The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fundamentalist Ministries At US Basic Training Facilities Promote "Theology Of War"

By Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action
As detailed in recent reports from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a 501c(3) nonprofit organization which fights for freedom of religious and philosophical belief in the US military, fundamentalist Christian ministries promoting what can be described as a "theology of war" have increasingly been invited onto US military basic training facilities such as Fort Jackson in South Carolina, and Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base (both based in Texas), with the apparent endorsement of commanders at those bases.
topic: All Topics
[note: although I've written at length about MRFF related news there's been little coverage, thus far, on the distinct nature of the ministries that have been targeting, unconstitutionally and in violation of Department of Defense regulations argues MRFF, US military members. The following is a short introduction of that theme. ]

The most prominent of these ministries is the `Military Ministry' of the immense, 1/2 billion dollar a year Campus Crusade For Christ, a global nonprofit evangelical organization founded in 1951 with the financial help of key John Birch Society funder Nelson Bunker Hunt. In the 1970s Campus Crusade's founder evangelist Bill Bright, whose political views have almost totally escaped media scrutiny called his group a "conspiracy to overthrow the world", and a 1998 book Bright co-authored declared the Theory Of Evolution to be a fraud. Bright was one of the signatories of an October 2002 letter sent to President George W. Bush, along with Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Chuck Colson, D James Kennedy, and others, asserting that the Bush Administration's intended war with Iraq would fall under traditional Christian "just war" theory.
Materials discovered by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, on the web site of Campus Crusade's Military Ministry at Fort Jackson, include pictures of US soldiers-in-training holding both assault rifles and Bibles (provided by Campus Crusade), and a promotional flier for the Ft. Jackson ministry's Bible study course, entitled "God's Basic Training", features a drawing of a Roman Legionnaire holding a sword and a shield emblazoned with a Christian cross. Frank Bussey, director of Military Ministry at Fort Jackson, has reportedly told soldiers at the base that "government authorities, police and the military = God's Ministers."

Another Campus Crusade ministry, the Washington DC based "Christian Embassy", evangelizes in the Pentagon and recently became embroiled in controversy because of a promotional video, filmed in the Pentagon, in which top Pentagon officials in uniform were filmed providing glowing testimonials to the work of "Christian Embassy". A Pentagon Inspector General report subsequently concluded some of those appearances violated Department Of Defense regulations concerning the endorsement of religious groups. The recent MRFF findings included discovery of a similar promotional video, filmed by Campus Crusade at the United States Air Force Academy, in which USAF officers in uniform praise the work of Campus Crusade at the Academy, also in apparent violation of DoD regulations concerning the endorsement of religion, and a Campus Crusade employee ministering at the Academy declares that cadets are "government paid missionaries" by the time they graduate.

MRFF has received, according to founder Michael 'Mikey' Weinstein, thousands of complaints from active duty US military personnel who describe being persecuted and harassed for their religious and philosophical beliefs, and 90 percent of those complaints have come from Christians.


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