayer Center" can be reliably counted on as a dominionist codephrase for "dominionist church"); it also includes mapping between dominionist groups associated with aforementioned candidate)

The Republican candidate for Cincinnatti's mayor is apparently a dominionist:
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050810/NEWS01/508100369 (from the Cincinnatti Enquirer)

(Based on notes from the latter article, I'm thinking the mayorial candidate may be towards the Avengelical end of the dominionist spectrum. "Christian Center" or "Christian Life Center" is a common dominionist codephrase for dominionist-friendly churches; he is also likely supported by the "Ohio Restoration Project" which is dominionist/Avengelical.)

dogemperor [userpic]
More Religion in the Military


From the Washington Post:

Air Force Sets Rules Limiting Religious Expression

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 30, 2005; A04

The Air Force, responding to accusations of proselytizing at its academy in Colorado Springs, issued sweeping guidelines yesterday that say prayers are not appropriate at most official events and discourage commanders from speaking publicly about their religious beliefs.

The guidelines apply to all officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees throughout the Air Force, not just to those at the Air Force Academy. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told a delegation of religious leaders last week that if the rules work well, they will be instituted across the armed forces.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Military Chaplains again...


From the Washington Post:

Military Wrestles With Disharmony Among Chaplains

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 30, 2005; A01

The growing influence of evangelical Protestants is roiling the military chaplain corps, where their desire to preach their faith more openly is colliding with long-held military traditions of pluralism and diversity.

After accusations this summer that evangelical chaplains, faculty and coaches were pressuring cadets at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force yesterday issued new guidelines on respect for religious minorities. In the Navy, evangelical Protestant chaplains are fighting what they say is a legacy of discrimination in hiring and promotions, and they are bridling at suggestions they not pray publicly "in the name of Jesus."

Much of the conflict is in two areas that, until now, have been nearly invisible to civilians: how the military hires its ministers and how they word their public prayers. Evangelical chaplains -- who are rising in numbers and clout amid a decline in Catholic priests and mainline Protestant ministers -- are challenging the status quo on both questions, causing even some evangelical commanders to worry about the impact on morale.Read more... )

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Evangelical Chaplains Test Bounds of Faith in Military


Here's an NPR segment about the slow and not so stealthy enroachment of specific religions in the military.

Walk into just about any Christian bookstore and you are likely to find a copy of The Soldier's Bible. The leather cover comes in a choice of green for the Army, black for the Navy, burgundy for the Marines, blue for the Air Force and -- just released -- blue for the Coast Guard.

These are handsome Bibles with gilt edges, just the right size for a service member to stuff into his or her pack. Printed on the front is the emblem for the appropriate branch of the armed services. And that's a problem.

One could be excused for thinking that this Bible was put out by the military. But it's not. Holman Bible Publishers of Nashville developed, printed and distributes The Soldier's Bible at its own expense.

Still, critics think the emblem on the front brings up legal questions -- and may even violate the Constitution's ban on government-established religion.

What's especially troubling to some is that this particular Bible is clearly evangelical. Holman Bible Publishers is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. On the first few pages, there's a "Plan for Salvation" that says you must be baptized as an adult believer to have eternal life.

Printed in the back are inspirational words from military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin. He raised a few eyebrows back in 2003, when he said of his battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Evangelicals are playing an increasing role in the military. Department of Defense statistics show that 40 percent of active duty personnel are evangelical Christians. Sixty percent of taxpayer-funded military chaplains are evangelical.

"It does raise the question of whether we are, effectively, as a country -- with tax dollars -- promoting a particular evangelical religious viewpoint," said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Add to that a privately funded evangelical Bible that looks official, and critics say the military has a problem that needs to be addressed.

I'd say they have a problem. A graph on the site demonstrates that the ratio of evangelical chaplains to other mainline and non-Christian religions is quite high: 60 percent of the chaplain corps is Evangelical- mostly Assembly of God. This is no accident. There has been a deliberate and ongoing push to populate the Chaplain corps of the military with AoG and Pentecostal chaplains, who are also the frontline of many Dominionist beliefs.

dogemperor [userpic]
An example of why mainstream Christians should worry about the dominionists...

...because, well, if Iraq is an example, they don't exactly consider you "Christian" to begin with:


(Article on dominionist groups in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East; they are actually targeting the Catholic and Orthodox communities there every bit as much, if not *more*, than the Islamic community)

Included are statements from the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic church (which is Iraqi's largest Christian church, and affiliated with the Orthodox/Eastern Rite community)--whom has already asked the dominionists to please leave the country and quit trying to convert his parishoners (who are in a denomination that has practiced Christianity since very nearly the time of Christ itself, is regarded (along with the Coptic Church) as being one of the two or three oldest traditions of Christianity itself, and has quite a heritage compared with dominionist groups (that have been around for far less long--the parent denominations of dominionism *only* really within the past 100-150 years (150ish for the Southern Baptists, less than 100 for the various pentecostal denominations like AoG associated with the pentecostal movement)); also, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Iraq has his own statements condemning the dominionists.

Also, understandably, the Moslem leaders (including one of the major Shi'a clerics) are expressing grave concern.

Iraq isn't the only country this is occuring in, by the way; the article also mentions attempts in Jordan and Syria (among other countries) and I do know Israel itself has expressed concern regarding dominionists (between dominionists who are attempting to foment a religious war between Jewish and Moslem populations in the area, dominionists on their own (or working with Jewish-dominionist groups) in plans to "reestablish the Temple", and dominionists promoting "messianic Judaism" who are attempting to convert Jews in Israel to "kosher dominionists"). In fact, in Israel it's gotten so bad there have been efforts in the Knesset to pass laws to crack down on dominionist "messianic Jew" conversionists (http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/j4jlibrary/missiontoisrael.html has info on the one end on how bad the "messianic Jew" evangelism idiocy has gotten with dominionists in Israel, and http://www.religioustolerance.org/news_99nov.htm has info on previous efforts in Israel re antimissionary bills proposed (largely due to dominionists attempting to convert Jews to "messianic Jews")) and many (if not most) countries in the former USSR have passed laws to crack down on missionaries *specifically* because of abuses by dominionists (including, in particular, targeting Eastern Orthodox for conversion); http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=8632&sec=36&cont=7 has a few examples.

In other words...if you're not a dominionist, even if you are in a Christian denomination or are Jewish, they *do not* consider you Christian at all. (In the group I walked away from, Methodists et al were seen as "lukewarm Christians", even Southern Baptists were seen as "lukewarm" because they didn't rant in tongues or "dance in the spirit" in church, and Catholic/Orthodox were seen as "saint-worshippers" and "idol-worshippers") They *will* target people who are already Christian for conversion. If they get in power, they will likely only consider *dominionists* truly Christian.

It's not just a problem for pagans. It's a problem for *everyone*.

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