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Forum Post: The U.S. Military has a Problem with Atheists

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 7, 2013, 6:16 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The U.S. Military has a Problem with Atheists

http://news.yahoo.com/u-military-problem-atheists-065000534.html

Dana Liebelson14 hours agoThe WeekPoliticsReligionThe Marine

Apparently, the Marine Corps thinks a "lack or loss of spiritual faith" could be dangerous

When an active-duty Marine was given a Marine Corps training document describing "potential risk indicators" commanders should look for to prevent loss of life among service members, he found one checkbox that didn't seem to fit. Among warning signs like substance abuse and prior suicide attempts was "lack or loss of spiritual faith."

Concerned that this was a discriminatory policy, the Marine notified the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a nonprofit dedicated to keeping religion separate from the U.S. military. The organization, which told me that it plans to sue the U.S. Marines unless the government backs off this policy, says this is the military's latest effort to discriminate against service members who don't believe in God.

Advocates for the policy say the military is simply doing everything it can to promote emotional well-being among troops, especially in the face of its growing suicide epidemic. (Last year, the U.S. military saw more active duty soldiers commit suicide than die in combat — 48 of them Marines.)

"The whole concept of judging service members based on their spirituality is completely unconstitutional," says Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and founder and president of MRFF. "This country was founded on a very critical principle — the founding framers looked at the horrors that occurred throughout history by mixing religion and war, and they said, we're going to separate church and state. And that means they cannot test for religion in the military."

The training document does not specify how a commander is supposed to test whether a Marine has spiritual faith — Weinstein claims that in a preliminary computer test, Marines are asked questions like "what do you think of when you see a sunset?" — but it does say that when a Marine is identified as high risk, a "Force Protection Council" will interview, monitor, and recommend further action at the council's discretion. (The Marine Corps did not respond to our questions about this policy.)

This is hardly the first time the military has tried to govern the religion of its service members. Until 1972, each U.S. service academy required soldiers to attend weekly religious services — and only Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish worship services were available, according to Blake Page, special assistant to the president of MRFF. Until 2011, the Army required soldiers to take a survey that measured "spiritual fitness," and soldiers who failed were told "improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal."

Defending the test in 2011, Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum told NPR, "Researchers have found that spiritual people have decreased odds of attempting suicide, and that spiritual fitness has a positive impact on quality of life, on coping and on mental health." The Marine Corps document also notes that its risk indicators for early death are "derived from scientific studies."

But Page argues that this logic is flawed, because studies that come to the conclusion that religion reduces dangerous behavior "only measure religiosity through religious service attendance. This is a failed conclusion, because attending a regular social activity of any sort produces the same external community of support that a religious community provides."

Paul Loebe, an active-duty Marine and the military director for American Atheists, agrees with that sentiment. He says that in his eight years of service, the Marine Corps never required him to take a religious test — although "they do have one available" — but notes that he was initially denied the right to put "atheist" on his dog tags. When Loebe tried to seek counseling from a chaplain, he was asked to end every session with a prayer. "It made the whole situation very uncomfortable, especially when I had a very serious problem to deal with," Loebe says.

Last month, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) tried and failed to amend the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act so that non-theist chaplains can be part of the military — a proposal that drew fierce opposition from some Republicans. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) told The Huffington Post, "I can't imagine an atheist accompanying a notification team as they go into some family's home to let them have the worst news of their life and this guy says, 'You know, that's it — your son's just worms, I mean, worm food.'"

But Loebe says that when he was in charge of drafting a Force Preservation Policy for his unit — similar to the one found to discuss spiritual faith — he thought that exposing everyone's private religious beliefs would have eroded trust among his fellow Marines. A religious requirement "does quite the opposite of 'preserving the force," he says.

"There are many service members past and present that have served honorably and continue to serve without believing in God, and there's no reason to believe they can't continue to do that today."


Homeland Security Taps Generals to Run Domestic Drone Program: The Rise of Predators at Home

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00 By Tom Barry, Truthout | News Analysis

http://truth-out.org/news/item/17995-homeland-security-taps-generals-to-run-domestic-drone-program-the-rise-of-predators-at-home


You Are, In Fact, Being Watched

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/18022-you-are-in-fact-being-watched

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97 Comments


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[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

The Horrific Specter of the "Post-Fleming Amendment" Fundamentalist Christian Military

Sunday, 11 August 2013 13:02 By Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/18107-the-horrific-specter-of-the-post-fleming-amendment-fundamentalist-christian-military

From its inception, our American republic has been a melting pot among nations. Citizens originating from every region of the world, from every religious background and no religious background, and from every ethnicity have sought to make a living for themselves and their families within our borders. This cultural and ethnic alloy has only been made possible by the foundational protections established within our Constitution, its construing federal and state case law, and the subordinate laws serving to uphold it. Recently, a perversion of the sacrosanct principle of freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution has found its way to Congress through the evil bigotry of a repugnant Christian fundamentalist carpetbagger and Congressman by the name of John Fleming (R-LA 4th).

The Constitutionally-derelict Rep. Fleming believes that any way to abridge the ability of service members to express their deeply-held religious convictions somehow constitutes a conspiratorial "threat" to their rights of free speech. At first glance, his Religious Liberty Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 would seem innocuous enough. In actual practice, however, the bill would give carte blanche to those who would wreak havoc on the morale, good order, and discipline of U.S. servicemembers who faithfully serve in the United States armed forces. What Fleming's amendment would do is add any type of "actions and speech" to the protected religious freedoms of servicemembers, thus rendering commanders all but helpless to stop potential problems until such actions or speech reach the point that they "actually harm" (a euphemistic phrase for “irreparably damage”) good order and discipline. As the Obama White House rightly stated in its objection to the amendment:

"By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment."

We at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) know all too well what the true consequences stemming from the signing of this "Christian Talibanistic" amendment would be. It would generate a thoroughly dreadful nightmare of civil rights desecration wrought by a tsunami of unabated fundamentalist Christian supremacy, exceptionalism, and tyranny.

Within the last 72 hours, we received yet another signal, among thousands, of exactly what our military would look like if Fleming's despicable amendment is signed into law. In a fit of philosophical dissonance that I like to call “G.I. Jesus Tourette’s Syndrome,” Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Zach Frith of the USAF's 187th Fighter Wing took it upon himself to steer his fellow airmen away from what he believes to be the “wrong religion” through a literally shocking and shameful email addressed to the entirety of the 187th:

Dear friends of the 187th,

Due to the influential power that a chaplain might have over the life of a military member, I'm strongly compelled to inform you of what is True in regard to how one may come before or come to know God. That truth is in the word of God and that truths' name is Jesus Christ.

(JOHN 14:6) Jesus said to him (Thomas, the doubter), "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father(God) but through Me".

And I understand that this e-mail might have consequences or ridicule to follow but I'd rather suffer that than have those around me be lied to about something that could have a detrimental impact on their soul.

Sincerely, SSgt Zach Frith

SSgt Frith was prompted to inform his peers, superiors, and subordinates that his personal religion of choice is superior to all others after a military chaplain had merely shared an informative interview that described the traditions surrounding Ramadan. In doing so, this fundamentalist Christian religious predator committed egregious violations of the United States Constitution, DoD directives, regulations, and instructions, as well as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The mere offering by an armed forces chaplain of even the slightest scintilla of perspective and information about religious traditions that “deviate” from his favorite flavor of fundamentalist Christian tradition was seen as a dastardly threat to SSgt Frith's beliefs granting him “just cause” to degrade, denigrate, and belittle those who don’t subscribe to his wretchedly parochial conception of his chosen faith. Fleming's despicable amendment, if signed into law, would revoke any meaningful authority that military commanders have to prevent and punish utterly reprehensible behavior like that of the ignoble SSgt Frith.

To his credit, COL Black, the Air Force's Commander of the 187th, was quick to notify his Wing of exactly why SSgt Frith's "actions and speech" in sending his email were wrong:

In light of today's mass email, I would like to re-emphasize the role of chaplains in our wing....It is no surprise some folks have very strong religious views and are not hesitant to share them; however, using a DoD system to express your personal viewpoint is inappropriate and will be addressed....We may not always agree with others' viewpoints regardless of the subject matter, but we need to be respectful of everyone's right to hold their beliefs.

Had the Fleming amendment been in effect, however, COL Black would not have been able to address the self-serving statements of vicious religious bigotry in SSgt Frith's email. Instead, Frith's "actions and speech" would have been protected under the guise of Rep. Fleming's insidious mockery of religious freedom.

In short, Fleming wants to give free reign to every fundamentalist evangelical dominionist Christian in our military to be as hostile, tyrannical, and disrespectful to others as they want. This travesty of Old School fundamentalist Christian triumphalism is the true content of “religious liberty” as cooked up by Fleming and his dominionist ilk. Here we have a Staff Sergeant - a non-commissioned officer - publicly telling his USAF subordinates via unsolicited mass email that if they don't believe in his version of weaponized Jesus they're simply wrong and seriously endangering their eternal souls. Arrogance, thy name indeed be Frith.

Meanwhile, a seditious alliance of representatives in Congress is feverishly laboring to make sure that these types of unconstitutional train wrecks happen at an even greater pace with absolutely no repercussions. It takes a twisted and tortured crusader mentality to think that encouraging this vulgar, seditious behavior will do anything but annihilate the good order, morale, and discipline of our valiant war fighters.

There is some remnant of comfort to be derived from the acknowledgement that the command does not approve of the unlawful use of government networks and military rank to hammer into the heads of our servicemembers the order that they have only one religion to choose from. The 15 MRFF client-whistleblowers (14 of whom are Protestant Christians) from the 187th who courageously reported this incident to MRFF are surely grateful. However, the glaring question still stands; what will be done? Will this rapaciously proselytizing, fundamentalist, USAF SSgt Christian bully simply be given a perfunctory tongue lashing and/or wrist slap and be sent happily on his way? Will there be any consequences of ANY significance whatsoever for so willfully, flagrantly, and blatantly violating his oath to the U.S. Constitution as well as DoD and Air Force policy? Or is this simply yet another pathetic example of our military shrinking in the face of the law, rendering it inapplicable and impotent when the name of Jesus is publicly invoked, especially to helpless subordinates?

It is the hope of all of us at MRFF that COL Black will have the intestinal fortitude to appropriately discipline SSgt Frith, however dubious the odds. As St. Augustine said, "Punishment is justice for the unjust."

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Many are aware of the mercenary army, Blackwater USA, led by Eric Prince, former Ambassador Cofer Black and Joseph Schmitz, the same Joseph Schmitz mentioned above. It is here where the ties become complex and suggestive of an even grander "crusade."

As described by Jeremy Scahill in his book "Blackwater," Prince, who attended the U.S. Naval Academy, comes from a wealthy theo-con family, is a "neo-crusader," and a Christian supremacist. He has been given billions of dollars in federal contracts to create a private army. COO Schmitz, another Naval Academy graduate, is a member of the Order of Malta, a Christian supremacist organization dating back to the Crusades, and happens to be married to the sister of Jeb Bush's wife, Columba. And Cofer Black, former coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department and former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, who was quoted by the BBC as saying "Capture Bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back in a box on dry ice," brings his own skill set to the Blackwater team as vice chairman.

The Christian supremacist fascism first reported at the Air Force Academy is endemic throughout the military. From the top down, there has been a complete repudiation of constitutional values and time-honored codes of ethics and honor codes in favor of religious ideology. And we now have a revolving door between Blackwater USA, which is Bush's Praetorian Guard, and the U.S. military at every level. The citizen-soldier military dictated by our founding fathers has been replaced with professional and mercenary right-wing Christian crusaders in control of the world's most powerful military. The risks to our democratic form of government cannot be overstated.

This evangelical Christian supremacist fascism within our military and government is a cancer. Officers, especially commanders, who violate the original code of ethics, must be rooted out of the military. The undermining of the Constitution, especially by senior military officers, must end.

As I look back at my 30 years as an active-duty officer, two combat tours in Vietnam, decorations including air medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross, I realize that not once was my service in support or defense of the Constitution. For the very first time, I am upholding my oath of office. The Evangelical Christian Takeover of the Military Retired Air Force Col. David Antoon investigates proselytizing within the military, where religious ideology threatens to supersede the values of the Constitution. November 15, 2007

[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

This indeed is some scary stuff GF, and it does resemble a return to the Dark Ages when reliegion triumphed over reason and critical thinking

Religious fanatics have also infiltrated the Israeli Defense Forces which makes peace with the Palestinians more and more unlikely

http://www.questia.com/library/1G1-209801066/the-enemy-within-religious-fanatics-have-infiltrated

~Odin~

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

What purpose does that serve?

[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

It seemed quite benign at one time, but considering the circumstance now, it just fuels a nefarious hegemony-seeking agenda

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

It may have been benign in the 1890s. It ceased to be benign when it was used daily and under god was inserted. It was intentional and they knew precisely what they were doing. Exactly like they know what they are doing now.

Most of us have no problem noticing that the country has moved to the right. How exactly do you think they got that way? Eisenhower and congress knew exactly what they were doing at the time. Facing a godless army?

Thank you, Eisenhower. "He is the only president known to have undertaken these rites while in office. Eisenhower was instrumental in the addition of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and the 1956 adoption of "In God We Trust" as the motto of the US, and its 1957 introduction on paper currency." link

Wonderful little piece Nationalist Republicans and the Cold War written in 1997.

[-] -3 points by HalalDali (17) 1 year ago

What is liberty? I suppose it depends on what God the nation is under.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Nice attempt to distract. Unfortunately, and let's be clear, it's not just scary but occurring with your complicity.

[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

If I honestly thought that were true, I would not take the stance I have

As I think you know a war inspired by reliegious fanatics, or any kind of war is something I defineitely do not want

From our past discussions, you should know that about me

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23968) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

[-] 2 points by shooz (21877) 5 minutes ago

And the fight goes on.

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/09/08/quest-turn-u-s-military-army-god.html

↥twinkle ↧stinkle reply permalink

And the - NEW Crusades mirror the OLD Crusades. The 1st Crusades was not about God - but that was how enlistment was marketed - NO - the Old crusades just like the current Crusades is about conquest and treasure.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago
[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

It's not just any form of Christianity though.

"Evangelism is firmly entrenched in American military culture. It pervades several aspects of military life, and each of these — from the social exclusion of nonbelievers, to the influence of evangelism on access to military resources, to the toxic fusion of national security objectives with religious terminology — warrants serious consideration. For all the honor and respect we give our soldiers, we certainly don’t hold some of the ideas they defend — namely, the separation of church and state — in very high regard."

Evangelistic fundamentalism.

Mostly "mental" though.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (23968) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Evangelistic fundamentalism.

So rampant in the South - very cozy with White Supremacy Groups - very cozy with Southern politics/politicians.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Yep, though I doubt you will hear many admissions from the shills around here.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23968) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

That would just be silly = shills putting out GOOD information for the people. hHHEEeeeHEhehehehehooooooooo

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

They are afraid to admit how things in the US even work.

Take precedent, for instance.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/the-bush-burden/?_r=3

It's too complicated for them.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (23968) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

It's too complicated for them.

That may well be so but -

They are afraid to admit how things in the US even work.

  • It is not in their job description to educate the public - their job is to misdirect and misinform.
[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Asking fool questions, while refusing to answer any asked of them is just one way they do that.

How many of our shills, do exactly that?

I've lost count.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (23968) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Asking fool questions, while refusing to answer any asked of them is just one way they do that.

How many of our shills, do exactly that?

Ummmmmmmm - that would be all of em - distraction technique - also a time waster.

Though stating it as OUR shills - well that just makes me wanna retch. Suffice it to say - the shills that attack this forum.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

that's what I meant to say "I lost count"

"what is the body count? I've lost track"

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W5hSNYjpUg

And if we're dumb, then............................

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I started with Regan

but the military industrial complex has been around a long time

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Actually, it started with Milton Friedman, and the libe(R)tarians.

http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda?page=0%2C0

Tossing in Christianity is the numbing opiate that blinds many to what it's really doing.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

The Struggle Continues: Seeking Compensation for Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims, 52 Years On

Saturday, 10 August 2013 12:48 By Marjorie Cohn, Marjorie Cohn's Blog | Report

http://truth-out.org/news/item/18097-the-struggle-continues-seeking-compensation-for-vietnamese-agent-orange-victims-52-years-on

Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the start of the chemical warfare program in Vietnam, a long time with NO sufficient remedial action by the U.S. government. One of the most shameful legacies of the American War against Vietnam, Agent Orange continues to poison Vietnam and the people exposed to the chemicals, as well as their offspring.

For over 10 years, from 1961 to 1975, in order to deny food and protection to those deemed to be "the enemy," the United States defoliated the land and forests of Vietnam with the chemicals known as Agent Orange. These chemicals contained the impurity of dioxin - the most toxic chemical known to science. Millions of people were exposed to Agent Orange and today it is estimated that three million Vietnamese still suffer the effects of these chemical defoliants. In addition to the millions of Vietnamese who continue to be affected by this deadly poison, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers are also affected. It has caused birth defects in hundreds of thousands of children in Vietnam and the United States - that is, the second and third generations of those who were exposed to Agent Orange decades ago. Medical evidence indicates that certain cancers (for example, soft tissue non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma), diabetes (type II), and in children spina bifida and other serious birth defects, are attributable to the exposure.

The deadly mark left by Agent Orange on the natural environment of Vietnam includes the destruction of mangrove forests and the long-term poisoning of soil especially in the known "hot spots" near former U.S. military bases.

Surviving Vietnam veterans in the United States, after many years of organized action, have finally achieved limited compensation from our government for some illnesses they suffer due to Agent Orange poisoning. While this struggle continues, the three million surviving Vietnamese victims have received no such compensation or any humanitarian aid from the U.S. government. Nor have the children of the vast majority of U.S. veterans suffering from Agent Orange-related birth defects received any medical or other assistance. The United States does not want to admit that its use of chemicals with poison as weapons of war on civilian populations violates the laws of war, which recognize the principle of distinction between military and civilian objects, requiring armies to avoid civilian targets. These laws of war are enshrined in the Hague Convention and the Nuremberg principles, and are codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Optional Protocol of 1977, as well as the International Criminal Court statute.

The use of Agent Orange on civilian populations violates the laws of war; yet no one has been held to account. Taxpayers pick up the tab of the Agent Orange Compensation fund for U. S. Veterans at a cost of 1.52 billion dollars a year. The chemical companies, most specifically Dow and Monsanto, which profited from the manufacture of Agent Orange, paid a pittance to settle the veterans' lawsuit to compensate them, as the unintended victims, for their Agent Orange-related illnesses. But the Vietnamese continue to suffer from these violations with almost no recognition, as do the offspring of Agent Orange-exposed U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans. Our government has a moral and legal obligation to compensate the people of Vietnam for the devastating impact of Agent Orange, and to assist in alleviating its effects. Indeed, the U.S. government recognized this responsibility in the Peace Accords signed in Paris in 1973, in which the Nixon administration promised to contribute $3 billion dollars toward healing the wounds of war, and to post-war reconstruction of Vietnam. But that promise remains unfulfilled. For the past 52 years, the Vietnamese people have been attempting to address this legacy of war by trying to get the United States and the chemical companies to accept responsibility for this ongoing nightmare. An unsuccessful legal action by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange against the chemical companies in U.S. federal court, begun in 2004, has nonetheless spawned a movement to hold the United States accountable for using such dangerous chemicals on civilian populations. The movement has resulted in pending legislation, H.R. 2519, The Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2013, which provides medical, rehabilitative and social service compensation to the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, remediation of dioxin-contaminated "hot spots," and medical services for the children of U. S. Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese-Americans who have been born with the same diseases and deformities.

Last year on the 51st anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. chemical war on Vietnam, we requested people around the world to observe 51 seconds of silence in memory of those who suffered and suffer from the effects of Agent Orange, and after the silence to take at least 51 seconds of action to support the struggle. This year again we urge you to reflect on the ongoing tragedy and take action by ensuring that your Congressional representative co-sponsors H.R. 2519, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

Yemenis Call US Drone Strikes an Overreaction to Al Qaida Threat

Saturday, 10 August 2013 07:05 By Adam Baron, McClatchy Newspapers | Report

http://truth-out.org/news/item/18090-yemenis-call-us-drone-strikes-an-overreaction-to-al-qaida-threat

SANAA, Yemen — The United States’ launching of eight drone strikes in Yemen in the span of 13 days has ignited widespread outrage in the country.

The anger over the strikes, which came as an al Qaida-related threat shuttered U.S. embassies and consulates in Yemen and 15 other countries, has overwhelmed attention to the threat itself, which many here view skeptically anyway.

“In the end, I think the American reaction has been far more than has been reasonable,” said Abdulghani al Iryani, a Sanaa-based political analyst. “It comes off almost as a show of strength. But, ultimately, it may end up backfiring, as al Qaida is getting more attention now than they would have even if they carried out an attack.”

The U.S. State Department announced Friday that it would reopen all its diplomatic missions Sunday except for the embassy in Yemen and the consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which had been evacuated early in the day because of an unspecified threat. There was no word on when the embassy here might be reopened. On Tuesday, what the State Department called “non-emergency” embassy staff members were flown to Germany.

The surge of strikes, the most concentrated series of drone hits since 2002, has come in four provinces, Abyan in the south, Shabwa and Hadramawt in Yemen’s southeast and Mareb in the country’s center. That alone underscores the difficulty of combating al Qaida’s Yemen affiliate, al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Earlier this year, the central government was able to push one of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s main affiliates, Ansar al Shariah, from strongholds it had seized during the push by dissidents to topple the government of then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh. But the bulk of the fighters were able to escape to other parts of the country, including areas with comparatively little history of an al Qaida presence, such as Hadramawt, which has emerged as a focus of recent U.S. strikes.

A number of the strikes appear to have been aimed at senior al Qaida figures in this country, but it isn’t clear how many of the targets have been killed.

The first strike, on July 27 in the al Mahfad district of Abyan, was aimed at al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s top bomb maker, Ibrahaim al Asiri, but he wasn’t among the four suspected militants killed.

Local tribal fighters who oppose the al Qaida group claimed that the next strike, on July 30, killed Ibrahim al Rubaish, a Saudi Arabian who’s its top ideologue and the successor to Saeed al Shihri as its deputy leader, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Shihri, a Saudi who was once held at Guantanamo, died in January of wounds he’d suffered in a November drone strike, but the group confirmed the death only last month.

While Western news reports have cast casualties of the next strike, on Aug. 1, as militants, locals in the area of Hadramawt where it took place have claimed that the dead had no links to the al Qaida group and included a child.

Five days later, a strike to the northwest, in Mareb, killed four, including two prominent figures in the group, one of whom was named in a list of wanted militants that the Yemeni government recently released. A strike the following day in Shabwa killed at least six, all cast as suspected fighters for the group.

Thursday saw the greatest drone activity, with three attacks on al Qaida targets, the first in Mareb and the second and third in southern Hadramawt, killing at least 11. The exact death toll and the identities of those killed remain unconfirmed.

Outrage over the strikes has spread to the capital, where the dismay over their frequency was heightened by their timing, during the final days of Ramadan and the start of the Eid al Fitr holiday, one of the holiest and most festive times of the Islamic year. The anger built on tensions caused by two days of unprecedented flyovers of the capital by one or more manned, American-made spy planes.

Yemeni officials have tied the spate of strikes to a plot by al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to seize major cities in the country’s south. But many here view suggestions of such a plot with unvarnished skepticism, saying the group doesn’t have the manpower to carry out such an ambitious operation.

© 2012 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Published on Thursday, May 3, 2007 by Common Wonders

The Crusaders The Christian Taliban is Running the Department of Defense by Robert Koehler

Sixteen words may be all that stand right now between the apparatus of government and the Founding Fathers' worst nightmare. And those words are starting to give.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."

When George Bush, in the wake of 9/11, puffed himself into Richard the Lionheart and declared he would lead the country in a "crusade" against terrorism - you know, crusade, as in slaughter of Muslim infidels - turns out . . . oh, how awkward (if you're on White House spin duty) . . . he may have been speaking literally.

What's certain, in any case, is that a lot of people in high and low places within the Bush administration - and in particular, the military - heard him literally, and regard the war on terror as a religious war:

"The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Fallujah. And we're going to destroy him," a lieutenant colonel, according to a BBC reporter, said to his troops on the eve of the destruction of that undefended city in post-election 2004.

"I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol," Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jerry Boykin notoriously boasted a few years back, speaking of a Muslim warlord in Somalia. And by the way, George Bush is "in the White House because God put him there."

And, of course, just the other day, Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, who conducted the first official investigation into Pat Tillman's death, opined that Tillman's family is only pestering the Army for the, ahem, truth about how he died because their loved one, a non-believer with no heavenly reward to reap, is now "worm dirt."

Until I read the newly published "With God on Their Side" (St. Martin's Press), Michael Weinstein's disturbing account of anti-Semitism at the U.S. Air Force Academy, I shrugged off each of these remarks, and so much more, as isolated, almost comically intolerant noises out of True Believer Land. Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do . . .

Now my blood runs cold. Weinstein, a 1977 graduate of the Academy and former assistant general counsel in the Reagan administration, and a lifelong Republican, has devoted the last several years of his life to battling what he has come to regard as a fundamentalist takeover of the Academy, turning it, in effect, into a taxpayer-supported Evangelical institution. He charges that the separation of church and state is rapidly vanishing at the school, which routinely promotes sectarian religious events, tolerates the proselytizing of uniquely vulnerable new recruits and, basically, conflates evangelical interests and the national interest.

If you think this is just a fight over some abstract principle, with ramifications only for atheist, Jewish, Buddhist and other cadets who may be "offended" by fundamentalist God talk, I urge you to check out Weinstein's book or website. He documents a chilling phenomenon: The whole U.S. military, up and down the chain of command, is coming to be dominated by members of a small, characteristically intolerant sliver of Christianity who truly regard themselves as Christian soldiers, on a God-appointed mission to harvest souls and battle evil.

Weinstein, whose family tradition of national service is pretty impressive, does not do battle lightly with those who now run his alma mater. One of his sons is a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy and the other is still a cadet there. The fact that both of them endured anti-Semitic harassment initially spurred him to take action. But this goes deeper than disrespect for other faiths. The attitude he has encountered in his attempt to hold the institution, and the rest of the military, accountable smacks of a coup: "The Christian Taliban is running the Department of Defense," he told me. "It inundates everything."

Can you imagine a contingent of religious zealots, with their contempt for secular values (and such manifestations of secular order as the U.S. Constitution) - and with their zest for holy war - in control of the most potent fighting force and weaponry in human history? Is this possible?

Well, said Weinstein, consider the 523rd Fighter Squadron, based at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., which calls itself The Crusaders, and whose emblem consists of a sword, four crosses and a medieval knight's helmet. Check 'em out at globalsecurity.org, which reports that the payload on the F-16s they fly consists of "a wide variety of conventional, precision guided and nuclear weapons."

And listen once again to Commander-in-Chief Bush, speaking in 2003 to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: "God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."

If this is a religious war - a "clash of civilizations," waged by competing agents of God's will - victory may be indistinguishable from Armageddon. God help the human race.

Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at bkoehler@tribune.com. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/03/940

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

After revelations that some American soldiers were given Bibles and encouraged to "hunt people for Jesus," the Pentagon on Monday denied allegations that the U.S. military allows its personnel to seek the conversion of Afghans to Christianity. But while the copies of the New Testament translated into Pashtun and jaw-dropping video from Bagram may seem like exceptions that prove the rule of American prohibition on proselytizing by the military, they are just the latest episodes in the disturbing rise in influence of Christian conservatives in the United States armed services.

As Jeremy Scahill detailed in the Huffington Post, the incidents first reported on Al Jazeera are an affront both to the U.S. military code of conduct and America's Afghan allies:

The center of this evangelical operation is at the huge US base at Bagram, one of the main sites used by the US military to torture and indefinitely detain prisoners.

In a video obtained by Al Jazeera and broadcast Monday, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, is seen telling soldiers that as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him."

"The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down," he says.

"Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business."

As it turns out, that has indeed been the business of Christian conservatives in the U.S. armed services since 9/11. In word and deed, evangelicals in recent years have aggressively boosted their visibility and influence within the American military.

May 04, 2009 05:00 PM Hunting People For Jesus

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Published on Thursday, October 16, 2003 by the Los Angeles Times General Casts War in Religious Terms The top soldier assigned to track down Bin Laden and Hussein is an evangelical Christian who speaks publicly of 'the army of God.' by Richard T. Cooper

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has assigned the task of tracking down and eliminating Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other high-profile targets to an Army general who sees the war on terrorism as a clash between Judeo-Christian values and Satan.

Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, the new deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, is a much-decorated and twice-wounded veteran of covert military operations. From the bloody 1993 clash with Muslim warlords in Somalia chronicled in "Black Hawk Down" and the hunt for Colombian drug czar Pablo Escobar to the ill-fated attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980, Boykin was in the thick of things.

William G. "Jerry" Boykin

I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol. Lt. Gen. William G. ‘Jerry’ Boykin, speaking about battle with a Muslim warlord Yet the former commander and 13-year veteran of the Army's top-secret Delta Force is also an outspoken evangelical Christian who appeared in dress uniform and polished jump boots before a religious group in Oregon in June to declare that radical Islamists hated the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian ... and the enemy is a guy named Satan."

Discussing the battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, Boykin told another audience, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

"We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this," Boykin said last year.

On at least one occasion, in Sandy, Ore., in June, Boykin said of President Bush: "He's in the White House because God put him there."

Boykin's penchant for casting the war on terrorism in religious terms appears to be at odds with Bush and an administration that have labored to insist that the war on terrorism is not a religious conflict.

Although the Army has seldom if ever taken official action against officers for outspoken expressions of religious opinion, outside experts see remarks such as Boykin's as sending exactly the wrong message to the Arab and Islamic world.

In his public remarks, Boykin has also said that radical Muslims who resort to terrorism are not representative of the Islamic faith.

He has compared Islamic extremists to "hooded Christians" who terrorized blacks, Catholics, Jews and others from beneath the robes of the Ku Klux Klan.

Boykin was not available for comment and did not respond to written questions from the Los Angeles Times submitted to him Wednesday.

"The first lesson is to recognize that whatever we say here is heard there, particularly anything perceived to be hostile to their basic religion, and they don't forget it," said Stephen P. Cohen, a member of the special panel named to study policy in the Arab and Muslim world for the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

"The phrase 'Judeo-Christian' is a big mistake. It's basically the language of Bin Laden and his supporters," said Cohen, president of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development in New York.

"They are constantly trying to create the impression that the Jews and Christians are getting together to beat up on Islam.... We have to be very careful that this doesn't become a clash between religions, a clash of civilizations."

Boykin's religious activities were first documented in detail by William N. Arkin, a former military intelligence analyst who writes on defense issues for The Times Opinion section.

Audio and videotapes of Boykin's appearances before religious groups over the last two years were obtained exclusively by NBC News, which reported on them Wednesday night on the "Nightly News with Tom Brokaw."

Arkin writes in an article on the op-ed page of today's Times that Boykin's appointment "is a frightening blunder at a time that there is widespread acknowledgment that America's position in the Islamic world has never been worse."

Boykin's promotion to lieutenant general and his appointment as deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence were confirmed by the Senate by voice vote in June.

An aide to the Senate Armed Services Committee said the appointment was not examined in detail.

Yet Boykin's explicitly Christian-evangelical language in public forums may become an issue now that he holds a high-level policy position in the Pentagon.

Officials at his level are often called upon to testify before Congress and appear in public forums.

Boykin's new job makes his role especially sensitive: He is charged with speeding up the flow of intelligence on terrorist leaders to combat teams in the field so that they can attack top-ranking terrorist leaders.

Since virtually all these leaders are Muslim, Boykin's words and actions are likely to draw special scrutiny in the Arab and Islamic world.

Bush, a born-again Christian, often uses religious language in his speeches, but he keeps references to God nonsectarian.

At one point, immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the president said he wanted to lead a "crusade" against terrorism.

But he quickly retracted the word when told that, to Muslim ears, it recalled the medieval Christian crusaders' brutal invasions of Islamic nations.

In that context, Boykin's reference to the God of Islam as "an idol" may be perceived as particularly inflammatory.

The president has made a point of praising Islam as "a religion of peace." He has invited Muslim clerics to the White House for Ramadan dinners and has criticized evangelicals who called Islam a dangerous faith.

The issue is still a sore spot in the Muslim world.

Pollster John Zogby says that public opinion surveys throughout the Arab and Islamic world show strong negative reactions to any statement by a U.S. official that suggests a conflict between religions or cultures.

"To frame things in terms of good and evil, with the United States as good, is a nonstarter," Zogby said.

"It is exactly the wrong thing to do."

For the Army, the issue of officers expressing religious opinions publicly has been a sensitive problem for many years, according to a former head of the Army Judge Advocate General's office who is now retired but continues to serve in government as a civilian.

"The Army has struggled with this issue over the years. It gets really, really touchy because what you're talking about is freedom of expression," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"What usually happens is that somebody has a quiet chat with the person," the retired general said.

Times staff writer Doyle McManus contributed to this report. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1016-01.htm

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

Pledge of Allegiance Challenged in Massachusetts Supreme Court

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/04/20327848-pledge-of-allegiance-challenged-in-massachusetts-supreme-court?lite

By Sophia Rosenbaum, NBC News

A family in suburban Boston hopes to change the phrasing of the Pledge of Allegiance to remove two words they claim violate students' rights.

The family is challenging the pledge, which students recite daily in U.S. public schools, claiming the words "under God" violate the state's equal rights laws.

The plaintiffs, who have requested anonymity through their lawyers, are taking an unconventional approach to challenging the pledge. Past cases argued the words “under God” violated the Constitution’s separation of church and state.

Congress added “under God” to the pledge in 1954.

This case, however, makes a different argument.

David Niose, former president of the American Humanist Association, and the plaintiffs' representative, opened his arguments Wednesday saying the pledge’s use of “under God” violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and is an issue of discrimination.

Niose said the pledge’s repetitiveness in the public school system is indoctrinating and alienating to atheists.

“It validates believers as good patriots and it invalidates atheists as non-believers at best and unpatriotic at worst,” he said.


Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, intervened on behalf of a family in the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, the defendant in the case, who would like to have their child continue reciting the pledge as it is presently written.

“Most people do not view reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as saying a prayer,” Rassbach said. “It would be terrible to enshrine in the law this kind of allergy to God that the plaintiffs have.”

Rassbach added that it has been illegal to force someone recite the pledge since 1943. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette ruled that students could not be forced to salute the American flag or say the pledge in school. It was considered a huge victory for Jehovah’s Witnesses, who cannot salute or pledge to symbols, according to their religious beliefs.

Both Noise and Rassbach said a decision will likely come within six months. Since this case is an appeal, there is no testimony and the panel of seven Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court judges will decide the case based on court briefs.

Rassbach is worried that if the state Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the case would spur copycat lawsuits in other states with similar equal rights’ laws.

“If they succeed in their goals here,” he said, “they will attempt to replicate it elsewhere.”

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

Many people have been killed and oppressed in the name of Christianity. Recognizing that, "Religion over Reason", was foolish concerning governing a nation of people, Congress shall make no law establishing religion was part of the foundation of this country. Free speech and freedom of religion was also important.

In the very early days of Christianity, there was an attempt to actually stamp out Christianity, as described in the book of Acts, chapter 5. "Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

Actually, the book of Acts doesn't provide actual history pertaining to the early days of Christianity. The book of Acts is a story book that includes historical references from other sources to enhance the story. The story of Rabban Gamaliel is as much a fabrication of the Luke-Acts story writer as the other stories told by her.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'

His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John's College, has analyzed these ideas in his book, The Six Great Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are 'equality, liberty and justice for all.' 'Justice' mediates between the often conflicting goals of 'liberty' and 'equality.'

In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer. http://oldtimeislands.org/pledge/

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Read the Foreword, Introduction, and the first few pages of each chapter: Here

Foreword by Rev. William N. Esborn Introduction 1. Congress and the Bible 2. The Northwest Ordinance 3. Indian Treaties and Indian Schools 4. Propagating the Gospel Among the Heathen? 5. Thomas Jefferson and Public Education 6. Did Prayer Save the Constitutional Convention? 7. Treaties with the Barbary States 8. Treaties with Christian Nations 9. James Madison's Detached Memoranda 10. The Election of 1800 11. More Lies About Benjamin Franklin 12. More Lies About Thomas Jefferson 13. Jefferson, Madison, and Blackstone?

About the author: Chris Rodda is someone who never intended to be a writer, but got pissed off enough at the rampant Christian nationalist revisionism of American history that she decided to write a book about it, which somehow led to her "day job" as Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. She is also a blogger on the Huffington Post and Talk2Action, writing about historical revisionism, religious issues in the military, and whatever else she feels like writing about.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Pastor Fischer and other church leaders believe that the world is messed up and tell camp goers that they are the special generation that can fix it. Palestinian mothers send their kids out by the age of 5 to be suicide bombers, says Fischer, who argues that Christian children should be similarly ready to lay down their lives for Jesus. What the evangelicals did over summer vacation God's army Review by Cindy Beringer | October 20, 2006

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Representative Bob Barr's Statements:

U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) has been a United States Attorney, and currently serves on the House Judiciary, Government Reform and Banking committees. 2

On 1999-MAY-13, he issued a press release titled:

"BARR: CAUSES OF YOUTH VIOLENCE FOUND IN ADULT CULTURE." 3

He lists as one of the causes of youth violence the practice by the U.S. military to permit Wiccan personnel to observe their religious faith. Wicca is a benign, earth-centered religion, which is somewhat similar to Native American Spirituality. A second source of youth violence that he cites is the increasing acceptance by university students of humanism, a secular, non-theistic philosophy with a strong ethical component.

On 1999-MAY-18, he issued a second press release. Copies were delivered to military and congressional leaders. Recipients included Army Secretary Louis Caldera and Lt. Gen. Leon S. LaPorte, commander of Fort Hood, TX. It is titled:

"BARR DEMANDS END TO TAXPAYER-FUNDED WITCHCRAFT ON AMERICAN MILITARY BASES." 4

He is reported as having viewed a report on The O'Reilly Factor, a program on Fox News. It featured vernal equinox ceremonies by soldiers at Fort Hood, TX. He had heard that military chaplains at Fort Hood, and other bases "are sanctioning, if not supporting the practice of witchcraft as a 'religion' by soldiers on military bases."

It is unclear exactly how the toleration of Wicca (a.k.a. Witchcraft) and other minority religions are taxpayer-funded. Large armed forces bases frequently have one or more Protestant ministers, Roman Catholic priests, and a Jewish rabbis on staff. The Christian and Jewish soldiers' religious needs are met at some taxpayer expense. The military pays clergy salaries, provides chaplains with offices and support staff, etc. In a hypothetical case of an army base with 5,000 soldiers, and 3 chaplains at $75,000 per year each, the government allocates $45 per year for the spiritual support of each Christian or Jewish soldier. But there are, to our knowledge, no Wiccan Priests, Priestesses, or chaplain office at any base in America. Wiccans are expected to fend for themselves, and provide their own priests and priestesses from within their own membership. The cost per Wiccan for spiritual support is essentially nothing. Some news sources stated that the Army had increased security at Fort Hood "in order to deter members of Christian groups from intimidating the witches, who meet in campgrounds..." 7 The army would certainly incur costs due to the need for this increased security. However, that is not the fault of the Wiccans. It is caused by perceived threats from some Christian sources.

Barr stated that allowing Wiccans to follow their religion on base: "...sets a dangerous precedent that could easily result in the practice of all sorts of bizarre practices being supported by the military under the rubric of 'religion.' "

He rejects Wicca (a.k.a. Witchcraft) as a legitimate religion, even though: bullet It meets the criteria for a religious belief specified in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. bullet It has been recognized as a valid religion by at least two U.S. district courts. bullet It has hundreds of thousands of followers in the U.S.

Rep Barr continues: "What's next? Will armored divisions be forced to travel with sacrificial animals for Satanic rituals? Will Rastafarians demand the inclusion of ritualistic marijuana cigarettes in their rations?..."

Religious Satanists do not engage in the ritual sacrifice of animals. Teenage dabblers in Satanism sometimes have been known to kill a dog or cat or small animal; but this is quite rare. Whether Rastafarians should be allowed exemption from drug laws is a matter for the courts to decide. Some Native Americans have been allowed to consume peyote as part of their religious services -- they follow a tradition which dates back millennia. Roman Catholics are permitted to consume wine during Mass. Allowing Rastafarians to use marijuana in their religious rituals may be similarly guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Only a court case would tell for certain.

He ended his press release with the following: A print of the painting, 'The Prayer At Valley Forge,' depicting George Washington on bended knee, praying in the hard snow at Valley Forge, hangs over the desk in my office. If the practice of witchcraft, such as is allowed now at Fort Hood, is permitted to stand, one wonders what paintings will grace the walls of future generations."

He seems to be expressing the feeling that only Christian themes should be used in American religious artwork. We have scanned many Wiccan and other Neopagan web sites and find some of their artwork to be quite spiritual in nature.

We get the impression that Rep. Barr's concept of Wicca and Witches is primarily based on the religious propaganda from the 15th and 16th century, and is almost completely unrelated to the reality of 20th century Wicca. He may have obtained his knowledge of Wicca from some of the Christian religious hate sites on the Internet. The "Burning Times Award" given to U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

There are also political reasons. Anne C. Loveland, a retired professor of American history at Louisiana State University and the author of "American Evangelicals and the U.S. Military, 1942-1993," said the foundation for the change in the chaplaincy was laid during the Vietnam War.

"Evangelical denominations were very supportive of the war, and mainline liberal denominations were very much against it," Ms. Loveland said. "That cemented this growing relationship between the military and the evangelicals."

Chaplain Edward T. Brogan, director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel, who recruits and recommends chaplain candidates for several Presbyterian churches, calls the change "a supply and demand issue."

Evangelicals Are a Growing Force in the Military Chaplain Corps Published: July 12, 2005

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

If you want to help vets try this;

http://rt.com/usa/georgia-county-us-way-743/

As far the comments posted, they sound insane. Pay no attention.

[-] 0 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

Religious People are Less Intelligent than Atheists, Study Finds

Rob Waugh 6 hours agoYahoo! News

http://news.yahoo.com/religious-people-are-less-intelligent-than-atheists--study-finds--113350723.html#upCr476

Religious people are less intelligent than non-believers, according to a new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades.

A team led by Miron Zuckerman of the University of Rochester found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 studies. Even in extreme old age, intelligent people are less likely to believe, the researchers found - and the reasons why people with high IQs shun religion may not be as simple as previously thought.

Previous studies have tended to assume that intelligent people simply “know better”, the researchers write - but the reasons may be more complex.

For instance, intelligent people are more likely to be married, and more likely to be successful in life - and this may mean they “need” religion less.

The studies used in Zuckerman's paper included a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children - those with IQs over 135 - in a study which began in 1921 and continues today.

Even at 75 to 91 years of age, the children from Lewis Terman’s study scored lower for religiosity than the general population - contrary to the widely held belief that people turn to God as they age. The researchers noted that data was lacking about religious attitudes in old age and say, “Additional research is needed to resolve this issue.”

As early as 1958, Michael Argyle concluded, “Although intelligent children grasp religious concepts earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs, and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes.”

A 1916 study quoted in Zuckerman’s paper (Leuba) found that, “58% of randomly selected scientists in the United States expressed disbelief in, or doubt regarding the existence of God; this proportion rose to nearly 70% for the most eminent scientists.”

The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, said “Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme—the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who “know better.”

The answer may, however, be more complex. Intelligent people may simply be able to provide themselves with the psychological benefits offered by religion - such as “self-regulation and self-enhancement,” because they are more likely to be successful, and have stable lives.

“Intelligent people typically spend more time in school—a form of self-regulation that may yield long-term benefits,” the researchers write. “More intelligent people get higher level jobs (and better employment (and higher salary) may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs.”

“Last, more intelligent people are more likely to get and stay married (greater attachment), though for intelligent people, that too comes later in life. We therefore suggest that as intelligent people move from young adulthood to adulthood and then to middle age, the benefits of intelligence may continue to accrue.”

The researchers suggest that further research on the “function” of religion may reveal more.

“People possessing the functions that religion provides are likely to adopt atheism, people lacking these very functions (e.g., the poor, the helpless) are likely to adopt theism,” the researchers wrote.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

“More intelligent people get higher level jobs (and better employment (and higher salary) may lead to higher self-esteem, and encourage personal control beliefs.”

I'm not convinced of this statement

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Now they say it indicates a high risk of suicide.

"A United States Marine Corps publication on harm reduction among service members lists a lack of spiritual faith as one of 11 possible risk indicators, including prior suicide attempts, a history of psychiatric hospitalizations, and substance abuse. Marine officials are instructed to use this document as a guide to identify and address risky behavior, which, according to the policy, includes not believing in God, reports Dana Liebleson over at The Week."

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/07/u_s_military_thinks_being_an_atheist_is_a_warning_sign_for_suicide/?source=newsletter

[-] 0 points by forourfutures (393) 1 year ago

Would they kill a soldier that tried to defend the constitution?

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

God Caught Backing Multiple GOP Candidates for President

After a thorough investigation, Daily Intel has discovered that God is separately backing at least three different contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. Over the course of the past few months and even years, God has sent signs and direct messages to each of these candidates encouraging them to run, presumably without telling them that he supports other candidates as well. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2011/06/god_caught_backing_multiple_go.html

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Didn't he pick Perry?

He must have been having a rough week.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Yeah, and Bachman. That one was a doozy.

When you take children and force them or use coercion (overt or covert) to recite the pledge that was not intended for this purpose it's called brainwashing-like North Korea. Inserting the phrase under God in the middle of an anti communist fervor was intended to do what? Raise a religious army and have a population that would be willing to defend their Christ. The capitalist Christ no less.

Jeff Mason, a fifth grade teacher at Highland Elementary School in Reedsport, Oregon, battled for his students’ right to remain respectfully seated during the Pledge for twelve long years before he called the ACLU of Oregon. Although federal law, Oregon law, and Reedsport School District policy all prohibit compelling public school students to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, faculty and staff members at Highland Elementary School routinely forced their students to stand during the daily recitation of the Pledge, singling out students for public embarrassment if they attempted to invoke their right to remain seated. During Jeff’s attempt to safeguard the rights of Highland Elementary School students, he faced significant intimidation and hostility from school administration and staff. At one point, Jeff’s former principal even ordered him to force his own students to stand for the Pledge, but Jeff knew that to do so would be against the law and reached out to his union for help. After enduring years of meetings and letters that never resulted in the school’s full compliance with the law, Jeff turned to the ACLU. http://aclu-or.org/blog/students-not-required-participate-pledge-allegiance

You can see the reaction when many kids get to college and are allowed to think and really question. What's the backlash? Those liberal universities. This scares the shit out of the teathuglicans and libertopians. Because they know that if their views are questioned they will fall on their ass.

Mike Huckabee says that everyone should be forced at gunpoint to listen to every David Barton message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1O1dvN8lag&list=TLVYv8lTa-9xo

Chris Rodda is the shizzle. http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisRodda2

The following is David Barton on Mitt Romney.

Barton, Green & Barber Agree: Not Voting for Romney is a Sin - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/barton-green-barber-agree-not-voting-romney-sin#sthash.gCMUk2ex.dpuf

and here: But this is not surprising. The Republican Party of Texas 2012 platform included the following:

“Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simple the relabeling of Outcome-Based Education which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

In other words, the Republican Party of Texas does not want to challenge students with anything that might change their opinion as taught to them by their parents or other authority figures. Forget gaining the ability to analyze data, discuss an issue, and perhaps come up with an educated conclusion that may differ from your original hypothesis. Who cares how valuable these tools are in the workplace.

Patrick is just extending the CSCOPE issue to his disdain of comprehensive education that gives students in Texas the opportunity to think for themselves. The discussion on the Boston Tea Party does not accuse these patriots of being terrorists. It’s about discussing issues and learning from these discussions. And, like it or not, Allah is another word for God.

It appears the GOP in Texas prefers a generation of bobblehead children, nodding their heads, never thinking outside of the box, and never questioning authority. And I would assume this is how the GOP plans to enlist future supporters. http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/article-saving-souls-index-censorship

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Don't forget, folks like Robertson and Beck are re-writing the Bible and Christian history. Every day.

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/biblical-american-history-lesson-glenn-beck

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Yep. Tho' Barton will bring in the actual document and willfully hide what it actually says or intentionally misconstrue it.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE

One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military By Michael L. Weinstein and Davin Seay

Under the “boy emperor”, George W. Bush we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. What we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture--a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre- Enlightenment world; and the political and a and economic marginalization of our culture.

Add to this the pervasive hostility toward science on the part of the current administration and we get a clear picture of the Enlightenment being steadily rolled back. Religion is used to explain terror attacks as part of a cosmic conflict between Good and Evil rather than in terms of political processes.... Manichaean’s rules across the United States. According to a poll taken by Time magazine fifty-nine percent of Americans believe that John's apocalyptic prophecies in the Book of Revelation will be fulfilled, and nearly all of these believe that the faithful will be taken up into heaven in the 'Rapture, Fundamentalism and democracy are completely antithetical when the former attempt to engage the machinery of the state to further its parochial biblical world view. The opposite of the Enlightenment, of course, is tribalism, groupthink; and more and more, this is the direction in which the United States is going...

WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military By Michael L. Weinstein and Davin Seay shines a klieg light on one of the most elite educational institutions in the world. The United States Air Force Academy which, from its inception has attracted the best and brightest, producing outstanding leaders not only in the military but throughout American society.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and his family have a long tradition of service in the United States armed forces. However, Weinstein is now waging a different kind of war. With support at the very highest levels, evangelical groups within the military believe that, serving your country requires the priorities of the military personnel to be, in the words of the Officer’s Christian Fellowship: “ a spiritually transformed US Military” literally “with ambassadors for Christ in uniform” and “empowered by the Holy Spirit.” Weinstein and other American patriots see the evangelicals’ intrusion into military operations and affairs as an affront to the Constitution they were sworn to uphold – and a violation of this nation’s traditionally sacrosanct separation of church and state. Ten thousand cadets and staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, open up their federally-funded newspaper and see an a solicitation signed by hundreds of Academy senior officials and their spouses unabashedly proclaiming, “We believe that the only real hope for mankind is Jesus Christ!” Cadets are bombarded with official command “encouragement” to see the movie The Passion of the Christ at local movie theatres, and stridently sectarian fliers are strategically placed at every cadet’s seat for three straight days in the Academy dining hall. The Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains tells a New York Times Reporter, in a front page story, that it is now official U.S, Air Force policy to “Reserve the right to evangelize the un-churched.” (W: April 26 M the Washington Post (July 16 2006): “Let me make it clear. I would shed my last drop of blood to defend their right to hold their biblical worldview….But I will not accept my government telling me who are the children of the greater God and who are the children of a lesser God. That’s a difference I will not defend – I will fight them tooth and nail, and lay down a withering field of fire and leave sucking chest wounds – if they engage the machinery of the state, which is what they are doing.” A vitally important book at a critical time in our nation’s history, With God on our Side is the story of one man’s courageous struggle to thwart a tsunami of evangelism permeating America’s military and to prevent a taxpayer-funded theocracy in which only the true believers have powers. Besides sticks and stones thrown at him, Mikey has been reviled by the fundamentalist Christian right, and has been given many names by his evangelical enemies including Satan, Satan's lawyer, the Antichrist, That Godless, Secular Leftist, The Antagonizer of All Christians, The Most Dangerous Man in America and, most recently and perhaps most colorfully, The Field General of the Godless Armies of Satan.
When a country goes to war, it sends a cargo of good and bad men and women; the vast majority of whom have fine, noble and heroic sensibilities, and, unfortunately a minute minority of sadists and criminals slip in. The country then pours this entire, mixed bag of people into another society -- and with them, their courage and nobility; but also, their problems, their frailties, and their crimes. And then this entire spectrum is subjected to the kind of tremendous stress and strain, endemic only to the experience of war, that’s almost beyond human endurance. The point is that war is an inferno, and so spiritually and physically catastrophic for both sides, that it must never be allowed to be manipulated by an unconstitutional cabal of evangelical zealots and mindless so-called patriots.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Michael L. Weinstein is founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He is an attorney and businessman who served on active duty in the USAF as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) for ten years and also spent three years as an attorney in the Reagan White House and formerly General Counsel for H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Davis Seay is the author of seven books. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Publication date:October 9, 2006 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/press-releases/with-god-on-our-side.html

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

This is some of scariest stuff I've ever learned of.

It reminded of something I heard a while ago, so I googled, and low and behold ( as they say in the Bible).

Here it is.

"Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse."

Insane.

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=haught_29_5

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

We don't call them the American Taliban for nothing.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

American-, Teabag-, Hillbilly-, RepubliCon-, (this insidious Country Music- invasion) Taliban(s) are our insane domestic equivalent(s) to the foreign Taliban and Al Qaeda. There must be a way to put these nuts on an island where they can fight each other without involving the rest of the world.

The benefits of religion, as sociologists like Erich Fromm have long espoused, maintaining the sanity of the weak-minded, has been overwhelmed by the harm believers do in the name of religion. Like guns, the long overdue, neglected and messy problem needs a Superfund style cleanup. At least a quarantine until we devise a plan of action.

That said, let's get religion out of government. Let's make atheism a requirement of all government offices, instead of the atrocious other way around! Imagine an Atheist POTUS, SCOTUS and Congress!! We got women, blacks and gays ~ we can do this people!

There's hope!

“Nones” on the Rise | Polling and Analysis | October 9, 2012

The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).3

http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/

[+] -4 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Man, That's a lot of hate for one person to have. How about live and let live rather than spewing hate toward tens of millions of people?

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Realizing that you could not possibly fathom religious reciprocation of "how about live and let live," ~ the oblivion of religious (and white) privilege ~ suffice with "payback's a bitch!"

"git ur bible, git ur gun..."

[+] -4 points by summerbummer (-33) 1 year ago

It's just as much a matter of "faith" to be an atheist. Science can no more prove god DOES NOT exist as it can prove he does. And I 2nd narley....you do seem full of hate and need to take your OWN advice.....live and let live.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

It's not the purpose of science to prove or disprove any specific notions. The purpose of science is to reveal the world we universally experience. There is no faith required for merely experiencing the world. The only faith that an athiest may have is the faith common to human reason that the discernable laws of nature are consistent and therefore need not be doubted in everyday situations.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Prove it in private!

Institutionalized Religion ~ like Racism ~ is a crime against Truth, Justice and the American Way!

[+] -6 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Neither religious or white privilege exist. It's just a form of name calling. I don't care what your religious beliefs are, just allow others the same courtesy.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

You live in a dream world!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Then get yours out of our Faces, TVs, Radios, Newspapers, Holidays, and worst of all Our Governments!!!

[-] -2 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

For the record I'm an agnostic. I don't know if there is a higher power or not. I don't believe in a christian god, but I don't rule out some type of divine presence. The truth is both atheists or religious believers are acting on faith. Neither can absolutely prove their case.

But I tend to dislike the bully atheists. They are no better than hard core religious believers; in fact atheists came across as being so intolerant. They are so full of hate and just want to force their view on everyone. Fortunately the bully atheists don't speak for all atheists. So, I say live and let live. What's the problem with that?

[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

The only faith that an athiest may have is the faith common to human reason that the discernable laws of nature are consistent and therefore need not be doubted in everyday situations.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

You ignore the Tyranny of Religion (Christianity) that is comprehensively institutionalized in our country. Of course when you just accept that, any criticism seems outrageous. You're oblivious and you'll never WTFU!

[-] -1 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Tyranny is tyranny, whether it be religious or atheist. Atheism has taken on an aura of just being another religion. They say “listen to me, do what I say and you shall be fulfilled”. Atheism is taught with the fervor of religion, including the hate part. Face it bully atheists just want to destroy those who disagree with them, just like religion. Alas you aren’t interested in being objective.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Yeah, what shooz said (below), ya knuckle head!!!

And where is Atheism taught? with fervor? as a religion?

What politician is openly non-religious? An Atheist couldn't be elected dog catcher!! That is totally fucked up and needs to be changed! ASAP!

And it's changing! Like freedom to carry, freedom to marry and freedom to re-elect a black POTUS called Barry!!

Step away from the Fox Lies! Put down the Rush Limbaugh! Drop the gun and bible!

Turn on Randi and turn on your mind: http://www.randirhodes.com/main.html

Women next: Clinton-Warren 2016!!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

"Tyranny is tyranny,"

Unless, of course it's a tyranny of (R)epelican'ts.

Then it's OK.

To lord over women.

To lord over LGBT.

To usurp Democracy.

To lord over other religions.

To lord over education.

To lord over voters.

Then it's A-OK.

I'm sure you could add some.

You are in Texas after all.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Yeah, what shooz said, ya knuckle head!!!

And where is Atheism taught? with fervor? as a religion?

What politician is openly non-religious? An Atheist couldn't be elected dog catcher!! That is totally fucked up and needs to be changed! ASAP!

And it's changing! Like freedom to carry, freedom to marry and freedom to re-elect a black POTUS called Barry!!

Step away from the Fox Lies! Put down the Rush Limbaugh! Drop the gun and bible!

Turn on Randi and turn on your mind: http://www.randirhodes.com/main.html

Women next: Clinton-Warren 2016!!

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

What who said??

[-] 0 points by WSmith (1663) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

better?

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Christians and Catholics had better slap the submissive smiles off their faces and realize this is a revolution and war against God of the Holy Bible. Bravo to the Catholics for growing a backbone and suing Obama. If we don’t stop his intrusion on our faith and expression at this level, he will push to stop all speech about gay behavior and marriage and continue dictating what a ‘moderate’ and ‘approved’ preacher can preach. This will end up being 50 yard line, empty bull rot, reflecting Obama’s true heart. Do you want to be indoctrinated when you go to church or inspired by the word of God?

Stand with the God of the Holy Bible; Stand with the Catholics, Christians and Jews; Stand with our Constitution and stand against the tyrant, usurper President Barack Hussein Obama in November 2012. Consider standing with my outside the box candidacy. http://www.teaparty.org/obama-has-declared-war-on-god-not-the-catholic-church-6159/


See, it isn't even Obama. The Democrats, as a rule, don't really have a backbone. Haven't had one for many years.

[+] -4 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

This isn't about Obama. It's about people being able to believe in any god they so choose without being maligned. That includes atheists have a right not believe. Live and let live really is a good idea. I hope it catches on.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

It's about using religion to create a bunch of brain washed folks that are willing to do whatever they are told including fighting in the name of God. You cannot twist this.

Establishment clause.

[+] -5 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

So, you would take away peoples right to believe in god? Is that what this is about? I thought you were for personal freedom? All I'm saying everyone should have the right to any religious belief without being stoned to death by atheists.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

No. You can't twist this.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

What purpose does the daily recitation serve?

[Removed]

[+] -4 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

This recitation is simply to pledge allegiance to the US. I see nothing wrong in supporting your nation. I'm proud to serve my nation. I believe supporting your nation is so important I served in the military.

Now because I love my country doesn't mean I love the corrupt government and greedy corporations. I love my country so much I want these things fixed.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

[-] 0 points by Narley (91) 0 minutes ago

Good grief, does your mother know you talk like that? It seem to be a sign of the times to see how vulgar people can be. Do you really believe that kind of language is acceptable? The shock value wore off a long time ago. I suggest trying to communicate without screaming vulgarities. You will be taken more seriously.


Yawn.

[+] -4 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Yea, your right. I'm beating a dead horse here.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

[-] 0 points by Narley (154) 5 minutes ago

I don't believe in a christian god, but I don't care if other people do. I don't believe in attacking people for their religious beliefs or ridiculing people , or lack there of. It's a free country. You should be allowed to believe or not believe anything you want without being attacked.

Bottom line is the "under god" statement doesn't bother me and I don't understand why it bothers you. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink


What is the purpose of the daily recitation and use of under God?

You don't even buy the shit your selling.

[Removed]

[+] -7 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

So what's your solution? Should we stone all Christians to death?. How about Muslims? or Jews? Where do you draw the line on stoning people who believe differently than you?

No, I;m not a christian, but the pure hate and meanness of atheists doesn't solve anything. I don't trust people whose morals and ethics are relative.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

[-] -1 points by Narley (91) 11 minutes ago

Sigh, I just don't see the harm in this daily recitation. It's a stretch to call it brainwashing. But I guess some people will get upset about anything. It's clear to me the intent of atheists is to punish anyone or anything that is not atheist. They do more harm than good. Just seems like hate to me. They can't accept "live and let live". ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink


sigh

You're lying. The Tea Party called. They want you to report back to them for your attempt to portray a liberal. You have failed both here and that critical thinking bit. The establishment clause is the live and let live. But, you can't stand that.

[-] -2 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Dear lady, just because I disagree with you on this doesn't make me a lyier or a republican. It just means we disagree.

Don't you realize people can disagree and still stay focused on the same goals and ideals. I submit that you drive people away from the real goals of OWS by belittling and insulting everyone who disagrees with you even in the simplistic way. .Don't be divisive.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

[+] -6 points by Narley (92) 1 day ago

I think it's become more of a tradition. Kind of like singing the national anthem at sports events. I don't see any harm in honoring your country. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink


No. We aren't talking about a baseball game here. This is the daily recitation in public schools with concepts and ideas that that require an abstract thinking process that does not develop-if it develops-until the kid is between the ages of 12-15. Thus, given your responses, you know it is brainwashing and you fully support that. Further, considering that your responses are not well developed, you aren't even buying the shit you are selling.

[-] -3 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Sigh, I just don't see the harm in this daily recitation. It's a stretch to call it brainwashing. But I guess some people will get upset about anything. It's clear to me the intent of atheists is to punish anyone or anything that is not atheist. They do more harm than good. Just seems like hate to me. They can't accept "live and let live".

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

under God

What is that?

[+] -7 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

I don't believe in a christian god, but I don't care if other people do. I don't believe in attacking people for their religious beliefs or ridiculing people , or lack there of. It's a free country. You should be allowed to believe or not believe anything you want without being attacked.

Bottom line is the "under god" statement doesn't bother me and I don't understand why it bothers you.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

[-] 1 points by Narley (92) 2 hours ago

Dear lady, just because I disagree with you on this doesn't make me a lyier or a republican. It just means we disagree.

Don't you realize people can disagree and still stay focused on the same goals and ideals. I submit that you drive people away from the real goals of OWS by belittling and insulting everyone who disagrees with you even in the simplistic way. .Don't be divisive. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink


Shut the fuck up. Don't be a douche.

[-] -2 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

Good grief, does your mother know you talk like that? It seem to be a sign of the times to see how vulgar people can be. Do you really believe that kind of language is acceptable? The shock value wore off a long time ago. I suggest trying to communicate without screaming vulgarities. You will be taken more seriously.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

[-] 1 points by Narley (154) 46 minutes ago

So what's your solution? Should we stone all Christians to death?. How about Muslims? or Jews? Where do you draw the line on stoning people who believe differently than you?

No, I;m not a christian, but the pure hate and meanness of atheists doesn't solve anything. I don't trust people whose morals and ethics are relative. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink


What is the purpose of the daily recitation and use of under God?

[+] -8 points by Narley (295) 1 year ago

I think it's become more of a tradition. Kind of like singing the national anthem at sports events. I don't see any harm in honoring your country.

[+] -4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

As a kid GF, I used to think "which it stands" was 'Richard Stands.'

It's only recently I realized my mistake....lol

~Odin~

[-] -1 points by Blutarsky (-17) 1 year ago

“I plead alignment to the flakes of the untitled snakes of a merry cow and to the republicrats for which they scam: one nacho, underpants with licorice and jugs of wine for owls.”

usually followed by a talk with teacher, out in the hallway

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

(Yes, We Are A Christian Nation) You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy freedom. The Tea Party welcomes all Red Blooded U.S. Citizens. http://teapartyorg.ning.com/

[+] -4 points by summerbummer (-33) 1 year ago

twinkle

[-] -2 points by DouglasAdams (208) 1 year ago

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (etc.)”

A Thousand Years From Now

http://occupywallst.org/forum/will-the-united-states-still-exist-in-a-thousand-y/

Nearly 250 years later the country is faced with the threat of Islam. What is the spiritual dimension for atheists that guides them through an onslaught from religious zealots capable of suicide missions more fanatical than the kamikaze?

Threat from Islamic World

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/04/u-s-shuts-nearly-two-dozen-embassies-in-muslim-countries-amid-the-most-serious-threat-in-years/

While the Church is ensconced in the European countryside and two thousand years of history, art and music United States will not find rest, peace, assurance in the arms or succor in the cold embrace of capitalism, or freedom of religion. Capitalism, globalism, avarice, militarism have lead the United States down a dark path it cannot turn from.

The Seven Deadly Sins

http://www.deadlysins.com/sins/

Seven Deadly Sins Teachings

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins

My friends engage in debates about the failures of government, failures of religion, failures of reason and decline and fall of the United States. The Declaration of Independence meaning is clear when spoken in English, but something is lost in the translation. There is an obvious danger when the population is overrun by undocumented aliens, collapsing economy, and people no longer have the right to alter or abolish their own government. On the other hand Egypt’s military did act to alter and abolition their government that had been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Unfortunately Americans have missed many opportunities to alter their government, for example the 2000 Presidential Election; and the $2.3 Trillion that disappeared from the Pentagon in 2001 announced the day before the WTC was attacked. That amount of money should have been enough to shut down the government and close the Pentagon permanently.

It would be more beneficial for the People to read every line of every bill Congress contemplates and assist their delegates in crafting future and correcting past legislation instead of reading the Bible, Torah or Koran for enlightenment.

[-] -2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

"kill them all let god sort them out"

the military needs to stop bombing countries

how can one say

"kill them all let god sort them out"

without religion ?