Crusader Crosses Removed from US Afghan Chapel
NBC reports the US military chapel at Forward Operating Base Orgun-E was improperly displaying Christian crosses, and the Army has ordered them removed and covered over:
U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan on Thursday ordered the removal of a steeple and crucifix erected over a remote American base in the Muslim country after a soldier deployed there noted that the symbols violated Army regulations…
Doors with cross-shaped windows were reportedly boarded up until they can be replaced.
This has happened before, and, as noted previously, it is not really a significant event. The article accurately notes Army regulations (not DoD regulations) dictate Army chapels must be religiously neutral when not being used for religious services. There’s nothing wrong with that, though if someone wanted to change the regulations, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that, either — just as there’s nothing wrong with the 50-foot tall cross at the front of the USAFA cadet chapel. While it does seem that an outside observer was vicariously offended at a Christian symbol, neither its presence nor its removal is a terribly big deal.
To hear a couple of critics, though, you’d think they just prevented World War III:
“When I think of an army sporting a Christian cross, I think Crusades,” [Sgt. Joel Muhlnickel] wrote in an email from Orgun…
If the mere sight of a cross causes someone to “think Crusades,” they probably need a little cultural education (and a dose of tolerance). The critics continued, with Weinstein’s readied alliterative appellations and vitriol:
“It is the sort of thing that provides a boundless bonanza of terrorist propaganda for the mujahedeen, the insurrectionists, the Taliban and al-Qaida that we are supposedly fighting to protect our national security,” said Mikey Weinstein…”The message of the cross on the chapel is basically putting out the message in Pashto, Dari and Arabic to please blow me up because I’m a latter day Christian crusader.”
Justin Griffith, an Army sergeant at Fort Bragg, N.C., and military director for American Atheists in his personal time [said] “It’s intentionally disrespectful to the non-Christians in the U.S. military … Put it in Afghanistan, the danger is very real, to personnel…”
The supposed offense of the terrorists is not only irrelevant, it is also a fictional narrative. The terrorist attacks and threats levied against the United States have not been about American Christianity. They have been about Judaism and the support of Israel, but you don’t see Weinstein calling public displays of Judaism “terrorist propaganda,” though, to be fair, Griffith did.
The accusation of “crusader” imagery, “terrorist propaganda,” and “danger” to US forces is gratuitous, since the regulations are already in place to have them removed.
Weinstein’s accusations are, however, his standard theme: Weinstein claims US Christians are trying to take over the world to annihilate Judaism; his goal is to frame Christianity as a “national security threat” to justify his calls to demand its restriction. Paint them as criminal, or as a threat, or as evil — anything that will legitimize action against them, despite protections otherwise provided by the law or liberty.
Sound familiar? It is the same tactic as every other lunatic in history who has ever set out to target a people or faith group different than his own.
Also noted at FoxNews.