U.S. Soldiers Punished For Not Attending Christian Concert
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 11:32:23 AM EST
[editor - Talk To Action contributor Chris Rodda is Head Researcher for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that combats illegal and unconstitutional religious coercion in the United States military. Rodda is also author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History. MRFF was founded by Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, an Air Force Academy Honor Graduate who served in the first Reagan Administration. MRFF's work was the subject of a May 2009 Harper's Magazine story by journalist Jeff Sharlet, Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military. For more reading on this subject, see Top Ten Ways to Convince the Muslims We're On a Crusade and this list of other additional Talk To Action stories concerning MRFF research.]



For the past several years, two U.S. Army posts in Virginia, Fort Eustis and Fort Lee, have been putting on a series of what are called Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concerts. As I've written in a number of other posts, "spiritual fitness" is just the military's new term for promoting religion, particularly evangelical Christianity. And this concert series is no different.

On May 13, 2010, about eighty soldiers, stationed at Fort Eustis while attending a training course, were punished for opting out of attending one of these Christian concerts. The headliner at this concert was a Christian rock band called BarlowGirl, a band that describes itself as taking "an aggressive, almost warrior-like stance when it comes to spreading the gospel and serving God."

Any doubt that this was an evangelical Christian event was cleared up by the Army post's newspaper, the Fort Eustis Wheel, which ran an article after the concert that began:

"Following the Apostle Paul's message to the Ephesians in the Bible, Christian rock music's edgy, all-girl band BarlowGirl brought the armor of God to the warriors and families of Fort Eustis during another installment of the Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concert Series May 13 at Jacobs Theater."

The father of the three Barlow sisters who make up the band was also quoted in the article, saying, "We really believe that to be a Christian in today's world, you have to be a warrior, and we feel very blessed and privileged that God has given us the tool to deliver His message and arm His army."

A few days later, some of the soldiers punished for choosing not to attend this concert contacted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). The following is from the account sent by one of those soldiers to MRFF, detailing what transpired that night.

"The week prior to the event the [unit name and NCO's name withheld] informed us of a Christian rock event that was about to take place on Thursday the 13th.

"On Thursday 13th at 1730 we were informed that instead of being dismissed for the day, the entire company (about 250 soldiers) would march as a whole to the event. Not only that, but to make sure that everyone is present we were prohibited from going back to the barracks (to eliminate the off chance that some might 'hide' in their rooms and not come back down).

"We were marched as a whole to chow and were instructed to reform outside the dining facility. A number of soldiers were disappointed and restless. Several of us were of different faith or belief. A couple were particularly offended (being of Muslim faith) and started considering to disobey the order.

"From the dining facility we were marched back to the company area. There was a rumor circulating that we may be given a choice later on to fall out or attend. Though it was only a rumor it was also a small hope enough to allow us to follow along a little longer before choosing to become disobedient. We were marched back to the company area. To our dismay there was still no sign of as having a choice.

"We started marching to the theater. At that point two Muslim soldiers fell out of formation on their own. Student leadership tried to convince them to fall back in and that a choice will be presented to us once we reach the theater.

"At the theater we were instructed to split in two groups; those that want to attend versus those that don't. At that point what crossed my mind is the fact that being given an option so late in the game implies that the leadership is attempting to make a point about its intention. The 'body language' was suggesting that 'we marched you here as a group to give you a clue that we really want you to attend (we tilt the table and expect you to roll in our direction), now we give you the choice to either satisfy us or disappoint us.' A number of soldiers seemed to notice these clues and sullenly volunteered for the concert in fear of possible consequences.

"Those of us that chose not to attend (about 80, or a little less that half) were marched back to the company area. At that point the NCO issued us a punishment. We were to be on lock-down in the company (not released from duty), could not go anywhere on post (no PX, no library, etc). We were to go to strictly to the barracks and contact maintenance. If we were caught sitting in our rooms, in our beds, or having/handling electronics (cell phones, laptops, games) and doing anything other than maintenance, we would further have our weekend passes revoked and continue barracks maintenance for the entirety of the weekend. At that point the implied message was clear in my mind 'we gave you a choice to either satisfy us or disappoint us. Since you chose to disappoint us you will now have your freedoms suspended and contact chores while the rest of your buddies are enjoying a concert.'

"At that evening, nine of us chose to pursue an EO complaint. I was surprised to find out that a couple of the most offended soldiers were actually Christian themselves (Catholic). One of them was grown as a child in Cuba and this incident enraged him particularly as it brought memories of oppression."

The account of another soldier who did not attend the concert, which relates the same sequence of events and punishment that occurred, also adds that some of the soldiers who did decide to attend only did so due to pressure from their superiors and fear of repercussions.

"At the theater is the first time our options were presented to us. And they were presented to us in a way that seemed harmless, we could either go to the show, or go to the barracks. But at that point, I felt pressured. As a person, I know that I can't be pressured into anything, I'm much stronger than that. But I also know that a lot of people aren't that strong, and that pressure was present. I could hear people saying, 'I don't know about going back to the barracks, that sounds suspicious, I'm going to go ahead and go to the show' and many things that sounded a lot like that. Now, like I said, I don't get pressured into things, but I also don't think that anybody should have to feel that kind of pressure. Making somebody feel that pressure is a violation of human rights, we are allowed to think what we want about religion and not have to feel pressured into doing things, and at that moment there was definitely pressure to go to that concert simply because people don't want to have their free time taken away."

The Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concert Series was the brainchild of Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, who, according to an article on the Army.mil website, "was reborn as a Christian" at the age of sixteen. According to the article, Chambers held the first concert at Fort Lee within a month of becoming the commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee in June 2008. But he had already started the series at Fort Eustis, as the previous commanding general there. The concerts have continued at Fort Eustis under the new commanding general, as well as spreading to Fort Lee under Maj. Gen. Chambers. The concerts are also promoted to the airmen on Langley Air Force Base, which is now part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

In the Army.mil article, Maj. Gen. Chambers was quoted as saying, "The idea is not to be a proponent for any one religion. It's to have a mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds." But there has been no "mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds" at these concerts. Every one of them has had evangelical Christian performers, who typically not only perform their music but give their Christian testimony and read from the Bible in between songs.

Another problem with these concerts, besides the issues like soldiers being punished for choosing not to attend them, is that they are run by the commanders, and not the chaplains' offices. It is absolutely permissible for a chaplain's office to put on a Christian concert. It is not permissible for the command to put on a Christian concert, or any other religious event. Having a religious concert series that is actually called and promoted as a Commanding General's Concert Series is completely over the top.

And then there's the cost. These concerts aren't just small events with local Christian bands. We're talking about the top, nationally known, award-winning Christian artists, with headline acts costing anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000, and even many of the opening acts being in the $10,000 range.

The cost of these concerts led MRFF's research department to start looking at some of the DoD contracts for other "spiritual fitness" events and programs, and what we found was astounding. One contract, for example, awarded to an outside consulting firm to provide "spiritual fitness" services, was for $3.5 million.

MRFF was already aware that exorbitant amounts of DoD funding were going to the hiring of civilian religious employees by military installations, the expenses of religious (almost exclusively evangelical Christian) programs, and extravagant religious facilities, but the extent of this spending goes far beyond what we had initially thought it amounted to. Therefore, MRFF has decided to launch an investigation into exactly how much the military is spending on promoting religion.

Do the recently announced plans of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to trim defense spending include any trimming of the military's outrageous spending on the promoting of religion and evangelizing of our troops? This alone could save the DoD untold millions every year, and go a long way towards upholding our Constitution at the same time.




Display:
This report will get some one, maybe even the CG, in trouble.  Keep us posted.

by lesh2000 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 03:03:38 PM EST
Unfortunately, this is just one of many examples the MRFF has uncovered about the Christian attempted take-over of our military, and there have been far too few victories. I, too will watch and see if Weinstein, et. al. can bring enough pressure to bear on this Commanding General and his superiors. This is a disgraceful act by this general, and those under his direction who disciplined the non-attendees.

by trog69 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 03:30:00 PM EST
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by trog69 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 03:30:55 PM EST

As a retired Army officer, I  cannot tell you how repulsive I find this Spiritual Fitness malarkey.  If these concerts were truly voluntary, they would be held off post with only advertising posters displayed in appropriate places on post.  Troops could go on their own without military transportation provided. Perhaps the concert promoter could provide transportation.  

These sorts of "voluntary" went out with the monthly collections at the end of the pay line and encouragements to join the Officers Club (and support happy hour alcoholism) or else.  Cadets at West Point are no longer even required to march to the Sunday chapel of their choice, as I was, or else walk the area for hours as punishment.

I do not know what these CGs are thinking, if anything, but a good course in constitutional law and especially the first amendment would probably do them a lot of good.

by regis18 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 03:45:28 PM EST

having it on base is just fine; all officer candidates have to go to chapel once because as potential commanding officers they need to know about the chaplain and religious services available to the troops; but the rest of what your saying is spot on

by lesh2000 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 04:07:41 PM EST
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Religious concerts should not be sponsored by the military or any government agency.  Having such concerts on post is a form of sponsorship of religion -- Christianity in this case.
Also, I have no idea what officer candidates must do but find it rather extreme that they have to go to chapel to know what the Chaplains Corps does.  I never had to go to any such chapel nor did I need to. It was not  figure difficult to figure out what chaplains do.  It is really pretty self explanatory. I was addressing West Point and West Point does not use the Chaplains Corps for religious services for cadets.  The Catholic priests are furnished by the Diocese of New York and live on the post.  The Protestant chaplain is hired by the academy and is a civilian.  He, too, lives on post.  I am not sure about the rabbi or whatever other clergy are now serving the academy now.

by regis18 on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 12:53:49 AM EST
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Why on earth should I have to attend religious services to find out what the chaplains do? That's like saying I need to go to the Whitehouse to understand what the president does.  Chaplain Corps publications and Army Regulation 600-20 tell me all I need to know about chaplains and religious accommodation.  If I have trouble with reading comprehension, I can always sit down with my unit chaplain and get him or her to explain it to me in (PUN ALERT!) layman's terms.  

by Atheismo on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 04:32:04 AM EST
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I was the type of CO that sampled the chow in the enlisted dining hall from time to time.  The CO needs to get around the base and take interest in all aspects of the troops' lives.  Reading is good, cause a well read officer can also challenge the Chaplain on his effectiveness, too.  Every problem I have ever seen in the military traces back directly to leadership and their involvement.  The Chaplain works for the CO.  he is not autonomous.  More hands on leadership might have helped in the recent priest scandals for example.

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:36:34 AM EST
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Yeah, times they are a-changin'. The commander is being taken out of the Soldiers day to day life.  DFACs are "consolidated" and run by the garrison with little influence from the tactical commanders. (The cooks are provided by the unit but the mess sergeant is an IMCOM Soldier and the servers are mostly civilian employees.)  You can't find a CQ anymore; if you're lucky, the bigger units might have an SDNCO sitting at battalion all night.  Barracks have no unit integrity; Soldiers sign for their rooms from DPW. Maybe it's for the better, but I'm going to retire soon because it's not my Army anymore.  Time to leave it to the youngsters.

by Atheismo on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:17:05 AM EST
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THe chaplains can certainly hold events more than just religious services AND attendance should undoubtedly be optional.  It is not clear if this is a Chaplain event.  I've been to Christian concerts on base which were arranged and sponsored by the Christian community living on the base.  I'm not saying what the definition of wholesome is but some who would define it narrowly enjoy optional events that meet that definition.  I've heard for a long time, if you don't like what's on TV, change the channel.

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:31:05 AM EST
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The service whose academy doesn't have real chaplains is the service with the unconstutional incident on base?

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:58:39 AM EST
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If there shouldn't be any optional Christian concerts on govt installations, then there shouldn't be any concerts on govt installations period especially any Christian composers of classical music.  Amendment XIV, equal protection.

by lesh2000 on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 09:13:31 PM EST
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This is NOT cool in any way and it breaks my heart that our troops should ever be subjected to this!! I'd be reluctantly accepting of people having to attend some services so long as there's something like UU available as well. But forcing any one sort of religion down their throats makes me very angry because it defies freedom of religion and seperation of church and state which are two concepts these folks have sworn to defend!

by Autumn on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 10:36:52 PM EST
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Sir,

Spiritual fitness is one of the five pillars in the  Comprehensive Fitness Program.  The others are physical, emotional, Family and social.  This is a knee-jerk reaction to combat the current stresses of multiple deployments with far too few months at home station.  My current command enterprets spiritual fitness as "strengthening a set of beliefs, principles or values".  As you can imagine, the Chaplain Corps is all over this, trying to prove their worth as a combat multiplier.  Not supporting the program (or not having your own) would look bad on any commander's OER.

Pay lines are gone, Sir.  Direct deposit is authorized and directed. You will give to the company cup and flower fund, however: one dollar per paygrade from the enlisted and ten from each officer.

by Atheismo on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 05:16:40 AM EST
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I wouldn't want to listen to that 'music' either. I hope someone gets in trouble for this but it probably won't happen.

by COinMS on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 04:36:35 PM EST
They have a nice Christmas album

by lesh2000 on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 04:46:17 PM EST
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Someone tweeted the link to this post to BarlowGirl, the band that performed at this concert. Band member Lauren Barlow responded that she objects to what happened, tweeting:

"that's horrible. We never knew that. We thought they had a choice. If we would have known we would have said something"

http://twitter.com/laurenabarlow/sta...

MRFF sincerely thanks Lauren Barlow for her response. With the exception of one case a few years ago, we have never held the musicians in any way responsible for how they are being used by the military. They are just doing their thing, and have no idea what's going on outside, or that soldiers are being pressured or punished for holding different beliefs.

by Chris Rodda on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 10:59:57 PM EST

Either you typed the link wrong or the page got removed.


by Diane Vera on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 12:11:40 AM EST
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http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-Barlow/103114749729351

by peg1 on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 08:01:00 PM EST
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... after the AP quoted it.

by Chris Rodda on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:17:15 AM EST
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When it comes to "Christian Bands", or anything that promotes itself as "Christian"- I have learned to be EXTREMELY cynical.  

I don't believe their denial of knowledge for an instant.  

If they really didn't know (extremely unlikely IMO), maybe this will open their eyes to the form of "Christianity" being promoted, and make them think.  Maybe they'll even start seriously questioning their own beliefs- always a good exercise.

I'm glad the MRFF got involved.  As long as abuses like this are kept hidden (typical of dominionism), their goals are unopposed.  I hope that things like this will open the eyes of the public and that they become aware of the danger this country is in.

I think that theocracy is a lot closer than most people think or are willing to admit.  

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 10:25:14 AM EST
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I think you are right. How much more of this is going on all over the world that we don't know about?

by COinMS on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 02:11:26 PM EST
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I'd put the onus more on the believers that didn't fall out of the formation out of consideration of their peers' rights than I would make assumptions about the band

by lesh2000 on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 12:36:40 PM EST

Its definitely a problem that this is happening, though I'm not so sure that we don't have a right to not have non-physical pressure exerted on us. I'll gladly be proven wrong, but if you choose to believe something that those surrounding you do not agree with there is going to be an automatic pressure. Or was this article talking about a pressure that involved open threat of punishment? In any case well written article, I enjoyed reading it.

by JeffersonFawkes on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 12:55:02 PM EST
???

What about freedom of conscious???  Freedom to think for yourself? That argument violates so many basic principles in this country that I barely know where to begin.

That is exactly the sort of thing they're doing in Florida in Lakeland - coercing people into practicing things they don't believe in.

In this case, the soldiers also were punished for not participating, or did you miss that?  The punishment was physical.  Therefore your argument about non-physical pressure doesn't even apply.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 05:30:29 PM EST
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the surprising thing is that none of the non compliant soldiers refused the punitive clean up duty to get written up so that it could go up the chain.  A courts martial would have exonerated the "violator"

by lesh2000 on Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 08:45:24 PM EST
I'm not sure what kinds of units they have at Ft. Eustis (never had the pleasure of being stationed there), but I doubt you've got a bunch of combat arms.  My guess is that the majority of the punished Soldiers were lower enllisted who didn't have the desire to stir the pot any more at the time.  Going along to get along is a strong negative value to overcome in the Army.  You should know that, lesh.  Roll the dice and let the military judicial system sort it all out?  That takes way more PC than the normal human has.

by Atheismo on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 04:40:37 AM EST
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... a training base for stuff to do with transportation and logistics, not combat arms training.

by Chris Rodda on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:20:29 AM EST
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This was reported in the news... surprising to me.  

http://www.rr.com/entertainment/topic/article/rr/9006/19205383/Tr oops_Skipping_Christian_concert_got_us_punished

It ended up in the entertainment section, and downplayed the punishment meted out to the soldiers for not submitting.  But at least it got beyond the few sources where you'd hear about it.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 12:02:18 AM EST

This topic is starting to show on other blogs- and people are starting to talk about it (and one or two I've read are recounting dominionist activities they observed/were part of in the military).  It is starting to look like it is even more common than we thought.

I hope this news keeps traveling... too few people believe that dominionism is a real, right-now threat, and evidence like this helps our fight for freedom.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 09:55:34 AM EST
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just so you know, I had a long career in the military until 2005 in fact.  Never saw anything like this....ever.  Furthermore, I had to ignore porno on the tv constantly in every office including my own and frequently in my bunkroom or stateroom.

by lesh2000 on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 02:14:56 PM EST
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You're talking about ignoring porn movies playing on TVs in offices? Government offices? Your own government office where it clearly offended you? (Or are you only retroactively offended?) You ignored it?  And then you have the gall to question the morale courage of the Soldiers who didn't refuse to perform the puntative clean up duties and the ones who were christians but didn't see fit to fall out with there non-wanting-to-attend buddies?  How does that work?  

by Atheismo on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 04:50:14 AM EST
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by Atheismo on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 05:02:41 AM EST
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Not just in gov't offices but in bunkrooms and staterooms! Holy crap, Lesh!  You being forced to watch porn in shared billets* is just like forcing Soldiers to attend religious services (or anything else religious).  You didn't have the courage to take a stand even in your billets, yet you put the onus on the Soldiers at Ft. Eustis?  The young, enlisted Soldiers (safe assumption, right?), many of whom are away from Mommy for the first time in their life? Really, I gotta know, how DOES that work?

*Not knowing exactly what a bunkroom or stateroom is, I'm assuming that they are shared billets.  It would be far too absurd for you to be offended by porn on the TV in your own private quarters.

by Atheismo on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 05:01:11 AM EST
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the onus was on me; they went to another room and they did stop in my office, but I couldn't do much about the other offices

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:10:49 AM EST
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I was trying to give a picture of what was much more prevalent than things like this concert

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:12:45 AM EST
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I was also thinking in terms of what I said earlier that it's the Christians that should stand up for the ones forced to go to the concert and in solidarity fall out too.  Not all the troops are E-1s and 18 y/o.  Many would be at least up to about E-5 which is a position of responsibility.  In fact an E-6 is quoted at beliefnet.

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:26:43 AM EST
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From what I read, there are stories coming out all the time about overt proselytizing in the military- and the use of military structure to coerce people towards dominionism.  There seems to be wide variation in the prevalence of dominionism in this country (something I find hard to believe, although they dominate everything where we live)... and maybe it's the same for the military.  Maybe you just got lucky.

However,

I find it very hard to believe that porn was that prevalent.  If it was that prevalent, job performance would suffer.  It would have been noticed.  I would believe there are rules against that (never having been in the military- thank God- I admit I don't know for sure).

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:37:22 AM EST
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I thought I saw reference to the public trust in these threads but now I can't find it.  Art VI of the Constitution, those in the public trust can not be required to pass a religious test, ie the soldiers in this case.  If they refused the concert, they flunked the test and were punished.  It is definitely unconstitutional.

by lesh2000 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 10:05:12 AM EST
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Pentagon Investigating Christian Concert Coercion
Posted on: August 24, 2010 11:31 AM, by Ed Brayton
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/08/pentagon_investigating _christi.php


by Diane Vera on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:13:10 PM EST

I consider it good news that half of those given the baited choice still decided to stand up for their rights. The cowards who caved in will have to live with that themselves. Once we free people from the oppression of religion by supporting and protecting one's right to choose I'm sure we'll see more secular security in America and the planet.

by sovereignjohn on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 09:03:41 AM EST
SJ, just curious.  Where did you see that half did not attend info?  Thanks.  I wonder if any Christians did not attend.

by lesh2000 on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 09:42:17 AM EST
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from what I remember from first finding out about this back in May. There were about 250 soldiers total; about 125 didn't want to attend; about 80 actually ended up not attending. The numbers might not be exact. They were just an estimate from the soldiers who first contacted MRFF. There were definitely soldiers who didn't want to attend, but caved to the pressure and decided to attend because they were afraid to join the group that didn't go. This may be why the numbers seem a bit confusing in the soldiers' email that I quoted.

by Chris Rodda on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 12:03:27 AM EST
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not important but it would be interesting in an unrelated sort of way to know what the attendance at each event was in total.  I assume that there were other soldiers above and beyond the 250 that attended from other units on the base?  I'm sure a lot of families were there and possibly outside groups with military connections

by lesh2000 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 06:04:47 AM EST
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GgGa9hyErI&feature=related rocks pretty good.  The bass player sings and plays keyboard.  That's impressive.  I think they could appeal to males with their look and some of their songs are definitely adolescent girl angsty but they don't sound syrupy evangelical.

by lesh2000 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 12:11:57 PM EST
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On the blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Joseph L. Conn has written Misguided Military Maneuver: Army's `Spiritual Fitness' Program Improperly Proselytizes, August 24th, 2010.


by Diane Vera on Sat Aug 28, 2010 at 10:17:49 PM EST


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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 (2 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 (1 comment)
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 (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

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