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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:28 AM

West Point cadet drops out to protest influence of fundamentalist Christianity

WED DEC 05, 2012 AT 06:41 AM PST
West Point cadet drops out to protest influence of fundamentalist Christianity
byChristian Dem in NCFollow

Blake Page
Cadet, United States Military Academy at West Point

Why I Don't Want to Be a West Point Graduate

.................

While there are certainly numerous problems with the developmental program at West Point and all service academies, the tipping point of my decision to resign was the realization that countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution. These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation.

These transgressions are nearly always committed in the name of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity. The sparse leaders who object to these egregious violations are relegated to the position of silent bystanders, because they understand all too well the potential ramifications of publically expressing their loyalty to the laws of our country. These are strong words that I do not use lightly, but after years of clear personal observation I am certain that they are true.

...................

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-page/west-point-religious-freedom_b_2232279.html

96 replies, 16026 views

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Reply West Point cadet drops out to protest influence of fundamentalist Christianity (Original post)
kpete Dec 2012 OP
LiberalLoner Dec 2012 #1
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #7
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #15
cliffordu Dec 2012 #27
Hells Liberal Dec 2012 #60
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #63
Unknown Beatle Dec 2012 #70
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #72
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #88
Thunderbeast Dec 2012 #17
gejohnston Dec 2012 #26
LiberalLoner Dec 2012 #35
jmowreader Dec 2012 #41
Hells Liberal Dec 2012 #61
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #89
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #23
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #28
loudsue Dec 2012 #58
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #82
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #85
Hells Liberal Dec 2012 #62
Plucketeer Dec 2012 #24
mulsh Dec 2012 #37
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #38
Raster Dec 2012 #78
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #91
Raster Dec 2012 #93
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #95
AndyTiedye Dec 2012 #47
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #74
AndyTiedye Dec 2012 #75
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #87
pasto76 Dec 2012 #55
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #73
Politicalboi Dec 2012 #33
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #39
closeupready Dec 2012 #2
Are_grits_groceries Dec 2012 #3
duhneece Dec 2012 #4
whathehell Dec 2012 #54
ChachaCha Dec 2012 #67
Overseas Dec 2012 #68
Rockyj Dec 2012 #5
12AngryBorneoWildmen Dec 2012 #6
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #30
DefenseLawyer Dec 2012 #8
jmowreader Dec 2012 #43
hunter Dec 2012 #66
uponit7771 Dec 2012 #76
Smilo Dec 2012 #9
ROBROX Dec 2012 #10
SaveAmerica Dec 2012 #11
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #12
triplepoint Dec 2012 #13
KamaAina Dec 2012 #14
Initech Dec 2012 #18
Initech Dec 2012 #16
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Dec 2012 #19
HockeyMom Dec 2012 #20
gejohnston Dec 2012 #31
sakabatou Dec 2012 #65
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #21
marlakay Dec 2012 #22
cliffordu Dec 2012 #25
DemoTex Dec 2012 #29
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #32
stanwyck Dec 2012 #34
Lightbulb_on Dec 2012 #36
Occulus Dec 2012 #46
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #50
Dark n Stormy Knight Dec 2012 #52
uponit7771 Dec 2012 #77
Lightbulb_on Dec 2012 #79
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #80
Lightbulb_on Dec 2012 #81
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #83
Lightbulb_on Dec 2012 #84
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #40
Berlum Dec 2012 #42
felix_numinous Dec 2012 #44
olegramps Dec 2012 #45
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #90
olegramps Dec 2012 #92
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #94
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #48
raouldukelives Dec 2012 #49
Dark n Stormy Knight Dec 2012 #53
Tsiyu Dec 2012 #96
trailmonkee Dec 2012 #51
indepat Dec 2012 #56
patrice Dec 2012 #57
DirkGently Dec 2012 #59
YOHABLO Dec 2012 #64
Overseas Dec 2012 #69
sarchasm Dec 2012 #71
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #86

Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:29 AM

1. This is a growing problem in the military and I hope we can overcome it in time.

This cadet is brave and a hero. It is a huge sacrifice to give up what would have been a successful career for this issue.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:32 AM

7. What we have is a praetorian guard

To counter that we need the d word, but people will have allergic reactions to citizen soldiers who are drafted.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:23 PM

15. I have often argued that exact point.

It's a lot harder to get draftees to go along with stupid wars and the like. You have to have a fairly good cause in order to secure the willing cooperation of people who didn't self-select into the military.

I say this from the point of view of someone who was drafted & sent to Vietnam in 1967.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:57 PM

27. What you said.

And me in '69.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:58 PM

60. Jackpine, you lived it, yet you still fail history.

 

Having a draft did nothing to discourage our leaders from sending young men to fight in illegal, immoral wars. It didn't keep us out of Korea nor Vietnam. All a draft did was provide a healthy supply of cannon fodder because most people would rather take their chances in the service than in Leavenworth.

And once those young men (and possibly women) are in, what they think won't matter. Part of the purpose of basic training is to condition them, yes, brainwash them, into following orders, even knowing that those orders will probably get them killed. All a draft will do is give proselytizers a larger, captive audience with which to brainwash.

Finally, let's be honest - has there ever been a draft that was applied fairly? Lincoln allowed the families of rich campaign contributors to hire mercenaries in place of their children. In the post-war era, we had college deferments which helped well-to-do and some middle-class avoid Vietnam. There were also cushy National Guard posts reserved for the George W. Bushes and Dan Quayles of America.

I don't know what the solution is, but history shows that a draft is not only contrary to what our founding fathers intended, but it won't work and won't be applied fairly.

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Response to Hells Liberal (Reply #60)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:26 PM

63. I think the course of the war was altered by the antiwar movement,

and the movement was fueled in large measure by those in danger of the draft and those who came back to create Vets for Peace, VVAW, etc. I know in my case I started covertly engaging in antiwar activities as soon as I got back, while I had 6 months left to serve in uniform. Google "Oleo Strut" sometime.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #63)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:18 AM

70. You were part of Oleo Strut?

Wow! I salute you.

I was going to attend Central Texas College in Killeen, TX in 1972 but decided to go to a 4 year university instead. Wasn't Oleo Strut shut down in 1972?

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Reply #70)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:23 AM

72. I was at Hood in late '68 for my last 6 months after Nam.

Hung out some at the Strut & got involved in creating some of the the little antiwar skits.

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Response to Hells Liberal (Reply #60)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:19 AM

88. now we just have an economic draft. a universal draft had this benefit: if things got too extreme,

 

a lot of people had a stake in protest.

a voluntary military doesn't have that.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:32 PM

17. I agree - A universal draft into public service would democratize the military.

I think we need to have a serious discussion about compulsory service for young men and women which could take the form of military service, community service, or an effort to repair and maintain the treasure left in our forest system by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 30's. Our wilderness an parks trail systems are falling into disrepair. Diverting a portion of the pentagon budget (let's start with Officer's Golf Clubs and cadre's of personal valets and drivers, military bands, etc) would go a long way to preserving our natural heritage, and make it available to our grandchildren.

What school system would not want a qualified teacher's aid in each classroom. Hospitals could augment staff. Young people could learn job skills and develop the basic skills (eg show up on time, learn to communicate, do a little arithmetic) that many employers feel are lacking in new hires.

We all need to invest in our communities and our countries.

The military, in particular, needs a broad new perspective. The academies are WAY out of line in their evangelical zeal. Muslims, Jews, Animists, and Atheists has shed blood for this country. They did it for US, not their religious totems, human and otherwise.

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Response to Thunderbeast (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:57 PM

26. FWIW,

the golf courses are for all ranks and are self supporting without appropriated funds. However, when I was in Korea, many of the ROKAF officers did complain about American enlisted using the Osan golf course.

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Response to Thunderbeast (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:31 PM

35. +1

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Response to Thunderbeast (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:14 PM

41. Let's start with understanding how the military is funded

Officers golf clubs -which are now very rare in the military; I think there are only a couple left because most of the clubs are all-ranks now - are self funding. The facilities were built decades ago, and ongoing operations are funded by players' fees.

Colonels and generals have drivers but those are troops from the ranks.

If you want to cut the military budget, start with cutting Natick Labs. And this would be expensive up front, but why in hell does the Army's field car, the Humvee, get six miles to the gallon? We have sixty thousand of these monstrosities. My thought is to hire Robby Gordon, who's won the Baja 1000 many times, to design a new field car. It will have to seat four, get 15 mpg unarmored and 8 armored (I think a HMMWV with an armor kit gets three), tow a two-ton trailer, last through five laps of the Baja 1000 course without disabling frame damage, and run on diesel.

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Response to Thunderbeast (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:01 PM

61. I would oppose a draft just on the principle of it.

 

It is contrary to what our founding fathers intended. History shows again and again that having a draft does not democratize our military. All it does is provide the cannon fodder for the elites to fight their wars.

If we had a draft, I would gladly assist my son or any other loyal American to evade that service in any way I can.

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Response to Hells Liberal (Reply #61)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:25 AM

89. Actually you are wrong

The founders intended for a non military in peacetime, and citizen soldiers in wartime. 1812 removed any doubt that we needed to have a small core of lifers, and the military has been democratized every time it is majorly draftee and the culture of the force changes.

Small professional forces are easier to turn against citizens, and with the exception of the civil war, it was a civil war, citizen soldiers tend to have more doubts.

If you think democratizing a force means voting on every order, you mistake a mob for an army.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:46 PM

23. You don't think draftees wouldn't be subject to the same bullshit?

 

With not even a volunteer's option to go AWOL and resign with a dishonourable.

Draftees who walk are deserters.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:58 PM

28. More brilliant people than me have described what happens

To a once proud military run by citizen soldiers when it becomes a praetorian guard with it's own, separate values, than the society they supposedly serve. Cicero did well describing the rise of that Guard in Rome. We have also seen it in the modern period with many a military pushing for coups. We are not different than Argentina and we have a military that increasingly sees itself as the one with the solutions. There is a danger in that.

The Founders, with all their defects, and they were men not gods, also described the problems with a professional military. In fact, they warned against it. 1812 changed some of that. But truth be told, having draftees changes the nature of the force and democratized it. It also stops some of this self creation of a separate culture.

What we are seeing at service academies should still be reversed...if not, the danger of a coup only increases, as well as the risk of a religious war and the end of religious freedom in the US. It is dangerous.

Oh and yes, we served in this house before you even say it.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:46 PM

58. I wish I could recommend this post. SO true. It is a slippery slope we are headed down

with the current military situation....one which the bush regime pushed along in the wrong direction.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:01 PM

82. "Once proud"? "Becomes"? I think one can safely argue...

 

...that the US is already 90-95% of the way there. Right now it is really only a matter of degree, not kind.

The Founding Fathers as you say tried to constitutionally guard against it, and instead got a gun culture full of yahoos convinced they need enough guns to hold off a platoon or two on hand at all times, just in case the government ever turns on them.

You allowed your standing army to grow larger and larger until it outmuscles the entire world; allowed it to consume a larger and larger proportion of the budget; you increasingly poke your nose into the business of other nations and relatively routinely topple foreign governments; military spending is pretty much whatever the vendor chooses to charge, for everyone else it's: How cheaply can it be done? Who can do without?

Simplistic? Yes. Without factual basis? No.

I'm not trying to rag, I didn't even realise who I was talking to for quite some time, but I recalled your military background as soon as you reminded me of it. Please believe me when I say I hadn't considered who you were or your background at all when I offered my 2 cents worth.

Adding draftees to that mix I think is a recipe for disaster. They'd be forever second class citizens and relatively powerless to do anything about it. It would be yet one more bi-polarity that is so definitive of American culture. In nearly every comparison of significance, it's one side vs. another, there's no middle ground. No third way. Indeed, third ways tend to be looked upon with great disdain and even independents are barely tollerated evils to many.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #82)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:15 AM

85. Then off to a coup we go

I hope you enjoy the show.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:02 PM

62. Amen MadMonk!!! Testify Brother!!!

 

All that would happen is that draftees would be an even larger, captive audience for illegal proselytizing.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:48 PM

24. Well - it's no wonder they're allergic to the D-word

They figure, go let the crazies and the desperate fight these stupid wars. Why should WE stick our necks out???

I'm ahshamed at what my once proud branch of the service has become. It's sure not the Air Force I remember!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:52 PM

37. I agree and we should draft women as well as men.

that would certainly bolster gender equality and help to ensure are truly diverse military.

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Response to mulsh (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:28 PM

38. Oh no doubt, a modern day draft includes both genders.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #38)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:05 PM

78. with absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS OR DEFERMENTS

Everyone serves. Everyone. No one is exempt.

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Response to Raster (Reply #78)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:33 AM

91. I can see one

You are six months out of your college degree, six months, and see you in as a butter bar. After that absolutely.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #91)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:01 AM

93. Nadin, what is a "butter bar"?

And yes, I can see that TEMPORARY exception.

On edit: No need to clarify "butter bar" (clarified butter bar)...I looked it up.

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Response to Raster (Reply #93)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:10 PM

95. Second Liutenenat

The bar is gold hence, butter bar.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:27 PM

47. That Won't Fix What is Going on in the Officer Corps

Draftees never got to go to West Point. Places there are doled out by Congresscritters.
In much of the country, the Congresscritters are Fundies, so guess who gets to go to West Point.

Starting up a draft would only allow them to indoctrinate a larger captive audience.
NO DRAFT
ESPECIALLY Not Now!
The problem is in the officer corps. The ones who get to give the orders to all those draftees you want to bring in.

If they start up a draft, we will be dragged into war with Iran.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #74)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:00 PM

75. If We Had a Draft, a Whole Generation Would Have been Subject to this Forced Fundie indoctrination

I already read that post. Could you explain how it is relevant to mine?
The brass, and the people who run West Point, and the people who go there, are not draftees and never were.
The place has been gerrymandered along with Congress (because Congressmen and Senators decide who gets to go there).

And they are the ones who get to give the orders. Draftees cannot resign. They lost all their rights when they got drafted.

If a draft were in effect then a whole generation would have been subject to this forced Fundie indoctrination.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #75)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:19 AM

87. If you believe that family members

Would remain silent. Historically private so and so dad or mom or both wrote letters to both pols and papers. That is what historically has happened for excessive kp, you think they would stay quiet over this? And some of them were even influential.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:06 PM

55. not all paths to comission are through West Point

although the air force academy here is guilty of the same climate.

Fortunately us enlisted outnumber the brass hats 10:1, and we dont swallow their bullshit easily.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:06 PM

73. True, but ring knockers make the majority

Of general officers in all branches. Mustangs seem to hit a ceiling at Lt. Colonel and most ROTC at Colonel. Shilaskavilli notwithstanding, most ROTC rarely make it to the general ranks. Why JCOS chairman Shilashkavili was a soldier's soldier.

And the bullshit, err tone, is being set up by that general officer corp. if they had thrown the book at Boykin I'd agree with you, alas that never happened.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:16 PM

33. He shouldn't have to give up his career

They should either change their ways, or be sued for everything they have. Why should this cadet or any other cadets lives be screwed up by these bible thumpers. Same with the military. They have no business asking you what religion you are or aren't. Unless you want them to know, it shouldn't be a question that they can ask.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:32 PM

39. The only reason in my mind it matters

Is if you buy the farm, or certain dietary accommodations need to be made. See Jews, eating kosher style. The military will not buy kosher meat ( or Hallal if you are Muslim)

The military also offers services of multiple denominations but those should be voluntary. The rub is some commands are making it mandatory. Also proselitation is against the UCMJ and that should be enforced and chaplains who do, should be shown the door.

Oh and spiritual fitness doctrines must go the way of the dodo.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:43 AM

2. It's inspiring that he is so committed to integrity and

his principles. K&R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:57 AM

3. You need to visit the 'Military Religious Freedom Foundation' site.They keep an eye on the problem:

http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/

The scope of the problem is widespread and scary. West Point can't hold a candle to The Air Force Academy.
What you will find on this site is gobsmacking!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:12 AM

4. yes, yes, yes

And read their article, "Jesus Killed Mohammed The crusade for a Christian military"

http://harpers.org/archive/2009/05/jesus-killed-mohammed/

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:06 PM

54. Agreed. I watched the founder of MRFF, Mikey Weinstein, on C-Span & what he had to say scared

the crap out of me.

It doesn't even matter if you are a "Christian", so to speak. You have to be THEIR

kind of "christian". I believe they're known as Dominionists and they are aggressive and really NUTS!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:16 AM

67. There is a great interview with Michael "Mikey" Weinstein, the founder

of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation in a film called Constantine's Sword. It's a documentary based on the book of the same title written by former Jesuit priest James Carroll who is also a journalist and author of several other books, and covers the topic of the merging of religion and the military. It's a great film, great interview with Mikey and really provides a lot of insight on what the West Point cadet was subjected to. I really commend this young man for his stance.

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Response to ChachaCha (Reply #67)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:33 AM

68. K&R for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. They do great work.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:19 AM

5. Christian Evangelist = American Taliban

They are ALL nuts and bent on starting a holy war!
How can we stop this insanity?

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Response to Rockyj (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:28 AM

6. Ditto.

Fundamentalism is Fundamentalism (and is not Fun).

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Response to Rockyj (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:04 PM

30. By realising that there is no negotiating with extremists.

 

Any hint of conciliation is enough to reinforce what is already an absolute belief in their God given certitude and any offer for compromise is proof of weakness. And so far, Democratic party has prooven to be pretty good at fiercly negotiating until the Republicans get pretty much everything they want.

People have been making noises about Obama being about to steamroll the Republicans and taking everything he wants. They better be right. Because if he fails to deliver, there's a very real chance people might decide "Dog in the manger" is a better role for the Democratic party, and hand the Senate over as well. At which point the total lack of a viable Republican candidate for President becomes irrelevant.

It wouldn't surprise me at all, if this were in fact the Republican strategy. Seize control of both houses and keep a Democratic president to pin all the blame on.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:34 AM

8. From what I've seen, the Air Force Academy is even worse

It's scary to think that the people we put in charge of our security strategy come at their job with a belief that we are in "the end times".

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:38 PM

43. It is worse

Religious organizations headquartered in Colorado Springs:

Association of Christian Schools International
Christian and Missionary Alliance
Compassion International
Every Home for Christ
Focus on the Family
HCJB, a network of Christian shortwave stations
International Bible Society
The Navigators
Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs
WAY-FM Media Group
Andrew Wommack Ministries
Young Life

Add to that storefront churches and other religious outlets and there are probably a hundred or more rabid fundamentalist groups within 20 miles of the Air Force Academy. This makes a lot of sense; if your theology calls for the world to end in a bath of fire, the best place to go is the town where they train people who can do it.

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:04 PM

66. The Air Force Academy ought to be disbanded.

Hell, maybe the entire Air Force.

If I was slashing the Pentagon budget, and I would, that's where I'd start.

"American Taliban" indeed...

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:45 PM

76. +1

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:43 AM

9. Onward Christian soldiers and airmen .......... all you heathens out.

very well written article and obviously we have lost one of the brightest and promising because of the proselytizing.

Our military needs an overhaul badly. As others have mentioned the Military Religious Freedom organization is doing its best to get the obvious "talibanistic" thinking out of the military.

It is a frightening thought that the religious are not only running our military, but are clamoring to go and fight others who think differently. The mistaken and dangerous thinking that led to the crusades is happening again.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:48 AM

10. BACK IN 1970

 

During basic training EVERYONE was required to attend Sunday services even if you were NOT Christan. Some dudes got to alternate where they wanted to go. I am not sure about the Jewish members who were in my group?

Basically the military is NOT ready to have non religious members in their "basic" training groups. Now after military members are cut lose to their assignments it is drinking and going wild time, Then there is a minority who goes to church, etc.

Times are changing and this action may bring attention to those who like "routine" versus thinking OUTSIDE THE BOX.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:49 AM

11. I thought it was about a cadet who was trying to preach in class

and was then counseled to stop and then he decided to leave. Imagine my shock to find that the cadet was trying to protect religious freedoms of everyone who attends West Point.

I saw this article yesterday on a military FB page and the comments by the Conservatives were eye-opening and ironic. Calling him a heathen and saying that if he's not praying to God and following God's laws he will never be a good leader anyway. How full would their drawls be if it were the other way around and a Muslim Commander/Counselor was trying to convert everyone to muslin? And was showing favoritism to the muslins in the class? We would not hear the end of their fit pitching.

Hypocrites.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:04 PM

12. Admire him. Unfortunately, he's just the kind of person we do need in West Point.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:13 PM

13. The Rapture Reich is Just Like Rust

 

They NEVER sleep.....I remember back to when I was a cadet at the Air Force Academy how I was given the choice to clean toilets or attend church services at the Air Force Academy chapel. This was back in the mid-seventies. When my class started, the Academy had just gotten busted by Congress for operating a mock POW camp. A cadet had contacted his Congressman about it. Definitely now though, it appears the Dominionists there are training their "Christian Soldiers" for their hoped-for End Times/Final Conflict. They're worse than rust in many respects...more like a form of cancer.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:19 PM

14. At West Point?

I thought it was the Air Force Academy that had become the military equivalent of Liberty University.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:34 PM

18. Yeah it seems the fundie nutjobs have taken over all our military institutions.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:31 PM

16. Swearing to uphold the constitution and then letting religious nuts run things.

Yeah I'd say that's extremely hypocritical.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:37 PM

19. Wasn't there a gay marriage that was recently held in the West Point chapel?

The reason I bring that up is the fundamentalist influence at West Point may not be as big as claimed.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:45 PM

20. "Go to Sunday Service, or get KP Duty"

My daughter was told this in Basic Training at Lackland AFB. She isn't religoius and said, "No way, am I going to any Christian service down here", so she opted to go to a Wiccan service. It was PACKED she said with about 100 people! Must be a lot of Wiccans in the Military, or maybe a lot who thought the same as she did. She told me the Sunday Menu Special was "Grilled Cheese and JESUS Sandwiches". What does THAT tell you?

I also wondered what do they do for Jewish soldiers? I always thought that Jews hold Saturdays as their Sabboth? Not ALL religions hold Sundays as they holy day. Apart from the Military, Chick-Fil-A also thinks everyone is CHRISTIAN.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:05 PM

31. there are quite a few Wiccans in the Air Force

Last edited Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:44 PM - Edit history (1)

I worked for one, and Wiccan was on his dog tags since 1965. Since then, I ran into more than a couple. He was raised in the religion. When I was in Lackland, those who didn't go to chapel slept in, and we had details in the afternoon. The Mormon services were in the afternoon. First time I went to Mormon services since my parents' divorce (Dad was Mormon, Mom was Methodist. I was raised as both, but I practice neither.)
As I remember it, the fundamentalists started to take over in the early to mid 1990s.

From the Chaplain's handbook
http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_usbk.htm

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:02 PM

65. Yes, we do hold services on Saturdays

Starting with morning service, then Torah service and finally, afternoon service (all of this is in roughly 3 hours or less).

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:45 PM

21. Purge

the officer corps of religious zealots and reinstate the draft. Problem solved.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:45 PM

22. My son n law that is a major

In the air force, is not religious at all and keeps real quiet about it because of his career.

That is why they live off base most of the time so they won't be seen not going to church.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:55 PM

25. Want more info on this?? Here ya go!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:59 PM

29. "Spiritual Fitness"

A scary doctrine when embraced by combat commanders who are itching for Armageddon.

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Response to DemoTex (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:08 PM

32. Pushed by people like Patraeus

His little picadilos, some of which happened while in uniform and in the field, should be enough to put a kibosh to it...but it won't.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:17 PM

34. My son, a former Marine (8 years) said the proselytizing by fundamentalist Christians

throughout his service was relentless. Plus, you get pressure from commanding officers.

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Response to stanwyck (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:38 PM

36. Some are more sensitive to it than others...

 

I haven't gotten a whiff of it since basic... and that was basically a break for cookies at services.

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:30 PM

46. Question for others: does *anyone* believe that statement?

I don't.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #46)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:32 PM

50. This is not complicated stuff.

When one enlists, an oath of allegiance to the Constitution is taken. No religious oath is taken as that would be unconstitutional. Any military person thinking that his or her commitment to the "Great Commission" transcends his or her oath of allegiance to the secular Constitution and to an obligation to adhere to the UCMJ is an oath breaker who needs to get the fuck out of the uniform of the United States and join the ministry. Period. Such zealots are a threat to unit morale and to national security. They have no place in the armed forces of a free people.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #50)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:52 PM

52. 100% agree. Straight and to the point.

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #36)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:47 PM

77. You're kidding right? tia

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #77)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:05 PM

79. Nope...

 

I have not once ever felt singled out for a lack of outward show of faith.

I'm not an ass about it. I stand quietly when the Chaplain gives a prayer before a jump. I've counseled Soldiers on religious issues. I've had interesting debates with both higher and lower ranks about religion.

I have a live and let live attitude about it as opposed to the cadet in the OP.

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #36)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:33 PM

80. Did you go to West Point?

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #80)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:48 PM

81. No...

 

Though many of my colleagues did.

My school followed a similar format.

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #81)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:06 PM

83. In 1969

I was ordered to make my platoon sit on a sweltering log pad and listen to a fire and brimstone sermon about being right with the Lord and hell awaiting those who might die that day if they weren't saved. Then the chaplain gave an alter call. To their credit no one crawled to the alter, even though some of them were visibly shaken. We were waiting for choppers to lift us into a hot LZ. That sermon was not the kind of crap you tell men who are going into combat. We saddled up and got on the choppers. The chaplain slithered back to his hooch. I've had problems with religion in the military since. Even so, I can understand why you handle it the way you do.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #83)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:23 PM

84. I would likely have a problem with that as well..

 

I've got shit to do and PCCs/PCIs to finish.

I wouldn't let that happen to my guys and frankly it wouldn't get as far as me. I do work in a unique community though with only senior NCOs and CPTs and up.

Maybe it's different in the deuce...

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:39 PM

40. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, kpete.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:16 PM

42. Downward Xtian Soldiers - marching to ChristoFascism

Ugly, ugly development for America.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:39 PM

44. Imbalance of power

is the result when religion combines with military, or corporate power merges with political--consolidated power is the recipe for abuse. The ideal of separation of powers, where each is the check on the other, was something I always admired in social studies back in the day.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:24 PM

45. How about considering the closing of all military academies paid for by the government?

Like General Petraeus, who was considered a outstanding leader, they could go to universities that also offer Officer Candidate training. I realize that they have a commitment following graduation, however, they receive a a top rated education along with too much indoctrination all at no expense to themselves or their families. Aren't doctors, scientists, teachers, etc. just as crucial for the wellbeing of the nation as military leader yet their education cost are for a great extent shoulder by them. If we can afford to educate military with total costs paid by the government then why shouldn't we apply the same reasoning to others especially when alternatives are available. I don't suppose this would be very popular with the right wing chickenhawks.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:29 AM

90. The military trains both lawyers and doctors

And point is till the source of top engineers who tend to leave the military after one to two tours.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #90)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:41 AM

92. That only reinforces my point. Their education is paid for and then they leave the service.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #92)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:07 PM

94. A captain/ major

Has ten to twelve years in, and doctors commit to two years for each year of training. Specialties, it pretty much translates to a full twenty year career. Lawyers also commit to two years per year of training. So you will get at least eight years out of them after they get their degree. Most lawyers either get out at that point, 12 in, or stay for a full 20 year career.

Also the military has no place for the same number of colonels as majors, why at the ten to twelve year point both enlisted and officers have to consider the possibility of higher rank versus civilian life. Due to the longest war in American history a higher number of junior officers (and NCO) have left and that is a worry for the next generation of general officers, (and senior NCO's)

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:18 PM

48. Woulda thought the other side would be leaving in protest

after the gay wedding there the other day.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:08 PM

49. Funny how the least Christian of environments tend to have the most outspoken ones.

As applied to the military and the corporate world at least. If you agree to help the US government kill people who are a nuisance to its goals we will give you money and gifts.
And of course in the corporate world all the words of Jesus Christ fall on deaf ears M-F 9-5 but they line up to hear the word on Sundays.
"Howdy. I'm a super Christian businessman. I'll profit off slave labor in third world countries where children play in chemicals and women burn alive in sweatshops. I then use those profits to support Christian outreach in my local community. God bless."

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #49)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:54 PM

53. Very funny, in a very dark, sad way.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #49)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:43 PM

96. The ends justify the means

and justify the meanness:

"As long as I get the approval of U.S. Christians, I can behave like the devil himself - murder, pillage, deny justice to the poor - and I am still a moral, shining example of Jesus' love!"

If your Commander in Chief is the JesusduJour, you don't have to obey any laws- just make them up as you go along, I guess...













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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:38 PM

51. k&r !

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:29 PM

56. Onward Christian soldiers, mightily proselyting their prey with the fanaticism

expected of a rabid Tali-ban.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:34 PM

57. Looks kind of like some people have more of a need for strong external support for values they say

they identify with very intimately.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:50 PM

59. There was an incredible Harper's article on the AF Academy a few years back.


Fundamentalism has no place in our military, least of all the training academies that are supposed to produce our future military leaders.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:53 PM

64. The Military Was Not Established For The Defense Of Only Christians.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:38 AM

69. Excellent article on the crusade for a Christian military by Jeff Sharlet

http://harpers.org/archive/2009/05/jesus-killed-mohammed/

a small clip:
When Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office in January, he inherited a military not just drained by a two-front war overseas but fighting a third battle on the home front, a subtle civil war over its own soul. On one side are the majority of military personnel, professionals who regardless of their faith or lack thereof simply want to get their jobs done; on the other is a small but powerful movement of Christian soldiers concentrated in the officer corps. There’s Major General Johnny A. Weida, who as commandant at the Air Force Academy made its National Day of Prayer services exclusively Christian, and also created a code for evangelical cadets: whenever Weida said, “Airpower,” they were to respond “Rock Sir!”—a reference to Matthew 7:25. (The general told them that when non-evangelical cadets asked about the mysterious call-and-response, they should share the gospel.) There’s Major General Robert Caslen—commander of the 25th Infantry Division, a.k.a. “Tropic Lightning”—who in 2007 was found by a Pentagon inspector general’s report to have violated military ethics by appearing in uniform, along with six other senior Pentagon officers, in a video for the Christian Embassy, a fundamentalist ministry to Washington elites. There’s Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp, the Army chief of engineers, who has also lent his uniform to the Christian cause, both in a Trinity Broadcasting Network tribute to Christian soldiers called Red, White, and Blue Spectacular and at a 2003 Billy Graham rally—televised around the world on the Armed Forces Network—at which he declared the baptisms of 700 soldiers under his command evidence of the Lord’s plan to “raise up a godly army.”

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:13 AM

71. Thanks GW.

I firmly put the blame for this on W. No matter what happened before, W's misguided response to 9/11 was a clarion call for muslim-hating christian soldiers.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:17 AM

86. "These men and women are criminals"

 

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