Thursday, January 24, 2008

And They'll Know We Are Xians By Our Love, By Our Love, And They'll Know We Are Xians By Our Love

Jason Pitzl-Waters at The Wild Hunt continues to do a v. good job reporting on attempts by radical xianists to take over our country's armed forces. Jason notes that:

Michael Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and a former Naval serviceman who served with the Reagan Administration, [who] has been waging a very public battle over what he sees as the pernicious influence of a certain strain of evangelical Christians on our supposedly secular military has been threatened with death by the radical xianists. Jason quotes Weinstein as saying that:

We get death threats practically every day. We've had the largest windows in our house shot out, we've had dead animal sacrifices put on our front door. We've had feces and beer bottles thrown at the house. My wife and I have a group of what we presume are fundamentalist Christian women who call about every eight to 10 days, for most of the last 34 months, and they just chant on the phone, "Mikey Weinstein, bullet in the head, praise the Lord, he's finally dead." We've got little children, three or four years of age, call and say, "Now we lay you in your grave, there was no way you could be saved; you hate our Lord and he can tell, which is why you burn in hell." And that's not the worst part. The worst part is listening to the adult males and females in the background telling them what to say and how to do this."

Anyone who thinks that (a) the xianists aren't serious about taking over this entire country, including its armed forces, or that (b) they're not "really" dangerous is kidding herself. What the sort of behavior Weinstein describes has to do with a "god of love" is beyond me, but that doesn't mean that you see "moderate" xians criticizing these groups nor does it mean that they should be ignored.

Interestingly, Jason reports that Pagans constitute only a v. small percentage of the almost 7,000 active duty members of the armed forces who have contacted Weinstein's group with concerns. Jason quotes Weinstein's description: 96% of them coming to us are Christians themselves. Roughly three-quarters are traditional Protestants, like Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodist. We get Mormons, we get Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Southern Baptist. One-fourth of that 96% percent . . . are Roman Catholic. About 4% will be Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Jain, Shinto, Native American spirituality or atheist or agnostic. It would be interesting to analyze the complaints to find out whether the types of discrimination vary by religious groups, as well. Are, for example, Southern Baptists abused in the same way as Wiccans?

It would be nice to think that the next president will make cleaning up the military a priority, but I'm less than hopeful.


Addendum: Of course, it's always the xianists who are really being persecuted because they can't shove their own religious beliefs down everyone else's throats.

/Hat tip to JR in comments at Eschaton.


Sharon said...

Their god is not the "god of love" in the New testament. Their god is the god of war, genocide, rape, and destruction of the Old Testament, the god who has been discredited even by those for whom the OT was originally written.

fokowi said...

hecate. great post...

i've watched mikey (how he refers to himself) several times on cspan and have read excerpts of his book. he really is an expert on this and i'm sure there will be more weirdness exposed about the whackjobs in the military.

i hope nothing actually does happen to him.


Angela-Eloise said...

I know a group of liberal Christians who would be disgusted by stuff like this and who would be moved to action. There is a sub-site of Daily Kos called Street Prophets, run by a great guy who is a real pastor and one of the coolest people I've ever met. The site focuses on united goals of political activism from people of all sorts of religious leanings - Pagans included. What unites the participants are their political philosophies, their belief in true religious freedom, and a shared interest in being the antithesis of the nasty fundie wackjobs.

Anyway, that's a longwinded way of saying that if someone were to write a diary at Street Prophets about what's going on with Michael Weinstein, there would be plenty of truly great people - who just happen to be Christian - who would not be quiet about letting such crap continue.