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The Cancer From Within

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Posted on Nov 7, 2007
Cadet Chapel
usafa.af.mil

The famous Air Force Academy cadet chapel, once a place of nondenominational worship and reflection, seems to have become a focal point of evangelical indoctrination and conversion.

By David Antoon

(Page 3)

The pre-existing Air Force code of ethics in The Little Blue Book states: 
“Military professionals must remember that religious choice is a matter of individual conscience. Professionals, and especially commanders, must not take it upon themselves to change or coercively influence the religious views of subordinates.”

Here are just a few violations of that principle over the last three years: Academy football coach Fisher DeBerry hung a banner in the team locker room reading: “Competitor’s Creed: I am a Christian first and last. ... I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.” Baseball coach Mike Hutcheon, recruited from evangelical Christian Bethel College, forced players to lead team prayer during practice.  When asked about locker room prayer in March 2007, Lt. Gen. John Regni, the academy superintendent, responded “we have chaplains that are attached to each of the teams and they are very important in that area.” In a July 12, 2005 interview with the New York Times, Brig. Gen. Cecil Richardson, Air Force deputy chief of chaplains, stated, “...we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched.” For over a decade, the official academy newspaper ran ads stating: “We believe that Jesus Christ is the only real hope for the World.  If you would like to discuss Jesus, feel free to contact one of us!  There is salvation in no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”  The ads were signed by 16 department heads, nine permanent professors, both the incoming and outgoing deans of faculty, the athletic director and more than 200 academy senior officers and their spouses.

Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, in just a few short years has received complaints from more than 6,000 service members and discovered church-state violations at the academies, at military installations in Iraq and around the world, and even within the inner corridors of the Pentagon. 

In 2005, when Weinstein filed suit against the Air Force for constitutional violations of church-state separation, the House of Representatives, with little public notice, passed a chilling bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act, H.R. 2679, provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions that violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorney’s fees. According to The Washington Post, the purpose of this bill is to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

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In December 2006, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation brought media focus to the Christian Embassy Evangelical Organization and its now famous video, which clearly showed the egregious ethics and constitutional violations of several flag officers and the breadth of the problem.  Air Force Academy graduate Maj. Gen. Jack Catton, who suggested in the film that his religious beliefs trump country and his oath to the Constitution, was cited last year for sending e-mails to military subordinates and contractors advocating they vote for a particular candidate for Congress, arguing that there are “not enough Christians in Congress.”  West Point graduate and Army Brig. Gen. Robert Caslen, who was filmed stating “We are the aroma of Jesus Christ here in the Pentagon,” is now commandant of cadets at West Point.  West Point graduate Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, another Christian Embassy star, was the “voice” and “face” of the press conferences at Qatar.  His office is famous for the creation of the “Rambo” Jessica Lynch fabrications and the manipulation of the killing of Pat Tillman into a recruiting and media event.  West Point graduate and evangelical Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, involved in the investigation of Tillman’s death, stated publicly that Pat Tillman’s family was not at peace with his death because they are atheists who believe their son is now “worm dirt.”  Air Force Academy graduate Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, assigned as the senior U.S. military officer in Turkey at the time the Military Religious Freedom Foundation brought the Christian Embassy into media focus, was questioned by Turkish officials about his membership in a radical evangelical cult.

Many are aware of the mercenary army, Blackwater USA, led by Eric Prince, former Ambassador Cofer Black and Joseph Schmitz, the same Joseph Schmitz mentioned above.  It is here where the ties become complex and suggestive of an even grander “crusade.”

As described by Jeremy Scahill in his book “Blackwater,” Prince, who attended the U.S. Naval Academy, comes from a wealthy theo-con family, is a “neo-crusader,”  and a Christian supremacist. He has been given billions of dollars in federal contracts to create a private army.  COO Schmitz, another Naval Academy graduate, is a member of the Order of Malta, a Christian supremacist organization dating back to the Crusades, and happens to be married to the sister of Jeb Bush’s wife, Columba.  And Cofer Black, former coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department and former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, who was quoted by the BBC as saying “Capture Bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back in a box on dry ice,” brings his own skill set to the Blackwater team as vice chairman.

The Christian supremacist fascism first reported at the Air Force Academy is endemic throughout the military. From the top down, there has been a complete repudiation of constitutional values and time-honored codes of ethics and honor codes in favor of religious ideology.  And we now have a revolving door between Blackwater USA, which is Bush’s Praetorian Guard, and the U.S. military at every level.  The citizen-soldier military dictated by our founding fathers has been replaced with professional and mercenary right-wing Christian crusaders in control of the world’s most powerful military.  The risks to our democratic form of government cannot be overstated. 

This evangelical Christian supremacist fascism within our military and government is a cancer.  Officers, especially commanders, who violate the original code of ethics, must be rooted out of the military.  The undermining of the Constitution, especially by senior military officers, must end.

As I look back at my 30 years as an active-duty officer, two combat tours in Vietnam, decorations including air medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross, I realize that not once was my service in support or defense of the Constitution.  For the very first time, I am upholding my oath of office.

Related Articles:

Robert Dorr, a Military Times columnist, accurately describes the “religious” cancer infecting the U.S. military in his Aug. 7 article, “Keep the Faith (to Oneself).

An opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, “Not So Fast, Christian Soldiers: The Pentagon Has a Disturbing Relationship With Private Evangelical Groups,” describes similar egregious behavior. 

Thomas D. Williams and J.P. Briggs II, Ph.D., describe how “Fringe Evangelicals Distort US Policy.”


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By lovebug, November 11, 2007 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The photo above looks EVIL to me! Reminds me of the movie “Loard of the Rings”, the dark wizard castle.

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By rowman, November 11, 2007 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Nabih Ammari,
Thank you for your kindness. I would be pleased to address this question for you. So as to not speak for Him, I will submit his own words on this subject:

Luke 6

27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Let me know if this does not address your question.

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By purplewolf, November 11, 2007 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Rowman:
Evolution is a provable theory. If you do not believe in it how do you explain the fact we have super viruses like the newest strain of staph that is antibiotic resistant? It’s simple, it evolved, adapted. Just as insects evolve and become immune to what at one time would have killed them. Horses in the time of the dinosaur were about 6 inches tall, they have evolved into the animals of today in which a person is able to ride these “un-evolved in your view” animals as a means of transportation. Crocodiles are the only living creature that has virtually remained unchanged since the time of the dinosaur.

Now according to the Old Testament-I am certain you fully believe as the whole truth and not a fabrication- that God put Adam into a deep sleep and remove a rib from him to create Eve right?

Due to the education of humans throughout the centuries,even though many cultures,governments and especially the church have done their best to not let this happen often, we now know that in order to create another human outside of sex can be done by cloning. This is proven scientific fact. All you need is 1 cell to create an identical copy of the original-not a totally different person, let alone another gender. Now if God were the creator of all this as you profess, explain to me and others who believe in scientific fact over some fairy tale, just why did God need the whole rib of Adam to make Eve and not just one cell and by using any part of Adam would have made an identical genetic copy of the donor, not some other gender altogether. Since you do not believe in evolution then Eve, who actually would have been Steve, must be a mutation in order to become female, but then you go right back to the evolution process again.

Also in the Old Testament, God forbid Adam and Eve to eat not of the fruit from the tree of knowledge. How come? Wouldn’t it make more sense for God to want his “creations” to grow and learn and become independent? What good could come of the purpose of keeping people ignorant, other than it is easier to control those who are uneducated. Once they know things they are free to think for themselves, it is harder to control them and this is a bad thing because they then would be able to judge for themselves what is right or wrong and control their own lives as they see fit over letting the “churches and dictators/rulers” of the world do it for them.

You may say a person has to have faith. Every time I have tried to have faith and believe in anything, be it God or another person, I have been highly disappointed with what I have experienced. But then people like you will say “well you didn’t believe hard enough”. Me, I will take proven scientific fact and testable observation over ancient superstition hear say that has been altered through out the centuries to who ever has done the translating,more often that not to their view of things. And for those who say the Bible is the word of God, that is also hear say,did anyone actually see God write it down,of course not,is it the original words of God, highly doubtful, or did some person claim it was? Is the Bible of today exactly word for word as its original rendition. No. Then it cannot be the word of God, but of man.

Ignorance is alive and well and it’s taking over the military along with other institutions in the country with its forced fed rogue brand of Christianity.

Torture is already here and the burning of the non-believers is on the horizon.

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By rowman, November 11, 2007 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena,
“The teachings of Christ are contained in the New Testament, and even that was written decades after Jesus lived and died. You (and so many of these imposters) like to throw in all of this Old Testament stuff, and mix it up with what came much later, as the teachings of Christ. All the better to confuse the naïve and less informed, and further the brainwashing.”

From what authority do you speak because Your doctrine is all hosed up. The Messiah (Jesus) was Jewish and was fulfilling Jewish prophecy. The New Testament and Old Testament are very much One Testament. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed as some say. Christianity is rooted in the Jewish faith.

I think what you meant to say is People (like yourself) who have Idea what they are talking about when it comes to the Christian / Jewish faith, mix it all up and confused the less informed…

Consider this from the Old Testament. A prophecy written about the Messiah (Jesus), long before he was to arrive on the scene:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah 53;&version=49;

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By bigjimbo, November 11, 2007 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Rowman,
Gravity is only a theory. If you don’t believe in it, will you fly off the earth? The use of the word “theory” in science refers to a concept that is well proven and fits the available facts. Of course, science is always subject to correction and is never certain, but is usually correct, especially when it comes to evolution. Religion, of course, which is based on human imagination is always certain and most often, incorrect. Evolution has measured up in experiments thousands of times. It can be considered a fact. It is a fact whether you believe in it or not. As a matter of fact, scientists try to avoid the phrase “believe in” because it implies faith. I accept evolution because it fits the facts. The only thing creationism fits is a bronze age fairy tale. As for the spelling of god, why son’t you spell it the way the right wing christofascists pronounce it—gaw-wud.  Right wing wackos hate abortion and birth control but love the death penalty. Right wing wackos love the fetus but could care less about the child. Right wing wackos proclaim to love everyone but hate homosexuals.  Right wing wackos like dobson and his ilk are NOT christians, rather they are christianists, who use Jesus for their own hateful and greedy means.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 11, 2007 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#112918 by rawman on 11/11 at 10:05 am.
To:#112923 by rawman on 11/11 at 10:45 am.

rawman,

Assuming that you mean the Christians who are NOT
“bullies,thieves,con-artists”,hypocrites and murderers,
yes murderers(the ancient Crusaders’ type,the Guam’s
type and the Waco’s type),then and only then I totally
agree with your following comment:

Quote
=====
Christian represents:Galatians 5:22
.love;
.joy;
.peace;
.patience;
.kindness
.goodness;
.faithfulness;
.gentleness;
.self-control;

Unquote
=======

Meanwhile,the above human abstract and intangible
qualities are not a single monopoly belongs only to
Christians.The Jews,Muslims,Buddhists,Hindus,Agnostics,Atheists,YES
Atheists and other non-famously religions have them.
That is not,however,the point I am after but it came
as a by-product of the foregoing quote.The point I
am after is the following:

rawman,believe me when I tell you that I am truly
delighted that you believe and adhere to the abstract
human qualities you have specified in the foregoing
quotation;but at the same time my delight compels
me to wonder why you have (overlooked or ignored or avoided or failed) or just simply forgotten to answer
Ernst Canning question which I will repeat below:

“Tell me,rawman who could Jesus have bombed?”.

Please,rawman,just answer the above question.Thank you.

Rest assure that I am not taking sides here.Not at all.I have just felt that Ernst Canning has raised
a very very legitimate and I sincerely want to hear
a very very legitimate answer from you to it.Please
do your best.And again,thank you.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By cann4ing, November 11, 2007 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Rowman, as I posted elsewhere, you are in dire need of an education. 

Webster’s defines the word “theory,” as used in scientific study to refer to “systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, esp. a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena.”  Evolution, like all scientific theory, must withstand the test of being measured against empiricle data—that is data gained from experiment and observation.  To the extent that any scientific theory does not measure up against empirical data or observation, it must be rejected, modified or revised.  That is the essence of what we call the “scientific method,” and it is that scientific methodology that has seen man advance beyond the dark ages to the many advances, such as electricity and the internet, that you take for granted.

Creationism, whether stated outright or through its fraudulent, pseudo-scientific form as “Intelligent Design,” is not a product of postulations made from observable data.  To the contrary, it is based solely on the quality of one’s belief.  Religion teaches its adherents to rely solely upon faith and to ignore data to the contrary—which data, in religion’s most corruptable form, is dismissed as the work of the Devil.

The science of evolution is an appropriate topic for our public schools to include within their curriculum.  Blind faith should never be a part of a public education, and to insist on making it a part of public institutions, be those institutions our schools or our military, is to violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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By cyrena, November 11, 2007 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

#112918 by rowman

•  The picture of the Christian you paint conflicts with that of what a true Christian represents:

No Rowman,

This is where you’ve got it all wrong, and it’s the point I was making in the earlier post that you didn’t get.

Let us be clear…I, let me repeat I, do not ‘paint’ this picture of Christians. The imposters in question, (including you) have not only ‘painted’ such a picture of themselves, we all see them acting this out. So don’t put that on me, or anyone else on this board, who sees through the bullshit that they have created and perpetrated in the name of God.

Too many others on the board have articulated this, and they’ve done it quite well. See Leefeller’s post as the most recent of these very clear explanations. (#112929 by Leefeller) We ALL know how religion has been used to control the masses, via brainwashing. The people who claim to be Christians that have taken over our country are obviously not. And, anyone who has actually studied the teachings of Christ can in fact discern this hypocrisy quite easily.

These fundamentalists and evangelicals who have taken over in the traditional sense of ‘fooling the masses’ are totally recognizable, and we see them for the dangerous hypocrites that they are, no matter how much they might clothe themselves in the pages of that very old book. They are, in fact, imposters, and evil ones to boot.

For additional purposes of clarity, let us also remember how Christ, Christianity, and this very old book connect, since you apparently missed my earlier explanation to Driving Bear. The teachings of Christ are contained in the New Testament, and even that was written decades after Jesus lived and died. You (and so many of these imposters) like to throw in all of this Old Testament stuff, and mix it up with what came much later, as the teachings of Christ. All the better to confuse the naïve and less informed, and further the brainwashing.

Let us also remember that Hitler himself claimed to be a Christian, as did his Nazi regime. They associated themselves with the Christian church, in the name of furthering fascism, and fascism is fascism, by whatever name you call it. And, the ‘good Germans’ that allowed themselves to be sucked in, were also allegedly Christians. Here’s a slightly altered quote from one of them:

“…When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, because I was a Christian. When they came for the Catholics, I did nothing, because I was a Protestant. When they came for the Protestants, it was too late for me to do anything, because by then, I was as screwed as the rest of them who had gone before me….”

I’m glad I asked about your thing with not spelling out the name/word God. Your explanation is overwhelmingly revealing, and certainly explains so much of the other stuff you write.

I am not now, nor ever – lumping- supposed ‘good Christians’ with ‘bad Christians.’ I don’t separate by such terms, and nobody needs labels to determine or identify the evildoers from those who are moral, ethical, etc, etc. One does NOT need to have any religious belief, or identify with any religious doctrine, in order to maintain a moral integrity, and know the difference between right and wrong. One who has never even looked at a bible, or any other religious text, can and should know the difference between right and wrong. Between evil and righteousness. So, I’m not ‘lumping’ anybody into anything, based on that. It isn’t that complicated. I KNOW who the evildoers are, regardless of how they choose to disguise themselves, and I know who the genuinely moral, ethical and spiritual among us are, regardless of whether or not they ever step foot in a so-called church, or ever read a single word of any designated religious text.

Additionally, I can assess from the comments on this public forum, that most others know the difference as well. (not all, but most). You have revealed yourself to be among the fakers…the sellers of snake oil, and so it is.

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By Scott, November 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Rowman asks,
Consider what you are saying. Evolution is also a theory. Why should this theory be forced upon those who disagree with it - Especially when it directly conflicts with ones religious beliefs?

Does this not in turn force a religious position on people?

No, what it forces on people is reality which is something religion has no position on.

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By Vinelectric, November 11, 2007 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

rowman


Please note that although the word “theory” is commonly used to describe a conjecture or a hypothesis in science it implies a testable system capable of explaining physical phoenomena reliably. Darwin continues to earn respect for nothing but the success of his theory in making accurate predictions and here are a few of them:
http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/evo_science.html

Evolution is an evidence based scientific model. If that is not a good enough reason to promote it as fact then what is? Personal convictions based on bronze age literature? Not good enough.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, November 11, 2007 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

While reading this article on my laptop, my daughter, looking over my shoulder, asked “ what is that picture”?  When I told her what is was, she did not believe me, and thought I was making it up.  My wife and daughter said the picture looked evil. We agreed the picture does look like something from the movie Star Wars. The simple fact a religious building something so ominous and decadent speaks volumes on the self righteous attitude of people who would be intolerant of others. 

One does not need to be a history scholar to see the horrible wrongs perpetuated in the name of religion throughout history.  Hypocrisy of religion, double speaks of love and promotes death at the same time, perversion from religions through history, Christian, Moslem, or Aztec, they all have an underlying similarity, the absence of reason, instead they promote programeing like computers. Starting with children, force fed data into their little blank minds. Minds of the ignorant growing up with fables and stories, taught from conception to death concepts like the Wizard of Oz.  Using these stories for acceptance of burning people at the stake for heresy, to ripping their hearts out to make sure the sun comes up, and now molding the minds of warriors.  Religion the perfect tool to create drones, brain washing people to preform selected duties, in the name of god. Con artists who prop themselves with 2000 year old books, to pick and choose from selected works, setting themselves as all knowing and connected to be the selected to speak for their god. 

Military use of control and command, a premise for the regimented life,  is a perfect place to promote tunnel vision concepts, as this article exposes.  Absence of accountability in our government coupled with citizen apathy, allows this type of uncontrolled power to exist. We see special interests agenda, guiding us further into their preconceived black hole.

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By rowman, November 11, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Ernest,
Consider what you are saying. Evolution is also a theory. Why should this theory be forced upon those who disagree with it - Especially when it directly conflicts with ones religious beliefs?

Does this not in turn force a religious position on people?

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By boggs, November 11, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

I’m glad to hear the military is being taken over by the so called christians.
They are the ones who should be fighting in these ‘christian crusades’.
Let them take the bullets and see how far faith takes them after death!
They will share the same worm dirt that Tillman is laid in.
I wonder how many “christians” actually have what it takes to participate in the real frontline part of the occupation?

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By rowman, November 11, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,
I do not spell out G-d in respect to the Jewish people.  Aside from there being no vowels in Hebrew, Jewish people view this as a means to show respect to Him. I respect their beliefs.

Before I address your other questions, I would suggest that you apply your critique to your own posts. It seems your emotions get in the way of clearly articulating your thoughts and it is hard to follow you.

To whom I refer? I refer of course to those attacking “Christians”. In your words “madness, corruption and perversion; right to subjugate women because your little-dick syndrome” etc. etc. etc.

The picture of the Christian you paint conflicts with that of what a true Christian represents:
Galatians 5:22
•  love;
•  joy;
•  peace;
•  patience;
•  kindness;
•  goodness;
•  faithfulness;
•  gentleness;
•  self-control.

One is only left to conclude that the Christians you refer to are not real Christians. As I said, they are posing as Christians. Just because there are people out there willing to exploit Christianity does not mean you should lump them all in as representatives of the faith and condemn the good with the bad.

Do you ever consider how you may be cramming your position down “other people’s throats” with you incessant attacks?

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By cann4ing, November 11, 2007 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

bigjimbo, your post is spot on.  The so-called “intelligent design theory” is but a scam used by the religious right which seeks to inject a blind belief in creationism as a supposed counterweight to the science of evolution.

Claims that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” are also unfounded.  The U.S. is no more a Christian nation than it is a Buddhist, Muslim, Taoist,  Shinto or atheist nation. 

There are no provisions in the U.S. constitution that so much as suggest that this nation was founded on the tenets of Christianity.  There are two clauses in the First Amendment pertaining to religion—the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause.  The Free Exercise Clause insures that no person will be persecuted for their religious beliefs, whatever they may be.  It insures “freedom of religion.”  The Establishment Clause forbids government from establishing any religion as the basis for our public life and institutions, also known as separation of church and state.  It insures “freedom from religion.”  These provisions are reinforced by provision elsewhere in the Constitution that bars any religious test for the holding of federal office.

Thus, contrary to right-wing religious spin, ours is a secular nation in which both the right to worship or not to worship at all rest with the individual.  This is precisely why people in authority, be they teachers or officers in the U.S. military, have no right to force their students or subordinates to accept or even listen to their religious views when they operate within their official capacities of teacher or commanding officer.

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By Ron, November 11, 2007 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All these (mostly overweight) TV evangelists with their bad hair, cheap suits and southern drawls (hereafter known as Wingnuts and Fundies) should be given a one-way ticket to Shady Pines and placed on a Thorazine drip. If they can’t understand the concept of Separation of Church and State, remove their tax exempt status - that should be a wakey wakey call for them. This Joel Osteen guy with the chisled smile looks like he brushed his teeth with Super Glue. Pat Robertson was an early casualty when he ran for president after proclaiming that God called him to run. Apparently, God changed His mind and told Robertson to hold that thought.

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By bigjimbo, November 11, 2007 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

I don’t know whether they teach biology at the academy. If so, do they teach Darwin’s theory, which is the basis of modern biology? Do they teach creationism or the hoax known as intelligent design. Do the jesus-freaks at the academy endorse the rapture and a longing for armageddon? The actions by a few fanatics are not in keeping with the Constitution which all military personnel take a vow to uphold, not the bible, not the president, but the Constitution.  How does a junior officer react when asked to attend bible study by his boss. Will stating the he or she considers that to be BS harm his/her career. When I was a young man and stationed in the pre-integration dixie bible belt, the religious wackos were regarded to be the equivalent of sideshow freaks. Are the crazies now running the asylum?

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By cann4ing, November 11, 2007 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Who are these people I am speaking of?  One-oar-out-of-the-water rowman asks, as if he didn’t know.  It’s the hypocritical right-wing religious fundamentalist in charge of Blackwater U.S.A. who claims he is doing God’s work as his mercenaries gun down innocents on the streets of Baghdad.  It’s the so-called man of the cloth, Pat Robertson, who, when he is not blaming 9/11 on the secular humanists and our permissive society, is calling for the assassination of a duly elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.  It’s our delusional prez, dubya, who thinks that his imaginary pal Jesus wants him to wage war on the peoples of the middle-east, steal their oil and place all Muslims under the control of our corrupt multi-national corporations—corporations run by CEOs who go the church on Sundays, then spend the rest of their waking moments scheming on where they can relocate their factories that once paid good wages here in the U.S. so that they can ship home poisoned toys produced by a work force subsisting on $2/day. 

I’ve got just one question for you, my blinded-by-the -right, true-believing automoton.  Tell me, rowman, who would Jesus have bombed?

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By DennisD, November 11, 2007 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business.” - Jesse Ventura - 1999 Playboy interview.

Jesse (Navy SEAL) - I couldn’t agree with you more.
“HOOYAH!”

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By S. Ray DeRusse, November 11, 2007 at 6:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with much of what is being said on this matter although I think many are missing the point. Does anybody know what military career the new Secretary of the Army had? Did Mr. Geren have any military service or was he a draft dodger like Dick Cheney?
Has anyone noticed how the Bush Administration has filled or attempted to fill many important appointments from his connections in Texas? Like Harriet Miers for SCJ, Robert Gates for DoD Secretary, Pete Geren Sec of the Army, M. Spellings Dept. of Education who was also with Bush during his term as Governor of Texas. He even planted political appointees as deep down as NASA and transformed it into yet another greedy racist fraudulent organization.

As a Texan (and many of us feel this way) I want to apologize to the entire world for the littany of fiascos these greedy, racist, chronic under-achieving frauds have suffered on the world. We personally did not vote for these people and don’t know how they assumed public office.

Cordially,
S. Ray DeRusse
http://www.bccmeteorites.com

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By John Borowski, November 11, 2007 at 5:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My dearest people you must understand that the extreme right and the religious devils have won it all. We are fleas challenging an evil elephant to a tug of war. As losers, all of us should have a set of instructions pasted in a prominent section of our homes in case of an emergency. These instructions should read: 1 KEEP PLENTY OF FRESH WATER STORED IN YOUR HOME. 2 HAVE A PLENTIFUL SUPPLY OF CANNED GOODS. 3 KEEP A BOX OF FRESH BATTERIES ON HAND 4 MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A TRANSISTOR RADIO 5 KEEP A HEAVY WOODEN TABLE CLOSE BY TO GET UNDERNEATH IN AN EMERGENCY 6 GET IN A FETAL POSITION WITH YOUR HEAD BETWEEN YOUR LEGS 7 KISS YOUR ASS GOODBYE!

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By devildog6771, November 11, 2007 at 3:44 am Link to this comment
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Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act of 2006 ( HR 2679, S 3696, previously the Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005)never passed the Senate.

1.] Communist Goals for American Takeover

2.] What I found doing a Google search of DSA goals for America-some views on Clinton”
I don’t expect you to post this; but do hope you’ll read it! I will agree any extreme is unacceptble.

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By Ron, November 11, 2007 at 3:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: #112859 by Douglas Chalmers on 11/11 at 1:39 am writes: “#112835 by Ron on 11/10 at 7:47 pm: “...I hate the language of the Bush regime. Being a “soldier” for your “country” is a respectable American occupation. But being a “warrior” for your “homeland” sounds more like fascism…..”

Actually, I was quoting another poster and lifted this comment from his/her earlier posting and failed to properly credit the person who wrote it (#112767 by Non Credo on 11/10 at 9:51 am). I was commenting on his/her remark. Sorry for the confusion. Personally, I absolutely despise EVERYTHING about the Bush regime.

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By cyrena, November 11, 2007 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

#112823 by rowman
Rowman, I have no idea how Douglas Chalmers decided that you could possibly get ANYTHING right, except that he was willing to isolate one sentence from the rest of you drivel, and give you credit for it. Very generous of him. But, when I read even this one paragraph, it’s just as stupid as everything else you post.
•  It’s interesting nonetheless, to watch this group condemn another group of people who believe in the Christian G-d.
So, I’m just really curious about this thing you have with never wanting to spell out the name GOD. What’s up with that? It reminds me of my grandma, who, as much as I loved her, happened to be a religious fanatic. (we just accepted that she was, because it wasn’t ‘dangerous’ to anyone). Now if she was reading a newspaper or anything similar, that had the word/name of GOD in it, she’d carefully cut it out of the paper, and save it all until the next time she saw the priest, (which was likely the next day, since she never missed Mass) and she’d hand all of that stuff over to him. Now I’ve never figured out what she thought he would do with it, and apparently it didn’t bother him either. But still, what was the point? I could only chalk it up as some deep superstition, which serves absolutely NO purpose, other than maybe to her. So, are you that wacky?

•    No matter how diverse this group may be, you choose to demonize them all. Everything they stand accused of here, directly conflicts with Christian principles and values.
Here we go again rowman. This makes absolutely NO sense. WHO are you talking about anyway? Who exactly are you accusing of doing the demonizing, and who do claim is BEING demonized? I think you’re on drugs on top of being as crazy as a loon, and you don’t even know who or what the hell you’re talking about. “Everything” WHO stands for,  directly conflicts with Christian principles and values? The posters? Or the ones we’re referring to in the article? The alleged Christians at the military installations, who OBVIOUSLY conflict with everything about Christian principles and values, beginning with the fact that they wanna shove any of it down anyone else’s throat? Is that who you’re talking about? I’m convinced you don’t know.

•    There must be many imposters posing as Christians doing all these wicked things and successfully fooling you into believing they are evil.
Do you READ what you write? “Many IMPOSTERS – POSING as Christians, doing wicked things, and then…SUCCESSFULLY FOOLING US INTO BELIEVING THEY ARE ….
E-V-I-L.?
How do they successfully fool us into believing that they are EVIL, by posing as Christians? I think you’re crazier than george bush, and that’s saying something.
Do you think the evil people spoken of in this article, along with the 40 million or so other Christian pretenders, are doing these wicked things so that they can convince the rest of the CHRISTIAN population that CHRISTIANS are evil.

Please explain how anyone ‘posing’ as a Christian, and doing wicked things, is going to convince a REAL Christian, that ALL Christians are evil? Nevermind, forget I asked. I don’t wanna know.

You’ve only succeeded in convincing us that you are stupid and batshit crazy.

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By Ron, November 11, 2007 at 3:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: #112819 by bigjimbo: <<I am a retired air force colonel who accepts the “big bang” and evolution as the best explanations of the origin of the universe>>

I’m not really sure whether it’s evolution, a “big bang,” “intelligent design,” or whatever else you want to call it, but if George W. Bush can become the leader of the Free World, I believe there’s hope for every ape in Africa.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 11, 2007 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

#112819 by bigjimbo on 11/10 at 4:31 pm: “...I am a retired air force colonel who accepts the “big bang” and evolution as the best explanations of the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on earth. I don’t understand dogmatic fanaticism….”

You’ve got the creation of the Universe and the creation of mankind in a nutshell there, bigjimbo. Everything else is windowdressing - except for how karma can be worked with successfully or unsuccessfully ( action + reaction are opposite + equal).

To quote #112823 by rowman who finally got it right:- The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That IS the “golden rule” which ALL religions are founded on. But we are ALL neighbours on this Earth, even our ENEMIES, and even other NATIONS, uhh!!!

I don’t understand, though, how you then call yourself “a mainstream Christian” as they are totally blind to anything but the dogma from on high (the pulpit - or the papacy).

Actually, it hardly matters whether governments are theocracies or not. What really matters is what is in the hearts of people in power. If they are willing to help others, all will be well, whatever they choose to call themselves.

Instead, what we have around the world are various systems of exploitation (hegemonic democracies), ruthless dictatorships (their puppets), religious democracies (patriarchal societies), all with an agenda of maintaining the status quo to their own advantage and inevitably at their own populations’ expense.

Your previous comments did pass the filter - as there isn’t any. We have had our problems with Truthdig but one that persists is that they get a bit slow in checking before putting things up on the page (they go to sleep, take drugs on the job, screwing in the office, long meal breaks, who knows what else!).

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 11, 2007 at 2:39 am Link to this comment

#112835 by Ron on 11/10 at 7:47 pm: “...I hate the language of the Bush regime. Being a “soldier” for your “country” is a respectable American occupation. But being a “warrior” for your “homeland” sounds more like fascism….. We should keep in mind that Hitler ran on a “family values” platform too….”

Wars are only meant to be fought by democracies if they are invaded. Ever since 1950, the USA has decided differently. A large standing army and a fully-equipped military on a war footing was kept that way.

That suited the industries of the time which could continue to maximize profits and maintain growth to pander to shareholders on Wall Street. It quickly became a monster which demanded to be fed with wars to justify its existence.

If there were no wars, then they had to be created. First Korea, then Vietnam, and so on…... These were all invasions so excuses had to be found. “Peace-keeping”, communists (socialism), dictators (unruly puppets), religious fundamentalism (failure to kowtow to Israel in the M.East), WMD’s, etc etc.

Yes, it all sounds rather like the Rhineland invasion, then the invasion of Poland, then Krystalnacht (9/11), then…...

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By cyrena, November 10, 2007 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

#112814 by bigjimbo

Bigjimbo,

Looks like it DID make it. (your comments). I think sometimes it just sort of depends on how it falls into the technological que.

Anyway…just wanted to thank you for writing it. This piece has generated several such comments for the same reason that you have made yours. In short, so many people have really been unaware of this religio-fascist takeover of our military as well as the other fundamental institutions of our nation. (Look at the Justice Department, same thing – there are others – many of the largest of our corporations) And, that’s because it is what the title of the article to aptly describes, a cancer. It has developed more or less out of sight, even if in plain sight, depending on how “tuned in” one might be. And, like any cancer in the body, it often goes unnoticed, until the symptoms begin to display themselves. Even then, we don’t always know what the ‘cause’ is.

So, it’s remained ‘hidden’ to a degree, and because it’s developed as what I can compare to a ‘subversive’ group, BUT…within these mainstream bodies and institutions. So, hidden in plain sight. And, while it has in fact been developing for several years now, the obvious signs, (such as we’ve learned from Coronal Antoon’s article) have been kept from the main stream media, and therefore, the general knowledge/attention of most Americans.

When I shared this piece with a very dear friend, (and mainstream Christian with long established ties to the military) she was overwhelmingly dismayed and distressed. In short, she didn’t wanna believe it. (What REAL Christian would?) And so, I did a quick search, (which took less than a minute) to come up with multiple articles to share with her, showing just how prevalent this has become. However, nearly all of those articles had come from alternative media, because the mainstream and cable news has steadfastly refused to cover these issues, and those individuals who have brought these truths to light, have been systematically silenced, and/or vilified by the political powers that be. 

Because, that’s what this is of course all about. These are a POLITICAL CULT of individuals. It’s fascism in the most traditional sense, as has been used for centuries. The use of organized religion as the cornerstone in the development of a fascist regime is certainly not new. Hitler and his Nazis claimed to be Christians. I could go on, but the parallels are very obvious at this point.

So, while I’m not so certain that notifying your Congresspersons is going to be a whole lot of help, (one must presume that they are aware of this themselves, but maybe not) it serves the far greater purpose of advising the rest of us, who might otherwise remain in the dark.

For that, we can thank Col. Antoon, and his son, and the alternative media, (truthdig among a few others) for bringing this to light.

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By purplewolf, November 10, 2007 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Since many of these various different brands of Christianity, which all claim they are the only one true Christian group, want to “marry” themselves into politics, and be the ones running the controls of this country, they should therefore, as law states, loose all their tax-free status as they no longer are qualified to take advantage of this perk. Thus by taxing these organizations that violate the law of separation of church and state, we could use that money for much needed repair work to the infrastructures in need of work that the government claims there is no money for as it is all going into the war machine. And we would not be raising taxes, we would be taking what is now rightly taxable monies, as these religious organizations no longer are eligible for this exemption. Then let’s see how fast these groups separate themselves from politics if the thought they might loose some of their money.

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By Ron, November 10, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

<<I hate the language of the Bush regime. Being a “soldier” for your “country” is a respectable American occupation. But being a “warrior” for your “homeland” sounds more like fascism.>>

We should keep in mind that Hitler ran on a “family values” platform too. Does the following sound familiar to anyone? (And yes, he actually said it!):

“Of course, the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”
  —Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials (reference: snopes.com)

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By rowman, November 10, 2007 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

“Is there no article at Truthdig that has not been infected by the mindless virus known as rowman?”

I have a whopping 51 posts to your 1500 and 1700 respectively. Perhaps it’s your own posts you refer to wink

It’s interesting nonetheless, to watch this group condemn another group of people who believe in the Christian G-d. No matter how diverse this group may be, you choose to demonize them all. Everything they stand accused of here, directly conflicts with Christian principles and values. There must be many imposters posing as Christians doing all these wicked things and successfully fooling you into believing they are evil.

I once heard an individual ask a pastor (a real one) “How do I know when I am living and doing the things G-d wants of me?”

The pastor replied, “When you love your neighbor as yourself”.

Mark 12:31
...The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Galatians 5:14
The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”


So who are these people you speak of and do you condemn the right group?

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By robert m puglia, November 10, 2007 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

smug adherence to the dogma which is proffered as christianity makes me doubt evolution but completely discount intelligent design. the issue is never about one’s beliefs but about making a big stink about one’s beliefs, about bludgeoning the non-believer into submission or out of existence. humankind cannot bear much reality.

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By bigjimbo, November 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

The absolute worst form of government is a theocracy, especially one based on bronze age fairy tales. I am a retired air force colonel who accepts the “big bang” and evolution as the best explanations of the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on earth. I don’t understand dogmatic fanaticism.

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By bigjimbo, November 10, 2007 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

I am also a retired air force colonel who entered via ROTC. Evidently my previous comments did not pass the filter. I found the article very disturbing and I will be notifying my congresspersons.  I think dobson is a christofascist and a redneck bigot.

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By bigjimbo, November 10, 2007 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

I also am a retired air force colonel who entered the military via ROTC. I elected to stay in the air force as a career because it appeared to be the leader in research and technology. I took a course of aerodynamics at MIT taught by Sheila Widnall long before her appointment as SecAF—a classmate in that class was Capt Charlie Duke, who later walked on the moon as a crewman on Apollo 16. It sickens me to learn that the forces of redneck bigotry and dark ages ignorance has pervaded the military. I plan to call snake oil dobson on monday to invite him to apply mouth to posterior for me. I will try to make this shocking article known to my legislators. Of course, the crawford village idiot will take no action because the redneck bigots are his base. I am a mainstream Christian and I wish to state the agents of intolerance and hatred (dobson, falwell, robertson, haggard) are the scum of the earth and not close to being Christians.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 10, 2007 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Re #112698 D. Chalmers

“People talk blithely and glibly about “democracy” in comparison to “religion” but they fail to understand that the same thing essentially happens. ONE party is chosen and the effect is a “one-party rule” for the other 49% of the population.”

—-This is off topic, but interesting nonetheless. Having spent some time in Switzerland, where absolutely everything is subject to a vote, I found that many Swiss people are terrified of democracy. Because it means that a majority, no matter how slim, can impose it’s will upon the minority. No library, or park proposal stands a chance, if it is up against funding a football stadium, for example.

I remember a night with several friends walking through the streets of Paris trying to decide on a restaurant. At every suggestion, some one in the group had an objection. Finally, we ended up in a restaurant that pleased no one because it was the only one nobody could find fault with. For me, this was an object lesson in democracy. It tends toward mediocrity. And mushy frites.

What was it Churchill said? - It’s a terrible system, except for all the others.

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By peaceonearth, November 10, 2007 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
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the use of the word “warrior” recently is very troubling. it harkens back to more barbarous times.
how much better the term “citizen-soldier”(the founding fathers knew!).
it implies all citizens have a vital stake in their nation and may need to defend it on rare occasions.

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By John Borowski, November 10, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
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I was brought up in a religious orphanage never knowing the joy of a mother’s love and care. There were many children there in the same situation that had never known a mother’s love and care.  There was a nun that apparently knew the children’s need for love and would coddle them in their beds at night time. The children would react like a group of men in the desert having to share the last cup of water. When the head of the nuns found out about what this nun was doing they got rid of her. In their twisted minds they probably felt, it was a sin.

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By tyler, November 10, 2007 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
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to douglas chalmers #112698

You can’t ban politics from religion, as great as that would be, because religions are private organizations, and therefore can’t be held accountable by the public like gov’t can, or should be.

Banning religion from politics, however, is totally feasable, and would create an environment where even if a minister were to be elected into a public position, he/she wouldn’t be allowed to use religious rhetoric or present ideas based on their own religious beliefs.

I agree with you though that politics should be kept out of churches, but thats just not possible by law.

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By thomas billis, November 10, 2007 at 11:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What did Weinstein think would happen when he worked for Reagan and Reagan mixed religion with politics in the 80s by hooking up with Jerry Falwell.We who have been screaming since the 80s that there is a separation of Church and State in this country that has served us well and should be maintained were branded as unpatriotic and atheists.I am sure the writer of this article and Mikey Weinstein voted for George Bush in 2000 which only made the situation worse.Well better later than never to keep are armed forces secular.

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By Scott, November 10, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

But being a “warrior” for your “homeland” sounds more like fascism.

And it looks and walks like the proverbial duck too.

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By cann4ing, November 10, 2007 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:  There is about a 26 minute You Tube video that contains the introduction of articles of impeachment against Richard Cheney delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives by Dennis Kucinich.  Go to:

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/cheney

Then scroll to near the bottom of the page.

A number of Democrats who had not previously signed onto H.Res. 333, including Judiciary Committee member Wexler of Florida, are pressing John Conyers to immediately schedule formal Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings in light of the Nov. 6 vote.  A growing number of rank-and-file Democrats in the House are weary of the do-nothing policies of Pelosi/Hoyer—as well they should be.  The American public is as disgusted with the “do-nothings” as they are with the Bush regime.  54% of Americans favor impeachment—70% of Dems. 

Kucinich’s presentation on the House floor was the most powerful address I have heard in decades.  If it were broadcast, sans interruptions, over the major networks, I suspect it would fundamentally alter the dynamic of the election, perhaps producing a Kucinich landslide, which is precisely why you will never see the corporate media broadcast it.  The corporate media can be expected to also astutely avoidyesterday’s Kucinich interview on Democracy Now.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/09/1455244

On the topic at hand, I think Karl Marx had it right when he said that religion was the opiate of the masses.  Interestingly, an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reveals that Sen. Charles Grassley (R.Iowa) has launched an investigation of the financial dealings six televangelists, including Joyce Meyer who has built a $124 million/year empire whose “Enjoying Everyday Life” TV show airs in 46 states and reaches two-thirds of the world.  Meyer’s amassed fortune includes a five-home family compound in Missouri, a $10 million corporate jet and a fleet of cars.  The article states that Meyer claims that everything she owns are “blessings straight from God.  Meyer preaches ‘prosperity gospel’ and uses blunt pitches to get her followers to open their wallets.”  Other targeted ministries include Texas based preachers Benny Hinn; Kenneth & Gloria Copeland and Georgia-based preachers Eddie Long; Creflo & Taffi Dollar.

While it is refreshing to see a Republican Senator leading the way, it is a disappointment that the two billionaire scam artists, Pat Robertson & Oral Roberts, were not included.

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By mary, November 10, 2007 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

When I was in second grade and attending “Religious Instructions” at a local Cathoic Church, I remember thinking how sad, mean and unhappy all the Nuns seemed.  It wasn’t until much later I figured it was out of sexual frustration.  But my biggest concern was worry that I would get the “calling”.  That one couldn’t hide from it, “not even in a boat in the middle of the ocean.”  So it was in the second grade that I realized these people were nut cases and I never bought into any of their preachie crap.  Now since I am no mental giant myself, I got to beleive most people see thru this crap too.  So how have we been so thoroughly infiltrated by these nuts, especially in military training schools.  I am afraid it will be generations before we uncover how much damage these groups have caused.  I just hope our Democracy can survive.  All those sheep out there, and the manipulating sheep herders.  Karl Rove must be so proud…..

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By Leefeller, November 10, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Molding the minds of ignorance has always been a key part of religions.  It would seem that the cadets would not be ignorant, sounds more like a seminary than a military establishment, well now we have both.
Lack of accountability and oversight in our government has becoming an issue of much magnitude probably, we may only be seeing the tip of the ice burg, allowing this to happen is part of the whole picture.
Dennis Kucinich has placed Impeachment on the Table, I have not seen anything on it, not a peep form the bought and sold mass media, but I am disappointed, it has not been brought to Truth Dig or some of the other web news programs.

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By corynski, November 10, 2007 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amazing.  I was at the USAFAcademy from 1957 thru 1959.  I remember attending mandatory church services, which I believe were in an auditorium before the chapel was built.  It was the first year at the Colorado Springs location.

There was no enthusiasm or interest in religion then, only a cool acceptance by the ‘brainwashed from birth’ generation I was part of.  I remember vividly the collection plate smoothly traversing the rows, up one row and back the next, it remained empty save a few coins.  There was absolutely no interest in religion at the time.  What a curious evolution of a vicious meme!

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By John Borowski, November 10, 2007 at 6:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The infestation of religion is not only in the military. It is also manifested in prisons. If you are a religious person that want to read any type of “bible” that is written by your religion you are out of luck in prison. Susan McDougal writes about this in her excellent book when she was railroaded into prison for refusing to testify falsely against the Clintons. The problem with religion is they will not countenance any other group that believes in a different religion other than theirs. All groups that don’t believe in any religion simply because their intelligence tells them it is a fraud are classified as evil people. Most atheists have no objection to a person that believes in a god. The atheists believe that the ways they will conduct their life are what their brains tell them are the best ways to lead a good life. An analogy to this is if countries would not accept any other country other than their own. All countries in this world would be killing one another. By this time after five thousand years there wouldn’t be any of us left on this earth.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 10, 2007 at 6:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#112493 by Pat Williams On 11:08 at 9:04 pm.

“Writeon-What is even scarier about the illegal crosscountry transport of six nukes is the series
of deadly “suicides” and “accidents” which have
befallen personnel from both the air bases during the
past two month.”

Excellent observation,Pat.Thank you.
Reasoning dictates that if the “suicides” were not
“suicides” and “accidents” were not “accidents”,then
and only then they should be considered “Murders” as part
of a cover-up,a BIG cover-up.The question arises:what
was the motive(the cause) for committing such an illegal act of ominous implications???.Answer:Two basically
similar groups in their religious passion come to mind:

(1)Some extreme fanatical Christian Evangelicals who
want to speed up the “Second Coming of Christ”.They
passionately believe the prerequisite for his “Second
Coming” is the holocaust they call,according to their
bible,“Armageddon” in which millions upon millions of
people will parish because they do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ the way they do and at the same time a “Rupture” will take place through which
all believers like them will zoom up straight to haven
and of course,they watch from paradise the slaughters as they occur.Their “Armageddon” must take place in
the Middle East;in an area called “Mageddo”.Too bad
that some of the leaders of this “Armageddon-Rupture”
dogma have passed away before they enjoyed watching
the slaughters of all humanity from paradise!!!!.

(2)Some terrorist organization succeeded in either steeling or bought its way through,somehow,in reaching the nukes and succeeded in transporting them
from one base to another in the hope to transport out
of military bases to use as they see fit.

If the above reasoning is correct,I am more inclined
to think that the group described in number(1) above
is the one that,more likely,had committed such an
ominous act because they have already infiltrated not
only the Air Force Academy but also the Congress,the
White House and possibly the Judicial Branch as well.

It seems to me that the whole system is infiltrated and possibly broken and it needs an honest leadership
in the mold of President Dwight Eisenhower whose
honesty and moral authority were admired world wide,
even among the peoples of countries considered enemies/adversaries of the US.Sorry, nothing else will do based upon what I have seen,so far,in the arena for the White House,for the 2008 election,with
the exception of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich and both are considered real long shot in winning their
respective party’s nomination.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Miriam S, November 10, 2007 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I grew up in this environment. Well, the Australian Baptist version of it. They’re nuts. I seriously think that the leaders of the churches have been coopted by neo-Nazis. It wasn’t always like this though. Everything really started changing in the early nineties from a nice sort of traditional middle-class conservatism to this reactionary charismatic peasant movement. It was and still is very disillusioning. We started getting all these weirdo pastors from new-school Bible colleges who started denigrating ‘worldly values’, a ‘worldly education’ , the nobility of poverty etc etc. Basically, a theology of weakness and despair. There was also rabid hatred of people who didn’t buy into it- including other Christians. A lot of families left, feeling baffled as to what was happening. Now the pieces are all fitting together and it’s starting to look like it was deliberate, to prime us up for war.

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By cyrena, November 10, 2007 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

#112696 by Ernest Canning

Ernest, thanks so much for the link. It was excellent. And, I’m assuming you saw the interview that Amy Goodman had with Dennis Kucinich as well, since TD has so graciously posted it here for us.

I signed several petitions on the afterdowningstreet site while I was there. Had lots to say about Richard B. Cheney. I figure I’m already ‘under surveillance’ so it can’t get a whole lot worse. Still, just make sure if you guys don’t hear from me for any extended period of time, send help, (like a counter-rendition team).

I’m really proud of our Congressional Reps. (notice we have a substantial showing of our California ladies and gentleman who’ve sponsored this resolution) I’m delighted. (still pissed at Nancy though, and that’s not likely to change – ever.)

As for rowman, I’ve done a reassessment. His intelligence may be questionable, but his insanity is not. He’s crazy as a loon and a danger to society at large. Matter of fact, I think he’s a candidate for a ticking bomb perpetrator. So, we need to send blackwater to capture him, and then do some ‘enhanced interrogation’ (no torture, because that’s illegal) But for now, waterboarding would appear to be acceptable in his case. Mukasey still doesn’t know it’s torture, so I guess it’s good enough for rowman.

So, we’ll let that be cheney’s final act…he can order the detention and ‘enhanced interrogation’ of rowman, (either by his handpicked CIA goons, or the goons from blackwater) as he has done so many times before. Then, as soon as he’s impeached, we arrest his ass too. Eventually, we’ll get ‘em all.

I’ll set up the tribunal, and let you know as soon as I get a date, so you can mark it on your calendar.

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By purplewolf, November 10, 2007 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

#112629 Rae:

I agree with most your post but think I have tweaked it up a little better: {“If we’re created in “His” image he is as screwed up as we are.” Rae’s} Not quite Rae, since we as individuals can only screw up a little bit, on the other hand you times that screw-up by every person on the planet who was created in “His” image and that means that “He” has screwed up billions upon billions of more times than any one of us could ever do and over a lot longer period of time, not say the average life span of maybe 78 years or so, and will continue to do so long after we are all gone. So he had to be really messed up from the get-go. And look at all those anger issues in the Old Testament, it is obvious that God could not control his temper and often broke one of his very own commandments-thou shall not kill-on to numerous occasions to list them all here. Sort of the pot calling the kettle black or do as I say, not as I do syndrome And if we as humans are so full of sin and are made in “His” image what does that tell us?
I have always said that is man was made in Gods image then he must have been a pretty poor example to begin with.

#112693 Cyrena:

Fear not. Winter is on its way, we already have snow here in Michigan, and it’s time for all good bears and even the bad ones to go into hibernation for the winter. Now off to bed (your cave) like the rest of the bears. And if rowman cannot share your winter diggs with you, perhaps he can climb into his boat and row his way to the Persian Gulf for a vacation. I am certain the people will welcome him with OPEN ARMS.

Doug Chalmers: Sorry I spelled your name wrong. I really need new glasses but my insurance says next winter. It’s been over 3 years now and it’s medically long over due. But that’s how these insurance companies make their money, denying the proper medical treatments people need.


THE GREATEST DANGER TO THIS WORLD IS ORGANIZED RELIGION. ANYONE’S

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 10, 2007 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

#112620 by VillageElder on 11/09 at 3:02 pm: “...This aspect of Christianity shares with Islam an aggressive conversion doctrine - convert as sword point. Religious freedom should also provide us with freedom from religion.  Democracy NOT Theocracy…”

People talk blithely and glibly about “democracy” in comparison to “religion” but they fail to understand that the same thing essentially happens. ONE party is chosen and the effect is a “one-party rule” for the other 49% of the population.

That is NOT freedom! And it is NOT “freedom from” the one-party states systems the USA is/was so fond of criticizing such as Russia once was and China still is. No wonder that the USA now has Blackwater and the USAF’s “Holy Warriors for Jesus” supporting fascism, etc etc…...

#112621 by tyler on 11/09 at 3:02 pm: “...Religion should be banned from politics, and any other public forum, period….”

Yes, but how about banning politics from religion, tyler? That is what is happening today - as it was 1,000 years ago during the idiotic Christian crusades. Its all a show to lull the people at home and to deceive them into believeing how great their leaders are - and it always was!

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By cann4ing, November 10, 2007 at 1:54 am Link to this comment

Well, you have a point Cyrena.  At times, I’ve been able to step back and chuckle at rowman’s lack of intelligence, but then I always come back to thinking that his is the type of mindlessness that you would have seen from those standing at the torch lit parades in Germany during the 1930s.

On a more positive note, if you haven’t watched it yet, go to

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/cheney

Scroll down to the video which contains Dennis Kucinich’s Nov. 5 introduction of the articles of impeachment against Cheney.  It’s quite impressive.  In fact, it should be broadcast without interruption on every major network, but then, if it was, Kucinich would win in a landslide—precisely why it won’t be broadcast over the corporate media.

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By Francis Norton, November 10, 2007 at 1:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Douglas,

Yes, you do get an interesting perspective if you use the Order of Malta as a mirror to throw a dark reflection of past crusades back to the present situation.

Was Bush was being accidentally truthful with his original reference? (I just found http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0902-06.htm which expresses this line of thought far better than I could)

Can any glimmer of light be found in all this? Maybe one day there’ll be an “Order of Carlyle” where patrician Evangelicals gather to re-enact ancient business breakfasts while organising charitable activities?

Don’t think I’ll be around to see it, somehow.

All the best,

Francis.

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By cyrena, November 10, 2007 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

•  #112645 by Ernest Canning
“Is there no article at Truthdig that has not been infected by the mindless virus known as rowman?”
Ernest,
And at first, I was just gonna say – NO -. It would seem that he’s pretty much everywhere we look, and pretty stomach churning, to say the least.
But then, after doing some work for an unrelated project, I came to the decision that he may indeed serve a purpose, not unlike a flu shot. As we know, most virus inoculations have a bit of the ‘virus’ itself, in the preparation. Supposedly, it provides the body with an ‘immunity’ of sorts, so that should they be exposed to a fuller version of it at some point in time, they will have this ‘immunity’ from having had the virus already injected into their systems, and thereby be able to fight off any future exposures; or, at least make the future contacts less disastrous.
Now of course rowman is more like an extra strong version of that virus, and probably enough to at least temporarily disable those who are totally without an immune system, (like the very innocent or naïve). But for the majority, I think he acts as a pretty good variable for what should pretty much keep everybody on their toes. And, it seems to work pretty well, if you cruise through the comments. Matter of fact, I found the responses to him, (from so many other posters) to be very uplifting. It shows that our populace, and our fellow citizens are NOT stupid, and NOT fooled, and NOT naïve, and very intelligent, with excellent insight and character analysis capabilities. So, that’s good.
That said, I should make it clear that this is not an ENCOURAGEMENT, (just like I don’t really recommend the flu shot for most of the public). And, it would certainly be perfectly OK with me, if he never shows his name again, or writes anymore of his pornography. On the other hand, at least we have a defense for it, and quite a strong one, judging from the character and depth of the responses. So, that’s one way to look at it.

#112596 by Robert Giacobbe
Robert,
I had no idea we’d disagreed in the past, but you’re right, it’s gotta be secondary. In fact, disagreement isn’t really such a bad thing. I actually welcome it, (in the right settings) because for lots of people, it’s the only way they learn of any other opinions, or even any other facts. Besides, I’m sort of a professional arguer. Well, no…take that back. I’m more like a wanna-be professional arguer, or maybe ‘arguer-in-training’. I once had a professor ask a fellow student why he wanted to be a lawyer, when he hated to argue. Gee, that was MY clue to decide that it would be ‘just the thing’ for me. I love it!!

I’ve since changed my mind, at least until we get back to maybe, possibly, actually using the rule of law. I mean, what the hell good does it do to learn all of this stuff, (the law) if nobody pays any attention to it anyway? Makes me wonder if there’s only a few of us left with a mostly intact copy of the Constitution. Meantime, all is not lost, since I have another professor colleague that gets all impatient with our ‘laid back’ mentality in California. She’s from the east, and complains that she can’t find anybody to fight with out here. So, just as an occasional ‘fix’ for her, we’ll start an argument or so from time to time.

Anyway, if you remember, let me know whatever we disagreed on. I may have changed my mind by now. On the more important issue, yes….the Driving Bear needs to be driven back into his cave, and he can bring rowman with him. Or, maybe the bear can row the man. Or..whatever. As long as they just go back to whatever rocks they crawled out from under, and stay there, so as not to continue to poison the rest of the atmosphere.

On the other hand, like I mentioned to Ernest Canning, they can at least serve a useful purpose, as an example of who/what/how NOT to be.

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By magix, November 9, 2007 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Colonel for writing this and thank your son for his decision.  Your service is much appreciated and your defense of our constitution could not be more needed.

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By cann4ing, November 9, 2007 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Is there no article at Truthdig that has not been infected by the mindless virus known as rowman?

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, November 9, 2007 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

“We all sin. We are all guilty of sin.”

This is PURE BULLSHIT, rowman. It is the fundamental assumption of Christianity… start with GUILT and go from there. Once you’ve got them on their knees, convinced they’re no good, you can fleece them till the cows come home. Great strategy… for bullies, thieves and con artists.

I admit, SOME humans are pure evil. A VERY FEW are so angelic as to not-to-be believed! But MOST OF US are complex combinations of situational good and bad - that’s the NORMAL HUMAN CONDITION and we have NO APOLOGIES TO MAKE TO ANYONE or ANY “MAKER” for it. That’s the way we are and we don’t have to beg forgiveness from anyone or any"thing”.

Has anyone but me noticed the inherent incongruency and irony in the assumption that some omnipotent, PERFECT “being” created us and everything else IN HIS IMAGE, and we turn out DEFECTIVE? What bullshit! If we’re created in “HIS” image, then HE’S as SCREWED UP AS WE ARE!

You can’t have it both ways, fundies!

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By Hemi*, November 9, 2007 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Chris G.

“-There was nothing mindless about our nuclear attacks on Japan.  You probably believe you’re educated so I’ll pay you the compliment of not exlpaining it to you.”

You appear to have no knowledge that the participants at all levels in the Manhattan Project were at moral odds with what they were doing. If you’d ever read anything regarding Robert Oppenheimer and his life leading up to and following the war, you wouldn’t use the term mindless. Some have described the bombings as unnecessary but that is at best conjecture and those questioning were never in danger of being asked to invade Japan. There is no comparing the bombing of Japan with brainwashing pilots to accept they will at some point be bombing for Jesus.

Great, you picked up on Hemi being short for hemisphere. Exactly that with no ties to any engine. Long story and not necessary here. You on the other hand are “Chris” short for Christian? We’ll let the irony slide, you’re an atheist that accepts religious hazing. Oh yeah, not cowardly, simply survival of the fittest. I should have known. Congratulations you survived!

You come in throwing around the O’Reilly attitude, “I said my prayers like a good little atheist” and punctuate your rant with “bloviate” and then take offense that other commenters (I’m not alone) picked up on your O’Reilly worship. I was also implying Billy boy was your “invisible friend” but that went over your non-theist head. You can’t hide your wings Chris, right-wings. O’Reilly and Rush have the same stance on questioning the path of the military.

“The Naval Academy graduates 800 people every year, many of whom (myself included) go on to do nothing overly important.”

And that makes you the perfect candidate to criticize David Antoon and his take on the state of the Air Force Academy.

Happy Holidays Chris (Bill would hate that!)

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By Shawn Smith, November 9, 2007 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

rowman - I think we agree. Maybe you misunderstood my comment. I am not lumping all Christians together. I am calling out the evangelical fringe as non-Christian posers.

“There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, ‘Business as usual.’ But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story… These people fail to realise that it is only on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves.

Let God defend God.”

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

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By tyler, November 9, 2007 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Religion should be banned from politics, and any other public forum, period.

How about amending the constitution to say, ‘One nation under TRUTH.’

I challenge ANYONE in any abrahamic denomination, to show the world ‘God’.  Bring Him down and introduce Him.  Show us, Let us see Him.

I’m christian, but I haven’t seen God, so I don’t really KNOW that He exists.  Hence the principle of faith.

Let Him speak for Himself, because those in public positions, particularly elected officials that profess to be speaking for him are bastardizing His word for their own gain.

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By VillageElder, November 9, 2007 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

This article ties in with discussion of the Blackwater folks in several scary ways.

#112288 by cyrena on 11/08 at 4:17 am

Cyrena - I’ve enjoyed your commentary on this.  Some of your phrases remind me of my stepdaughter, and my wife has had a few chuckles.

The Christian Right (christies) have had a stealth agenda for years,as announced by Pat Robert$on.  In elections they run without announcing their bias.  They take over school boards removing books which they consider satanic from the libraries, e.g., books by Richard Scary(sp?).  This infiltration of the military is not good.  It gives authoritar1ans yet another method of control over their charges.  The prospect of another round of “Holy Warriors for Jesus” supporting fascism is truly frightening.

Blackwater was founded by the scion of a theo-con family and has a high percentage of christies.  These are troops available for use without the constitutional restraints which our armed services should respect.

This aspect of Christianity shares with Islam an aggressive conversion doctrine - convert as sword point.

Religious freedom should also provide us with freedom from religion. 

Democracy NOT Theocracy

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By Ron, November 9, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A few years ago, I was visiting the mother of a childhood friend. Her daughter was there with her husband, a fundamentalist chaplain stationed at Guantanamo where the prisoners are held.  After blessing the “bounty” of Chinese take-out I had brought, he related to me how he had been interviewed by Vanity Fair, and he was offended when the reporter asked him if there was any difference between him and the Islamic fundamentalists.  I told him I thought it was a fair question (I had been trained in the military as an information specialist - or military liaison - with the civilian press). I also asked if he had cleared the interview first with PIO (Public Information Office), which would never have allowed the interview in the first place. He hadn’t. When I told him he had set himself up for not clearing the interview with PIO, and that it was a fair question, he stormed out of the room and never appeared again before I left. Those Fundies can be so funny sometimes.

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By lennybruce, November 9, 2007 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh my God! (no pun intended). This indicates a very dangerous trend not only in the military but as a reflection of the broader trend of religionization of American society and politics. The true existential danger to America’s ‘way of life’ does not come from religious extremists from without but from those within.

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By rowman, November 9, 2007 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Shawn Smith,
You cannot lump all Christians together and accuse them of this. There are many denominations and individuals that do live up to the tenants of Christianity and do to the best of their ability try to adhere to Christian values. What you are referring to is fringe (small) groups who call themselves Christians but are not. The author here is biased against Christians and you have to take it with a grain of salt.

We all sin. We are all guilty of sin. Start with the Ten Commandments and work your way to the Mosaic Law. We are all guilty. It was the Messiah’s purpose to free us from the law as no one can be justified before G-d by it. This gives you a path to sanctification and by this, a new law is placed on your heart. Everything in this law is by its very core, good. G-d is good. Is there a single commandment that you could point to that is bad? No, you can’t.

So long as the USAF cadet doctrine they are practicing is correct, only good can come from it. I am sure there are many doctrines represented but the author fails by lumping them all together.

And by the way, all of this chaotic mess you see in the world, it is as indented and will be until his return.

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By xyzaffair, November 9, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Military and fundamentalist Christian thinking seem to go hand-in-hand:  If someone does not see things as you do or has a grievance against you, that person is an enemy and must be dealt with in an appropriate manner.  I witnessed this thinking when I was in Air Force officer training at Lackland AFB, Texas.  I was there when the US Embassy hostages were seized in Iran in 1979.  An instructor was lecturing about armed response and asked the class how the US might respond to the hostage crisis.  Many in the class replied, “Nuke ‘em!”  The instructor responded, “Well, we could do that.”  I only met one military person in my four-year Air Force career who understood the background of US involvement in Iran.

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By Scott, November 9, 2007 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Why does an omnipotent God need an air force anyway?

I just don’t get it.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 9, 2007 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Interesting comments, not the least for what has been completely overlooked.

From this open-eyed viewpoint, it seems hypocritical, to say the least,  to get worked up over religious proselytizing while completely ignoring the political, social and moral coercion that every soldier undergoes. This brainwashing is the sine qua non of all military training. 

What is the difference between a cadet fighting for Christianity and capitalism, and a Vietcong guerilla fighting for Communism and Buddhism? Both stand for belief sets that can be challenged, studied, proven effective or ineffective, logical or illogical. In time, both belief sets may be completely invalidated in mainstream thinking.

Everyone who fights, fights for a belief. Some say there are no atheists in foxholes. It’s true in this sense: a genuine atheist, is someone who treats ALL dogmatic belief systems, be they political, social, religious etc, as fair game for a rigorous and unbiased criticism.

I suspect that some of you are secretly comforted that American soldiers are Full Metal Jacket style automatons. You assume that fighting FOR a belief set makes them more effective, and you may be correct.

But I’ll take the WWII soldier any day. Those who came to the reasonable, and logical conclusion that some belief sets are dangerous enough to fight AGAINST.

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By Bert, November 9, 2007 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I used to be in the service, and the biblechurchies
started leaning on me pretty heavily, and I didn’t
really even understand the motivation at the time,
but it’s all become a lot clearer now during the
time I’ve spent reading about some of the changes
that’ve taken place in our military. It’s not too
surprising, I guess, to learn that evangelists
have added themselve to the long and not-so-distinguished list of people that’ve made a career
out of lifting money, yes, money, out of our
servicemembers’ wallets. But, after you get people
to believe in the invisible man, then you can
squeeze em for every penny possible, but first you
gotta get em hypnotized. Well, on reflection I have
this to say: FUCK the army. Take a big armload of
your religious literature, and go kiss a speeding
bus. I mean that in the nicest way possible, of
course. Well, not really. But you get the idea.

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By nct, November 9, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MOT - Might I inquire as to your own nationality?

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By Dave Mende, November 9, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Somehow these evangelicals believe armageddon is a good thing.  That by causing and effecting mass murder Jesus will return to rule over the Earth and bless them. Does this seem logical to you?  Murdering little children (Iraqblockade, Lebanon) to seek divine sanction?  It is uncanny how most of the murder of innocent civilians is manifested of the air force. Those bombs ain’t as smart as they seem. When I am elected President I intend to buy billboards and display the tortured faces of the murdered children to all americans.  My people must see the hell they have created in the name of Jesus. These evangelicals will cause Jesus to turn his face away from america. No air force can save us from God’s judgement. Thanks a lot, semper fi and all that. Sheeeesh.

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By Hugh Duffy, November 9, 2007 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have just read David Antoon’s article regarding evangalising in the US military. That plus some of the comments of your readers. And you purport to be the most Christian and most powerfull country in the world?

God help us all

H. Duffy UK

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By Hammo, November 9, 2007 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Spiritual awareness can be helpful when done in a reasonable and intelligent way.

When it is part of a kind of coercive “brainwashing” that is apparently going on at the Air Force Academy, it is destructive.

Understanding human consciousness and its potential is important, if not crucial. New discoveries in this area are surprising.

Military leaders need to get up to speed on this and get away from the evangelical mind control.

Those truly interested in spirituality and connection to a larger spiritual force and intelligence can find better ways to do this.

Information related to this in the two articles ...

“Emerging discoveries in human consciousness may change many global activities”

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=27957

-  -  -

“Amazing enhanced human perception abilities are emerging, say researchers”

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=20423

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By Deborah, November 9, 2007 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reports like this make it definitely hard to keep the faith.

I am a believer and it is very hard to see my faith described as a “cancer”. Yet, the way Christianity is manipulated and insinuated into our government and now our military is exactly that.

I know it’s hard to believe but there are people like me out there: People who are Christian but not fanatical - who believe faith should be used to uplift people, help and guide them - not to be used as threats of hellfire and damnation if they don’t serve God by killing in his name.

This insidious twisting of faith must be stopped.

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By medicis, November 9, 2007 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

the USAFA cadets may be more religious (unfortunately) but they are definitely not more ‘christian’.

I think the author got it entirely correct. Cancer.

btw, ‘bear’ ain’t got a clue as to what ‘secular’ means. Nor, for that matter, “sour grapes” - since he or she misapplies it. Use a dictionary, ‘Bear’.

Further, I am a follower of Christ’s teachings and I am an actual conservative. So, I don’t what ‘bear’ is but it is certainly not Christian and certainly not a true conservative. Sounds more neoconish to me.

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By Chris G., November 9, 2007 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ Hemi* - your comments are truly laughable.  I’ve been on a lot of message boards, and I’ve never seen somebody come out in the wrong direction as quickly as you did.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if an automated bot responded to my comments and attached your name to the post - it’s that formulaic.  For example:

“You’ve got a lot of god damned nerve throwing that out like it’s an every day event for the people serving this country to mindlessly blow the crap out of civilians.”

-There was nothing mindless about our nuclear attacks on Japan.  You probably believe you’re educated so I’ll pay you the compliment of not exlpaining it to you.

“Although with the record of the current adminsitration maybe I’m mistaken, Mr. or is it Ms unregistered idiot?”

-It’s Mr.  The fact that I’m unregistered means nothing.  Neither does the fact that you’ve named yourself after the hemispherical combustion chamber in a gasoline chamber.  I’d rather be unregistered.

“You are the “bloviating” one. So what if you survived the Naval Academy? You admit to seeing corruption there and did nothing and are proud of it. I’m betting that like the Naval Academy, nothing was ever improved by your presence.”

-Exactly, so what.  The Naval Academy graduates 800 people every year, many of whom (myself included) go on to do nothing overly important.  As for the Naval Academy ever improving anything, that’s your call alone.  Jimmy Carter and Roger Staubach might disagree.  As for agreeing to seeing “corruption”, I admitted no such thing.  The only corruption I really saw was when the football players (or any varsity athlete, for that matter) didn’t have to go through the same routine as the rest of us because they were “special”.

“You are a liar and a coward. There’s no way in hell that you are an atheist. You couldn’t get through a day without your invisible friend telling you what to do. Take your Bill O’Reilly worshipping carcass; say your prayers like a good swabby and crawl back in that bottle you stumbled out of.”

-This is where you completely degenerated.  Not an atheist?  I don’t believe in god - any god.  I don’t believe in organized religion at all.  That’s all I need to say.  I also don’t need to “lie” on some unknown message board in order to prove some other point that you alone are seeing.  Bill O’Reilly?  The guy is a clown.  So is Rush Limbaugh.  So is Nancy Pelosi.  So what?  What does that have to do with me? 

Listen “Hemi” - maybe you’re a “big man on campus” on this board, what with a few posts under your belt.  However, if they’re anything like this last one was, it’s doubtful anybody really takes you seriously outside of your one-sided circle. 

Good luck.

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By jt, November 9, 2007 at 5:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Literature Network » William Butler Yeats » The Second Coming

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By cyrena, November 9, 2007 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

#112441 by Robert Giacobbe

•  In regards to #112428 by driving bear, help me understand exactly what you believe you’ve won in this struggle.
I’m sure you’ll give some bullshit answer about eternal salvation, so let me tell you what I think the so-called christian conservatives have won:
Robert Giacobbe,
You have just made my day, (and it’s EARLY no less) Yep you win the prize, since I’m framing this in gold. Oh, I do love it. I don’t want to repost the entire thing, but can I just redo my absolute favorites, and can we make sure to copy rowman in on this as well. (I mean, he and DB are in the same pod, rowman is especially fond of torture) So, here are my absolute favorites….
•  —The right to subjugate women because your little-dick syndrome prevents you from being a real man and treating the opposite sex as an equal partner, someone with which to enjoy life
That’s favorite #1. How did you tag them both so well? It’s like you’re a mind reader.

•  - The right to stumble about like idiots and blather on with your idiotic “theories” on complex topics like evolution, embryology, and geology

This is favorite #2. (though I admit they’re all so on target, that it’s hard to pick)

Now Driving Bear is really good at this one. He emphatically states that there is NO WAY that Christian Conservatives, (read right-radical lunatics) are gonna ‘stand by” while a million babies are murdered by abortion, (or something like that). Doesn’t matter if he knows their mothers, or if he even knows that they’re pregnant, or that he’ll never see any of them, (even if they’re born) and he DAMN sure doesn’t want any of his tax dollars (if he pays taxes) spent on them, after their born. No health care either. None of that. All he knows is that there’s no way that Christian Conservatives are gonna ‘stand-by’ and let that happen.

•  - The right to be the laughing stock for the rest of civilized society
- And the right to be trounced in any kind of public debate that you would dream of entering when it comes to evangelizing your particular brand of bullshit.

I combined these two, but they’re close in content, and this is exactly what it is. Goes with the little-dick syndrome. These types always have the biggest guns. They probably sleep with ‘em.

Meantime, Driving Bear isn’t worried about any of this stuff. He’s already said that he ‘stands by” whatever bullshit it was that he was ‘standing-by’ before. So, at least he’s consistent in being the laughing stock for the rest of civilized society.

Oh my. This was enjoyable. Thanks again.

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By cyrena, November 9, 2007 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

#112511 by Shawn Smith

Thanks Shawn Smith,

This is an excellent post. I will share it with those Christians that I know and love, whom I refuse to allow to be swept up into the madness, corruption and perversion of whatever it is these evildoing Evangelicals are selling.

Well, at least that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. It just depends on how many of them are actually able to think for themselves, and haven’t become indoctrinated to Christianity as a political party movement.

Now THOSE are some hateful folks.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 9, 2007 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

#112513 by Francis Norton on 11/09 at 12:22 am: “...As a card-carrying atheist of Catholic origin I was really impressed with this article until I got to the phrase:- COO Schmitz, another Naval Academy graduate, is a member of the Order of Malta, a Christian supremacist organization dating back to the Crusades…”

That’s very interesting that you should pick up on the Knights of Malta, Francis Norton, as it it the historical point of diversion from the military to a medical fraternity. In other words, they were an organization of naturopaths and physicians and had little originally to do with ‘the military” except that they were set up to treat their wounds and so forth during the “Christian crusades”.

Even their name had nothing to do with “knights” (The Knights of Malta) or “orders of chivalry” and they were simply the “Ordre des Hospitaliers”. What is chivalry anyway except a bunch of smelly old horse soldiers who presumed to be better than their fellows because the knight was awarded a few acres of land to keep a couple of horses on and a servant to look after them?

That is how things were organized in those days but it was another matter that the Order of Malta then morphed into some kind of military organization itself although perhaps actually only a kind of garrison guard. The Catholic church only took over at a much later date as they often did. Having its own order and, thus, princes was how utterly arrogant the Roman church really was.

Therefore, in the terms of the USAF, the Order of Malta is indeed once again being misused as “a Christian supremacist organization” and its relationship to the era of the Christian “crusades” is also possibly being misinterpreted to align certain individuals with their contemporary conquering hero, Bush the Texan Idiot.

Although the Order was to Malta like Columbus was to Cuba, the island has little strategic relevance today compared even with a place like Diego Garcia. Again, it was far more significant, strategically, when the Europeans were contending with the Arabs and the Turks in those days long past. Today, the US military is just plain confused with its own self-importance!

But, as you say, perhaps we should remember “a Glorious Tradition” and try to get the mad bombers of the world, the USAF to understand as well, uhh.

Quote: “Medicine replaces the sword as the Order of Malta continues to heal the sick and assist the poor across the world…..... Remaining relevant in a world so different from the days of the first Crusades takes a special kind of commitment. Very few Orders of Chivalry have survived into the modern day, but one Religious and Sovereign Order, of particular importance to the island of Malta…” http://www.guidetomalta.net/knights-of-malta.htm

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By PARAMASVARAN Kandiah, November 9, 2007 at 2:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is pathetic that religion must again be over emphasised to fight wars created by men themselves. More people have been killed in the name of religion in the past 2000 years vis-a-vis the dawn of history and all in the name of God. I can understand a Christian Army fighting against a heathen army. But when two Christian armies face each other - whom does Jesus support. This aspect has always disturbed my peace of mind because Isa Ben Yusof did not preach war but LOVE and to turn one’s face to the other side to receive the next slap.

The main theme of His sojourn on Earth was to inculcate LOVE of ALL things and Non Violence. He asked the question ” What would one benefit if he were to gain the whole world but lose his own Soul.”

Science shows us that our petty Earth is only a small dust in this Galaxy of ours and that there are BILLIONS of similar galaxies in the Universe. Will one MAN gain the entire Universe and become GOD? What are MEN fighting for actually. Are Love, Compassion, Sympathy etc not far greater than the entire Universe - subject to the existence of other parallel Universes propounded by some Scientists.

Or has the entire Abrahamic religions to be wiped out before these factors can come into play again on this Earth.

Probably such a happening may come about in the course of time seeing how the Abrahamic religions are trying to vault one over another.

The only religions that seem to have escaped from continuous cruel wars are Hinduism, Buddhism ( an Off shoot of Hinduism) and related religions to the Vedic ‘thoughts’ of non violence and vegetarianism. Buddha was born a Hindu and died a Hindu. Hence the religion defined as Hinduism today encompasses a major part of the world’s entire population.

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By Francis Norton, November 9, 2007 at 1:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a card-carrying atheist of Catholic origin I was really impressed with this article until I got to the phrase

COO Schmitz, another Naval Academy graduate, is a member of the Order of Malta, a Christian supremacist organization dating back to the Crusades


I know at least a couple of members of the order (from the UK and Hungary) and while you could certainly call them serious Roman Catholics they couldn’t be less like American Evangelicals, or in sympathy with their ambitions, and I really don’t think you can describe Order of Malta as “Christian supremacist” in any meaningful way.

It really makes me wonder about the quality of the rest of the article if the author can make a claim like that about an organisation like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_malta.

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By Shawn Smith, November 9, 2007 at 12:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know how the evangelicals can consider themselves good Christians. They like to ignore everything Jesus said about peace, compassion and judging other people - in other words, they ignore most of what Jesus talked about.

In Jesus’ own time, the Pharisees and Sadducees were the fundamentalists, believing that they practiced the only “true” religion. They forced their beliefs on everyone else and ultimately had Jesus crucified for promoting different a different way. Today’s evangelicals are the new Pharisees and Sadducees.

What happened to the Golden Rule? Turn the other cheek? Love your enemies? Blessed are the peacemakers? Judge not…?

After September 11, this administration’s first thought - even before comforting the victims - was about revenge. It’s understandable, but it’s weak, and it’s not a Christian response.

A true Christian is someone who can practice compassion, who can love his enemies, during times when it’s most difficult to do so.

Christianity is not the problem. The evangelicals are the problem, and they are not real Christians.

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By AF, November 9, 2007 at 12:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure Christians as we knew them had lost all control of the military about the same time they let women into the Academy. This is some New World Order, not based on traditional Christian values. Sure, Biblical baloney is forced on everybody in our society by the power elite, but it has nothing to do with the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth, or the Sacrifice of the Cross does it? There is not even a cross on that so-called chapel.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 9, 2007 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

112500 by Mike on 11/08 at 9:41 pm: “...One’s god will always be a reflection of that one.  Hateful people embrace a hateful god, rejected by those with a more loving nature.  Of all the world’s gods the Christian god has always been the most hateful….”

So, I wonder where they actually did get that “god” from, Mike? He/It certainly never had anything to do with Jesus - except maybe for murdering him - which was carried out by the state and the church (the Romans with Israel’s connivance).

#112493 by Pat Williams on 11/08 at 9:04 pm + writeon +  sulphurdunn, etc etc: “...What is even scarier about the illegal crosscountry transport of six nukes is the series of deadly “suicides” and “accidents” which have befallen personnel from both the air bases during the past two months….”

Were these “accidents/suicides”  thus actually exterminations/liquidations and were they carried out on someone’s orders or by someone volunteering to be smart?

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By Mike, November 8, 2007 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One’s god will always be a reflection of that one.  Hateful people embrace a hateful god, rejected by those with a more loving nature.  Of all the world’s gods the Christian god has always been the most hateful. 

Is it any surprise then that Christian warriors kill indiscriminately, or torture others without conscience?

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By Pat Williams, November 8, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

writeon- What is even scarier about the illegal crosscountry transport of six nukes is the series of deadly “suicides” and “accidents” which have befallen personnel from both the air bases during the past two months.

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By rowman, November 8, 2007 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm. So what you’re saying is that a member of the armed services should not be allowed to practice their faith. However, the source you cite at the beginning “Religious Toleration (Air Force Code of Ethics, 1997)” contradicts just that.

Christianity a cancer… that is just too absurd. How exactly could Christianity be bad? By its premise it is good.

Seems like the author has things all twisted up in his head and is seeking to do nothing more than attack a group of people for their faith.

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By Rickinsf, November 8, 2007 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seems appropriate to me.
The Air Force is possibly the most delusional of all the armed forces.

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By Frank, November 8, 2007 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

How do you get armies of willing soldiers to fight future wars that violate international law, undermine the US Constitution, and have little to do with actual US national security interests?

Simple. Through aggresive evangelising at US service academies, you fill the ranks of the military branches with ‘christian warriors’, and then you frame all future conflicts in a religious context: Jesus vs. Mohammed, defend the Holy Land for the prophesied Second Coming, etc.  The evangelical/fundamentalist soldier’s allegiance to their religion will trump all other considerations.  It works great for Al Quaida, and it works for the Christian Right.

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By Rob, November 8, 2007 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Do these cadets and their chaplains and superiors realize the ironic situation that the pilots that are being told that “Jesus is my co-pilot” will be fighting young men of the same age who will yell “Allah Akhbar!” in battle?

Why is it that it is the 21st century and human beings are still fighting for the affection and approval of an imaginary sky spirit?

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By sulphurdunn, November 8, 2007 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have some uncomfortable suspicions about these people and the recent nukes gone missing incident that seems to have been white washed.

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By jason, November 8, 2007 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I look at that picture I think of the Shrike from the Dan Simmons books.

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By Hal Waters, November 8, 2007 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Imagine, these Air Force grads flying around loaded with H-bombs and they are expecting armageddon so they can be with their good ol’ boy version of Jesus.  Fundamentalist fanatics, it doesn’t matter what religion, are the worst enemy of civilization.

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By mot, November 8, 2007 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, well, all you amergoofballs ; sharpen your knives for real, because in view of your tanking economy (a gift from your criminal elite govt.)you will soon be eating each other. Stay home, no other country wants you. It’s your fault. Get it?

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 8, 2007 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

#112417 by purplewolf on 11/08 at 2:17 pm: # 112290 Doug Chambers: “KISS- keep it simple stupid. These people are told over and over that they are Gods selected people….... Pathetic how religion reduces people down to the point of being savages. I even have a family member who gets as extremely irrational and violent as these brainwashed born agains….”

Thanks for your interesting response, purplewolf. By the way, Its Chalmers (Scottish), not “chambers”....

Having had family members who were either or both in the military or religiously obsessed, I can vouch for the fact that BOTH have a pervasive effect on everybody around them.

Of course, savagery is the prime quality which the military desires in its people - and primitive credulity is the province of orthodox religion. They are a dangerous combination.

The return of the crusades are already here. So too is Armageddon. We have been fortunate (but the Japanese weren’t!) that there hasn’t alrready been a nuclear war. Its been hanging over us since the 1950’s (Korea) and the 1960’s (Cuba).

But that IS what the USAF has in store for all of us -  the militarist’s Armageddon. And, again of course, “armageddon” is a word of the Jews! The Earth will go on - possibly without the human race. Its insanity is not everlasting, uhh.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, November 8, 2007 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

Whatever does “air force” and “education” have to do with individual religious beliefs or non-beliefs?

I’m missing something here. Where’s the benefit to either the student, the Air Force or the country?

When the “Reds” or the “Ruskies” invade, how is dropping to your knees to pray for help from heaven going to assist in defending the nation?

Beats me.

I do hope that there are at least some potential Air Force Academy students who, upon hearing the introductory comments by their superiors, IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW THEIR APPLICATIONS AND RESIGN before they too become mentally disabled.

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By P. T., November 8, 2007 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

I have seen that Air Force Academy church (in the picture) that is designed like a series of wings from military jets.  Let me tell you that it is vulgar.  They made a house of worship look like spare parts from jets used to drop cluster bombs on villagers.

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By cyrena, November 8, 2007 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

#112428 by driving bear

....What really bugs you is the fact that you can’t force your believes on the cadets of the USAFA.’...

Driving Bear,

This would be hilariously funny, if it wasn’t so sad. (Actually, it’s still kind of funny,  if only because it’s so predictable, and in your case so OBVIOUS).

Actually, there’s a term for this tactic, but it escapes me now. It comes in many forms, but your response here shows it at it’s most simplistic.

The article of course, (which you probably didn’t read, since I’m not sure you can) is extremely well written, and yes, it does make me sad, but not for the reasons you’re suggesting. In short, the whole point of the article is that the military (overall, not just the Air Force Academy, but West Point, and nearly all other installations) have come under such enormous decline, for the very thing that you accused me of, attempting to FORCE THEIR BELIEFS, (of the Evangelical type) on the entire institution.

It’s laughable to claim that I – me – alone, have any concern about forcing my own ‘beliefs’ on anyone. It’s absurd beyond belief. But, it’s typical that you would say something like that. It’s definitely the simple repuglican way, though it doesn’t only happen in politics. When people have no defense for their stupidity in thoughts, words, and actions, they simply turn it around and accuse somebody else of exactly what they themselves have done or said, or thought. And, they give themselves away every time.

It’s as predictable as the solar system.

So, you claim that I’M bugged because I can’t ‘force’ my beliefs on the air force cadets. What “beliefs” might those be Driving Bear? And, let me see if I can remember the last time I had any connection to Air Force Academy cadets…AH, I DO remember, it was back in 1973. That’s the last time I knew anyone who was an Air Force Academy cadet, and he didn’t have any ‘beliefs’ other than the oath that they all take to uphold the Constitution. Same with those I knew at the naval academy, and at West Point.

Back then, the citizenry paid tuition in order to have their children attend religious institutions, which combined religious instruction with the regular stuff that all citizens are expected to learn in the required schooling of grades 1-12. Believe me, my dad still grumbles about it from time to time, but I think it was worth it. And, like I said, it was a personal choice. One could attend public schools for free, but if they wanted that religious stuff thrown in, they had to pay for it via a private school that provided it. (but, that didn’t mean they could stop paying the taxes that supported the public education system.)

So yes, things have certainly changed, because these above named military institutions were not intended to be schools of religious instruction at the taxpayers’ expense. Nor were they intended to be discriminatory, and REQUIRE that the attendants adhere to a particular form of religious ideology.

So yes, that’s what makes this article very sad. It’s sad that this young man could not pursuer his dream of a career in the Air Force, because of the grotesquely distorted changes in the values of that great institution.

And, if it wasn’t for that, your comments would simply be hilariously disingenuous.

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By Hemi*, November 8, 2007 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

“They have to be reminded that sometimes, you have to drop a nuclear weapon on top of 45,000 hapless civilians (which your beloved institution certainly played a role in).” - #112402

You’ve got a lot of god damned nerve throwing that out like it’s an every day event for the people serving this country to mindlessly blow the crap out of civilians. Although with the record of the current adminsitration maybe I’m mistaken, Mr. or is it Ms unregistered idiot?

You are the “bloviating” one. So what if you survived the Naval Academy? You admit to seeing corruption there and did nothing and are proud of it. I’m betting that like the Naval Academy, nothing was ever improved by your presence. You are a liar and a coward. There’s no way in hell that you are an atheist. You couldn’t get through a day without your invisible friend telling you what to do. Take your Bill O’Reilly worshipping carcass; say your prayers like a good swabby and crawl back in that bottle you stumbled out of.

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By A. Dancy, November 8, 2007 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Colonel Antoon,
My father served as a forward Artillery for the First Cavalry in the Philippines in WWII.  Although he was awarded 4 bronze stars, he has never considered himself to be brave. In fact he said he was ‘scared most of the time and miserable the rest’ but he ‘wanted to get the job done so he could go home.’ He, like so many others, were the type of citizen-soldiers who won that war, and the great moral American victory that followed. He says you sound like someone he might have known back then, and he is glad to know that real patriotism continues to live in the Heartland.  Thank you for your article and for standing up for the principals that have been the strength of our country for 200 years.

A. Dancy, NYC

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