Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Chris Hedges Says Militant Right Preachers Have Taken Over Military Chaplaincies

This is a troubling development, if you consider/believe that the militant, religious Right--with it's extreme, theocratic/anti-democratic/anti-secular political agendas--is corrupting the democratic neutrality of the USer military.

Here's Hedges:

During the past two years I traveled across the country to research and write the book "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." I repeatedly listened to radical preachers attack as corrupt and godless most
American institutions, from federal agencies that provide housing and social welfare to public schools and the media. But there were two institutions that never came under attack -- the military and law enforcement.

While these preachers had no interest in communicating with local leaders of other
faiths, or those in the community who did not subscribe to their call for a radical Christian state, they assiduously courted and flattered the military and police. They held special services and appreciation days for all four branches of the armed services and for various law enforcement agencies. They encouraged their young men and women to enlist or to join the police or state troopers.

They sought out sympathetic military and police officials to attend church events where these officials were lauded and feted for their Christian probity and patriotism. They painted the war in Iraq not as an occupation but as an apocalyptic battle by Christians against Islam, a religion they regularly branded as "satanic."

All this befits a movement whose final aesthetic is violence. It also befits a movement that, in the end, would need the military and police forces to seize power in American society.

More than 50% of all chaplains now serving in the active military are self-described fundamentalists. The Pentagon grants office space to the soi disant Christian Embassy.

Hedges again:
The politicization of the military, the fostering of the belief that violence must be used to further a peculiar ideology rather than defend a democracy, was on display recently when Air Force and Army generals and colonels, filmed in uniform at the Pentagon, appeared in a promotional video distributed by the Christian Embassy, a radical Washington-based organization dedicated to building a "Christian America."

The video [Watch it HERE], first written about by Jeff Sharlet in the December issue of Harper’s Magazine and filmed shortly after 9/11, has led the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to raise a legal protest against the Christian Embassy’s proselytizing within the Department of Defense. The video was hastily pulled from the Christian Embassy website and was removed from YouTube a few days ago under threats of copyright enforcement.

There's more: click on the headline of this post for the link. Also the comments are amusing.

1 comment:

Buckeye, Dealer of Rare Coins said...

I look forward to reading this. Not because of the subject matter, but Hedges knows is stuff and is a very good writer.