Recently in Pennsylvania, members of our military attended an Army Reserve briefing program warning them to be on the lookout for terrorists. Military personnel were told that they are prohibited from taking leadership roles in any organization that the Pentagon considers ‘extremist.’ Furthermore, they are forbidden to distribute the organization’s literature.
Attendees at the briefing were shocked to learn that Evangelical Christians, Jews and Catholics were listed as extremists along with the KKK, al Qaeda and Hamas. According to reports, the presenter of the program acknowledged the right of these individuals to their beliefs. However, he went on to say that they needed to be monitored by law enforcement authorities. In the presentation, anything associated with religion seemed to be equated with extremism. Officials from the Army did not condone this incident. They said that it was merely an isolated incident and did not represent the practices of our military. But the very fact that it occurred does raise some serious questions.
There was a poster used for the training brief issued by the Army Reserve in Pennsylvania. Topping the list of extremists were Evangelical Christians. Members of al Qaeda were fifth; Hamas, sixth. Catholics were listed as tenth. That poster had to have gone through a number of hands before it was used in the briefing. It did not appear out of thin air. Someone composed it. Someone edited it. Someone printed it. Someone distributed it. Yet, nobody seems to have taken offense. How truly sad!
Officials dismissed this “isolated incident” as something done by an individual who is not an expert on the matter. An amateur training our military on such important issues as extremism and terrorism: that speaks volumes in itself. Is not taxpayers’ money being mismanaged and squandered by promoting an anti-religious bias? The Army was quick to deny that it fostered or promoted any attack on religion or on Christians. But, this undoubtedly sincere denial cannot erase a number of similar occurrences.
In 2009, the Department of
issued a memorandum identifying threats to national security coming from Evangelicals and pro-life groups. In 2012, a West Point think tank responsible for training future U.S. Army officers published the study
Challenges From the Side-lines
. In this study, pro-lifers were targeted as threats in terms of terrorism. In 2013, a U.S. Army officer at Fort Campbell in Kentucky sent an email to subordinates listing the
American Family Association
Family Research Council
as “domestic hate groups.” Why? Because they oppose homosexual activity.
Is the culture in the government and the military so changing that “isolated” individuals or groups are unafraid to discredit the religious and moral beliefs of others? Are these anti-religious incidents
experiments testing whether Americans are willing to let their beliefs be taken from them? Is it possible that the targeting of mainstream religions as extremists has another goal?
The Christian faith still influences the lives of millions of Americans. But, by successfully portraying Christianity as biased and intolerant in its beliefs and Christians as hateful extremists, it becomes relatively easy to eradicate morality and to socially re-engineer our culture according to the views of those with the loudest voices and the greatest political power.
Evangelical Christians and Catholics make up more than half of all Americans. Are all these individuals now to be considered a danger because of their beliefs?