Re: [PAA-MilRecruit] Probr of Evangelical Military

Submitted by PAAMember on December 15, 2006 - 7:00pm. ::











Lakshmi M wrote:

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GROUP seeks probe of evangelical military video

By Kristin Roberts
Mon Dec 11, 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A watchdog group that promotes
religious freedom in the U.S. military accused senior officers
on Monday using their rank and influence to coerce soldiers and
airmen into adopting evangelical Christianity.

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Such proselytizing, according to the Military Religious
Freedom Foundation, has created a core of "radical" Christians
within the U.S. armed forces and href="http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Pentagon"
title="Related information on Pentagon">Pentagon
who punish
those who
do not accept evangelical beliefs by stalling their careers.

"It's egregious beyond the pale," said Mikey Weinstein,
president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom
Foundation. "We apparently have a radicalized, evangelical
Christian Pentagon within the rest of the Pentagon."

The group asked the Pentagon's inspector general to
investigate a video in which some Army and Air Force officers
discuss their faith while in uniform.

  {
I have seen this in local cable TC Evang channel }


According to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the
video played for reporters was a promotional tool for Christian
Embassy, a group that describes itself as a ministry helping
national and international leaders blend faith and work.

The executive director of Christian Embassy, Bob Varney,
did not respond to a request for comment.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense
Department does not endorse any religion or religious
organization or judge the validity of religious expressions.

He confirmed the Defense Department inspector general, the
Pentagon's internal watchdog agency, received the letter
requesting the probe, but noted it was the inspector general's
policy not to say whether an investigation had been opened.

"At this point it would be inappropriate to speculate as to
what actions might be taken," Whitman said.

RELIGIOUS RECRUITING

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the officers
on the video violated military rules by wearing their uniforms
while discussing their religious beliefs, giving the appearance
of official participation in a religious organization.

That appearance, according to the group, is particularly
damaging in the military, where rank carries great influence.

"It associates the power of office with sectarian
ideology," said MeLinda Morton, a Lutheran reverend and former
Air Force chaplain who said her military career was hurt
because she did not adopt evangelical views.

The religious freedom group also raised issues with the
content of the video, including a comment from Air Force Maj.
Gen. Jack Catton that he would discuss his faith with people
who came to his Joint Staff directorate within the Pentagon.

Weinstein compared what he said was radical proselytizing
within the military with the Islamist militants U.S. troops are
confronting in wars overseas.

"When we're facing a global war on terror against what we
call Islamic extremists, it certainly doesn't help when we have
apparently a viewpoint from the cognoscenti and glitterati, the
leadership of the Pentagon, pushing a particular virulent
worldview down the throats of people who are helpless to argue
against it," Weinstein said.