Sunday, May 8, 2011

The U.S. Army – Instrument of Holy War

by Hrafnkell Haraldsson

How can anyone forget the Tenth Crusade? Not in your history books? Look at recent history. Sure, the (numbered) crusades officially ended at Number IX in the 13th century and the so-called “northern crusades” in the 16th, but George W. Bush and his evangelical administration resurrected the whole idea and brought Christian holy war into the 21st century when he attacked Iraq.

The secular army of the secular United States government became the instrument of this holy war, and if Christian fundamentalists are out to get the rest of us in the civilian world, the military is a bigger (and easier) target. Our government and the bureaucracy which supports it is full of dominionist Christians who would like to see nothing better than a theocracy and the destruction of the modern liberal democracy brought into existence by our Founding Fathers and sustained by the secular document known as the United States Constitution.

We’ve been told that atheists are not really citizens; that only Christians are fit to hold public office – despite the Constitution’s mandate against religious tests; and that pagans, secularists and others are to blame for 9/11. Soldiers are far from immune to these same attacks, and this expectation has been well illustrated by the Air Force Academy’s (repeated) scandals regarding proselytizing by evangelical elements in that branch of the service; the Bush-era rejection of Wiccan pentacle gravestones; by Marine mass baptisms; military-sponsored Bible distributions in Afghanistan; and by the punishment of a group of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian musical concert.

An American soldier is increasingly expected to be a Christian crusader.

Welcome to the Kingdom of God, sponsored by the U.S. Army – it’s not just a job, it’s a holy war.

When did this happen? Neither spirituality nor Christian faith is on the list of army values; loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage are. The “Warrior Ethos” asserts:

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.


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