"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's Must-Read: "Onward Christians Soldiers" Edition

The influence of evangelical/fundamentalist "Christians" on the U.S. military has been a problem for a long time. Remember the problems with overt proselytizing a number of years back at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs? (Also home to a major anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association.) Since the election of The Hairpiece, it's apparently reached epidemic proportions:

Donald Trump’s election has led to such a steep rise in fundamentalist Christian evangelizing and religious bigotry in the U.S. armed forces that the matter is reaching the level of a “national security threat,” according to information shared exclusively with Newsweek by an organization that represents and advocates for secular and minority religious views in the military.

The number of complaints from servicemen and -women in the Army, Air Force, Marines and other service branches to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has doubled in number since November 2016, according to lawyer Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, a former Air Force officer who founded the organization.

Many of the recent charges are coming from members of minority religions, including Roman Catholics, Jews and Muslims, and from atheists. Among the complaints: military family and marital therapy programs are being infused with Protestant Christianity, which would go against the U.S. Constitution; open anti-Semitism; anti-LGBT statements, posters, symbols and bullying; openly anti-Muslim teachers and Islamophobic attacks; a rise in on-base evangelizing; and increased pressure on recruits or lower-level personnel and service members to convert to fundamentalist Christianity.

We're talking about the likes of Gordon Klingenschmitt being in the ascendant. Why they're picking Trump as their messiah is anyone's guess:

The Christian right’s willingness to see Trump as a savior for their cause—if not a messianic figure, despite his living as an urban libertine who has had three wives and a history of lewd acts and statements—continues to grow. His selection of an evangelical as vice president, plus the appointment of at least nine evangelicals to his Cabinet, have apparently soothed any concerns the religious right had with his personal life.

My guess is that they'll grab onto anything as a rationale for pushing their agenda: note that the "Christian" right has a history of blowing any little "victory" out of proportion, and claiming influence where they have none. (Just read any of Brian Brown's money begs, or Tony Perkins' press releases.)

And I think it's no surprise that this is happening along with the rise in hate crimes and the resurgence of the neo-Nazi and proto-fascist "alt right" groups: they share a mindset, and I'd bet that there's a lot of overlap in their membership.

Fasten your seatbelts -- it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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