Thursday, August 23, 2007

Not So Fast, Christian Soldiers


An excellent article on the Pentagon's support of Evangelical brain washing of US troops (props to the LA Times for publishing it). The article is co-authored by Michael Weinstein and Reza Aslan (author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam - a book which I'm still trying to find the chance to read). Excerpts below:


Maybe what the war in Iraq needs is not more troops but more religion. At least that's the message the Department of Defense seems to be sending.

Last week, after an investigation spurred by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Pentagon abruptly announced that it would not be delivering "freedom packages" to our soldiers in Iraq, as it had originally intended.

What were the packages to contain? Not body armor or home-baked cookies. Rather, they held Bibles, proselytizing material in English and Arabic and the apocalyptic computer game "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" (derived from the series of post-Rapture novels), in which "soldiers for Christ" hunt down enemies who look suspiciously like U.N. peacekeepers.

The packages were put together by a fundamentalist Christian ministry called Operation Straight Up, or OSU. Headed by former kickboxer Jonathan Spinks, OSU is an official member of the Defense Department's "America Supports You" program. The group has staged a number of Christian-themed shows at military bases, featuring athletes, strongmen and actor-turned-evangelist Stephen Baldwin. But thanks in part to the support of the Pentagon, Operation Straight Up has now begun focusing on Iraq, where, according to its website (on pages taken down last week), it planned an entertainment tour called the "Military Crusade."

Apparently the wonks at the Pentagon forgot that Muslims tend to bristle at the word "crusade" and thought that what the Iraq war lacked was a dose of end-times theology.

American military and political officials must, at the very least, have the foresight not to promote crusade rhetoric in the midst of an already religion-tinged war. Many of our enemies in the Mideast already believe that the world is locked in a contest between Christianity and Islam. Why are our military officials validating this ludicrous claim with their own fiery religious rhetoric?


Read on at latimes.com

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

no god but god, good book but it is written from a very liberal perspective

Affad Shaikh said...

Anonymous, which one, there are i think three books with that title and then followed by other subtitles. I have read the Abdo book and I was working on the one by Persian author whose name escapes me right now.

Anonymous said...

Poor Mohammedans - utterly deceived by the FALSE "prophet" Mohammed! LOL! Oh yeah, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS WILL WIN AGAINST YOU MOHAMMEDAN BARBARIANS WHO WORSHIP A LIMESTONE IDOL! lol!

Anonymous said...

Hey affad - how's your head-whacking to a limestone idol coming along? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Here is where Mohammed is mentioned in The Bible - "Beware of false prophets that come after me. You shall know them by their fruits." --Jesus ("Matthew")

Huda Shaka` said...

Affad, I think the first anonymous is refering to Reza Aslan's book mentioned at the beginning of the original post.