Harper's Cover Story on Evangelism in the Military
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 12:37:07 PM EST
Jeff Sharlet wades deep into the rising big muddy of evangelism in the military in the current issue of Harper's Magazine.

The article is titled, "Jesus Killed Mohammed: The Crusade for a Christian Military." The media world is being spammed with the press release, and the article is an eye opening and hair raising read -- so Jeff may very well be coming to a radio or TV show near you.

I am sure some of us will have more to say about all this, so for now, check out the press release for yourself  on the flip, or if you are a subscriber, or would like to become one, go to Harper's online to read the story. Or you can pick it up at the news stand on April 28.

For Immediate Release:
Contact:        
Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
(202) 265-3000
April 16, 2009                                            
 
Harper's Magazine Cover Story: EvangelicalProselytization Still Rampant in U.S. Military Under Obama Administration, Offending Officers Continue to Serve, Promoted

ALBUQUERQUE - The May issue of Harper's Magazine (www.harpers.org) reveals the continued practice of Christian evangelical proselytization in the American military and a lack of recourse within the Obama administration, according to a leading civil rights watchdog group prominently featured in the magazine's cover story.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF: www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org) and its founder and president Mikey Weinstein were profiled by Jeff Sharlet in his piece for Harper's Magazine, "Jesus Killed Mohammed: The Crusade for a Christian Military." Mr. Weinstein is the nation's leading advocate for the protection of individual soldiers' constitutional rights to religious freedom and a frequent critic of the U.S. military hierarchy's blind eye to efforts to evolve the nation's military into a modern day band of Christian crusaders.

"Every man and woman who joins our military swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and it is unforgiveable that many continue to dictate how, when and to whom a soldier can pray while in uniform," said Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).  "The Harper's Magazine report by Jeff Sharlet exposes shocking new instances of bigotry and evangelical proselytization within our nation's military that emboldens our enemies, endangers our soldiers on the battlefield and threatens the core of our country.  Equally disturbing is Mr. Sharlet's revelation that despite President Obama's well-publicized efforts to show the Muslim world that this is not a war against Islam, numerous offending officers and military professionals responsible for these actions continue to serve in high-ranking and influential positions, and many of them stand to be promoted."

In Mr. Sharlet's piece, Mr. Weinstein shares his experiences with anti-Semitism as a "doolie" at the U.S. Air Force Academy; his advocacy and legal counsel on behalf of thousands of active duty soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen afflicted from religious persecution in the line of duty; and his continued call for reforms within the Pentagon to restore the U.S. military's adherence to its constitutional responsibilities.

Additionally, Mr. Sharlet interviewed a number of current and retired military officers and professionals on their thoughts and experiences regarding the protection and evasions of religious liberties in the military.  His report details a number of known and unknown instances of evangelical proselytization within the military, both domestically and in the war theater.

The following are examples of evangelical proselytization practices detailed in the Harper's Magazine cover story:

    * An Easter Sunday raid on Iraqi insurgents in 2004.  Special Forces Officers, inspired by a showing of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, wrote the words "Jesus Killed Mohammed" in Arabic on their Bradley Fighting Vehicle and shouted the saying in both English and Arabic to entice Muslim soldiers into the open before embarking on an attack to put down the insurgency.

    * A meeting of an underground all-male, cadet-led prayer group at the U.S. Air Force Academy where members discuss, among other things, the deceptions necessary for missionary work in China. The author attended the group's meeting under the promise that he would not publish the group's name out of fear that: "Those who do believe in separation of church and state might interfere with its goal of turning the world's most elite war college into its most holy one, a seminary with courses in carpet bombing."

    * Interviews with Lieutenant Colonel Bob Young in which he defends and shows no remorse for stating that it would be better for a black to be a slave in America and know Christ, than to be free and not know Christ.

    * A speech given by Army Lieutenant Colonel Greg Metzgar before the Officers Christian Fellowship - a group with 15,000 active members at 80 percent of military bases - in which he stressed: "Christian soldiers must always consider themselves behind enemy lines, even within the ranks, because every unsaved member of the military is a potential agent of `spiritual terrorism.'"

    * Excerpts from a book published in 2005 by Lieutenant Colonel William McCoy, Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, which describes an "anti-Christian bias" in this country he seeks to counter by making the case for the "necessity of Christianity for a properly functioning military."  McCoy's book was endorsed by General David Petraeus, who said: "Under Orders should be in every rucksack for those moments when soldiers need spiritual energy."  General Petraeus, while claiming his statement was not meant for the public, has never recanted his statement.

The May issue of Harper's Magazine is currently being distributed to subscribers and will be on newsstands April 28, 2009. The issue is also currently available for online subscribers at www.harpers.org.




Display:
These are the young adults, who bring their families back to small town America, join rural congregations, and become leaders, bringing the same point of view to our congregations and churches. Tragically, these are people who do bring skills, who we would agree with on many positions, and who with the confidence in their positions are leaders who make a difference in the church. Remember that almost all of our military personal come home and join the civilian population. The whole, the wounded, the healthy and adjusted as well as those unable to survive normal society.

by chaplain on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 08:57:27 AM EST

about this organization is  it focuses on the officers or leadership institutions, that there is a belief in ours being a christian nation, and the discarding of swearing an oath to the constitution.  This is the making of a military coup d'etat.  All that's needed is the Jack booted thug at the head saying God has sent him to lead in the ultimate mission.

by Yankee in exile on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 09:08:06 AM EST
The book "The Apocalypse Directive" by Douglas McKinnon is a thriller novel based on the real life stuff that MRFF has uncovered, but, being a work of fiction, has a president in the not too distant future who does think that, as you put it, God has sent him to lead in the ultimate mission.

I wrote a review of McKinnon's book here last summer:
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/8/26/18243/2491


by Chris Rodda on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:15:29 PM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


Thoughts on the Finale of the Finn Debacle
Now that Bishop Robert Finn has finally resigned his leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri -- here are some final thoughts......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
DeVos and School Privatization Funders Backing Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Candidate
The Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children (AFC) and its core funders have spent more than fifteen million dollars in Pennsylvania over the last......
By Rachel Tabachnick (0 comments)
Religious Right Rabbi: Christian Coalition Favorite Daniel Lapin Resurfaces
Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, one part of the job was......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right leaders escalate anti-LGBTQ threats
As marriage equality has advanced around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue in June, threatening language......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Whine Festival: Second-Tier Religious Right Leaders Still Don't Like Marriage Equality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.In preparation for this, a sad collection of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)

Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.