Tag Archives: Religion

Warriors for Jesus

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Let’s review some facts before getting to the point of this post:

Despite the fact that the US and its military is not a Theocratic regime:

1. The U.S. Military is saturated with and actively promotes Evangelical Christian sermons, events, and strongly worded proselytizing.

2. Military academy chaplains continue to vigorously promote evangelical Christianity to all troops. At services attended by some 600 cadets undergoing basic training, one of the chaplains told the cadets that those not “born again will burn in the fires of hell.” He and other chaplains urged the cadets to “witness” to their fellow Basic Cadets and led them in prayers for the salvation of those who had chosen not to attend the services.

3. The Pentagon reports: Suicide rates for Military personnel during 2011, 2012 occur once per day.

4. PTSD: Nearly 30% of vets treated by the VA in 11-12 have PTSD (and many more don’t seek treatment)

5. The Sept. 2012 study by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, says about 20 percent of active duty service members reported they drank heavily in 2008, the last year for which data is available. And, binge-drinking rose to 47 percent in 2008 from 35 percent in 1998

6. Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Report in Sept 2012 concludes: We’ve had people beaten, denigrated, families and careers ruined. Our clients are being told they are not Christian enough. […] When you’re told you have the wrong religious faith—the military is very tribal and ritualistic.

7. SO THEN, we recently hear from the ‘eminent’ spokesperson of the Family Resource   Center, Tony PerkinsT Perkins military’s institution of yoga and meditation as methods for decreasing stress, drug and alcohol use, and depression in soldiers. His ridiculous response is this:

“If yoga and medication is meant to create a sense of calmness, reduce drug and alcohol use, increase productivity, and improve working relationships.Tony asserts: “What a coincidence–so does faith! Unfortunately, the military seems intent on driving religion out and replacing it with wacky substitutes,” he continued. “They’ve added atheist chaplains, Wiccan worship centers, and now, meditation classes. But none of them are as effective or as constructive as a personal relationship with God. Unfortunately, though, it’s mind over what matters–and that’s faith.”

Wiccan? Really!

8. Now, with all the pervasive God pushing in the armed forces, and all the rampant problems plaguing our troops, it appears that this faith thing isn’t work very well! Perhaps Tony P. would say the troops aren’t practicing it properly…

Let’s review some more facts on the matter (knowing full well that facts mean nothing to Tony and his ilk):

9. Drug abuse is also a growing problem,  reports find. Just 2 percent of personnel on active duty reported misusing prescription drugs in 2002, while the latest report found 11 percent of personnel engaged in such abuse.

10. Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, alcohol abuse among returning military personnel has spiked. In 2008, nearly half of active duty service members reported binge drinking. Among the environmental changes endorsed by the committee are curbing easy access to relatively inexpensive alcohol on military bases through consistent enforcement of regulations on underage drinking.

One soldier’s experience is detailed here: An atheist soldier suing over prayers at military formations claims a larger pattern of religious discrimination exists in the military, citing attempts to convert Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and an evangelical bias in a suicide prevention manual. The Defense Department has identified fewer than 50 complaints about alleged violations of religious freedoms during the past three years, with 1.4 million personnel in uniform lodging complaints(fishy numbers here), according the Military Spokesmen. The revised lawsuit criticizes the Army’s 2008 manual on suicide prevention, quoting it as promoting “religiosity” as a necessary part of prevention and describing “connectivity to the divine” as “fundamental.” The lawsuit also notes that in 2007, the Air Force sponsored “Team Faith,” which performs motocross stunt shows to “lead extreme sports athletes to Christ.”

Many more accounts are available from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Atheist/Agnostic member of the military who feel pressured to attend such Christian events and who are ostracized when they do choose not to do so.

Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Report in Sept 2012 concludes:

We’ve had people beaten, denigrated, families and careers ruined. Our clients are being told they are not Christian enough. […] When you’re told you have the wrong religious faith—the military is very tribal and ritualistic

Now, with all the pervasive God talk in the armed forces, and all the rampant problems plaguing our troops, it appears that this faith thing isn’t work very well?

Let’s review some fact on the matter (knowing full well that facts mean nothing to Tony and his ilk):

Drug abuse is also a growing problem, the report finds. Just 2 percent of personnel on active duty reported misusing prescription drugs in 2002, while the new report found 11 percent of personnel engaged in such abuse.

Plenty of research can be found online that supports the benefits of meditation and yoga–and it’s not in conflict with Christianity either. Shut up Tony.

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Did you know Jesus founded the NRA because he needed protection?

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Cross gun man

What kind of god is this?

Some of the worst blather out there on the Newtown shooting is coming from the “religious.” Evangelical radio host Bryan Fischer told his listeners on Friday,

Here’s the bottom line — God is not going to go where He is not wanted. We kicked God out of our public school system. I think God would say to us, hey, I would be glad to protect your children, but you gotta invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentleman… Back when we had prayer, the Bible and the Ten Commandments in schools, we did not need guns.

Wow. I didn’t learn about god from those felt story boards at bible school, but even a heathen like me knows that god isn’t supposed to need an invitation—isn’t he supposed to be everywhere? Do godly children not bring him to school with them everyday? Some even pray at school (and they’re allowed to, even!) I’ve SEEN IT!

What has happened to your god?? Now Jesus loves war and guns, and his dad is too polite to go into a kindergarten classroom? His feelings are hurt because he wasn’t invited? Or he’s vindictively withholding himself? At least he’s a gentleman, phew.

I always heard that god is loving and all-powerful. But perhaps these evangelical media personalities don’t want their followers to believe in that version of god anymore, ‘cuz then who’d need Bryan Fischer, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, etc. ad nauseum?

Mi Esposa reminded me of one of U2’s lines:

Stop helpin’ god across the road like a little old lady

You’d Better Not Pout

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ImageHead on over to the fancy website, waronchristmas.com and you’ll learn the TRUTH about how Christmas is being KILLED by POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Yes, as we’ve discussed before, that most American (i.e. christian, white…in other words, real american) of holidays (wait don’t cheapen it by calling it a holiday) is under SEIGE.

Oh man I hate the term political correctness, and the fact that it’s become this ubiquitous catch-all term for anything related to acceptance, diversity, or,–another word I dislike–“tolerance.”

To state the obvious: not wanting public institutions to endorse one religion’s holyday over all others is not PC, it’s not “war” it is simply a) abiding by the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment, and b) respecting and being sensitive to the diversity of people and beliefs in our pluralistic nation.

Conservatives seem to long for the good ol’ days when Christmas was promoted everywhere, when minority religions were totally marginalized, and most importantly, when everyone not white, christian, male, and rich knew their place and shut up about it.

I suppose I could give waronchristmas.com some props for not trying to hide this fearful and regressive motivation. They write that this “war” isn’t really an assault on religion, but on the very heart of true American culture! Here’s a key passage:

Nowadays, the attempt to stamp out “Christmas” in the public sphere and replace it with generic “holidays” is a slap in the face to the majority of Americans. If one of their most cherished holidays is removed from “their” culture, then where can they go to be at home? The answer, of course, is nowhere.

Americans have a right to the American holiday of Christmas. It is part of who we are… even though some of us are not Christian. It’s time for us to stand up and reclaim it from the small majority who are trying to take it away from us!

I love the shift from ‘they’ to ‘we,’ in two successive paragraphs. Those poor white Christians are being shut out from the America “they/we” own, gob nabbit!

Where can “they/we” go to be at home? How about home.