Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, August 21, 2010


A number of troops at a base in Virgina exercised their right to not attend a Christian band's concert and instead of being given their free time in place of attending the concert, they were locked down in their barracks.

It is interesting to listen to the people who warn us of the Islaminization of this country, telling us the Muslims are out there itching to cut off our heads and hands and force the burqa on our women, but when our troops are forced to listen to a band that specializes in Christian music, and then refuse that coercion, that is imposing a favored religion on American citizens--a kind of "sharia" because the troops who do not want to participate are punished.  I understand when one joins the military one gives up certain rights that are enjoyed by our civilian population, but I don't believe being free to practice one's own religion or no religion is one of them.

Just because a majority of Americans are Christians that does not give anyone the authority under any law to force Christianity on people who do not welcome it.  That's what freedom of religion is all about.  Those who wish to practice it are free to do so, and those who do not wish to participate in it are to be left alone and unmolested.

This happened at a US Army base, but  it has happened at other military bases more often than we would like to believe:

Air Force Chaplain Tells of Academy Proselytizing
Published: May 12, 2005

A chaplain at the Air Force Academy has described a "systemic and pervasive" problem of religious proselytizing at the academy and says a religious tolerance program she helped create to deal with the problem was watered down after it was shown to officers, including the major general who is the Air Force's chief chaplain.

Feb. 19) -- The Pentagon has been pushing religious tolerance for decades, but several separate incidents in recent months are reinvigorating advocates who worry that the U.S. military is being controlled by a small but powerful subculture of evangelical Christians.

Last year, former NFL player Terry Bradshaw starred in an official military video that espoused "the importance of faith" in combating post-deployment depression. In January, news broke that a Michigan company had been inscribing coded references to the New Testament on high-powered rifle sights sold to the U.S. military. Weeks later, a giant cross was placed in the center of a newly constructed pagan worship site at Colorado's Air Force Academy, built to accommodate practicing Wiccans.

And those are only the incidents that have gone on within our borders. In May, Harper's Magazine published a 13-page expose that included provocative details on war-zone religiosity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

General Boykin Says Practice Of Islam Not Protected Under First Amendment. 

After being turned away from the Kagan confirmation hearings, retired General William Boykin, in an interview with Christian Zionist Pastor Skip Heitzig, declares the irrelevance of first amendment protections for U.S. Muslims. Boykin ultimately espouses the virtues of spiritual warfare against Islam (in other words, a Christian Jihad). All text below is quoted from audio:


RICHMOND, Va. — The Army said Friday it was investigating a claim that dozens of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian band's concert at a Virginia military base were banished to their barracks and told to clean them up.

Fort Eustis spokesman Rick Haverinen told The Associated Press he couldn't comment on the specifics of the investigation. At the Pentagon, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins said the military shouldn't impose religious views on soldiers.

"If something like that were to have happened, it would be contrary to Army policy," Collins said.

Pvt. Anthony Smith said he and other soldiers felt pressured to attend the May concert while stationed at the Newport News base, home of the Army's Transportation Corps.

Smith said a staff sergeant told 200 men in their barracks they could either attend or remain in their barracks. Eighty to 100 decided not to attend, he said.

"Instead of being released to our personal time, we were locked down," Smith said. "It seemed very much like a punishment."


The group's president, Mikey Weinstein, claims Christian-themed events are "ubiquitous" throughout the military, and he credited the soldiers for stepping forward.

"Whenever we see this egregious, unconstitutional religious tyranny our job is to fight it," he said.


Arthurstone said...

The answer is an unqualified "yes".

The Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs is notorious for allowing evangelical 'Christians' to run amok on campus.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The combination of military enforcement and coercion of a religion, in this case, the Christian religion, on recruits who are punished for not submitting to the coercion is repulsive, unAmerican and smells of the sort of intimidation and threats weilded by the mullahs over Muslims.

It's incomprehensible that people in authority in the military and some conservative Christians cannot see how their behavior is very close to what they fear in Islam.

Kevin Robbins said...

Scary stuff to think of our military being in the hands of religious zealots. Not sure it's really controlled by our government anymore.

Despite the traces of pessimism, good wishes to you, Shaw.

Sue said...

Bush proved our military is in the hands of religious zealots. Scary stuff!

How can resonable people actually believe Sharia law will take over America?? Oh I forgot, those people are not reasonable, they are insane!!

Anonymous said...

Ever listen to the words of that famous Christian hymn?

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!

Leslie Parsley said...

It goes without saying that I find this kind of "military action" unacceptable but I'm not surprised at anything like this going on at the AFA. Colorado Springs and all the area stretching up to the southern parts of Denver are one big fundamentalist church.

Unknown said...

When you have a sitting president (King George II in this case) proselytizing from the government pulpit on a daily basis, his actions alone would give many, including the military, the tacit authority to enforce the president’s direction.

American presidents and the myriad of other government figures have NO business preaching any religion. I’m not talking about a statue of the Ten Commandments being removed from some public office, or some cross being taken down in a public park, that’s child’s play, but when we have the George Bush’s and Katherine Harris’, the dumbasses such as Sarah Palin literally espousing their dedication to their form of Christianity, they undeniably cross the line of separation of state and religion.

We’ve had exactly one modern-day president that lived by this creed, and his campaign was scrutinized beyond belief for his ties to his religion.

"I believe the American people are more concerned with a man's views and abilities than with the church to which he belongs. I believe the founding fathers meant it when they provided in Article VI of the Constitution that there should be no religious test for public office. And I believe that the American people mean to adhere to those principles today." President John F. Kennedy

There have been outcries for Obama to declare his ties to Christianity and to many people's consternation, he has not publicly satisfied those religious zealots and their requests to outright declare his religious affiliation. GOOD ON HIM.

Hopefully he'll adhere to his convictions and become the second modern U.S. president to understand the perils of supporting a religion from the government pulpit.


1. Are you a Christian?
Obama: (response pending)

2. When and how did you become a Christian?
Obama: (response pending)

3. How has becoming Christian changed you?
Obama: (response pending)

4. How would you define and describe your relationship with Jesus today?
Obama: (response pending)

5. In the past 12 months, how many hours have you read the Bible per week?
Obama: (response pending)

6. Which gift has the Holy Spirit given you, and what fruits has it borne?
Obama: (response pending)

7. What has been your greatest failure as a Christian?
Obama: (response pending)

8. What is the greatest challenge you face today as a Christian?
Obama: (response pending)

9. If you had to choose between God and country, which would you choose?
Obama: (response pending)

10. Whom do you think Jesus wants as our next President, and why?
Obama: (response pending)

Shaw Kenawe said...


That websiste is a manifestation of the American Taliban! It is in direct opposition to our Constitution.

The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article VI, section 3, and states that:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

The people at that site are dangerous antiAmericans, antiConstitution, and, may I add, charlatans.

Mr. Obama says he's a Christian. Any other discussion of his personal faith is of no interest whatsoever to me.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The inimitable Watertiger over at Dependable Renegade has this posted:

On May 13, 2010, about eighty soldiers, stationed at Fort Eustis while attending a training course, were punished for opting out of attending one of these Christian concerts. The headliner at this concert was a Christian rock band called BarlowGirl, a band that describes itself as taking “an aggressive, almost warrior-like stance when it comes to spreading the gospel and serving God.”


The Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert Series was the brainchild of Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, who, according to an article on the website, “was reborn as a Christian” at the age of sixteen. According to the article, Chambers held the first concert at Fort Lee within a month of becoming the commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee in June 2008. But he had already started the series at Fort Eustis, as the previous commanding general there. The concerts have continued at Fort Eustis under the new commanding general, as well as spreading to Fort Lee under Maj. Gen. Chambers. The concerts are also promoted to the airmen on Langley Air Force Base, which is now part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

In the article, Maj. Gen. Chambers was quoted as saying, “The idea is not to be a proponent for any one religion. It’s to have a mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds.” But there has been no “mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds” at these concerts. Every one of them has had evangelical Christian performers, who typically not only perform their music but give their Christian testimony and read from the Bible in between songs.

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Joan Hakkinen

libhom said...

When is President Obama going to do something about this?