MRFF, Atheists Go After Military Easter. Again.

This site previously noted the lack of original thought on the part of some activist atheists.

Now, in response to Easter, they want, well, an atheist counter-celebration of Christ’s resurrection, apparently.

Last year this site noted that Michael Weinstein’s research assistant Chris Rodda held up for derision the military Christian celebrations of Easter in the combat theatre. Despite the criticism by Rodda and Weinstein’s organization, which oddly includes “military religious freedom” in its name, the celebration of religious holy days in the combat area is perhaps one of the most explicit examples of religious freedom in the US military.

This year, the MRFF continued its attacks on the celebration of Easter in the military when it publicized photos of Easter cakes made in theatre, as if there was something wrong with them. One was cross-shaped, with “Thank You, Jesus,” on it; the other was book-shaped, and had the (misspelled) KJV text of John 3:16 on it. They were reportedly made at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan.

The MRFF allies at Rock Beyond Belief — the yet-to-occur “festival” that has become an ongoing atheist rallying point — took up the cause, questioning the legality of the cakes and soliciting cake ideas they could use to demand what would apparently be a counter-confection.

Because apparently no Christian in the military should be able to celebrate their faith without an atheist standing behind them to say “But, but…me too!”

Rather than “celebrate reason,” as they may claim, it seems some atheists believe atheism is nothing more than a “response” to religion. Perhaps they will soon be asking for Monday morning atheist services and atheist Ash Thursdays. It seems some atheists want to follow Christians around wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m with stupid” — while emulating the very exercise of religious freedom they are criticizing.

Of course, neither the MRFF nor atheist activists represent the whole of their faith movement. Most atheists in the military are content to let Christians have their Easter, Jews have their Hanukkah, and Muslims have their Ramadan. They may roll their eyes at the Easter cake in the chow line or smirk at the ashes on the forehead, but they don’t want to restrict religious freedom, despite their disagreement with others’ beliefs. Rather, they respect religious freedom — freedom they, too, celebrate with joy – not spite.

Sometimes a cake is just a cake. As another US troop wrote, commenting on noble (but somewhat unsuccessful) efforts at similar Easter cakes at a different location in Afghanistan:

We are deployed here in southern Afghanistan. The local food service manager in his attempt to make us feel at home put a lot of effort into creating a display for our American holiday, Easter…

He used patriotic themed paper in red, white & blue, a cake replica of Jesus on an Easter cake next to an oversized replica of the Easter bunny and an Easter egg!

I believe the manager is from either India or Nepal. It is the thought that counts in the end – right?

I still miss home despite the effort.

Wonder if the homesick Soldiers know the cardboard cutout of Jesus is part of a vast, world-dominating conspiracy against which the MRFF is ‘waging war.’

Contrary to the claims of some conspiracy theorists, the vast majority of US military troops work together well, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, Southerners or Northerners, Catholic or pagan, or any other conflicting ideology. To the average US troop, an Easter cake is a frosting-covered baked good, a reminder of hearth and home — not some illegal, confectionery conspiracy as the MRFF and its atheist allies would imply.

In the end, the atheist mimicry of Christianity’s traditions and free exercise isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

30 replies to “MRFF, Atheists Go After Military Easter. Again.

  1. Richard

    It makes me wonder how the non-Christian and non-religious members of the armed forces who are required to eat in mess halls where majority religious belief systems are flaunted, to the exclusion of other beliefs, deal with such consisitant and intrusive Christian proselytizing.

    I am also confused as to why a display of Atheistic belief (or non-belief as it were) is not welcomed by Christians who are constitutionally bound to honor all religious and non-religious. The Christian attitude toward certain population groups such as Gays and Atheists seems to me to be religion based and purely discriminatory. Based on our Consitution, America is a secular pluralistic country in which all religions and non-beliefs may flourish but none dominate.

  2. end

    I don’t think that a display of Atheistic belief is not welcomed by Christians. Is the Easter Bunny not an Atheist/non-religious figure for a celebration of the coming of spring?

  3. JD

    @Richard said

    I am also confused as to why a display of Atheistic belief (or non-belief as it were) is not welcomed by Christians…

    You meant to say

    I am also confused as to why a display of Christian belief…is not welcomed by atheists

    which is what happened above when the atheists didn’t “welcome” the Easter cakes. This site has repeatedly said atheists are entitled to their events, celebrations, and fellowships. The question raised above is why the MRFF and its allies have to consistently criticize troops’ free exercise — or something as benign as a cake — rather than celebrate their own “faith.”

    …by Christians who are constitutionally bound to honor all religious and non-religious…

    You need to re-read your high school American government text. The Constitution “binds” only the government, not individual citizens, regardless of what faith they may or may not profess.

    Based on our Consitution, America is a secular pluralistic country in which all religions and non-beliefs may flourish but none dominate.

    The Constitution does not prevent any religion from “flourishing” or even “dominating.” It only restricts the government from establishing a religion (or preventing citizens’ free exercise).

    You may want to re-read the Constitution.

  4. Richard

    The constitution does prevent religious domination. Thosde of you who embrace yhe Dominion Christian agenda would disagree. The Suprteme Court says Government may not favor one religion over another or religion over non religion. Your interest in Christian Domination is well known.

  5. JD

    @Richard

    Your interest in Christian Domination is well known.

    A vague accusation with no explanation or evidence. Poor form, though not uncommon for the MRFF.

  6. Richard

    I happen to know the Easter Bunny personally. (My wife is the Easter Bunny at our country club each year.) I am therefore qualified to say that the Easter Bunny is not an Atheist symbol but rather a secular symbol that has been incorporated in the whole Easter celebration and does not detract from its religious roots. Eggs, by the same token, are not Atheist symbols either. Santa Claus, like the Easter Bunny, is a secular icon which has, with the exception of a few extremist Christian sects, been cheefully incorporated into the Christmas celebration. A am also well aquainted with Santa having helped him cover the bases as his surrogate for over 26 years. Also, by saying that your interest in Christian Dominionism is well known, I simply mean that there have been a number of discussions bearing on certain civilian and military Christian organizations which embrace extreme and unconstitutional religious doctrines which you seem to embrace as well. One such case is when you say the Constitution does not prohibit religious domination. A cursory examination of Supreme Court rulings and decisions pertinent to religions role and the First Amendment clearly prohibits a religion’s domination irrespective of its majority. I am sure you are familiar with the writings of Rousas John Rushdooney and the large number of his Christian reconstructionsist followers who call for the overthrow of the United States government and Constitution and their replacement with a government of appointed Christian men ruled by Biblical Mosaic Law. To me these are the folks who should be feared and not the Easter Bunny or Santa.

  7. Richard

    One more point. The serving of religious Easter cakes in the shape of a crucifix would be just fine if ordered for a church service or meeting. But to present such graphic displays of Christian belief in a venue in which those of all faiths must attend and present them to the exclusion of other religious sybmols does appear to me to be for purposes of religious domination and proselytizing non-Christians. It is insensitive at best and unconstitutional at worst.

  8. Eye Open

    @Richard

    If you dont beleive why do you care about a cake with a quote from a “fiction” book and 2 lines crossed? Cake has magical converting powers? Hypnosis or something?

    See…all that sweet talk about “secularism” and “freedom” and blah blah blah exists only to cover up the fact that people like you beleive in the tyranical Brave New World. What you call “Dominionism” (the correct term is “Third Wave” btw) i call “fighting back”.

    As for the militant-atheists, once again they show us what they are, childish, boring, predictable, angry, freethinking-robots. They are the most narrow-minded, dogmatic people around.

  9. end

    Richard, my apologies for calling the Easter Bunny an Atheistic or non-religious figure. I was somewhat going for the word secular as it means ‘not overtly or specifically religious’ (non-religious) and there’s always that argument about Atheism being a religion or not (non-religious?). Clearly I do have some confusion with terminology.

    However, as a traditional egg decorator, I can tell you that egg decorating in the spring has it’s roots in Pagan (often considered at odds with Christianity) or naturalist societies depending on where in the world you’re getting the folk history from. (A gift from a Germanic goddess, or a gift from birds who were helped in a cold winter, used in mystical and magical rites, used to ward off the Evil Eye, hung in trees to ensure a good harvest…) Despite such origins, you point out yourself that such things are not shunned by most Christians, thus I still feel that a display of Atheistic belief for the celebration of spring would not be unwelcome by Christians. A point brought up in your first comment. While I do know many Christians who do not use the Easter Bunny or eggs in their Easter celebrations, they also are not offended by their neighbors that do.

  10. Richard

    @Eye Open

    Hi Eye Open. Who says I don’t believe? My point was that presenting such an obvious and over powering Christian display was, frankly, an attempt to dominate that time and place in the name of the Christian Savior. This is crass proselytizing and blatantly inconsiderate of persons of other belief systems. This is not a Christian mess hall, it is a gathering place for all nationalities, religions and non-beliefs. Surely you can see that these cakes co-opted the beliefs of others. As for Dominionist Christians just “fighting back” perhaps you would say the genocide committed against indigenous South American natives by Christian Conquistadors was “fighting back,” or Pogroms against Russian Jews by Christian elements was just “fighting back,” or the unconstitutional Christian concerts and services promulgated by Christian military base commanders to the exclusion of other faiths just “fighting back.” I’m afraid, Eye, that you have come to expect these travesties as the right of Christians becasue of your belief in the exclusivity of your faith. Im afraid that in this great melting pot of nationalities and religion that you are not melting well.

  11. Richard

    @end

    Hi End, thanks for the info on Easter Eggs. I guess Christianity and other religions did inherit some stuff from other belief systems. I wish I was smart enough to put this all together but it is difficult when one belief system becomes so exclusive that it denounces or disrespects others beliefs. I know several Atheists and theirs is basically a non-belief system. However, their non-belief is not exclusive to the Christian Trinity but doubts or denies the existence of any deities or demons, devils, angels and the like. I am always puzzled by the need for those of a specific religious belief to deny the beliefs of others. It seems to me each religion claims to be the one true religion worshipping the one true God and often castigates those of other faiths for following a false religion. If there is only one God why must everyone worship the same way? And why should admittance to Heaven depend on belief in just one savior? Reading up on Dominion Christianity is a real shocker what with their agenda of world domination. These folks say world populations must be converted to Christianity before Christ will return. Those not willing to convert would be “cast into the Lake of Fire.” I assume that means death. Doesn’t that sound a bit extreme?

  12. Dealer

    Richard,

    “I am always puzzled by the need for those of a specific religious belief to deny the beliefs of others” so you are equally puzzled by Atheists who deny the belief of religious people? Sounds like you are narrow minded.

    Constitution and dominion: the Constitution only governs the actions of the government. It’s unconstitutional to legislate dominion. If a non-state actor wants to promote a particular religion, they can, to a point. That point is where the law kicks in. There are limits against pushing your beliefs on others as much as there is the freedom to promote your ideology.

    As a non-Catholic, you must assume that I was offended every time the mess hall at my deployed base served fish on Fridays. They didn’t so that during the winter, just the first part of spring. What a travesty!

    If your biggest complaint from the troops is a cake made by a contractor (with no supporting evidence it was ordered from the government), then I’d say the state of religious tolerance in the military is pretty good. Actually, from my view, I’d say it actually is.

  13. Richard

    @Dealer

    Hi Dealer,

    I think you missed my point a bit. Atheists do not deny the faith of religious people, they deny the existence of gods and other supernatural beings. Atheists are fully supportive of anyone’s right to subscribe to whatever religious or non-religious belief system they choose.

    Fair minded Christians and other believers do not criticize the Atheist’s choice not to subscribe to the supernatural.

    Christian Dominionism is, by description, unconstitutional. If one reads the full scope of the Dominionist agenda it is plain that Dominion Christians are instructed to replace US Government by peaceable attrition if possible but if not, to overthrow the US Government and replace the Constitution with Biblical Mosaic Law which would mandate the death penalty for 17 different supposed sins including Homosexuality and Heresy. Government would then consist of appointed Christian men. The growing number of Dominionist federal and state legislators and state governors bear witness to this attrition. The US Armed Forces would become a unified Christian fighting force with obedient members proficient in the deployment and operation of weapons of immense destructive power to achieve world domination. Mass conversions would then take place with detractors cast into the “Lake of Fire.”

    The Crucifix Cake is but one of many hundreds of efforts undertaken by Dominionists every day to achieve Christian dominance which include command centered, coercive Christian proselytizing, Christian based “Spiritual Fitness” Programs, exclusive Christian concerts and programs sponsored by military base commanders, incessant Christian messages aimed at military training facilities and service academies by Dominionist organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ Military Miission, The Navigators, Focus on the Family, Officers Christian Fellowship and thousands of Dominionist operatives given total access to troops and cadets at military facilities. These are all antithesis to constitutional provision.

    You will find the Christian Dominionist blue print for all I have said above in various writings of the Christian Reconstruction movement. One such is Pat Robertson’s book, “The Secret Kingdom.” Another comprehensive study of the movement is written by Katherine Yurica, “The Despoiling of America.”

    (http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm)

    Other writings include those by Greg L. Bahnsen, Gary North, Kenneth L. Gentry, Gary DeMar, David Chilton, Randall Terry, James Dobson, Rod Parsley, Tony Perkins and a host of others.

    The cakes may seem trivial to you but taken in aggregate they are just part of the Dominionist planned Christianization of America and the world.

  14. Dealer

    Richard,

    Your definition of dominion sounds about right, hence the term. Only one point of contention: the Bible says that God gets to do the casting into the lake of fire, not men.

    Your assigning of the status is so far over the line that it’s hard to fathom. If making a cake for Easter in the shape of the cross (a symbol of the holiday) is dominion-ist, then where do you draw the line?

    How about subtle, but overt Christian symbols on cars? What about bringing a Bible to work because that was the only thing you could do with it (didn’t have time to go back home, walked to work so you couldn’t leave it in the car)? How about inviting fellow military members to your house, where you have Christian symbols?

    The intent of those last questions is to see where you draw the line between Constitutional exercise of freedom of speech and religion vs “Dominion Christianity.” I’m also having a hard time seeing where OCF and Focus on the Family are promoting an ‘overthrow of the government.’ (can’t speak to the rest, not familiar).

  15. Richard

    @Dealer

    Dealer,

    Thankyou for your reply.

    You are correct that God would be the one to cast dissenters into the lake of Fire. I just assumed those who were in the Christian Military could help out since they were already on the scene. Sort of a chilling glimpse into what should be a comforting and gratifying experience between God and His followers that really sounds more like extortion. You know: “I love you but if you don’t do what I say you will burn for eternity in the Lake of Fire.” LOL.

    It is not the amount of cake or religious design that is the problem. Easter cakes and paraphernalia of all kinds are sold in stores and served in restaurants. Christmas stuff is sold at and used to decorate stores. The problem is one of venue and intent. You may opt out of going to a friends house if his religion offends you. You are not required to attend.

    You are not required to shop at any particular store, nor order religious Easter buns or paraphernalia. You may opt to shop or eat elsewhere. As for bringing a Bible to work; if one simply laid it on his desk or in a drawer there is no problem. In a civil context to prop it up facing those who approach your desk and request for them to read about Jesus, in that case would be legal but innapropriate. In a militray context it would be prohibited. Christian symbols on cars and other personal items are perfectly legal and constitutional.

    Remember we are talking about the military here which is prohibited from endorsing any particular religion over another or religion over non-religion. So if you have an exclusively Christian Crucufix Cake, either produced at the military installation or brought in it would still be under the auspices of the military commander and therefore unconstitutional.

    The mess hall is a military venue. Chapels or places of worship are either provided or within easy reach of all military personnel. The idea is to attend the one of your choice. Exclusive religious devices do not belong in a general military venue.

    Since Christianity is the majority religion, many violations of protocol, especially in the upper ranks where officers are used to bing obeyed, have been committed. Coercive Proselytizing and implied threat are commonplace. Religion is a powerful force and many episodes of such high placed military officers are on record. Just google General Bill Boykin, Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Catton, Army Brig. Gen. Bob Caslen, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton. who improperly endorsed and participated with exclusive Christian entities while in uniform.”

    In addition, the uninhibited proselytizing of cadets at our service academies is well documented. The US Air Force Academy has suffered an intense Christian effort to convert and denigrate non-Christians and upgrade Christian personnel to a more cooperative and pliable nature. Prior Superintendent Gen. John Rosa recognized the problem.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/04/national/04airforce.html

    The line between free speech, religious or otherwise and constitutional violation is drawn when, under Supreme Court ruling, it has caused damage to or abrogation of others constitutional rights or violates the acceted religious tests made . The Lemon Test, Endorsement Test and Coercion Test.

    The OCF and Focus on the Family by virtue of their Dominionist leanings subscribe to a Christian form of government. The Campus Crusade for Christ Military Mission’s Dominionist agenda is even more explicit and you should google their six part set of goals.

  16. JD

    @Richard
    You haven’t explained how having a cake in this context is any different than the mess hall serving kosher meals, or fish on Friday, or a ghost cake on Halloween, or an iftar, or heart-shaped cakes on Valentine’s Day. You keep saying “Christian” and ignoring the fact lots of religions and other non-religious events have things go on in the mess hall. Where is your opposition to them?

    Christian symbols on cars and other personal items are perfectly legal and constitutional.

    That’s not entirely consistent with what you said last time:

    It would not be permissable for an officer to drive a personal car with overt or obvious religious symbols while in uniform.

    When you said

    The OCF and Focus on the Family by virtue of their Dominionist leanings subscribe to a Christian form of government.

    you didn’t answer the question. Support your accusation that OCF or FotF subscribe to “dominionist theology.” Support your accusation that either organization has advocated for any “form of government” other than the one we have.

    Simply saying someone has religious beliefs or is politically active is insufficient “proof” that their secret agenda is to usurp the Constitution. To this point you’ve used lots of words to do little more than make unfounded and unjustified accusations, which severely undermines your credibility.

  17. Dealer

    Richard,

    I know there have been cases of illegal proselytizing, but your post implies that either you are doing everything exactly by the book, or you are a dominionist. Rather black-and-white.

    There is a big difference between wanting Christian people in government, who adhere to to Christian values (love, truth, honest-values not normally associated with politicians), and wanting to overthrow the government. I see roughly same adherence to the established system in how OCF, Focus on the Family, and just about any other special group (including many LGBT communities) guide the government.

  18. Richard

    @JD

    @Richard
    You haven’t explained how having a cake in this context is any different than the mess hall serving kosher meals, or fish on Friday, or a ghost cake on Halloween, or an iftar, or heart-shaped cakes on Valentine’s Day. You keep saying “Christian” and ignoring the fact lots of religions and other non-religious events have things go on in the mess hall. Where is your opposition to them?
    _______________________________________________________________________

    JD, I’m afraid you are missing the point.

    If a mess hall decided to have fish on a fridays for Catholic troops or Kosher meals on Jewish holidays they would be part of a menu with other items on it. The fish or Kosher meals would not then be an exclusive entree served to the exclusion of others.

    The Crucifix cake was an exclusive and rather pointed religious undertaking.

    Christian symbols on vehicles privately owned by the military are their business. As you know, I was referring to the use of Christian or other religious symbols diplayed on military vehicles. Now if an officer displayed a privately owned automobile in a military formation festooned in Christian paraphernalia, that would not be acceptable.

    We have to use common sense here JD. As an Air Force officer, if you give even the impression that you favor, prefer or recommend Christianity over other religions in the course of your uniformed duties you are in violation of Supreme Court rulings.

    This blog is an example of that prejudice. It gives an undeniable preference for Christianity while displaying secular American military symbols.

  19. Richard

    @Dealer
    Hi Dealer,

    There is a big difference between guiding the government by suggestion and petition and co-opting it.

    Dominion Christians aren’t seeking government majority to exercise love, truth and honesty. Theirs is a mission of control. They mistakenly see America as a Christian Nation who’s government must lead by virtue of its Christian roots and that America has been chosen by God to be the seat of world Christian governments. In many ways this scheme is little different than the political fiascos of the past and present in which dictators seek exclusive powers. Their names are forever emblazoned in history. Dominionst Christianity takes it a bit further by adding religion to the mix. The Tea Party is a good example of a type of political/religious movement. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Keith Richardson, Robert Bentley, Scott Walker, Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts to name just a few active Dominionists.

    You would be sadly mistaken to believe that a GLTB organization guides government. Gays are the victims of institutionalized Christian discrimination who are ruthlessly attacked and often injured or killed. Two Gay soldiers here at Fort Carson were brutally beaten this weeks in what was described as a hate crime by investigators.

    In addition, misogyny is once again rearing it’s ugly head in the Christian church where women are now urged by Dominionists to “submit graciously to their husbands in all things.” You may have heard Michelle Bachmann’s instructions for women to submit to their men.

    Christianity is no longer a religion. It is a force that seeks to dominate. Theocracy is their National goal and world conquest their international goal.

  20. Dealer

    Richard,

    wow…I don’t know where to start. You don’t give proof that any of the above actually seek a new Constitution/government and you deny political pressure from GLBT organizations. The fact that gays have been attacked by immoral criminals is immaterial to the political push to change policies in their favor.

    Misogyny: ok, you and Sarah Bachmann disagree on the role of women. Having not heard the message, I can’t say if I agree or not. Chances are I agree with some, but not all of her comments. Anytime I discuss the topic I usually add the Biblical command for husbands to love their wives the same way that God loves us (in perspective, He died for us).

    You say theocracy is a national goal, but I didn’t find anything on my search that implied Bachmann is proposing a law to enforce wifely submission, as compared to (state) laws that enforce acceptance of GLBT lifestyle (i.e. photographers at personal events).

    There’s a line between ‘urging’ and a law (i.e. this website). Maybe you should look into that.

  21. Richard

    @Dealer

    Dealer,

    Do not forget that Dominionists follow Mosaic Law. Each command by God is taken literally and supercedes, in their minds, any secular law.

    Genesis 1:28 says: “And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Dominionists focus on “Replenish, Subdue and Dominion over all living things on Earth,” and take the scripture literally. They believe they are mandated by God to rule the Earth.

    Dominion Christian men believe they are to dominate all world populations.

    Michelle Bachmann is only one of many Dominion Christians who are deeply immersed in the Dominion thing. I do believe that if given the power and opportunity she would assist in passing draconian laws restricting citizens to a Biblical legal format. Multiply her by the growing number of Dominionists in Congress and state legislatures and a de facto Theocracy is born.

    Do you really believe we are fighting Iraq and Afghanistan because they are dictatorships? Our mideast adventures are a crusade, as George Bush put it. Bush found Jesus as an alcoholic and drug addict in his 12 step AA program. In that regard, he, as have many recovering addicts, simply traded his alcohol dependency to a dependency on religion. Bush, single handedly, propelled Dominionism to national prominence, counseled by leading Dominionsts ranging from James Dobson and Ted Haggard to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Born again Christians were appointed to cabinet posts and to head agencies and departments. High ranking military officers held Christian services in the Pentagon and participated in fund raising videos for “Christian Embassy” a Dominionist Evangelical organization granted permission to set up shop in the Pentagon. Bush’s White House Director of Religious Affairs, Jim Towey, held staff Bible Studies and sectarian Christian services in government venues.

    This site has many more interesting items that should get even the most dedicated Christian to have second thoughts about what’s happening to our Armed Forces.

    http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07c/christian_embassy_ig.html

  22. Dealer

    Richard,

    Labeling is not proof. The closest you came to proof was your ‘belief’ that Sarah Bachmann would ‘assist in passing draconian laws.’ Using the uniform or official position to promote a personal cause, while against the rules, is hardly limited to religious people. I can’t remember the name, but there was a military member who wore his uniform to protest DADT. Is he guilty of promoting that gays should take over the military?

    If Dominionists follow Mosaic Law, doesn’t that make them Jewish?

    The site you mention has a rather circumstantial and dated evidence. Everything I saw was from 2007 and used phrases like ‘apparently.’ Granted the video game pushed out from Op Straight Up is over the line, but no where did I see any mention of the JAG. Nor did I see any direct involvement from the Pentagon leadership. Given that it was from 2007 and there weren’t any updates, it’s likely the group in question is no longer supported (I know that’s circumstantial evidence, but it’s been 4 years).

    I know what’s going on in the armed forces: I’m in the Armed Forces.

  23. Richard

    @Dealer

    Dealer,

    My Dad was a 30 year crusty old Infantry Colonel when he retired. My oldest brother retired a Lt. Col. in the 82nd ABN, Middle Brother a Regimental Sergeant Major, 4th Infantry Division and my yougest brother a major in the 29th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Div.

    I am a former Air Force Officer and twice wounded rescue pilot serving two tours in Vietnam. No one needs to talk to me about patriotism or try to connect patriotism with religion.

    You seem a reasonable person and dedicated American. You must stop allowing your religion to rule your patriotism.

    The site I sent is just one of hundreds and you know how to google. Dominionism appears to be outside your comfofrt zone and you are in denial.

    This is common so don’t feel alone. No one wants to discover that their religion of choice has gone a bit berserk.

    One can be defensive ala JD or one can examine the truth and try to salvage what is left of one of the worlds three most populated religions.

    I’m not talking about the 50 IQ crowd in Iowa, I’m talking about bright intelligent folks such as yourself who tends to repeat Christian lore by rote.

    Be a good Christian and save Christianity from the slippery slope of extremism. Join me and examine all the evidence. No one can or should follow the false prophet.

  24. JL

    This is a fascinating discourse from true believers and those with different views.

    A well meaning Nepalese Chow Manager tried hard to please and perhaps should have been steered away by the military from making the cake and now this thread is off somewhere in Dominionism! I’ll do just fine with the final judgement and do not need moral advice…..least of all from a Zipper Suit imbued with messianic zeal for so many things outside his/her focus which should be the cockpit.

  25. Richard

    @JL

    JL,

    I stand chastised, for in my efforts to clarify things a bit for Dealer I seemed to have become a bit dominant myself.

    It is only with the best of intentions that I attempt to point out those things which can slip by a “true believer” for a number of reasons. I do know that there is a feeling of superiority in the practice of Christian Dominionism, a superiority that is manifested as righteousness.

    If one could prevent, by exposure, some of the heinous acts committed in the name of religion it would be well worth the effort.

    Even if you are a staunch supporter of your faith you would do well to question the iffy parts; if not for your sake then for others.

    I wish someone had the cajones to question David Koresh before it got out of hand. A closer examination of Jim Jones’s outfit might have saved the lives of many men women and children; Marshall Applewhite might have been prevented from leading his cult into death and a hundred other senseless and needless religious tragedies might have been prevented.

    I seem to recall the term “Zipper Suit.” To whom were you referring?

  26. Dealer

    Richard,

    Thank you for your concern over the culture and future of the armed forces. I respect your history and sacrifice for other pilots, and would buy you a beverage of choice at the Club in honor of that history.

    I haven’t seen any direct cases of dominionism in my career. I’ve seen people make mistakes and advocate certain points-of-view from an official stance, but that is different than punishing someone because they don’t go to the same church as you (or at all).

    My religion guides my life, but is tempered by a few commandants that Jesus gave his followers. They are hard to follow. I focus on “love your neighbor as yourself” (even when he’s wronged you) and “Give to Caesar what is Caesar.” I gave Caesar my oath to have integrity, service and excellence. Promoting a Christian over an equally ethical and qualified atheist is in violation of both of those commands.

    These commands are not ‘by rote.’ I have thought about how to be a Christian leader in a secular organization. The CEO of Best Buy happens to be in the same situation. There have been times I’ve been tempted to beat people at work with a Bible. Guess what, I know it’s ineffective and illegal. Fortunately I’ve been trained by good supervisors to give good advice from the AF perspective, not the Christian one. You can separate them, and I try.

    I have questioned my faith and changed denominations over those questions. I’m still learning. Debating on this site has helped that process, although in practice my job at work doesn’t touch most of the subjects discussed here.

    Thank you for caring. Catch you on the next topic.

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