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Former JAG: Christianists "trying to turn the Pentagon into a frickin' faith-based initiative"

Alert reader general panzer directs us to third generation military, JAG, and Republican Mikey Wienstein in Salon (go on, get the day pass, help their numbers). Christianist General Catton's comment that his third priority is his country (after his family and is his God) had obvious bad consequences for unit cohesion, even leaving aside the ethical, legal, and Constitutional questions:

[T]hese people can pray all they want to themselves, like kids in school can pray to themselves, but when you're in the military, and you're coming in like that one person, Catton, whom I knew when I was a kid at the [Air Force] Academy, and he goes, "I share my faith, that's who I am, and let me tell you right now, the hierarchy as an old-fashioned American is that your first duty is to the Lord, second to your family and your third is to your country." That is the exact opposite of what is taught, and for anyone who understands anything about the military, it is always the country first. When you're told, "Troopers, we're going to go take that hill," you can't stop, [#1 priority?] fall to your knees and see what your particular version of Moses, Vishnu, Satan, Jesus, Mohammed, Allah, whatever they're going to say, and[#2 priority?] then quickly make a cellphone call to your family. So it is beyond-the-pale egregious, it is a national security threat every bit as bad as al-Qaida, and these people should be court-martialed.

So why is this dangerous nonsense being propagated? Read on, because it gets so much better:

We have a virulently dominionist, fundamentalist evangelical Christian element within the Pentagon. They would prefer this to be the "Pentecostalgon," not the Pentagon. That's what they would prefer. They're trying to turn the Pentagon into a frickin' faith-based initiative, and that is not what our military is about.

Heh, heh. "Pentacostalgon." That's pretty good!

And, as Weinstein points out, we can only pray to the God(s) of our Choice, if any, that this tape isn't used as a recruiting tool for other fundamentalist fanatics:

This, to me, constitutes as much of a national security threat to this country as al-Qaida. In fact, the video itself, to me, would be the No. 1 recruiting tool that I would expect bin Laden, the followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, although he's dead, Ayman al Zawahiri, Hezbollah with Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas, the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, to get angry young Islamic men and women in Iran, Syria and Lebanon to join the insurrection and jihadi terrorist activities. This would be a perfect accelerant to create even further conflagration.

Then again, who knows? Maybe these lunatics want a general Mideast conflagration, because it will bring on the Rapture.

These lunatics are painting a target on all our backs. They can't be compromised with. They have to be repudiated. Read the whole article.

NOTE And yes, the Christianists do threaten the careers of those who won't submit to their beliefs. From a comment at Colorado Springs Confidential:

For the past year, Weinstein and other MRFF members — many of whom are retired officers, military chaplains and service academy graduates — have warned against overt evangelical Christian proselytyzing throughout the U.S. military, maintaining that those who do not adopt the religion of outspoken top ranking officers may find their careers stalled.

Sure, that's what this country is all about! You have to wonder how all this is playing out with decision making on Iraq, don't you?

Weinstein confirms:

We have 702 U.S. military installations scattered in 132 countries around the world, and I get calls 24/7 from the soldiers, Marines and airmen. Unlike cops, they don't have a union, they have my foundation, that's it. They're being tormented. And 96 percent of those who come flooding in, on fire with torment, are Christians, three-fourths of whom would be traditional Protestants: Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians. The other one-fourth are Roman Catholics. These are Christians being preyed upon by evangelical Christians -- pray and prey -- and being told that you're not Christian enough, therefore you're going to burn in a hell of fire.

Many [evangelical Christians] tell me, "Mikey, OK, Anne Frank, Dr. Seuss, Jack Benny, Gandhi, they're all burning eternally in the fires of hell." And here's the distinction they just don't fucking get, these cocksuckers do not get this: I would give my last drop of blood and my last breath, and I would commend my three children in the Air Force -- one of whom's going to be heading to Iraq in a few months -- to give their last drop of blood and their last breath to support the rights of these people to believe that Anne Frank is burning eternally in hell … If they want to believe that their version of Jesus has her burning eternally in hell, I'd give my life for that. But I will not do that if my government tells me who are the children of the greater God and who are the children of the lesser God or no God at all. And that's what these monsters are doing.

I am so ready to hear this said.

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