Friday, August 20, 2010

The U.S. Evangelical Christian Army - Soldiers punished for not attending a Christian concert

Click on cartoon to embiggen.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

We've written previously about how "evangelical" Christian leaders in the U.S. Army push their particular religious persuasion upon the "troops" due to the belief they are engaged in some kind of "holy war" against the enemies of God and because they are convinced that anyone who has not been "saved" by confessing Jesus to be the messiah who died for the sins of the world, etc., etc., is going to burn forever in hell. They are, therefore, in their piddly little minds, doing the work of God.

What this means to our soldiers in their day to day life has once again come to light, primarily due to the fine work of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Chris Rodda, head researcher for the MRFF and author of the book, Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, has the story which begins like this:

"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. [...]

"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 those 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.'"

Rodda notes that the Army post's newspaper, the Fort Eustis Wheel, ran an article subsequent to the concert which included this paragraph:

"Following the Apostle Paul's message to the Ephesians in the Bible, Christian rock music's edgy, all-girl band Barlow Girl 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."

It should be noted that this Concert Series "was the brainchild of Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, who, according to an article on the website, 'was reborn as a Christian' at the age of sixteen."

Please read Ms. Rodda's complete article here. The details will (or should) make you scream in anger and frustration! And it should raise many questions which desperately need to be answered. Ms. Rodda goes into much more detail on the issues involved, but there is really one major issue:

The U.S. military has no business promoting any religion whatsoever!!! This is verboten, invalid, dangerous and absolutely stupid, not to mention unconstitutional!

What really makes the blood boil is the fact that the soldiers cannot easily opt out of a program deemed "important" or imperative by the commanding officer. At Fort Eustis those who did so were disciplined!

Let's hope these violations of our Constitution and military procedure come to the attention of the Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama. He could, I believe, put a halt to this nonsense with the stroke of a pen. The wingnuts on the right, of course, would go out of their freaking minds, but they do that no matter what he does or says. So he might as well do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may!

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