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Author Topic: U.S. Army the 'Army of God?'  (Read 4791 times)
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« Topic Start: June 24, 2009, 03:50:33 pm »

Christian Soldiers: The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word.

Ever since former president George W. Bushreferred to the war on terror as a “crusade” in the days after the September 11 attacks, many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world. That perception grew as prominent military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin described the wars in evangelical terms, casting the U.S. military as the "army of God." Although President Obama addressed the Muslim world this month in an attempt to undo the Bush administration's legacy of militant Christian rhetoric that often antagonized Muslim countries, several recent stories have framed the issue as a wider problem of an evangelical military culture that sees spreading Christianity as part of its mission.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/202734?GT1=43002

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« Reply #1: June 24, 2009, 04:30:39 pm »

Christian Soldiers: The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word.

Ever since former president George W. Bushreferred to the war on terror as a “crusade” in the days after the September 11 attacks, many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world. That perception grew as prominent military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin described the wars in evangelical terms, casting the U.S. military as the "army of God." Although President Obama addressed the Muslim world this month in an attempt to undo the Bush administration's legacy of militant Christian rhetoric that often antagonized Muslim countries, several recent stories have framed the issue as a wider problem of an evangelical military culture that sees spreading Christianity as part of its mission.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/202734?GT1=43002



Great. And we give these people guns.
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« Reply #2: June 24, 2009, 04:50:11 pm »

Christian Soldiers: The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word.

Ever since former president George W. Bushreferred to the war on terror as a “crusade” in the days after the September 11 attacks, many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world. That perception grew as prominent military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin described the wars in evangelical terms, casting the U.S. military as the "army of God." Although President Obama addressed the Muslim world this month in an attempt to undo the Bush administration's legacy of militant Christian rhetoric that often antagonized Muslim countries, several recent stories have framed the issue as a wider problem of an evangelical military culture that sees spreading Christianity as part of its mission.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/202734?GT1=43002



At least the story acknowledges that this is not the viewpoint of most of the members of the armed forces.  Speaking from experience most members of the military are not practicing much of any religion.  My SO was not allowed (in the '70's) to NOT have a religion on his dog tags, so he had them put Druid.  There wasn't the controversy then that there is now - the only response was "how do you spell it".....

While the chaplains may be 'spreading the word of god' I don't think most of the rest of the troops are.  Either way, it certainly isn't an ethical thing to do......
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« Reply #3: June 24, 2009, 05:07:11 pm »

While the chaplains may be 'spreading the word of god' I don't think most of the rest of the troops are.  Either way, it certainly isn't an ethical thing to do......

Unfortunately, a number of the upper brass seem to be -- at least enough to look the other way when the evangelicals do their conversion big. Apparently even when the evangelicals doing their conversion bit are doing it on people under their command or people in the host host country. Sad
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« Reply #4: June 24, 2009, 05:12:47 pm »

Unfortunately, a number of the upper brass seem to be -- at least enough to look the other way when the evangelicals do their conversion big. Apparently even when the evangelicals doing their conversion bit are doing it on people under their command or people in the host host country. Sad

I know - and that sucks.  I am hoping that the 'different' climate of the Obama administration will cause that to diminish.
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« Reply #5: June 24, 2009, 05:14:16 pm »

I am hoping that the 'different' climate of the Obama administration will cause that to diminish.

Unless Obama is willing to can a few generals to make the point, I doubt he can do much.
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« Reply #6: June 24, 2009, 05:41:44 pm »

Unless Obama is willing to can a few generals to make the point, I doubt he can do much.

Unfortunately true.
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« Reply #7: June 24, 2009, 09:10:50 pm »

Unless Obama is willing to can a few generals to make the point, I doubt he can do much.

Given his efforts to build bridges with the Islamic world, I wouldn't put it past him to issue a 'cease and desist' order once the economy stabilizes and he has some credit to burn.

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« Reply #8: June 24, 2009, 10:01:39 pm »

Given his efforts to build bridges with the Islamic world, I wouldn't put it past him to issue a 'cease and desist' order once the economy stabilizes and he has some credit to burn.

I'd certainly support him. iIt is our own non-evangelical members of the military who suffer the most from allowing "on-the-job conversion" -- they have to live with these folks 24/7 in many cases.
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« Reply #9: June 26, 2009, 05:55:33 pm »

Unfortunately, a number of the upper brass seem to be -- at least enough to look the other way when the evangelicals do their conversion big. Apparently even when the evangelicals doing their conversion bit are doing it on people under their command or people in the host host country. Sad

Depends upon how you define upper brass.

Most of the problems seem to come from the Lt Col and Col level. These are commanding officers of units that are small enough for them to meet many of their troops, yet large enough (and the officer's senior enough) that there isn't much of a chain of command above them.

As for timing, this has been an issue since Clinton's first term. It got more pronounced after 2002 as the anti-war movement got into gear.  The military is drawing from a smaller section of society, many of whom come from evangelical backgrounds.

Note also from the article, it's apparently only 42 chaplains that are creating a lot of the issues.
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« Reply #10: June 27, 2009, 10:34:28 am »

Depends upon how you define upper brass.

Most of the problems seem to come from the Lt Col and Col level. These are commanding officers of units that are small enough for them to meet many of their troops, yet large enough (and the officer's senior enough) that there isn't much of a chain of command above them.

As for timing, this has been an issue since Clinton's first term. It got more pronounced after 2002 as the anti-war movement got into gear.  The military is drawing from a smaller section of society, many of whom come from evangelical backgrounds.

Note also from the article, it's apparently only 42 chaplains that are creating a lot of the issues.


In which case, there are 42 chaplains who need to be told to cease and desist, because they aren't helping.
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« Reply #11: June 29, 2009, 10:38:11 am »

Unfortunately, a number of the upper brass seem to be -- at least enough to look the other way when the evangelicals do their conversion big. Apparently even when the evangelicals doing their conversion bit are doing it on people under their command or people in the host host country. Sad

I view it more as attempting to massage the hearts of the Christian majority in this country.  Lets face it, Christianity and Judaism as a whole are in control of every aspect of this nation.  Now, I know that may sound a bit off, but I include Judaism in there as most Christians honestly believe that we need to back Israel no matter how deplorable their behaviors are.  There is no better way to get support for a war then to label them what a Christian would by nature hate.  Call them EVIL.  It works every time.
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« Reply #12: June 30, 2009, 03:08:47 am »

Now, I know that may sound a bit off, but I include Judaism in there as most Christians honestly believe that we need to back Israel no matter how deplorable their behaviors are.

That has nothing to do with Judaism; that has to do with a deranged belief that if there's a proper Jewish homeland then we get to throw the Apocalypse and the Second Coming is invited.  It's a particular flavor of millenialist end times Christianity, not "most Christians"; it just happens to be affiliated with the sort of Christianity that got a lot of political support during the younger Bush's administration.
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« Reply #13: July 27, 2009, 08:02:01 am »

That has nothing to do with Judaism; that has to do with a deranged belief that if there's a proper Jewish homeland then we get to throw the Apocalypse and the Second Coming is invited.  It's a particular flavor of millenialist end times Christianity, not "most Christians"; it just happens to be affiliated with the sort of Christianity that got a lot of political support during the younger Bush's administration.

I'll give you that one.  I should have been more careful with my words.  I only said that because where I live most Christians follow that mentality.  The movement is huge in the mountains of North Carolina
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« Reply #14: August 03, 2009, 01:49:58 pm »

Christian Soldiers: The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word.

Ever since former president George W. Bushreferred to the war on terror as a “crusade” in the days after the September 11 attacks, many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world. That perception grew as prominent military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin described the wars in evangelical terms, casting the U.S. military as the "army of God." Although President Obama addressed the Muslim world this month in an attempt to undo the Bush administration's legacy of militant Christian rhetoric that often antagonized Muslim countries, several recent stories have framed the issue as a wider problem of an evangelical military culture that sees spreading Christianity as part of its mission.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/202734?GT1=43002



For the record, my experience in the military (three different states' Army National Guards) has not really been anything like the breeding ground of Evangelical fervor that it has been painted with in a handful of news articles and subsequently, post after post of alarmist panic out here in the internets.

Most of us never see a Chaplain, and snicker behind their backs when they come around anyway.  Most guys are not extremely religious, and those that are are usually pretty quiet about it.  The Army is not really a place for the thin-skinned, and you can pretty much count on getting good-natured teasing for anything possible, including your religion: I'm out as a pagan, and I dish it out as well as I take it.

All I'm saying is, don't blow this thing out of proportion.  Even if there are hundreds of chaplains who are totally out of line, don't overestimate the influence chaplains have over the average joe.
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