“The Special Forces guys, they hunt men. We do the same things as Christians. We hunt people for Jesus.”
Those are not the words of some Bible Belt Bible thumper. It’s the chief U.S. military chaplain in Afghanistan urging U.S. soldiers to proselytize the Afghans.
It gets worse. This Al Jazeera video shows evangelical Chrisians holding a prayer meeting at the Bagram base in Afghanistian. Nothing wrong with a little Praise the Lord, except that these soldiers were plannning to distribute Bibles to the Afghans. And not just any Bibles, but books that were specially printed in Pashtu and Dari. Proselytizing happens to be in violation of U.S. military orders, but the soldiers don’t think it’s a problem. They’ll just call the Bibles a “gift”.
Incredible. One of the potent Taliban and Al Qaeda propaganda themes is that Western soldiers are the new Crusaders. And here are our soldiers passing out Christian Bibles. I’m Jewish, and I know how I feel when the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on my door. And I don’t own an AK-47.
If you want to see how bad religious fundamentalism (or evangelical Christian extremism) has become in the U.S. military, check out the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. One example of how piety has become lunacy: the chief Army chaplain declared a day of prayer and fasting for April 8 (which just happened to be the night of the Passover seder meal). On the other hand, Jews have their own issues; in the Israeli military, which used to be extremely secular, half the new combat officers are religious. Coincidentally, the Israeli army is now frequently accused of brutality.
Think all this is bad? Just wait until the Hari Krishnas get tanks.