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The Evangelicalization Of Our Miltary?


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Group seeks probe of evangelical military video

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A watchdog group that promotes religious freedom in the U.S. military accused senior officers on Monday using their rank and influence to coerce soldiers and airmen into adopting evangelical Christianity.

 

Such proselytizing, according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has created a core of "radical" Christians within the U.S. armed forces and Pentagon who punish those who do not accept evangelical beliefs by stalling their careers.

 

"It's egregious beyond the pale," said Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "We apparently have a radicalized, evangelical Christian Pentagon within the rest of the Pentagon."

 

The group asked the Pentagon's inspector general to investigate a video in which some Army and Air Force officers discuss their faith while in uniform.

 

According to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the video played for reporters was a promotional tool for Christian Embassy, a group that describes itself as a ministry helping national and international leaders blend faith and work.

 

The executive director of Christian Embassy, Bob Varney, did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense Department does not endorse any religion or religious organization or judge the validity of religious expressions.

 

He confirmed the Defense Department inspector general, the Pentagon's internal watchdog agency, received the letter requesting the probe, but noted it was the inspector general's policy not to say whether an investigation had been opened.

 

"At this point it would be inappropriate to speculate as to what actions might be taken," Whitman said.

 

RELIGIOUS RECRUITING

 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the officers on the video violated military rules by wearing their uniforms while discussing their religious beliefs, giving the appearance of official participation in a religious organization.

 

That appearance, according to the group, is particularly damaging in the military, where rank carries great influence.

 

"It associates the power of office with sectarian ideology," said MeLinda Morton, a Lutheran reverend and former Air Force chaplain who said her military career was hurt because she did not adopt evangelical views.

 

The religious freedom group also raised issues with the content of the video, including a comment from Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Catton that he would discuss his faith with people who came to his Joint Staff directorate within the Pentagon.

 

Weinstein compared what he said was radical proselytizing within the military with the Islamist militants U.S. troops are confronting in wars overseas.

 

"When we're facing a global war on terror against what we call Islamic extremists, it certainly doesn't help when we have apparently a viewpoint from the cognoscenti and glitterati, the leadership of the Pentagon, pushing a particular virulent worldview down the throats of people who are helpless to argue against it," Weinstein said.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061211/ts_nm/...n_religion_dc_1

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a link that works:

informationliberation - Group seeks probe of evangelical military ... Group seeks probe of evangelical military video. By Kristin Roberts WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A watchdog group that promotes religious freedom in the U.S. ...

www.informationliberation.com/?id=18730

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Hi Rog...Wasn't there a big flap about all of this sort of thing at The Air Force Academy a little while ago ? It may have more to do with people in the military being more willing to passively accept what is presented to them as truth rather than seeking out what beliefs work for them on their own. And, as we all know, the current regeime prefers passive acceptance as opposed to open questioning.

 

flow.... B)

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Indeed,

 

Air Force to Probe Religious Climate at Colorado AcademyThe Air Force said yesterday it is creating a task force to address the religious climate at the US Air Force Academy, following allegations that its ...

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/03/AR2005050301499.html - Similar pages

 

Air Force Removes Chaplain From PostDENVER, May 12 -- An Air Force chaplain who complained that evangelical ... at the Air Force Academy was removed from administrative duties last week, ...

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/12/AR2005051201740.html - Similar pages

 

CNN.com - Air Force probes religious bias charges at academy - May ...The US Air Force said Tuesday it will appoint a task force to investigate allegations of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy.

www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/03/airforce.religion/ - 48k - Cached - Similar pages

 

USATODAY.com - Academy critic says she was firedAn Air Force Academy chaplain who co-wrote a report last year that ... But the memo also raised concerns about the "stridently evangelical themes" at a ...

www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-05-11-chaplain-academy_x.htm

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I'm opposed to people using their positions of power to gain undue influence, but this part is interesting:

 

Weinstein compared what he said was radical proselytizing within the military with the Islamist militants U.S. troops are confronting in wars overseas.

 

"When we're facing a global war on terror against what we call Islamic extremists, it certainly doesn't help when we have apparently a viewpoint from the cognoscenti and glitterati, the leadership of the Pentagon, pushing a particular virulent worldview down the throats of people who are helpless to argue against it," Weinstein said.

 

Apparently, Weinstein believes that the officers' Christian beliefs constitute a "virulent" worldview, and their sharing of that faith is akin to the Islamists' desire to convert the world by force to Islam. Is he serious? Being the president and founder of the "Military Religious Freedom Foundation", he should educate himself more on the issues and what's really at stake.

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