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Lazy Media & Christian Soldiers

I posted this story on my Examiner page yesterday, but I think it is a pretty important story (or two) that needs to be talked about in more detail. This story is really two stories in one and both seem equally shocking to me. The first is that the United States Military seems to be doing religious proselytizing in Afghanistan. Apparently, the Religious Right are on military bases telling our soldiers that they need to convert the people of Afghanistan to Christians in the name of Jesus. Fundamentalist churches have even been funding the printing of Bibles translated into the local Afghani languages native to the region. Not only are those Bibles are being distributed by American soldiers, but the Bibles themselves are in a small way being translated and printed using our money. Churches are tax-exempt and so church money, which would normally go to taxes is going to translate and print these Bibles. Then American soldiers on the taxpayer’s dime are going hut-to-hut handing them out. We are actually paying the chaplains to preach this message of “hunting for Jesus.”

The second shocking story is that this story wasn’t even reported on CNN, Fox News, or even MSNBC. No, it wasn’t on ABC, NBC, or CBS either. It wasn’t even on NPR. Instead, Al-Jazirah News reported this story. Where is the American journalistic spirit, which should be investigating these accusations, which make all of America look like lunatic fundamentalist Christians to the very people who hate us because they think we are all lunatic fundamentalist Christians. Not long ago, President Obama went before the people of Turkey and told them that America is not a Christian Nation and yet here we are, American military personnel giving out Bibles in an Arab land. This not only is a violation of the Military Code of Conduct but also makes America less safe.

Personally, I would advocate distributing pamphlets, which might encourage Muslims to think critically about their religion, because I think critical thinking is useful no matter what someone believes. I also think that critical thinking might make Muslims less of a threat to America and the world. Legally, I am not sure if US soldiers would be allowed to do that, but at this point I am starting to think that maybe I had the wrong target for my critical thinking pamphlet idea. Maybe we should be giving critical thinking pamphlets and lessons to our soldiers.

Flipping through the major news networks today I saw story after story about the pig flu, which has killed less people so far than the actual flu has in the same amount of time. I keep hearing how Republican Arlen Specter is now a Democrat and how Obama has to pick someone to replace Justice Souter. While I have talked about all these stories on the Examiner site, the major news networks are still reporting these stories over and over again. There is nothing new with any of these stories and yet not one of these news networks is talking about US Soldiers handing out specially translated Bibles to the Arab people while we are trying to gain their support in hunting down terrorist camps. Here is the video from Al-Jazirah News:

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  • Barry

    UFB…Un Fu(l<ing Believable

  • Scott

    I say this on yahoo news yesterday I believe. Why are our soldiers trying to convert the Muslims? IDK. But lets look at what effect this has. If they are actually successful at converting the population then those converts don’t really have a reason to wage Jihad on American anymore. But on the other hand, those not converted are going to find more reason to fight back hard. In the long run, Afghanistan needs to be turned into a modern nation that is aligned with other modern nations. This means Al Queda then has to hide in Pakistan which proves to be a problem since Pakistan’s cooperation isn’t good enough to deal with Al Queda living mountains that haven’t been ruled by anyone since Alexander the Great.

    As for the Swine Flu, it’s nothing serious in my opinion. Remember the bird flu? It killed a few people that weren’t too healthy to start with just like the swine flu and the normal does.

  • 1225truth

    One other thing… The mainstream media is also seldom reporting that conversion to Christianity or anything else out of Islam in Afghanistan is a crime. What are we doing coming to the aid and assistance of a country that would deprive its citizens of such elemental human rights?

    Why depriving them of even more human rights by bombing the crap out of them, of course.

  • Chuck

    The American Family Association sent out it’s own news story today with a headline that screams “U.S. military destroys soldier’s Bibles.” Naturally, they make it sound like the military is destroying the soldiers’ personal property and unless the mindless sheep that follow the AFA’s directives read the article (unlikely), they will automatically start calling for Obama’s head on a platter because, you know, he is responsible for everything the religious right doesn’t like. A$$holes!

  • http://www.myspace.com/natefrogfilthpig nathan huckabee

    what an outrage. ugh. this really urk’s me…

  • SamStaurophobia

    I can’t believe our soldiers are even religious…

    That doesn’t click with me. Soldiers fighting a war, under constant fire can still believe there’s a God?

    That’s insane.

    Of course, so was Elie Weizel who wrote “Night” about his experiences as a Jew in Nazi concentration camps during WW2.

    He STILL kept believing in God, even being there.

    Those kind of events outline the very reason why God’s existence is impossible.

  • Tomkinson

    That Al Jazeera report is based on manipulated footage that’s more than a year old. The reason it isn’t being reported by more news agencies is because its irrelevant. Yet it doesn’t stop this moron is from making a spate of unsupportable claims like:

    “the Religious Right are on military bases telling our soldiers that they need to convert the people of Afghanistan to Christians in the name of Jesus.”

    There is not one shred of evidence for that in the clip. When the military chaplains found out about the bibles, sent by one of the soldiers churches, they confiscated them. The chaplain’s sermon on witnessing was identical to every other sermon heard at every other evangelical church in the world every Sunday. Where’s all the footage of this alleged proselytizing to the Afghans or distribution of the bibles?

    The religious right are on the bases because many soldiers ARE the religious right and they sometimes even, gasp, practice their faith! “UFB…Un Fu(l<ing Believable”

    “…but also makes America less safe.”

    This is a refrain often heard from liberal idiots like Staks that makes absolutely NO sense. Before 9/11 we were not bogged down in Iraq or Afghanistan, there was no Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, no renditions (well that’s not exactly true) or waterboarding yet 3000 Americans were murdered in NYC, D.C., and PA. Since all of these developments which undoubtedly “make us less safe”, we haven’t had as much as single homicide bomber in a Pizza parlor. Staks might want try using logic and evidence in his arguments, a mind like his needs all the help it can get.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      First, you tried this same type of argument with the Science Pundit and got smacked down. Second, DemocracyNow as aired even more footage which showed more context. This was not an isolated incident, it is very wide spread.
      Second, yes many of our soldiers are Religious Right and that should scare the fuck out of you. Most Religious Right Christians have no problem breaking “Man’s Law” if they feel they are upholding “God’s Law.” Religious Right Soldiers get promoted over non-Religious Right soldiers (see Jeremy Hall), atheist soldiers are put in unnecessary danger and sometimes ever killed by their fellow soldiers because of their lack of belief (see Pat Tillman). Do we really want these fanatics starting a Holy War? They were ordered not to push their religion while serving and they broke that General Order. Such actions inspire Muslims who normally wouldn’t join Al Qaeda to do exactly that.
      Third, might I remind you that liberals like President Clinton warned the Bush Administration that “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US,” and Bush ignored it. This war can’t be won with military might alone. Things like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and torture recruit more terrorists not stop terrorists from being recruited. They make us less safe.
      Fourth, the Economy was the terrorist target!!! And this hit us hard!!! They didn’t hit us in NY, D.C., or PA again, they hit the whole of America and the world. What a fucking moron you are.
      And finally, “Fu(l -Staks

  • Tomkinson

    What!?

    No hermenuetical trick could possibly convince anyone I got “smacked down” by the so-called science pundit. He conceded one point but this avowed atheist still believes a pro-bin laden mouthpiece for the Qatari government that praises people for killing themselves and others in the name of Allah is a respectable news agency. You obviously lack facility with American slang.

    To address Jefferson, which you did on another thread, I don’t think he was a god either. He was however an expert on the Constitution and he was the author of the phrase “wall of separation…” I could have chosen any other founder and cited examples of how under their authoritative (literally) understanding, the Constitution does not forbid religious expression (even governmental) and was never intended to do so. Even the most prominent modern liberal Constitutional scholars like Lawrence Tribe and Akhil Reed Amar acknowledge this. http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/1996Notes.pdf

    I watched the Democracy Now piece and there was still NO footage of the soldiers proselytizing or distributing bibles. This isn’t news at all. And no it doesn’t scare me if a few misguided Evangelicals cross the line. I’m not a coward or a hysteric, I am a calm rational being. From what we’ve seen I’m not even sure they did cross the line, you’re engaged in a kind of persecution.

    Yes the military is a deeply religious institution, I know I served in the Air Force as an atheist and occasionally I got some shit for it but people got used to it and most others didn’t care.

    Any minority is going to get unfairly hazed, passed over, and so on. Its not right when that happens and we should use laws to address that fact, its not unique to religious groups. Imagine the alarmist atheist crowd that you know with their derision and smug arrogance, how would they treat a Christian minority if they are SHOCKED and TERRIFIED that some well-meaning soldiers want to spread the Gospel? The only evidence we have of atheist dominated societies, the communists, does not paint a pretty picture.

    As for Pat Tillman there’s no evidence that he was killed for his atheism. I’ve read all the conspiracy theories and they are not compelling. At the very least it can’t be used as evidence of a man murdered for his beliefs, I could go into a more detailed analysis some other time. I could also cite scores of examples of religious people unfairly treated, expelled, fired, or mocked for their beliefs, look at Miss California. Sorry Carrie, you’re not liberal enough to win THIS beauty pageant.

    I am not a fan of President Bush but you have things wrong, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” was the title of the August 6 2001 pdb, and as such was provided by the intelligence agencies not by the Clinton administration. The Bush administration should have done more to deal with Al Qaeda pre-9/11, the same holds for Clinton who stupidly outlawed several important sources and methods. The administration also did a predictably incompetent job in the first few years of both Iraq and Afghanistan. What else do you expect from conservatives? Now we are stuck with an even bigger idiot like Obama.

    What I object to is the baseless assertion “we are less safe because of…” there simply is no evidence of this. The Twin Towers were struck and American civilians killed in 1993 and 2001, Americans were killed in the embassy bombings of 1998, if we include things like the Achille Lauro, American civilians were killed almost every year by Islamic terrorists, since 9/11 no Americans civilians have been killed.

    The idea that more terrorist recruits = less safe, does not follow. For example the very tactics spurring recruitment may render the alleged greater number of terrorists less effective, bigger groups are often easier to uncover and harder to fund etc. etc. Most importantly the evidence does not bear out your conclusion. As a liberal you are one of those for whom the facts don’t count but even still where I to pose the popperian question “What would falsify your hypothesis?” a dramatic reduction in civilian casualties would have to be it so consider yourself pwnwed.

    “Fourth, the Economy was the terrorist target!!! And this hit us hard!!! They didn’t hit us in NY, D.C., or PA again, they hit the whole of America and the world. What a fucking moron you are.”

    I don’t even know what you mean by this ridiculous statement. Are you saying that Islamic extremists orchestrated the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the CRA, sub-prime mortgages, the securitization of same, credit-default swaps, 40-1 over-leveraging…?!!! Was Bernie Madoff working for them too?

  • http://www.poweressence.com/ Maxwell Jennings

    Even if those particular soldiers are acting on their own without the approval of the US Military, they are still representatives of the military and should always act accordingly…even off duty and in ‘civilian’ clothes. Only when they are completely out of the military are they out from under military policy.

    There are religious fanatics all the way up the chain of command and I wouldn’t be surprised if former president Dumb-a-ya told the buybull thumpers to go for it. This kind of behavior taints the military effort in these countries as pathetic which helps inspire hatred for us by the civilians. Those conversionists should be discharged from the military, and religious beliefs of military personnel should be along the lines of ‘mind your own business and leave the people alone about your religious beliefs’.