Saturday, August 11, 2007

God's Soldiers

Last week a disturbing new video surfaced featuring high-ranking Air Force and Army officers in uniform and on active duty, evangelizing for Jesus. This behavior is expressly prohibited by military ethics regulations and the UCMJ.

One officer, Maj.Gen. Jack Catton, USAF, is heard on the video stating his 'priorities' as, "...God, then my family, and then country." I guess I'd better hope that his god is my god and should wish I was a member of his family because his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and the Air Force Core Values consisting of "Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do" doesn't seem to matter much.

Specifically, "Service Before Self" is defined as, "The giving of self to provide for the welfare of others. Air Force people focus service in defense of the nation." Participating, producing, and appearing in uniform while in the Pentagon espousing hard-core Christian ideology hardly seems to fit that definition.

This new revelation angers and frightens me. These regulations are in place for good reason. The Founders specifically codified separation of church and state in the 1st Amendment. The military is an arm of the government. Should those who have the power to wage war and kill have control of nuclear weapons in what could easily be characterized as a war on Islam?

The hypocrisy and theocratic ideology is implicit as demonstrated by the treatment of anti-war protesters by the military. Jason Leopold at TruthOut writes: "Over the past few years, the military has set its sights on prosecuting Iraq war veterans who have completed active duty, soured on the war and participated in antiwar protests while wearing their uniforms. Recently, the US Marine Corps prosecuted Cpl. Adam Kokesh and Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, both of whom were photographed marching in an antiwar protest while wearing their uniforms in what the Marine Corps says was a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Military prosecutors vigorously sought to have both men dishonorably discharged. However, it appears unlikely the military will apply the same standard to the Air Force and Army officers who the inspector general said violated the same code of conduct Kokesh and Madden were found to have broken, according to the disciplinary recommendations of the report."

Leopold posts the video and his well-researched article.

6 comments:

op99 said...

Disturbing indeed. Here's more from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:

The report also found that a Pentagon chaplain, Col. Ralph G. Benson, improperly obtained access to the Pentagon for the religious group by mischaracterizing the purpose of the video. Members of Christian Embassy were given contractor badges, which enabled them to move about the Pentagon without an escort. But they were not contractors, and the use of such badges amounts to a serious security lapse.

Perhaps the most disturbing feature of the report is the justification employed by some of the officers: They argued that Christian Embassy had become so fully ingrained in the Pentagon that they regarded it as a “quasi-federal entity.”

In fact, Christian Embassy is a wholly private group. It was founded 30 years ago by the late Bill Bright, who also founded Campus Crusade for Christ. Bright, a Religious Right activist, believed that fundamentalists of his stripe must exercise influence and control over all areas of life, including government agencies.

For anyone inclined to think this is small matter, consider this story from the report: During the investigation, Major Gen. Sutton admitted that while he was stationed in Turkey, his Turkish driver presented him with a copy of a newspaper called “Sabah” that called Sutton a member of a radical fundamentalist Christian sect. The online version of the paper included clips from the Christian Embassy video. Turkey is a predominantly Muslim nation, and Sutton said several Turkish officers asked him to explain his participation in the video.

Anonymous said...

A bit off the topic "God's Soldiers" I realize but couldn't help plagiarizing this from the Juan Cole site....er, maybe "Satan's Soldiers"?..Hmmm or "Winning the Iraqi Hearts and Minds."...

Military Justice?
By: John Cole August 9, 2007 at 9:24 am
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This makes no sense:


A general at Camp Pendleton has cut short the sentences of two Marines imprisoned in the Hamdaniya murder case and might do the same for two others.

Pvts. Tyler Jackson and Jerry Shumate Jr. were released Monday by order of Lt. Gen. James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. The base announced Mattis’ decision a day later.

Jackson and Shumate had been sentenced to 21 months in the brig as part of pretrial deals in which they pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice. They were demoted in rank from corporal to private.

In exchange, government officials dropped the charge of premeditated murder. A conviction on that count would have sent the defendants to prison for the rest of their lives, with no possibility of parole.


***

Jackson, Shumate, five other Marines and a Navy corpsman kidnapped and killed a man in Hamdaniya, Iraq, on April 26, 2006. They snatched the victim from his bed, took him to a roadside hole, bound him and killed him with a barrage of bullets.

Afterward, the squad tried to disguise the killing as a firefight between U.S. troops and an insurgent trying to plant a bomb.

The defendants said they partly wanted to send a message that insurgents and their supporters in Hamdaniya would pay a dear price. They had become frustrated after repeatedly arresting a suspect and turning him over to Iraqi authorities, only to see him released every time.


If a few months in the brig is the punishment for kidnapping, murder, and an attempted coverup, by my calculation, Beauchamp’s punishment for penning essays should be a blowjob, a bucket of KFC, and a twelve-pack, followed by monthly massages from a topless model (think of it as probation).

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Thank you Op99 and John Cole for the additions to this post. Frightening indeed.

JollyRoger said...

The Jesusistanis see the handwriting on the wall, so they're pushing hard. Their monkey is going to go away, one way or another, and the window they have to impose their flavor of Sharia on America is coming to a close.

Oh well-they'll always have Texas.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

LOL JR...Yes they will always have Texas. We just moved from the the 28th state and I don't miss it a bit.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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