The Rapture is not a viable exit strategy

The Pentagon is now a minor branch of the Southern Baptist Convention, it seems.

Last week, after an investigation spurred by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Pentagon abruptly announced that it would not be delivering “freedom packages” to our soldiers in Iraq, as it had originally intended. What were the packages to contain? Not body armor or home-baked cookies. Rather, they held Bibles, proselytizing material in English and Arabic and the apocalyptic computer game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” (derived from the series of post-Rapture novels), in which “soldiers for Christ” hunt down enemies who look suspiciously like U.N. peacekeepers.

Oh well now wouldn’t that have been a good idea. Clever old Pentagon. What’s it doing, trying to get somebody else to throw a loaded passenger jet at it?

The packages were put together by a fundamentalist Christian ministry called Operation Straight Up…[T]hanks in part to the support of the Pentagon, Operation Straight Up has now begun focusing on Iraq, where, according to its website (on pages taken down last week), it planned an entertainment tour called the “Military Crusade.” Apparently the wonks at the Pentagon forgot that Muslims tend to bristle at the word “crusade” and thought that what the Iraq war lacked was a dose of end-times theology. [T]he episode is just another example of increasingly disturbing, and indeed unconstitutional, relationships being forged between the U.S. military and private evangelical groups.

Oh I don’t know – if you’re going to have a giant military, it probably ought to be kind of devout, don’t you think? Better safe than sorry, right?

The extent to which such relationships have damaged international goodwill toward the U.S. is beyond measure…[A] leading Turkish newspaper, Sabah, published an article on Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, who is the U.S. liaison to the Turkish military — and who appeared in the Christian Embassy video. The article described Christian Embassy as a “radical fundamentalist sect,” perhaps irreparably damaging Sutton’s primary job objective of building closer ties to the Turkish General Staff, which has expressed alarm at the influence of fundamentalist Christian groups inside the U.S. military. Our military personnel swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not the Bible. Yet by turning a blind eye to OSU and Christian Embassy activities, the Pentagon is, in essence, endorsing their proselytizing.

Oh, relax. Lighten up. Soon enough our military personnel will be wearing an oath to defend the Bible, not the Constitution, and that’s as it should be. If you’re not good, you’re evil – understand?

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