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  #1  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:39 PM
Rucksinator Rucksinator is offline
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Obama Administration Criminalizes Christianity in the Military

This has popped up on my FB feed the last couple days, but it seems that neither Snopes nor the SDMB has gotten to it (or my google-fu is weak).

http://www.freepatriot.org/2013/05/0...-the-military/

If you google you get several sites of dubious veracity reporting the same thing.

What's the Straight Dope?
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:43 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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See this thread.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:56 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
This has popped up on my FB feed the last couple days, but it seems that neither Snopes nor the SDMB has gotten to it (or my google-fu is weak).

http://www.freepatriot.org/2013/05/0...-the-military/

If you google you get several sites of dubious veracity reporting the same thing.

What's the Straight Dope?
What you've got there is a link to a site called "Free Patriot," which should set your bullshit-alarm ringing right off. It quotes a statment from Fox News to the effect that "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…" No particular religion specified. The story includes, and apparently is based on, an embedded link to a Breitbart page; which links to a Fox News page; which says only, "The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is calling on the Air Force to enforce a regulation that they believe calls for the court martial of any service member caught proselytizing." The regulation in question apparently being already on the books but not enforced -- and there is nothing in the story to suggest the DoD is about to change that.

What you see here is an instance of rapid Intertubes meme-mutation.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 05-02-2013 at 02:57 PM..
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:02 PM
Rucksinator Rucksinator is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
That thread is about removing chaplains, et al from the military. This is claiming that Obama plans to kick out any soldiers to mention their religion as well. Is this an exaggerated claim coming from the same source? Or are these 2 different issues?
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:42 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Same story, just a slightly dumber misinterpretation of the facts.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:46 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
That thread is about removing chaplains, et al from the military. This is claiming that Obama plans to kick out any soldiers to mention their religion as well. Is this an exaggerated claim coming from the same source? Or are these 2 different issues?
The title of the thread is about removing chaplains from the military. Posters who have not followed the link to the article in the OP have answered back on that question. But that's not what is happening. The Washington Post covers the news story:

Quote:
“The armed forces are on the verge of falling apart,” Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, told me in an interview. Aside from proselytizing, he said, other problems include “sexual assault, suicides, lowering entrance standards and war weariness. They are in trouble, and the leadership is oblivious.” Sexual assault and proselytizing, according to Wilkerson, “are absolutely destructive of the bonds that keep soldiers together.”

Wilkerson was speaking to me in an interview with former ambassador Joe Wilson and the head of the private Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Mikey Weinstein. They were on their way to a meeting at the Pentagon on April 23 where they would discuss religious issues in a group that included several generals and a military chaplain.

The chaplain’s role, according to Wilson, “is to minister to spiritual needs. You don’t proselytize. It’s a workplace violation.”
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has a list of articles on the subject. Quite a few come from, umm, less reputable publications.

It's all the same situation. And it's inspired a bunch of lies & hysteria from The Usual Suspects.....
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:47 PM
Hentor the Barbarian Hentor the Barbarian is offline
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The story does not even make sense on its face. Does it?
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:48 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
That thread is about removing chaplains, et al from the military. This is claiming that Obama plans to kick out any soldiers to mention their religion as well. Is this an exaggerated claim coming from the same source? Or are these 2 different issues?
Some people are unable to understand the difference between "some guy said we should kick all the chaplains out of the army" and "the army is going to kick all the chaplains out".

And some other people exploit those people by telling them that something is going to happen even though they know there's no chance it actually will. And then when it doesn't happen, they take all the credit.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:50 PM
Rucksinator Rucksinator is offline
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Originally Posted by Hentor the Barbarian View Post
The story does not even make sense on its face. Does it?
No, it doesn't, but I didn't see any refutation from Snopes, et al, and I prefer to respond to stuff like this with more than "Sounds like typical right-wing bullshit."

Thanks to all who responded.
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:42 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Some people are unable to understand the difference between "some guy said we should kick all the chaplains out of the army" and "the army is going to kick all the chaplains out".

And some other people exploit those people by telling them that something is going to happen even though they know there's no chance it actually will. And then when it doesn't happen, they take all the credit.
Except that "some guy" didn't say anything about kicking out all the chaplains. There are problems about some of the more narrow-minded fundamentalist Protestants preaching their faith in the armed services. Not chaplains, who've had their place in the services for a couple of centuries--but CO's setting up environments that make mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, etc., feel uncomfortable & fearful for their careers. Any sane person would see this as a bad idea.

The usual Bible thumpers are spreading lies & the weak-minded believe them....
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:30 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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If anything, whatever is being discussed sounds like a long overdue corrective to the problem of extreme Right Wing religious Fundamentalists taking over the military.

Note that none of the stories promoting the claims of the anti-Obama story can point to any actual directive that forbids people in the military from worshipping in whatever manner they choose or even from discussing their beliefs. They specifically address (aggressive) proselytizing.

Further note that that problem has been reported on numerous occasions extending back multiple years:
2010: Air Force Academy Fundamentalist Proselytizing Is a Four-star Mess
2005: Group Trains Air Force Cadets to Proselytize
(Or from a site that might not be fully disinterested) 2005: Christian fundamentalist bigotry reigns at US Air Force Academy

At most, the actual statements (rare as they are) quoted in the OP's link indicate a very late (and rather mild) correction to a serious problem that is over a decade old.

The responses from the current hysterical crowd are along the lines of "We're being persecuted; they won't let us impose our religion on others."
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:48 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
That thread is about removing chaplains, et al from the military. This is claiming that Obama plans to kick out any soldiers to mention their religion as well. Is this an exaggerated claim coming from the same source? Or are these 2 different issues?
Actually, the two stories are separate prongs of the identical campaign by some members of the Religious Right to stir up their followers because they are in danger of being told to stop harassing other persons in the military over their beliefs.
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:33 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
Except that "some guy" didn't say anything about kicking out all the chaplains.
My point was that there is nobody "in the Obama administration" who is proposing that any actions be taken against chaplains, Christians, or anyone else in the military. Larry Wilkerson, the guy who is behind this, is not now and never has been a member of the Obama administration. He's a private citizen now and when he did work in the government it was during the Reagan and the Bush administrations.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:50 PM
Ibn Warraq Ibn Warraq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb View Post
If anything, whatever is being discussed sounds like a long overdue corrective to the problem of extreme Right Wing religious Fundamentalists taking over the military.

Note that none of the stories promoting the claims of the anti-Obama story can point to any actual directive that forbids people in the military from worshipping in whatever manner they choose or even from discussing their beliefs. They specifically address (aggressive) proselytizing.

Further note that that problem has been reported on numerous occasions extending back multiple years:
2010: Air Force Academy Fundamentalist Proselytizing Is a Four-star Mess
2005: Group Trains Air Force Cadets to Proselytize
(Or from a site that might not be fully disinterested) 2005: Christian fundamentalist bigotry reigns at US Air Force Academy

At most, the actual statements (rare as they are) quoted in the OP's link indicate a very late (and rather mild) correction to a serious problem that is over a decade old.

The responses from the current hysterical crowd are along the lines of "We're being persecuted; they won't let us impose our religion on others."
To add to what you're saying, what seems to be proposed is the same thing that goes on at most private companies.

Engaging in unwanted proselytizing is probably considered harassment at most jobs and would be grounds for discipline.

Beyond that, the military in both Iraq and Afghanistan, for obvious reasons, had very strict rules against that regarding the "natives"(though many Evangelist idiots would break those rules).
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:56 AM
Renee RL Renee RL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
That thread is about removing chaplains, et al from the military. This is claiming that Obama plans to kick out any soldiers to mention their religion as well. Is this an exaggerated claim coming from the same source? Or are these 2 different issues?
Sometimes I don't believe the hysteria and lack of common sense on the right....to actually think if someone mentions their religion, they will be kicked out of the military. Fox News does well in creating fear......be afraid, be afraid be afraid. That is why the station appeals to the lowest common denominator.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:04 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Originally Posted by Prejteach2 View Post
Sometimes I don't believe the hysteria and lack of common sense on the right....to actually think if someone mentions their religion, they will be kicked out of the military. Fox News does well in creating fear......be afraid, be afraid be afraid. That is why the station appeals to the lowest common denominator.
Well, to be fair, it is not a lack of "common sense on the right" so much as fear mongering among a limited number people who are both on the extreme right and are also tied into the more extreme Fundamentalist churches. There are a lot of people on the right and a lot of people who are Fundmentalist Christians who done't put any stock in this nonsense.

Certainly, this is a typical example of Fox News playing to the lowest possible element.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:06 PM
Renee RL Renee RL is offline
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Originally Posted by tomndebb View Post
Well, to be fair, it is not a lack of "common sense on the right" so much as fear mongering among a limited number people who are both on the extreme right and are also tied into the more extreme Fundamentalist churches. There are a lot of people on the right and a lot of people who are Fundmentalist Christians who done't put any stock in this nonsense.

Certainly, this is a typical example of Fox News playing to the lowest possible element.


My apology...I should have said the far right
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:31 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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If anyone's interested, here is a military.com report on the DoD's response to the accusations:

Quote:
DoD: OK to Talk About Faith, Not to Push On Others
May 03, 2013
Stars and Stripes | by Chris Carroll

WASHINGTON -- It’s OK to evangelize. But it’s not OK to proselytize.

That’s what the Pentagon said Thursday, attempting to clarify its position on religious speech in uniform as controversy swirled up around press reports over possible prosecutions of troops for sharing their faith.

What it comes down to, officials said, is that discussing matters of faith and religious practice with a willing audience is allowed, but pushing religious beliefs on those who don’t want to hear it is a form of harassment forbidden under Defense Department policies.

“Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization),” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said in a written statement.

Officials said there was no plan to step up disciplinary action to weed out unacceptable religious speech.
More at the link.
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  #19  
Old 05-07-2013, 04:15 PM
Renee RL Renee RL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
Except that "some guy" didn't say anything about kicking out all the chaplains. There are problems about some of the more narrow-minded fundamentalist Protestants preaching their faith in the armed services. Not chaplains, who've had their place in the services for a couple of centuries--but CO's setting up environments that make mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, etc., feel uncomfortable & fearful for their careers. Any sane person would see this as a bad idea.

The usual Bible thumpers are spreading lies & the weak-minded believe them....


It's like the chant that Obama is going to take all guns away.
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