Friday, August 24, 2007

 

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

Truth 2 Power Journal
Posted by Vyan in General Discussion: Politics
Fri Aug 24th 2007, 12:39 PM
Hey, I don't mind anyones specific relationship with their own Personal Jesus - but this LA Times Op-ed which describes how the Department of Defense has been openly proselytizing our troops to become the Army of God ™ should scare the Bejeezus out of just about everyone.

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.


It's not like we haven't already seen this taking place on the grounds and surrounding area of the U.S. Air Force Academy (near which Rev. Ted I-was-Gay-until-I-wasn't Haggard's church resides). From the WaPo.

A military study of the religious climate at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs found several examples of religious intolerance, insensitivity and inappropriate proselytizing on the part of Air Force officers and cadets, but a report issued yesterday at the Pentagon concluded that the school is not overtly discriminatory and has made improvements in recent months.

...

The report came after allegations that officers at the academy promoted evangelical Christian beliefs and were insensitive to cadets who were of a different religion or chose not to practice a faith. The allegations spurred a heated debate about the separation of church and state at the federally funded military school and caused a backlash among the chaplain community there.

...

Examples of questionable behavior highlighted in the report included the school's head football coach hanging a "Team Jesus" banner in the locker room in November 2004; the academy's commandant sending out a schoolwide message on the National Day of Prayer and encouraging cadets to use the "J for Jesus" hand signal; and senior school personnel signing on to a Christian advertisement citing scripture in the base newspaper.


These even extended to a full-court press by various Cadets promotion the Mel Gibsom movie "The Passion of the Christ", as well as harrasment against Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians for not taking part in "voluantary" prayer meetings.

Isn't that special?

For those of you not yet familiar with Left Behind: Eternal Forces here's a refresher from a post I made in response to Newt Gingrich's claim that the VA Tech shooters were the result of Liberalism and Violent Video Games.

That is of course unless they're too busy playing "LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces" where they act as members of the Tribulation Force intent on either converting or using paramilitary equipment and tactics to kill all non-believers (y'know Catholics and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Gays and stuff) who refuse to accept the teachings of the one and only true JEEZus CHrisT into their hearts and join their brethen in the glory of the Rapture ™ .



The game revolves around New Yorkers who are "left behind" after the rapture. Players scour the streets for converts, training them into a work force to feed, shelter and join a paramilitary resistance against the growing forces of the Antichrist.


Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon, whose company went public in February, says the game’s Christian themes will grab the audience that didn’t mind gore in "The Passion of the Christ." "We’ve thought through how the Christian right and the liberal left will slam us," says Lyndon. "But megachurches are very likely to embrace this game." Though it will be marketed directly to congregations, Forces will also have a secular ad campaign in gaming magazines.



According to Gingrich, violent video games are desensitizing our youth to inhumane cruelty and are driving them away from the lessons of God. Hm... Really?

I think the the fact is, when you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8 , 10, 12, 15 years of age, if you look at the dehumanization, if you look at the fact that we refuse to say that we are infact endowed with (sic) our creator, that our rights come from God - if you kill somebody you're committing and act of evil.


So just what is behind distributing a game like Eternal forces to our troops? Is the idea that between firefights in Mosul and Al-Anbar the 82nd Airborne guys are going to get some quality relaxing time pretending to join a group of paramility evangelists crusaders to kill or convert all non-believers in New York City?

Might not these solders gradually become "desensitized" to the idea of randomly killing like - Muslims? Sunni and Shia alike?

Is that the kind of "evil" Gingrich was thinking of?

Anyway, just where did these little care-packages come from?

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.


Thanks to the magic of the sutour.org&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us" target="_blank">Google Cache we an still see what used to be on their site, but even in the cache "Eternal Forces" seems to have gotten to boot.

We send care packages to soldiers on the front lines of the war in Iraq. We call them “Freedom Packets” because the truth will set you free. Included in each “Freedom Packet” is:

* Greeting card
* 75 Minute Phone Card
* White Socks
* Baby Wipes (suggested by Col Oliver North)
* Gideon’s pocket size New Testament
* Extreme Sports “Livin It” DVD
* and an assortment of snacks.

We ship them to Iraq free of charge to soldiers. The approximate cost per package is $50. Two items – phone cards and shipping cost – account for approximately half that total amount. Most of the items were donated at no cost to support our troops. Your donation helps us send a clear message that God cares, including their mind, body and soul.


Apparently the DoD has severed ties with "Operation Straight Up" - Thank God/Jehova/Vishnu/Buddha for small favors - but that isn't their only problem with excessive Christ-y-ness.

Take, for instance, the recent scandal involving Christian Embassy, a group whose expressed purpose is to proselytize to military personnel, diplomats, Capitol Hill staffers and political appointees. In a shocking breach of security, Defense Department officials allowed a Christian Embassy film crew to roam the corridors of the Pentagon unescorted while making a promotional video featuring high-ranking officers and political appointees. (Christian Embassy, which holds prayer meetings weekly at the Pentagon, is so entrenched that Air Force Maj. Gen. John J. Catton Jr. said he'd assumed the organization was a "quasi-federal entity.")


News of the links between Christian Embassy and the Pentagon have alrady reached as far as Turkey and caused some considerable stir where the organization was described as a "radical fundamentalist sect," and irreparably damaging the reputation of Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, who is the liason to the Turkish Military.

But wait, it gets worse as it appears the Pentagon's top
"Bin Laden hunter" rather than actually do his job instead decided to do on a revival tour - In Uniform.

The Pentagon (Army Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin, deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence) in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in 2003. The same year, Boykin was found to be touring American churches, where he gave speeches -- in uniform -- casting the Iraq war in end-times terms. "We're in is a spiritual battle," he told one congregation in Oregon. "Satan wants to destroy this nation . . . and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army." The story wound up in newspapers, magazines and on "60 Minutes." And, of course, it was reported all over the Muslim world. The Pentagon reacted with a collective shrug.


Praise Geezus and Pass the Ammunition?

God, I hope not.

Once America's armed forces become to be seen as a military extension of the Christian Church, all bets are completely off when it comes to "winning hearts and minds" not just in an Iraq, but with the Billions of Muslims, Jews and Hindus in the world many of whom have armed forces of their own, up to and including nuclear weapons.

Is this an ideological battle we really want to get into, and/or is such a lose-lose confrontation in itself the not so hidden goal of the "end timers"?

Look, I don't begrudge anyone their own personal beliefs, but the point is and has been since the founding of this country that people's right to believe - or not believe - is supposed to be protected. Once the government, particularly the armed portion of the government, begins to show blatant favoritism toward any particularly religion it becomes a clear and present danger to all those who believe differently.


Amen.

Vyan

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