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I recently wrote a piece for The American Conservative (TAC) website describing how evangelical Christianity is becoming a force to be reckoned with within the military and outlining what the downside of such a development might be, including the growing acceptance of wars and war crimes because they are somehow God’s will. I cited instances of senior officers, including Generals William Boykin and David Petraeus, who openly encouraged prayer breakfasts and Bible study among their staffs to develop “spirituality,” which they then incorporated into their warrior ethos. I also described attempts being made by soldiers in places like Afghanistan and also at the service academies to proselytize. I anticipated that the article, which was entitled “Old Testament Warriors” by the TAC editorial staff, would produce a negative response from some of the many self-described devout Christians who frequent the site. I was not disappointed, with comments ranging from the dismissive to the insulting, calling me, for example, a “whiny Vietnam vet also infused with today’s mainstream culture,” a “hack,” a “leftist,” a “B.S. merchant,” an “idiot,” and even “anti-Catholic.” Eventually, however, most of the 100+ comments were favorable and many even strongly supportive.

As I consider the issue to be important, possibly even critically so, I took another look at the piece in light of the comments and decided that it should be revisited, mostly in terms of the additional observations made by readers. First I might mention some areas in the original article that I perhaps failed to make clear enough. I was not implying that the military is overrun with out of control evangelicals or anything like that. My article’s sub-headline “Zealotry runs rampant in the US military…” was written by an editor, not by me. Evangelicals are still a minority and possibly even a small minority of all active duty military personnel and comments from some service members that they had never encountered a proselytizing officer or an inappropriately behaving chaplain are most certainly correct, though there were also comments saying the opposite. One reader noted that most senior officers are not fundamentalist – they just are louder and more noticeable when they do go off the reservation. Nor was I implying that anyone who holds strong Christian beliefs is automatically suspect or should conceal those beliefs under a bushel. Freedom to practice religion is as fundamental as the right not to do so.

Another point that I did not satisfactorily address is the tendency among American elites, mostly in the media and among the political and punditry classes, to encourage religiosity among the soldiery because it mitigates possible internal criticism of foreign and security policies in general. One comment noted that “the sword of God is a very useful weapon” because no one wants to die to defend “free markets.” This development might well be part and parcel of a developing warrior culture, which deepens the divide between soldier and civilian, and is driven by its own imperatives. One reader opined that a professional army “inevitably becomes counter to a republican form of government.”

For me the issue is simple and actually quite practical. A soldier swears an oath to the Constitution of the United States. If he believes that his loyalty to the tenets of a particular religion or to whatever God he believes in supersedes his obligation to his country he should be up front about that and not be a soldier because a soldier must protect all the citizenry as a servant of the constitution, not as a servant of God. If he cannot or will not make that distinction he should instead choose a different profession. Several commenters objected to that view, arguing that soldiers are always subject to a “higher law” in that they must refuse to participate in actions that are immoral or criminal. I agree, but there is a huge difference between personally behaving ethically and promoting a particular religious viewpoint in a hierarchical organization where an individual’s success is very much dependent on the approval of a superior. Or, in a worst case, empowering someone who desires to be raptured to heaven as soon as possible to make decisions on war and peace.

One commenter, a self-described Christian fundamentalist, also noted that there is an intrinsic problem that derives from fabricating a “Christian” justification for engaging in unjust wars, which has been the norm since 9/11. Another reader noted that accepting a non-historical narrative on faith makes it easier to apply a similar process in accepting “without question the lies and double standards associated with the war on terror.” One commenter astutely added that an aggressive nation craves sanction from a higher power or morality to justify its crimes, which tends to translate into holy war on the political right and progressive nation building or “responsibility to protect” on the left. Motivating soldiers to fight in wars that do not actually defend the United States has required a subtle shift away from secular patriotism towards a quasi-religious or moralistically based substitute.

Religious (or other) personal belief is not an appropriate yardstick for measuring the performance of any soldier, and I might add that standard should also apply to any government employee. That is not to say that a soldier or a bureaucrat should not be ethical or moral but ethics and morality are not necessarily linked to religion and should not be defined in those terms. Any soldier who witnesses a criminal or immoral act has the responsibility to report the same to the appropriate authorities in his chain of command, but one’s religiosity or lack thereof is not necessarily part of the process.

All of the above obviously does not apply to most Americans, who generally regard their religion as a private matter, but it does most definitely relate to some evangelical Christians and even more particularly to the so-called “dispensationalists” who believe in a particular form of Christianity that is so rigorous in its practical application that it sometimes advances the viewpoint that others who do not share the same beliefs are sinners or even evil. There is frequently preoccupation with the Second Coming of Christ, which many adherents believe is imminent. As part of their belief, many dispensationalists think that the gathering in of the Jews into Israel is a precursor event, so the desire to bring about the Second Coming has obvious real world consequences in terms of US foreign policy. There may be as many as 40 million dispensationalists in the United States, many of whom also have been described as Christian Zionists.

Many fundamentalist Christians also accept that the Second Coming will be preceded by a clash of civilizations type war in the Middle East in which all non-believers, including Jews who haven’t converted, will be killed. One comment noted how religious zealotry and war promotion come together with the “flag waving militarism” promoted by groups like John Hagee’s Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio, a ministry that has 20,000 local adherents and a television and radio audience measuring in the tens of millions. Hagee’s Christians United for Israel claims a membership of 426,000. Fundamentalists who believe that helping to bring about the Second Coming is the most important thing they can accomplish in their lifetimes are sometimes referred to as Armageddonists, derived from the name of the great battle prophesied in the Book of Revelation that will precede the Second Coming. One commenter asked if a general who eagerly awaits Armageddon is called upon by the White House to give advice on a national security issue what kind of advice will he give?

A soldier should rightly be judged on his or her ability to do the job, not for how he or she spends a Sunday morning or whether he or she has attended a prayer breakfast and Bible study with Generals Boykin and Petraeus. But several commenters noted how a little faith can be a good thing. A soldier fighting in a senseless war and possibly being killed might well do so more effectively if he believes in an afterlife, though someone also quoted Vietnam vet Tim O’Brien’s observation that “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior…” Another comment noted that while it may be true that religious soldiers perform better, senior officers in the field who make too much of their religiosity turn an overseas conflict into a holy war ipso facto, a war that we will ultimately lose.

Regarding the role of military chaplains, one reader noted that historically they have little to do with actually following Jesus and more to do with taking a shell shocked soldier and convincing him to pick up his rifle and return to the fray. True Christians are more likely to be pacifists “because they really do take Jesus seriously,” or as another reader put it, “I’ve always wondered about the illogic of religion that teaches the people of every nation to render unto their Caesar the lives of the other Caesar’s people.” Andrew Sullivan makes a distinction between actual Christians and what he calls “Christianists,” followers of an ideology rather than a faith.

Kelley Vlahos has recently written an interesting article on corruption in the military and, at first glance, corruption and a growing overt religiosity would not seem to go together. But she also opines that the post 9/11 generation of officers is actually only thinly inspired by principles and is largely motivated by careerism, as the would-be flag officers compete for fewer senior positions while the armed forces shrink in size. Meanwhile, the concept of the military as an elite society unto itself that makes its own rules has been growing, of which the evangelical religiosity, which frequently conflates war with God’s will, might be considered a subset. The overt religiosity and Bible study sessions promoted by General David Petraeus did not restrain him from entering into an extra-marital affair, which rather suggests that there is more than a touch of hypocrisy regarding how our officer caste self-identifies. And the fact that 85% of Petraeus’s staff in Afghanistan joined him in Bible study is perhaps better explained by careerism than by any genuine religious fervor. In today’s army, you follow the leader if you want to get promoted and what he does you do.

Finally, I can’t help but be amused by the one commenter’s quoting of Edward Gibbon, from his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: “The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.” Maybe America’s overt religious fervor is more useful than genuine, but in the end utility did not save Rome. It is certainly an interesting observation.

 
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  1. Don Nash says: • Website

    War is hell. The ‘global war of terror’ is worse than hell. Those that service the machinery of this devised hell are therefore, hellish.

  2. Very few people actually read more than a smigeon of Gibbon, usually in various condensed forms.

    In this they miss certain capital facts. First, the “Fall of the Roman Empire” for Gibbon includes both West and East Rome, the latter of which now called the “Byzantine Empire”. And it is the latter not the former that gets most of the attention.

    Second, specifically in regard to the West, Gibbon implicates Christianity, and in many different ways, in the collapse. This may or may not be true–the great Otto Seeck implicated the breakdown of marriage and the family, for example, and Piganiol and other French historians often put the matter more bluntly–“The Roman Empire did not fall, it was assassinated”, just for another example. Then there is the climate change thesis and so on and so and so forth.

    The irony here, then, is not the accuracy of Gibbon’s aetiology but the fact that he is so often quoted by Christians, especially fundamentalist Christians, who perhaps have read no more than a few paragraphs.

    The greater absurdity is this–if there is any parallel between modern states and ancient ones, making the analogy of the United States with ancient Rome is, and always has been, faulty. In fact, the United States is much closer to the Carthaginian Empire than to Rome, Republic or Empire, as was the late empire of the British. This, of course, gets no attention because it does not fit the American “Liberal” (British sense) mythology.

    Finally another unrelated irony–this Christianization of the US military has been a deliberate policy of certain schools, including Falwell’s Liberty University, which has special programs to ready its graduates for the military officer corps. And this has been going on for quite some time. Indeed, many years ago one noted that a leading light of the so-called anti-war Libertarians was addressing the supposed “Christian Libertarians” at Liberty U (the name was inherited when Falwell bought the joint).

    Is this all news to Giraldi? Actually it was once upon a standard policy of the CIA recruitment as well during the Cold War, which surely Senor Giraldi knows more about than he is saying at the moment.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  3. @Eugene Costa

    Thanks for your comments and particularly your reference to places like Liberty U and Patrick Henry College which are indeed focused on placing their graduates in the government. As for CIA recruitment, the two men and one woman who were involved in my recruitment into the Deputy Directorate of Operations never once mentioned religion. Once I arrived overseas I learned that the Clandestine Service was very heavily Roman Catholic, though most officers were not practicing. Don’t know if that is still true today.

  4. A Graphic illustration as to how we understood ourselves and our enemy:

    http://elvisnixon.com/2010/03/14/our-enemy.aspx

    NOW that we have shed our blood you seek to redefine the “values” of America

  5. If Signor Giraldi has not read the interview with Michelle Goldberg on Christian Nationalism and its fantastic rewriting of history, it is available here:

    http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/06/06/int06020.html

    It is a few years old, but Goldberg knows both the individual sectarians and the broader context, which one finds very infrequently elsewhere.

  6. Stogumber says:

    As an anabaptist, I’m with Mr. Giraldi insofar as he promotes peace. As an anabaptist, I think Mr. Giraldi’s concept of religion is absurd.

    Religion cannot be reduced to sunday services. If the soldier is entitled to make a personal judgement about the morality of some acts – this moral judgment will necessarily and rightly be informed by his religious conviction.

    Mr. Giraldi’s secular-defensive citizenism is not so bad. It is a lot better than the secular-aggressive moralistic imperialism of the Neocons.

    But we can’t all be seculars. And the Neocons are at least handy to win Evangelicals over for their warfaring and make good use of them. Whereas Mr. Giraldi’s dream about an army of non-religious citizenist soldiers is a mere dream.

  7. Ah, born again! Baptized again! Or was the first one invalid? With such a crowded schedule of obstetrics and submersions where the time for politics and foreign policy? But one leaves all this for Signor Giraldi to catch up with–it’s a bit like science fiction, isn’t it?

    Merely by the way, for anyone who has actually read Gibbon–perhaps even more than once–many delicious passages come to mind.

  8. Deadly Double Standards: “First They Came For General Boykin ..”

    We are experiencing a disturbing and dangerous trend in this nation. Our elites are promoting Muslims and others of questionable loyalty to positions of authority and influence and forcing out any who dare admit to holding traditional values. The most recent and egregious example of this is the case of mass murderer and terrorist Major Nidal Hasan. Our President was very quick to defend this killer and to cry out against any “rush to judgment.” Our news media propaganda machine put out story after story linking the act of a man who screamed out “allahu akbar” as he fired on US soldiers to the result of “stress” and a “wounded ego.” A man like Hasan was able to rise in the ranks while openly promoting jihad, yet Christians are being systematically passed over and forced into early retirement. Something is unconstitutional, immoral and dangerous about this trend, but you hear nothing about it on CBS, NBC, or CNN.

    Lieutenant General William G. Boykin was the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He has played a role in almost every recent major American military operation, serving in Grenada, Somalia, and Iraq. General Boykin was driven from office when the liberal LA Times article revealed Boykin giving a speech about hunting down Osman Atto in Mogadishu: “He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, ‘They’ll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.’ Well, you know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” Boykin’s remarks stirred much anger in the Muslim world, and Islamic organizations within the US were highly critical of the comments and called for his resignation, such as those from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Newsweek carried articles calling for his resignation, while Democrats like John Kerry were quick to denounce the remarks. Leftist Rep. John Conyers and 26 supporters put forward H. RES. 419 “Condemning religiously intolerant remarks and calling on the President to clearly censure and reassign Lieutenant General Boykin.” General Boykin has been the victim of Stalinist history erasure. He has become a “non-person” according to the dictates of the Hollywood Liberal establishment. Ever seen the film “Blackhawk Down”? General Boykin was the Delta Force commander of that mission. He was mysteriously omitted from the film. Nidal Hasan can show a power point presentation about beheading “infidels” and pouring hot oil down their throats but General Boykin, a genuine hero suffered calumny at the hands of Democrats. See a pattern here? T he argument could, implausibly, be made that this was an international matter and that domestically there is no second class citizenship for Christians. Consider the career of Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Bob Vernon was next in line to take over after Chief Daryl Gates, but Vernon was forced to retire after 37 years on the force. Why was he not allowed to ascend to the role of chief?

    Was he unqualified? The son of a 20-year LAPD veteran officer, Vernon rose through the ranks from rookie street cop, to second in command. He graduated from the University of Southern California’s Managerial Policy Institute and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University.

    The fact of the matter is that Bob Vernon is one of the early victims of “political correctness.” He had to be eliminated because of his religion. Had he been a homosexual or a Muslim, he would have become chief, but Bob Vernon is neither. He is a Christian, and his Christianity was used by the Left as a tool to bar him from the position that he so richly deserved.

    Compare his situation with the mass murderer Nidal Hasan. Major Hasan did a power point presentation at a medical conference detailing his goal of “jihad” and how to behead “infidels.” After murdering 14 Americans and wounding over forty, US Army Chief Staff General Casey declared that a greater loss would be to eliminate people who fit Major Hasan’s profile. “Diversity is strength,” burbled the General. This is a nonsense phrase that is no longer just stupid, it is dangerous.

    There is a double standard employed by the elites of our society. When it comes to career promotion a glass ceiling has been imposed on Christians and conservatives in general. To admit that you believe homosexuality is a sin, oppose abortion and assisted suicide (“end of life counseling” in Obamaspeak) is to end your opportunity for advancement. Not only will you not advance but you stand a fantastic chance of being subjected to a firestorm of unbelievable mockery and criticism. Look at Sarah Palin, look at Carrie Prejean. Had they not spoken out as conservatives, does anybody honestly believe that the filthy “Perez Hilton” character assassination would have been tolerated? If the roles had been reversed and she had used abusive language toward him or pointed out that he was obese, would that have been applauded in the pages of the NY Times and the LA Times?

    What happened to Bob Vernon was the opening salvo. The response by many Christians mirrored that of the Germans living in the Wiemar Republic as characterized by Martin Neimoller”s “First they came for the Jews …” First they canned Bob Vernon because he was a born again Christian and was caricatured as an “extremist,” but I was not in line to be chief of police, so I did nothing. Now you cannot be a beauty contestant and dare to disagree unless you want to be smeared with the most vile language. Now you cannot run as a conservative Republican woman without being subject to sexist stereotypes and objectification on the cover of Newseek magazine. You will be hung in effigy in West Hollywood to the amusement of local news affiliates. Your daughter will be slandered and castigated by late night talk show host David Letterman. The feminists will simply roll their eyes and nod. You oppose their agenda, then you deserve it, they will think, sometimes out loud.

    It is this hate and intolerance on a cultural level and the political agenda of the secular Left that have prompted communities of faith to create the Manhattan Declaration as a manifesto of defiance.

    On March 3, 1991 a suspected drunk driver was pursued by California Highway Patrol and LAPD. That driver was Rodney King. The media broadcast of his beating by officers eventually resulted in explosive violence that left 58 people dead. Robert Vernon gives the inside story in his book L.A Justice: Lessons From The Firestorm. Now that time has passed, one can sit down and read the book away from the emotionalism and hysteria whipped up by the media, and you can see how prophetic Assistant Chief of Police Vernon’s words were.

    We see the fruits of the Liberal victory in the corrupt and inept regime of Mayor Antonio Villaraigoso. We see the fruits in the “sanctuary city” movement that allows violent gang members to terrorize the community. We see the poisonous fruit on the national level with cowardice that allowed terrorist Nidal Hasan to remain in his job at Fort Hood.

    Read Robert Vernon’s book and see for yourself. General Boykin is a professor at Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, and author of “Never Surrender: A Soldier’s Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom.” Read what these men have to say and then compare it to the statements of people like Nidal Hasan, Van Jones, Kevin Jennings and Michele Obama. Ask yourself which views are truly mainstream and which are extremist. Consider how the dangerous double standards of the Left that have resulted in unnecessary evil like that perpetrated at Ft Hood.

    http://elvisnixon.com/2009/11/24/first-they-came-for-chief-vernon.aspx

  9. “Whereas Mr. Giraldi’s dream about an army of non-religious citizenist soldiers is a mere dream.”

    No doubt you can make a religion out of anything. And subvert ones that don’t fit with warfare.

    But I would consider it human progress if people who go off to kill under orders others they don’t know, almost always in pursuit of some donorist’s ulterior motives, would abandon the excuse of following a faux War Jesus who never existed.

    We make fun of those who die while trying to kill, who think they’re going to be transported to the bosoms of a hundred voluptuous virgins. They might as equally likely be destined for the roasting on a spit. Better they should think the latter, or come to believe that they will simply go out of existence if killed.

    It would be better for peace in the world, that soldiers of all ranks have no religion at all, rather than be deceived with phoney ones, thinking God will reward their killing.

    That’s no dream, it would be a wake up call.

  10. James says:

    To elvisnixon.com above,
    I could not read beyond your third line, so muslims are being promoted to positions of power? LOL, how could people like you dream this stuff up I do not know. While we are at it, how many muslims are in congress, the supreme court, justice, security, military or any other ministry? How many muslims in positions of power in your MSM? Or better yet, back cup your claim with names and positions.

    On the other side of the coin, how many jews are in congress, the supreme court and all the places i described above?

    Christian Zionism is the vilest most criminal belief system ever, pushing for killing billions of people for a sick version of God.

  11. Tolstoy saw great contradictions between the idea of serving God and the idea of taking an oath to defend any earthly nation. Beats me how any Christian can run to the colors, bear arms, and take them up against fellow human beings. Commit murder in the name of national “service”. How anyone calling themselves a “Christian” can see no contradiction between the teachings of Christ and the propaganda of nationalistic tribes. One could just as easily have the opinion that war is an excellent occupation for atheists, if there is no ultimate moral judgment to be responsible toward, as to say that it is a Christian’s duty to defend Caesar against all. Well, that is just me, and speaking for myself I am not cooperative with the warfare state nor the warfare state of mind.

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Gen. Boykin recently stated that according to his interpretation of Scripture, when Christ returns, he will slaughter his enemies with an AR-15! This man is obviously in need of professional help and shouldn’t be seen by anyone as a paragon of “Christian” military leadership.

  13. Rodney King did have a point, when he asked, “Why can’t we all just get along?” The reason we don’t is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, but because it hasn’t even been tried.

    No one, especially a Christian, ought to want final judgment passed on mankind. At this point, few could stand the scrutiny – perhaps especially those who are deluded into thinking it a good thing personally. Liberty U. might teach cleanliness is next to godliness, but how clean can your hands be if you’re running the biggest drone training operation in the world? There’s more hand washing going on there than hand wringing, more Pontius Pilate than Jesus as my co-pilot.

    The estate of Christianity is pretty well fallen, when inherited by people who don’t follow orders to love their enemies, but disobey by returning evil for evil. That ‘s no college of cardinals, but a Jerry-rigged one committed to cardinal sin. Nothing could be more blasphemous than denying the Holy Spirit, as founder Falwell inveighed, “Blow ’em all to Hell in the name of the Lord.”

    What shouldn’t be lost on anyone is that the Bible warns no one on earth is permitted to know when the end of days is. No doubt, the evil way things are going lately, the date with disaster’s been moved up. Trying to beat the Devil at his own game by speeding it up is hardly Pro Life. If you’re looking forward to meeting your maker, that mortal fate surely awaits each of us personally soon enough, without having to involve an Armageddon whether next month or in 10,000 years. What kind of Columbine mentality wants to take everyone else on the planet down with you?

    Whether you’re loyal to the Constitution or to Christ, neither is a suicide pact. Too many are guilty of killing the spirit of both.

    Are we our brother’s keeper, or his grim reaper? We are supposed to be responsible for the lives of others, not responsible for their death.

  14. Lorraine says:

    I really appreciate Fran McA.’s comments. And I also personally have grappled with the cognitive dissonance of being both a soldier and a Christian, yet somehow finding solace in the admonition that I must be “in the world, not of it”. After years of moral conflict and attempts to “effect change from the inside out”, I finally realized that the monster could not be tamed by one person. It will take many true Christians, promoting peace and brotherhood in society at large, to dismantle the armies and end the wars.

  15. Christianity becomes popular with each new generation of Westerners because the Holy Bible, on which Christianity is founded, justifies (depending on private interpretation) virtually any anything, no matter how evil or bizarre the activity might be in the eyes of rational individuals. For some, Christianity justifies incest. For others it justifies the handling of deadly vipers. For others it justifies participating in wars (like the current War On Terror) that’s designed primarily for the purpose of slaughtering large numbers of defenseless civilians. While for others, true Christianity demands passivity that forbids individuals from defending themselves without running the risk of hell fire and eternal damnation. In reality, not a single American soldier(Christian or otherwise) has died defending his country since the last Confederate soldier fell defending his country against the military invasion carried out by the United States military. It won’t sit well with most readers, but every other American soldier who died on a foreign battlefield, died defending the financial interest of Corporate America.

  16. A philological and stylistic point: “anabaptist” is in origin a Roman Catholic theological term used against various Protestant sects, as one recalls. That and commended Zionism, the demonization of Muslims & so forth, may signal a propagandist somewhat, er–removed from those he is trying to manipulate, though certainly not a Roman Catholic.

    This is strictly tentative and in the context of the above trash worth noting if not pursuing at any length.

  17. @James:
    How do you account for General Boykin’s fall and the elevation of mass murderer Nidal Hasan?

    How do you account for Obama’s hand wringing warning against a “rush to judgement” in the case of a man who murders folks while shouting Muslim victory chants?

    How do you account for Nidal Hasan being allowed to stay on active duty after proclaiming ( in a powerpoint presentation) his goal of killing infidels?

    @T.Maples: So what? Boykin’s eschatological views have absolutely zero impact on him as a serious threat to non-Christians. Islam demands “Dar el Harb” ( world of war) against non dhimmi “infidels”

    Atheists believe absurdities such as a notion of reality that is “from the goo, to the zoo…to y o u ” and life after death as essentially nothingness. Not exactly a recipe for self sacrifice- precisely what is demanded of our military.

  18. Albert says:

    The “rapture” Prophets for PROFIT are ANTI-Christ DEATH CULTISTS. God/Jesus put you in this LIFE to learn “soul lessons”, to increase your consciousness to the point of Redemption. Hagee and his Ilk REJECT the LIFE God gave you, and dangle a “shortcut” in front of people, just as SATAN dangled Temptation in front of Jesus. Do not follow the ANTI-Christ lies of FALSE prophets. Their “shortcut” of cheating God’s lessons does NOT lead to Heaven, any more than cheating on school work teaches you the subject. Hagee, Robertson, the whole group, do NOT believe in anything except the MONEY they collect for leading their Flocks astray.

    If millions of “christians” want war then, quite frankly, they are not following Christ. His kingdom is not of this world. And “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.” Sorry, warmongers, you mistake another for your Lord. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.” And “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” And “Love your enemies; do good to them that persecute you.” So who are these so-called christians and their leaders following? Who is this god of war?

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    America, throw off the YOKE of Israel.
    America is like MASTER-BLASTER in “Thunderdome”. The dwarf Israel controlling the retarded giant:
    “christian-zionism” is today’s JUDAS ISCARIOT .
    America & Christians have been YOKED by those who crucified Our Lord.
    In the bible the Jews BRAG about how they parasitically controlled Egypt AND Babylon. The bible clearly tells how Abraham twice “pimped” his own wife for monetary gain from Kings of GOOD character. Then ignorant people say one is wrong to talk about Jews controlling things. TRY READING THE BIBLE, the jews BRAG about it, insinuating themselves into positions of power is part of their culture.
    The Jews want to rebuild their “temple” so they can return to ANIMAL/BLOOD sacrifices, where they smear the blood of the animal all over (the bible describes in detail how they should rub blood all over themselves) and burn the corpse for a “PLEASING ODOR onto “their” lord”. The first 9 chapters of Leviticus involve detailed instructions for sacrificing live animals to their god. The Jews worship a WAR god. The CRUCIFIXTION of JESUS CHRIST was the FINAL sacrifice. Or don’t any of you EVER read the Bible?
    Isreal worships a WAR god. Christians have no business supporting or associating with WAR god worshipers. The only Jews Christians should embrace are those Jews who see the LIGHT and convert. WAR god followers do not embrace PEACE.
    “Judeo-Christian” is an OXYMORON. WAR-God vs PEACE-God. The Old Testament followers worship a WAR GOD and spend their lives hating, reliving every imagined slight, and dreaming of VENGENCE ….. “NEVER FORGIVE and NEVER FORGET” …. they still go on about Egypt and Babylon after MILLENIA. New Testament followers (are supposed to) worship a loving, forgiving God, and to CLOSE the Old Testament, as it has been FULLFILLED by the Crucifixion of Jesus. If you are following the OLD Testament you ARE NOT and CANNOT be a CHRISTian.
    “ANTI-Christ” does not get any greater then to CRUCIFY HIM. There is a MYTH that attempts to shift blame for the crucifixion onto Rome but the Priests sending SAUL of TARSUS and others to HUNT His followers right after the crucifixion PROVES that that is a lie. The Priests also instigated POGROMS against the early Christians. Judaism IS the ANTI-CHRIST.
    “christian-zionism” is the modern day JUDAS ISCARIOT, attacking CHRISTianity while feigning to BE Christian. Kissing Christ on the cheek for the Temple Priests.
    Jews, even to this day, refuse to set aside 2,000 years of venomous hatred for Our Savior.
    “Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is the spirit of Antichrist. He is the spirit of Antichrist who denies that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah.” — (I John 2:22; 4:3)

    “My opinion of Christian Zionists? They’re scum. But don’t tell them that. We need all the useful idiots we can get right now.” — Benyamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister

  20. I’m puzzled by the notion that an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God needs the help of mortals to work in mysterious ways. What if God had other plans for Armageddon that are being seriously disrupted by those who are trying to force it to occur within their own lifetimes? Isn’t that hubris of the most egregious sort? I am somewhat comforted by the thought that God’s judgement is likely to fall heavily upon those who claim to be doing God’s work while conveniently lining their own pockets or following their own agendas.

  21. Virtually all of these claims about religious proselytizing in the military come from only one source: Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). I am surprised that people like Mr. Giraldi give these claims any credence whatsoever considering Weinstein’s background.

    Weinstein’s was brought in by the Reagan administration for legal support during the Iran Contra Affair. There are rumors however that Weinstein’s actual role and the reason he was specifically employed in this capacity was to cover up Israeli involvement in this rather sordid affair. He was apparently quite successful at doing this. Rumors have also been floating around for years that he tended to be more than ready to accuse those who had the temerity to point out this Israeli involvement of potentially career ending antisemitism.

    Mikey seems to go out of his way to stop what he considers Christian proselytizing. That’s interesting when you consider that that the only other places where similar types of proselyting (by groups like the Mormons for instance) are illegal are either in strict Muslim countries or, strangely enough, Israel. Oddly enough, Mikey has always been a vociferous supporter of the very racist and intolerant Israel and its expansionist policies while at the same time supporting the strict separation of church and state in the USA . You’d think that such hypocrisy would have been pointed out more in the so called “progressive” media rather than these news outlets simply swallowing everything that Weinstein claims.

    Needless to say, Weinstein’s MRFF , like its bedfellow the ADL, is very well funded.

    What Weinstein tries to label as either antisemitic speech or Christian proselytizing might be something very much different indeed. It might be the result of the realization that is arising out of increasing numbers of our active military personnel that the major advocates for our disastrous military adventures in the Mideast seems to have been members of the Israeli lobby in Washington. Mikey might be realizing that such criticism needs to be be eliminated from the military under the guise of fighting “for tolerance”

    The first major purge of patriotic members of the military by the so called Neocons came shortly after 9-11. Thousands have since been eliminated. Retired Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski has written extensively about this. These latest campaigns by people like Weinstein might well be simply are just a continuation of this ongoing campaign where criticism of Israel is increasingly forbidden .

    You want examples of real potential disloyalty to the constitution of our country? Just consider those US born, present day members of the military who have been allowed to join our military services after having voluntarily served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). These people are also given security clearance despite their backgrounds. Would the same clearances be given to people who have voluntarily served in the Chinese military. I don’t think so. I know personally of two such people just in my immediate area who have done this so I know this phenomenon is not unique and might be more widespread than people realize.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  22. When discussing Christians, I prefer to use the phrase often used by the late English magician Aleister Crowley, who would repeatedly state: “The Christians to the lions!”

    Christianity per se is a joke religion. Born of a Roman double-agent – a precursor of the CIA! – who was tasked to infiltrate the burgeoning Jewish movement against the occupation of Rome, this agent decided to “go double” and hijack said movement to his own ends. He went around preaching a doctrine which was 180% from what the Jewish prophet Jesus was teaching. This became such a problem that Jesus own brother went about telling the disciples not to listen to this man. The agent returned to Jerusalem, confronted Jesus’ brother but the crowd turned on him. Being a Roman citizen, he demanded protection and “checked in”, as they say in US prisons, to prevent himself being killed by Jesus’ followers. He was subsequently escorted out of town by a few dozen Roman soldiers. He went back to Rome and founded the “Christian” church – based on an ideology that blamed Jesus’ own people for his death – which was not only against Jesus’ own belief but also wrong because by all serious accounts Jesus was never crucified.

    Centuries later, the descendants of Jesus came to the Bishop of Rome (he wasn’t called “Pope” at this time) and demanded a share in the proceeds of the church based on their ancestor. The Bishop told them to “kick rocks” – or whatever was the equivalent insult of the time.

    Subsequently the “Christian” church proceeded to persecute Jews throughout the world, primarily to conceal the above facts which only came to light with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    The history of the “Christian” church is one of millions of murders of anyone who did not believe their doctrine, i.e., “infidels” to use the Muslim term. Giving anyone political authority who is “Christian” inevitably leads to the murder and oppression of everyone else.

    Rome had the right idea (up until Constantine – who by the way remained a follower of his previous solar religion, despite “converting”, which was done for political reasons): “The Christians to the lions!”

  23. @John Cameron

    Weinstein is indeed the ultimate source for the phrase “Jesus rifle” and for accounts of some of the shenanigans at the Air Force Academy. Everything else in my story comes from other sources, to include the absolutely outrageous behavior by Generals Boykin and Petraeus. I have spoken to Mikey once on the phone but otherwise don’t know anything about his background, but I do believe that the highly reputable Col Larry Wilkerson, former aide to Colin Powell is on his board, so even if MIkey is sometimes overdoing it I would suggest that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

  24. I once had a an email from Wilkerson that seemed to indicate that he didn’t have any knowledge of Weinstein’s background either. I found this a rather astounding since he was on the board of MRFF. I have also spoken to others who claim to have knowledge of that this sort of of religious activity is going on only to find that even their opinions have somehow been colored by Weinstein’s original “research.”

    I put the MRFF in the same categroy as The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) or The AntiDefamation League (ADL) . They are all organizations that are capable of raising astoundingly large amounts of money by playing on the fears of Jews. The great Gilad Atzmon calls these ever present fears the result of the PRE Traumatic Stress Syndrome. http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/pre-traumatic-stress-disorder-pre-traumatic-stress-disorder.html

    At this point let me mention as way of example the infamous Frank Collins. Older readers might remember the ill fated “March on Skokie” ( Illinois) of 1977 in which a group of uniformed Neo Nazis was to have marched through a Jewish area of Skokie. The amount of publicity that this march was to generate was astounding at the time. Facts about this upcoming march were in virtually every large newspaper in the US on an almost daily basis or on TV networks almost as often for months before the march was to have occurred . The ADL ended up being the reputedly the recipient of way over a hundred million dollars in donations because of this march from Jews worried about this new “threat.” The SPLC probably enjoyed a similar windfall in new funds.

    Guess what. The march on Skokie never really happened. There was only a very feeble, faux march with very few participants that took place in another part of Chicago. The few participants that did show up appeared to have been recruited from the nearest mental hospitals or homeless shelters and then given uniforms.

    A while later some interesting facts started to appear. The Neo Nazi leader of this march was supposedly a Frank Collins. It turned out that his name was actually Frank Cohen and his life since the march fizzled out has been very interesting indeed.

    He suddenly disappeared from the public view only to reappear as the editor of very glossy, expensive, heavily money losing, new age archeological magazine. He was never able to explain where the money for this magazine came from. Also odd was the fact that his reputation within the Jewish community never seemed to have not suffered whatsoever for his previous leadership of the Nazi group. There were no marches in front of his house or death threats or censorship of the type that someone like a David Irving had or has to suffer almost daily. It’s as if Collins/Cohen had somehow miraculously achieved total absolution for his previous activities. They simply weren’t mentioned anywhere in the mainstream media. Frank Collins had suddenly became merely an apparition.

    Collins’ (Cohen) reputation only seemed to have suffered a bitafter he was later charged with (and later found guilty of) child molestation. The resulting publicity started bringing up his “curious” past. He then apparently became too hot a potato to continue editing his magazine. He received a seven year prison sentence which he only had to serve three years of the seven years ) in a Club Fed sort of setting , a type of location that molesters are usually not destined for, because of some sort of mysterious intervention in his favor. Since being released from prison Collins (Cohen) had reinvented himself yet again more as “Frank Joseph.” Mindbogglingly enough, he is still a valued staff member of the mysterious magazine that he previously edited. Somehow I get the feeling that he is actually still heading this magazine
    http://www.ancientamerican.com/aa/index.php/about-ancient-american.

    He doesn’t have seem to have suffered from his previous Nazi/pedophile activities not one whit. Not at all. What a true example of the concept of Christian forgiveness. 🙂

  25. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I love the way General Boykin boasts about how big his God is.

    His “Blackhawk down” mission in Mogadishu only succeeded because Pakistani tanks and APCs and Malaysian APCs led the mission into Mogadishu. (Supported by Malaysian special forces.)

    The Pakistani and Malaysian forces were almost completely Muslim.

    When US forces first landed in Somalia, it was in an area already secured by the Pakistanis.

  26. If someone like “Mikey” (what adult uses that moniker?) Weinstein spoke so vengefully against any other group he would be outed for the intolerant bigot that he is.

    Christianity a threat? To whom? Christians do not behead homosexuals nor do they murder those who mock Jesus or His prophets.

    Christian nations are bastions of tolerance relative to any other religion. As this diatribe against Christian service members (who have died for America in exponentially higher numbers than any other group) let us not forgot those murdered on U.S. soil by jihadi terrorist Nidal Hasan.

    Mr. Hasan, a muslim, went on a killing spree at Ft Hood, Texas.

    His victims have been thrown down the memory hole of our mainstream media.

    He doesn’t fit their narrow minded, bigoted narrative.

    Had Hasan been a TEA Party member and/or an Evangelical Christian, his name would become a byword on the nightly news for bigotry, extremism and intolerance.

    Our media mindlessly repeat the cant “Diversity is Strength,”

    Mr. Nidal Hasan proved their asinine assertion false.

    That is why you will not hear about him and his innocent victims this Memorial Day or Veterans Day or Armed Services Day.

    Remember those families who lost loved ones to political correctness

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This is a bizarre article. I normally like Giraldi’s articles but this one is totally off the mark. I served for the last seven years and I don’t recognize the military described here. This is like out of some Slate or Salon writer’s feverish imagination.

    There is no vast Christian conspiracy to slaughter for Christ. How absurd. The military is just a massive bureaucracy like its always been. You get ahead by flattering egos and lucky assignments. I assure you, no one is getting ahead by their piety.

    Mikey Weinstein is just an abrasive and delusional clown. I knew the Jags assigned to investigate the proselytizing at the Academy. They said it was all bullshit. A couple kids asked some classmates to join their church and some jew student hyperventilated over it. Sometimes smoke is just smoke.

  28. @Dan Garcia: AMEN! I agree. Giraldi is usually an insightful writer. This screed is Mother Jones or Der Sturmer level of bigotry/stupidity.

    Abrasive and delusional hyperventilating over the existence of (“Gasp”) actual Christians in a majority Christian nation is the crux of the piece.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  29. @ELVISNIXON.com

    Sorry guys but you are overreaching on this. My point is that it is completely inappropriate for senior officers in the military to be judging the religiosity of their subordinates or to be hosting prayer breakfasts or bible study. Christian believers can be as overtly Christian as they choose to be wherever and whenever they can but not on government premises nor under the auspices of any government agency. Does either of you actually think that Boykin’s behavior or his pronouncements indicate that he is sane? I am not speaking for Mikey Weinstein or for anyone else on this issue. Yes, I personally find evangelicals total a-holes for a number of reasons having lived in both Texas and Virginia but I believe that they can do and say what they want as long as they do not do it in my face or on my dime.

  30. Mr Giraldi:

    I ask you to consider how it would be recieved if you said that Muslims, Homosexuals or any other group were “A-Holes.”

    Those “A- Holes” fought and died for a country that lied to them and told them they were fighting for (amongst other ideals) “Freedom of religion” and against both “Godless communism” and a NAZI threat that was deeply anti Christian. Before anyone roles out the meme that Darwinist Hitler was somehow a TEA party Born Again Christian here is
    a graphic illustration as to how we understood ourselves and our enemy:

    http://elvisnixon.com/2010/03/14/our-enemy.aspx

    NOW that we have shed our blood you seek to redefine the “values” of America

  31. Anti Evangelical bias notwithstanding, Roman Catholics are protesting the recent wave of bigotry and intolerance by Mikey Weinstein and his puppets in the Obama Administration:

    In Jan. 28 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, the Chaplain Alliance cited several instances of career repercussions or intimidating behavior against enlisted service members and against chaplains who had expressed their views on homosexuality and “gay marriage.”

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/legislators-ask-for-strengthening-of-military-religious-freedom/

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