Putting down the hounds of heaven
Christopher Hitchens speaks to a group of nonreligious military personal in the latest Vanity Fair. Evangelical Christianity disturbingly is becoming systematic in the military, led of course by the chaplains.
More alarming still is a book called Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, by an air-force lieutenant colonel named William McCoy, publicity for which describes the separation of church and state as a “twisted idea.” Nor is this the book’s only publicity: it comes—with its direct call for a religion-based military—with an endorsement from General David Petraeus.
James Madison, as I have discussed before, believed that chaplains were unconstitutional. They seem to be leading the proselytizing within and by the military.
The only certain winners would be the death cultists of jihad, who are already marveling at their luck in being proved right about the Americans as “crusaders.” This is as near to mutiny and treason as one could hope to sail and still wear the uniform.
And please do not think for a single second that, if proselytizing in our armed forces is permitted to extremist Christians, the precedent will not be taken up by other fanatics as well. There was a time when a man named Abdurahman Alamoudi was operating freely in this country, and even being deployed as a “moderate” Muslim spokesman by the State Department. More than once received at the White House, he also helped found an outfit with the intriguing name of the Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council, which was used to select Islamic chaplains in the armed services. Mr. Alamoudi’s run of luck ended in 2004, when he was given a long sentence in federal prison for activities related to terrorism.
One often hears conservatives complain about political correctness – and often they are right to complain. But any honest judgement has to conclude that part of the reason Christianism in the military is left unchallenged is due to not wanting to offend. So I’d question whether they really have a principled stand against political correctness or just a fondness for the character of the views which are often “politically incorrect.”