Just How Christian is Fort Hood? (VIDEO)
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed May 19, 2010 at 06:31:08 PM EST
Many of you may have heard about Army SPC Zachari Klawonn, the Muslim soldier serving at Fort Hood who, despite an exemplary service record, has faced repeated and unconscionable discrimination and threats because of his religion, eventually being moved off-post for his own safety. To add insult to injury, the Army has yet to provide this soldier with the standard housing allowance given to soldiers who live off-post, forcing him to have to take out personal loans and pawn his possessions to pay his bills.

Zachari Klawonn is now a client of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and appeared on CNN's Campbell Brown the other night, along with MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein and Texas attorney Randy Mathis, who is representing Zachari pro bono. (A portion of the interview with Zachari is available on Campbell Brown's blog.)

As Zachari explained during the interview, he had told his superiors that he was uncomfortable attending the Muslim services available off-post because he found the Imam to be too radical. He was then told that a room in the post's Spiritual Fitness Center would be reserved for Fort Hood's Muslim soldiers to have an on-post place to hold prayers on Friday afternoons. But, as Zachari told the Washington Post, when he arrived at the designated room on a Friday afternoon, he found that the room was already being used for a Christian financial planning class. (According to DoD contracts, the Army has purchased thousands of training kits from Financial Peace University to teach biblically based financial planning to our soldiers.)

As I wrote back in August of last year, as part of some research I was doing for Jeff Sharlet last summer regarding the members of Congress involved in the C-Street scandal, I was looking at the recent earmarks requested by these members of Congress. Although the work I was doing with Jeff was unrelated to my job at MRFF, something that naturally jumped out at me was the enormous amounts of money being approved to build large chapel complexes on military bases. The largest of these earmarks was requested by "Family" member Rep. John Carter (R-TX), who represents the district in which Fort Hood is located. To date, the Fort Hood "mega-church" project has received over $28 million in earmark funding, $17,500,000 for its chapel complex and religious education center, and an additional $10,800,000 for its "Family Life Center."

In addition to this extravagant new chapel complex, which is currently under construction, Fort Hood also recently opened its new "Spiritual Fitness Center," a facility created by extensively renovating one of the post's existing eleven chapels. While the military insists that this Spiritual Fitness Center is not religious, but merely spiritual, the renovations of the existing chapel resulted in a building that is indistinguishable from a chapel, complete with its Christian themed stained glass windows.

Although all I had seen of this new Spiritual Fitness Center at the time I wrote my previous post were a few photos released by by Fort Hood, I wasn't buying the claim that this facility, which looks like a church, is set up to hold worship services, and had a Christian rock concert as one of its kick-off events, was not religious. But even I was shocked (and it takes a lot to shock me after three years of working for MRFF) by just how religious -- and overtly Christian -- this facility actually is.

As part of my job with MRFF, I often ask service members to send me photos documenting their claims, so I asked Zachari, who had described the Spiritual Fitness Center to me on the phone, to take some photos. He not only sent me the requested photos, but a video walkthrough of the facility that made my jaw drop. Words would not do this justice, so I've decided to post the video here so everyone can just see it for themselves.


In addition to the video, Zachari also sent me the photos I requested, which included additional images of Christian artwork not seen in the video, and photos of the books available in the facility's lending library. In this facility, where even the room that was supposed to be reserved for Muslim prayers was taken over by a Christian financial planning class, the only book available for Muslims is a book on how Muslims can become Christians, and how Christians can help Muslims become Christians.

The book, titled Unshackled & Growing, is published by the Navigators, one of the largest and most influential of the fundamentalist Christian para-church military ministries currently ingrained in and operating unrestricted throughout the military.

Here's how the Navigators describe their military ministry:

"We envision a movement of thousands of courageous men and women passionately following Christ, representing Him in advancing the Gospel through relationships where they live, work, train for war, and deploy. This movement includes men and women of all races and ranks, and permeates the military community on and around every U.S. installation and foreign military around the world."

The description of Unshackled & Growing on the Navigators website begins:

"Do you know Muslims who are not attracted to Christianity yet are intrigued by Christ? As you attempt to win these Muslim friends to Christ, you may be tempted to dump the entire Gospel message on them in the wrong way at the wrong time. Musims [sic] can easily sniff out an agenda, but truthful, culturally-sensitive answers and a genuine friendship can change their lives."

I don't think any further comment is necessary.





Display:
When the military wants its members to be 'spiritually fit', that means it wants them to be christian. They have no intention of religious pluralism, or of being considerate of others beliefs, or of no belief. As long as the non-religious or wrong-religious go with the flow, they can probably exist without too much trouble.
The work of the MRFF has probably slowed the dominionists down a little bit, but I personally don't think they have any intention of stopping until the U.S. Military is 'born again' as a body of 'spiritually fit christian warriors' where religious (christian) and political (republican) beliefs are the norm and the standard. At that point, (if it happens) we can kiss what is left of our anemic democracy goodbye.

I greatly respect Chris and Mikey and all of those fighting to hold back this tide, but look at the numbers. How few are standing up for religious diversity in the military, and how many are foaming at the mouth to make it into an army for the LORD?

As I have said before, when the history of this period is written, someday, this site, the MRFF, Chris, etc. will be seen as noble defenders of democracy against the christian fascists. It may be a rough patch before we get there, though.

by COinMS on Fri May 21, 2010 at 08:50:56 AM EST


This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things.    ou acheter du viagra belgique


by herrysami on Wed Aug 07, 2019 at 07:11:57 AM EST

I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers    House Plan


by herrysami on Sat Aug 10, 2019 at 07:25:36 AM EST

Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future.    [url=https://www.smore.com/fyc49-ultra-omega-burn-review-any-good ]ultra omega burn[/url]


by hasnainkhatri on Tue Aug 20, 2019 at 08:23:30 AM EST

Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future.    ultra omega burn


by herrysami on Wed Aug 21, 2019 at 06:59:02 AM EST

Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future.    [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOliuY_x0cw]5gmale plus[/url]


by hasnainkhatri on Fri Aug 23, 2019 at 07:56:49 AM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (111 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (35 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (27 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (28 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (29 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (32 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (24 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (23 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (12 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (14 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (17 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (32 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (15 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (30 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (46 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (70 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (20 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (29 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (33 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (20 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (22 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (23 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (20 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (22 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (25 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 (23 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 (24 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.