The new Harper's has a really scary piece on the evangelical Christian radicalization of the US Military, and to celebrate, here is an ex-Navy chaplain issuing a fatwa against one of its subjects.
This is Lt. Gordon J. Klingenschmitt, an evangelical Episcopal Navy chaplain who got himself court-martialed and kicked out of the Navy for appearing in uniform at a political rally, against orders.
7. Saturday 25 Apr 09 One-Minute Prayer:
IMPRECATORY PRAYERS AGAINST ANTI-JESUS BARRY LYNN AND MIKEY WEINSTEIN
Let us pray. Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally. God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people. Plunder their fields, and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus' name. Amen.
**Listen below! And call & ask your local Christian radio station to broadcast this 60-second prayer many times throughout the day on Saturday, 25 Apr 09.
Yes, that sounds a bit like praying for Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein to die, right? What did they ever do?
Barry Lynn is the head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Mikey Weinstein, hero of the Harper's piece, is the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Even though he helped defend Regan during Iran-Contra and worked for Ross Perot, he is pretty awesome.
He is the most prominent voice fighting the growing influence of evangelical nutcases in the military, who believe in making holy war and think the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. How did this happen, exactly? Didn't you think chaplains were all boring milquetoast mainstream protestants, like Chaplain Tappmann? They used to be. Then:
The next turning point occurred in the waning days of the Reagan Administration, when regulatory revisions helped create the fundamentalist stronghold in today's military. A longstanding rule had apportioned chaplains according to the religious demographics of the military as a whole (i.e., if surveys showed that 10 percent of soldiers were Presbyterian, then 10 percent of the chaplains would be Presbyterian) but required that all chaplains be trained to minister to troops of any faith. Starting in 1987, however, Protestant denominations were lumped together simply as "Protestant"; moreover, the Pentagon began accrediting hundreds of evangelical and Pentecostal "endorsing agencies," allowing graduates of fundamentalist Bible colleges-which often train clergy to view those from other faiths as enemies of Christ-to fill up nearly the entire allotment for Protestant chaplains. Today, more than two thirds of the military's 2,900 active-duty chaplains are affiliated with evangelical or Pentecostal denominations. "In my experience," Morton says, "eighty percent
of the Protestant chaplaincy self-identifies as conservative and/or evangelical."
So. This Mikey guy. Back when he was an 18-year-old freshman at the Air Force Academy, he got the shit beat out of him for reporting antisemitic comments. Thirty years later, his son Curtis was still dealing with getting called a "fucking Jew" by cadets and officers. And now he fights prominent military officials who promote crazy Holy War ideas and forcefully proselytize to underlings. He foolishly thought he might get a Pentagon job in the Obama administration but instead we still have Petraeus and Gates.