The U.S. military is easing restrictions on facial hair, turbans, and other religious accoutrements. And man, are chauvinist super-patriots pissed!
The Pentagon announced earlier this week that its service branches "will accommodate individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs (conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs) of service members," as long as doing so doesn't affect "unit cohesion." That means beards are cool for the first time in decades:
The policy was mainly expected to affect Sikhs, Muslims, Jews and members of other groups that wear beards or articles of clothing as part of their religion. It also could affect Wiccans and others who may obtain tattoos or piercings for religious reasons.
Cue outrage machine! Anonymous online commenters, of course, are proof of nothing in the aggregate; but in this case the less frothy among them actually represent the variety of objections to religious garb in the military, and as such they're worth a look.
Here are the top commenters on ABC's story:
Yes! The military demands uniformity. Beards ruin that. Like women and ethnic people and the gays. We've lost some really critical battles in the past year or two because of this social-experiment military, say people who don't serve in the military, but are sure that it's a conscious effort by the commander in chief of our military "to destroy." Destroy what, though—the military, the country, or rrebelll's TV when he shoots it out of rage over the news?
I'm sure a paper of record in our nation's capital has some more elevated thoughts. Like this one from a "colonel":
Ha ha I know. Crazy religions with their crazy rules on clothing are crazy.
Ha ha hey, burka joke. Nice! Nothing's more "PC" than a Muslim woman in the U.S. military wearing a burka. But by God, he's right about servicemembers having to "defend the Constitution from ALL enemies, foreign and domestic." (Or, more precisely, "against all enemies.") But I didn't realize that a religious objection about shaving one's beard is also a reservation about defending the Constitution. So hipsters are treasonous dirtbags... That checks out.
These readers of the Huntsville Times seem nice:
We're at war with Muslim's? Is that a department store? Maybe they sell nice skirts. You know, for cross-dressing.
Okay, this might be a little unfair, but let's throw a satire site in with these hard news outlets. Here's the top thread on Breitbart News' story:
Poor Mann. If he'd ever deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he would have stopped at Ali al Salem Airbase in Kuwait, where mobilized military personnel run a gauntlet of five-and-dime trinkets between flights and can't yawn without some chaplain's assistant shoving six Bibles, seven dogtag-size crosses, and a Tanakh down their throats. And the only thing that ever attacked me from within in Iraq was the shepherd's pie in the dining hall.
To be fair, though, Obama hadn't been president for long before I came back. The U.S. military might be much more Socialist Kenyan Islamicized now.
Here's one of NBC's highest ranked comments:
Jesus, Jerry, you're dark. We're going to murder the old and infirm now, because Captain Kalsi gets a special turban with his PBR-meister mustache?
You're right about one thing, though, Jerry: The end shall come... right about now. Happy weekend, all.
[Photo credit: U.S. Army]