This disturbs me. Seems like it's always been this way, but that doesn't make it right. Not only does The Pentagon have regularly scheduled prayer breakfasts, they invite sleazebags as honored guests, speakers.
WASHINGTON -- Ray Giunta has been publicly called out for illegally taking $10,200 from a cemetery board, falsely claiming to have advanced degrees and diagnosing young people as having mental disorders despite not being a doctor. But on Wednesday, he will get a coveted perch at the Pentagon, as a guest speaker at the Defense Department's prayer breakfast.
Sure, I suppose you could say that it's nice that people willing to fight and die for our country have some sort of faith to carry them. But our military pushes the limits, making itself overtly Christian. And it's not just the prayer breakfasts: we've heard over and over of pressure from officers on soldiers to declare their faith, to be Christians. The Air Force Academy. In Afghanistan.
Writes a kid who just dropped out of West Point in protest of fundamentalist Christian proselytizing:
While there are certainly numerous problems with the developmental program at West Point and all service academies, the tipping point of my decision to resign was the realization that countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution. These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation.
These transgressions are nearly always committed in the name of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity. The sparse leaders who object to these egregious violations are relegated to the position of silent bystanders, because they understand all too well the potential ramifications of publically expressing their loyalty to the laws of our country.It's scary. If the military -- enough people in it, anyway -- sees itself as an arm of Christendom, to whom are its real loyalties? If they believe god is on their side in all things, what rules of conduct apply? Remember that three-star Boykin guy? Declaring, while in uniform, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were fights against Satan in the form of Islam? What do you suppose he'd think of Barack Obama as commander-in-chief? Would he salute smartly and say yes, sir?
The same people who lay greatest claim to love of country and Constitution are those that equate patriotism with Christianity, exclusively. I don't understand the connection, particularly since the current form is about as anti-constitutional as it gets. Given that ever more predominant belief, we shouldn't be surprised that the military is rife with such fundamentalists. But we should be damn-well worried about it. (By "we" I mean everyone who respects the Constitution and who isn't [by definition] a fundamentalist Christian.)