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The Unwomanly Face of War

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By Melvyn P. Leffler

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Turning Soldiers Into Crusaders

Posted on Jun 26, 2009

“Fault Lines” has this disturbing look at efforts to transform American soldiers into “government-paid missionaries,” as one Christian fundamentalist group put it. Featuring Truthdig’s Chris Hedges.

Related Truthdig Classic: “The Cancer From Within” by retired U.S. Air Force Col. David Antoon.

Fault Lines:


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 16, 2009 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

You are a Christian Crusader* Cheerleader Tracie but I am not for Empire America. War itself is a crime and perpetuation of it is criminal behavior. And supporting it is as an accessory of criminal intent. Not a savory thing to be attached too.

*Sounds like the Warrior Christ of “Revelations” and not the meek life saver of the rest of the Bible. The criminal cabal called “Dominionists” would agree with you. They know democracy and republicanism are antithetical to Christianity. Do you?

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By Tracie, November 16, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lucky for me, I don’t believe in any religion but only that there is one way to heaven and that is through our Lord Jesus Christs…..The bible, both new and old testament, God’s word, will be around a long time after any of you or I exsist….but where will you be?  Godspeed and bless the military of the united states of america

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By Jack Schitt, July 10, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

It always boggles me when I see these church halls filled with thousands of young Americans singing and waving their arms around in the JC pose. It’s truly scary that so many people in a country with so many nukes could have a view of the universe that is essentially no more developed than that of a goat herder in the Middle East a couple of millennia ago. Honestly, have you read their book? I have and the thing is fucking scary. Half of these zealots take the book literally and reckon we should too. I want to live my life by the bible about as much as I want to the Koran.
How have we gotten to the point where the loonies are running the asylum? These people should be getting the help they need, not spreading their mental flaws around the planet.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 30, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

I wasn’t speaking of their “trustworthyness” by any means Samosamo but unlike Judaism, both Christianity and Islam do their damndest to spread their views on the world. This is separate from what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians.

I wish they were all Deists and leave everyone else alone.

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By samosamo, June 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, June 29 at 1:21 pm
““If only Islam and Christianity were like Judaism, who doesn’t sell their religion either through pressure of society or by arms.”“

You won’t be able to convince me of that because judaism is just another commercialized religion and it is sadistically sad of these 3 organized religions you list here as I don’t trust any of them because they all have demonstrated via their actions that they should NOT be trusted, not to mention all 3 are also the most warring religions on earth even though in any of these 3, individuals can be trustworthy and friendly.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 29, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

A very good analysis and so true. If only Islam and Christianity were like Judaism, who doesn’t sell their religion either through pressure of society or by arms. Things would be so much better.

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By KDelphi, June 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

The problem with religion is that, if you truly believe it, it seems only “moral” to impose it on others so they wont suffer the fate of eternal damnation that most organized religions convince people are true.

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By TheHandyman, June 28, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

As a Vietnam Veteran I remember how the Army tried to coerce me into attending church. When the religiously moved members of my unit went off to attend services I was put to work doing menial tasks like moving rocks from one side of the road to the other.

Somewhere along the line I escaped the religious program my devout Mother attempted to force me into and since my 20’s have never once doubted that I was lucky to have escaped the tyranny of Christianity or any other religion, for that matter. I think Buddhism holds a lot of answers but it is a philosophy, not a religion. I think the best reasons to not get caught up in religion are as follows:

Is GOD willing to prevent Evil but not able?
Then HE is not Omnipotent!
Is HE able, but not willing?
Then HE is malevolent!
Is HE both able and willing?
Then whence cometh Evil?
Is HE neither willing nor able?
Then why call HIM GOD?
Atheists, winning since 33AD

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By Purple Girl, June 28, 2009 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

‘God’ is not the Sole property of any particular Faith, or ideology.
Claiming “Jesus is Lord” is Blasphemous. Reason- If Jesus was ‘The Son of God’- He is still NOT God. If the claim Jesus was the ‘Embodiement Of God’, then he was merely the Fleshy Vessel (Just the Bottle NOT the Genie). Both these claims negate pretty much th efirst 3 Commandments which clearly state there is ‘One and ONLY One Lord God’.
And this is the Rhetoric Evangelicals use to decieve and misguide their followers.This illegitmate interchange of the use of Jesus and God lie at the heart of the US Debate. It intentional ignores the Fact our Founders granted all Citizens the Right to freedom of Religion. If we wre Truely a ‘Christian’ nation all References would say “Jesus” and Not God, as in ‘In God we Trust’.
These Evangelicals have Highjacked and bastardized the concept a God to replace it with their own Sacred Cow, and in so doing have tried to undermine the very founation this country was Created.
Frankly I find their rhetoric Blasphamous, Their Actions heretical and innately UnAmerican.

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By rwmenser, June 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Democracy as envisioned by Jefferson etc., has been dead for quite some time as we continue our crusade toward fascism.  Perhaps it’s time to fire the zeros in the three branches of government and move this country to what it should be.  Don’t ask how it would be done, but I’d love to see a group consisting of Amy Goodman, Diane Rheem, Dennis Kucinich, Phil Donahue and Bill Moyers as a start to right this embarassment we call the United States of America.  It is and has been time for intelligent leadership.  I’m disgusted by our so called leaders and citizenry that are nothimg more than lemmings.

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By godistwaddle, June 27, 2009 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

It isn’t christian fundamentalism that’s to blame.  It’s religion.  Bertie Russell pointed out the only useful things religion ever did were create calendars and predict eclipses.  We’da figured that out, anyway.

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By Horatio Green, June 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All religion is a dangerous commodity, but especially when it’s religious fundamentalism.

Not only religion, but patriarchy (hierarchial paradigms of organization), money-based economies, and militarism are collectively a deadly combination, and are severe and seemingly insurmountable impediments to world peace.

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By purplewolf, June 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Bush let it slip out in one of his speeches in 2003 the this “crusade” when he was talking about his Iraq mess.

Countries that let religion/religious leaders become the main dictators of rules and laws in that nation are among the most vile, evil and morally absent in their treatment of their own people.(Torture included, in abundance.)

The biggest danger to all living things is organized religions.

I know people who are pagans serving in the military and Bush denied them the right to worship their religions. So much for fleeing England for religious freedom and letting people practice their beliefs in their own ways.

America was not founded by Christians as most Christians will tell you. The first invaders here were Purtians, but these ignorant people today seem to forget that. BTW America already had a main religion, the Native American religion or is also called the Indian religion, long berfore the Puritans from England and the Christian “Euro trash” and those who brought use the Spanish Inquisition along with their brand of Christianity. How long before they decide to turn on each other, as thinking theirs is the only true religion? 

I know I wouldn’t last long once our “Christian military” turn upon the American people to purify the population of non or other believers.

Indian saying:
“Is it irony or infamy that a nation founded by those fleeing religious intolerance and social injustice would immediately seek to convert, subvert, violate, dominate and eradicate all in their quest for religious freedom and manifest destiny?”

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By Mary Ann McNeely, June 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

This is the kind of poison that is destroying and will continue to destroy the United States.  For George W. Bush, Iraq and Afghanistan were crusades meant to cover him in temporal and religious glory.  For Obama, it is a theatre in which the square, yuppie president gets to play war with real guns and kick back with death and share a beer.

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By KDelphi, June 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment


Here’s another site about it.

BTW—it makes NO “sense to me” that the “majority of soldiers are christian”??!!

noneya—maybe these links can help?

The soldiers group for military religious freedom:

Look what they did to Pat Tillman,not allowing a Wiccan sign on this tombstone and telling his mother, that, if he wasnt christian, he was worm food!!
Shame! It just gives fuel to the idea that this is a “Crusade”.

I hate to say it, but, who thought Obama would change this? Didnt you listen to the pastors he admires? He is a fundmamentalist christian, have no doubt.

The WH, etc, doesnt want to change it, because how do you ask people to go die for yur oil/money, if they dont believe that they’re going to a ‘better place”? Opiate of the masses.

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By godistwaddle, June 26, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

christianity has NEVER been nonviolent, and given that the U.S. military is full of rubes wanting to be thugs and that christians are rubes who’ve renounced reason, the marriage seems to have been made in christ-tard heaven.

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By samosamo, June 26, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

This is the kind of shit that I really dread to see because the ‘war’ is now really an internal war which even more confirms the idea that this country will be destroyed from within by a very very fanatically unstable mental mind set called ‘christian’ and we that use websites as this for information and most likely a more than healthy dose of reality can easily become part of that enemy these deluded people envision as their threat.

Doublespeak totally, because no matter how this is ‘spinned’, this should NOT be a function of religion; in fact, this is what proves to me that religion is the/a problem with the world and it shows the mental weakness of people to be so willing to accept a religion as such.

Really really has the sounds and trappings of a very devious and despicable wall street marketing and advertizing firm to ‘religiously’ control these nut cases and they are definitely NOT who I want defending and protecting me.

Just imagine the reasoning about those soldiers opting out of a ‘propagandizing’ meeting like this, being ‘allowed’ to clean and perform other menial chores while their ‘brothers and sisters’ get to ‘orgasm’ to dubious emotional panderings; I would say that is creating some differing factions in our military which really gives me more cause for worry about our military and its role.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 26, 2009 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

The intent is to make a country exclusively of white Christians. And it is their particular version of it, what I call Nordic-Christian because of certain elements of it. It also goes by “Dominionism” too but you can’t find any one of them who would say so.

To them the richest are also the natural born, heavenly bestowed leaders of the rest of us. If you aren’t rich then it is your fault. [Not godly enough in their eyes.]

They are also taking control of the banks, money supply and other aspects of our gov’t and country. The mixing of church/state/corporation are part of it. When will they turn their crusade to the rest of us? I think it is only a matter of time. Maybe when the economy finally finishes its death spiral. Or some other attack on us, real or fabricated, to tip the scales over. They want to bring down this republic and put an empire in its place. They are far from finished. Obama isn’t the savior, he is the next face of the cabal.

Go to to see many examples of where they are going to undermine us all to get their way.

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By noneya, June 26, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a wife of an atheist marine corps officer,(by civil union)our atheist family has been drowning in a sea of chistiantom!! HELP!!! We need more free thinkers to join!! Just think, if at least half were athiest, and questioned religious motives….would we be in this mess? I think not. Government officials have always used god as a means to justify their invasions of other contries. The more christian a military is, the easier it is to send them into battle for whatever greedy reason they have.

Plus, it would give us a reason to have cookouts and parties with other military families…as of now…we avoid them like the plague. lol

A lonely military family

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By photoshock, June 26, 2009 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

As a former Pentecostal Christian, one who stood by the side of the military, I find it hard to believe that the Constitution is being trampled and it’s ashes scattered like this.
We are not and have never been an exclusively ‘christian’ nation. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were as diverse as the world’s religions. There were Jewish and Deist’s among the many signers, Thomas Jefferson, even wrote his own version of the Bible, leaving out the passages that were thought of as miraculous and divine. He was a man of reason and logic, who saw that miracles and their aftermath did not make any sense.
Benjamin Franklin was among the most vocal opponents of the label of ‘christian,’ he fought for and won the battle to exclude ‘christianity’ from mention in the Constitution and made freedom of religion, a hallmark of the Bill of Rights.
What scares me more than anything is this drive for an exclusively ‘christian’ military. Where cadets in our military colleges and enlisted men are coerced into attending and joining christian denominations that purport to be ‘G-d’s anointed’ and having the only truth that is known.
For this and many other reasons, I chose to leave the ‘fundamentalist fold,’ and join the real world where there is freedom of expression and the right to not practice religion at all. Military men and women should also have this right as they are serving a country that embraces people of all faiths.

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By xypher, June 26, 2009 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Christian Fundamentalism, a modern scourge.

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By idarad, June 26, 2009 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

re: eilee
For decades, the military built a sense of solidarity out of a singular purpose, the Cold War struggle between free markets and state-planned economies—the shining city on a hill versus the evil empire…meshed neatly with ideologies [that connected] nationalism and fundamentalism…Communism…the dark alternative should we fail to unite. Fundamentalism thrived…a neat, black-and-white [theology and] a foreign policy. The end of the Cold War deprived militant evangelicals of that clarity [and] the emergence of “radical Islam” [became] the object of a new Cold War.” [Ibid]

For the most part I can agree with your post, but the above statement rings of more propaganda, just a different focus.  Out military has been for decades an enforcer of the power elite over the rights of individuals and their collective societal rights.  Our military murders at will, but calls it collateral damage.  If they do it in the name of ideology it doesn’t matter if it is christian or corporate, the murdered are still dead the survivors our enemies!

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By idarad, June 26, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

Arguably the most disturbing images I have seen in years. I know Mike Wienstein was trying to push back and bring this to the attention on the media and congress, but the images….
The only difference between North Koreans gathering in mass to blindly praise the nut Kim Il Sung is this group of lunatics gathering to praise a figment of someone’s imagination

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By eileen fleming, June 26, 2009 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

“The Crusade for a Christian Military: Jesus Killed Mohammed” by Jeff Sharlet in HARPER’S May 2009 edition is a chilling clarion call regarding the entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the USA military beginning during the Cold War that accelerated during the Vietnam era which has wrecked havoc on the very soul of our nation.

Fundamentalist [referred to as evangelical by Sharlet] Chaplains began to join the military in droves as they aligned themselves with the Industrial Military Complex in opposition with Catholics and mainline moderate Protestant denominations such as Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians who were of one voice speaking out against American terrorism in Vietnam and for following in the ways of the nonviolent Jesus.

“Starting in 1987, Protestant denominations were lumped together simply as “Protestant”; moreover, the Pentagon began accrediting hundreds of evangelical and Pentecostal “endorsing agencies,” allowing graduates of fundamentalist Bible colleges—which often train clergy to view those from other faiths as enemies of Christ—to fill up nearly the entire allotment for Protestant chaplains. Today, more than two thirds of the military’s 2,900 active-duty chaplains are affiliated with evangelical or Pentecostal denominations.” [1]

“For decades, the military built a sense of solidarity out of a singular purpose, the Cold War struggle between free markets and state-planned economies—the shining city on a hill versus the evil empire…meshed neatly with ideologies [that connected] nationalism and fundamentalism…Communism…the dark alternative should we fail to unite. Fundamentalism thrived…a neat, black-and-white [theology and] a foreign policy. The end of the Cold War deprived militant evangelicals of that clarity [and] the emergence of “radical Islam” [became] the object of a new Cold War.” [Ibid]

The roots of American evangelism sprang from the original altar call for Christians to stand up against slavery.

What has been passing for Christianity in our military today is the antithesis of what Jesus was all about.

“Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent.”-Gandhi

The Rest:

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