Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Further Thoughts on Religion in the Military

I wanted to let the links to Mikey's post at the Huffington Post's site get a little bit of a head start before getting this one out there.  I do have more thoughts as to why we should be alarmed about the things he warns us about.

It goes almost without saying that allowing the military command structure to force religious observances on their troops is unconstitutional.  That is the very poster child for a First Amendment violation!  But there are other reasons too.

There is the fact that we have people in the US military from all of the major religions, and a lot of the minor ones, too.  Obviously, these practices violate their rights to practice their religions as they please wherever the forced ceremonies differ from their own.  I won't even bother to mention what that does to those like me who aren't religious at all!  (like hell I won't...)

All of this is plenty of reason to get serious and force our civilian government to clean this mess up.  It is way past time for that.

But think about something else for a moment.  Mikey touches on it when he mentions the failure of the West Point's Combating Terrorism Center to deal with this issue, but this bears some further examination.

Roll this around in your head for a minute.  Just where have we been deploying troops for the past twelve years?  I've got a clue for you, it ain't Kansas, Toto!  In fact, the people we've been fighting, just in case you've missed the memo, are not christian, but belong to one of the more intolerant forms of the abrahamic religions.  Islam, while it's got its own peaceful and tolerant groups, certainly boasts more of the intolerant and dare I say, militant groups than our own, and these are the folks we've been sending our guys and gals over to exchange fire with.

And yet, over and over, our military has been allowing the command structure - in a theater of war - to do such stupid things as contract for gunsights engraved with bible references!  Allowed them to bring civilians into Afghanistan who are nothing more than christian groups intent on proselytizing the heathen muslims!  Then, of course, risking the lives of CIA operatives in rescuing those idiots when they get kidnapped by outraged Islamic militants!

At first, in my innocence, I believed that the lack of sensitivity training given to US troops going into Afghanistan was just an oversight.  Perhaps a lack of enough informed instructors to go around.  Then this same scenario has played out in Iraq and even further in Afghanistan after Iraq was over, and it looks more and more like a deliberate policy and not oversight.

Yes, they've said that such training has been provided finally, but the above occurrences coming from the command structure make it seem as though perhaps the wrong people attended those training sessions!

The more and more word gets out to our opponents in the muslim world that the US military is being schooled in fundamentalist christian thought and training, the more recruits they will find willing to fight us.  The more they will be able to - with truth - claim that we are waging a religious war against them!

President Barack Obama may stand up in public and claim that we are not at war with Islam, but as long as we continue to allow the US Military Command to infiltrate christian extremists into the entire command stream from top to bottom, his words will ring hollow to all who care to see the truth.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that our opponents in islamic militant groups have their heads in the sand.

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