Thursday, May 07, 2009

Highlighting Professionalism in the U.S. Military

Now I don't link to these stories to bag on the military, so much as I link to them to bag on the right-winger Christians and bigots in the military. Item #1:

After posting his resume on online job site, Corey Andrew was contacted by an army recruiter about a job.

The email exchange between Andrew and the recruiter, Sergeant Marcia Ramode, quickly turned hostile when Andrew revealed that he was a homosexual.

"You are definitely unqualified," wrote Ramode. "Now take you gay self [sic] back to someplace else we do not tolerate gay people like you in any part of the military."

"Her response was appalling," Andrew told CNN.

The email exchange grew more heated, with Ramode suggesting that Andrew should, "go back to Africa and do your gay voodoo limbo tango and wango dance."

One reprimand, coming up. And then there are these yahoos:

Al Jazeera has posted a video alleging to show American soldiers trying to proselytize in Afghanistan -- which would be a clear violation of the military code and, potentially, the U.S. Constitution. More from Crooks and Liars here.


The video shows, among other things, a prayer circle of evangelical soldiers discussing how and whether to distribute a set of bibles in Afghanistan. If the soldiers ended up doing it, that would be a clear violation of military rules and a great way to earn enmity in a crucial corner of the world. But the video doesn't show that. Rather, what it shows is the soldiers talking about whether such behavior would be kosher or not, acknowledging clearly that proselytizing is wrong. One of them wonders aloud whether it's OK to distribute the bibles as "gifts" as a way of getting around the rules, and the prayer leader quickly cuts him off, saying "Alright, let's talk about it. What do you think?" The video shows no conclusion being reached.

One moment that is slightly greater cause for concern (but not necessarily damning) shows Afghanistan's chief of chaplains -- Lt. Col. Gary Hensley -- telling a congregation of military personnel that every Christian is commissioned to be a "witness" that "hunts people for Jesus...get the hound of heaven after 'em so we get 'em in the Kingdom...That's what we do, that's our business!" To those not in the know, this is boilerplate evangelical rhetoric that's to be expected in such a service. The problem is that for soldiers, it's not clear who exactly they should be trying to convert.

So, draw your own conclusions, but let's just say there are many, many Christians who don't see any problem with invading a predominantly Muslim country and then trying to hand out Bibles and convert people.

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