We now have an American Jesus and an American Holy Spirit, and have largely banished Yahweh, except that he marches as Warrior God, endlessly trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
"Casting bestselling author/columnist James Carroll as the teller of his own tale, Oren Jacoby’s magnificent, thought-provoking essay film “Constantine’s Sword” examines the unholy alliance between organized religion and military power. Jacoby’s focused yet peripatetic approach perfectly suits Carroll’s unique blending of historical and personal pilgrimages, as he travels to the U.S. Air Force base at Colorado Springs on the one hand and to ancient Rome on the other. Taking anti-Semitism as a paradigm for religious intolerance, Carroll sets out to ascertain where Christianity went wrong."*
"Officials from the U.S. Air Force Academy announced clips from the movie 'Constantine's Sword' would not be shown during a forum on religious tolerance and terrorism held at the Academy's Colorado Springs, Colo. campus. The announcement was made just two days after a prominent Catholic civil rights group voiced concern over the film."
"The Air Force, under pressure from evangelical Christian groups and members of Congress, softened its guidelines on religious expression yesterday to emphasize that superior officers may discuss their faith with subordinates and that chaplains will not be required to offer nonsectarian prayers.
...The guidelines were first issued in late August after allegations that evangelical Christian commanders, coaches and cadets at the Air Force Academy had pressured cadets of other faiths. The original wording sought to tamp down religious fervor and to foster tolerance throughout the Air Force. It discouraged public prayers at routine events and warned superior officers that personal expressions of faith could be misunderstood as official statements.
But evangelical groups, such as the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, saw the guidelines as overly restrictive. They launched a nationwide petition drive, sounded alarms on Christian radio stations, and deluged the White House and Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne's office with e-mails calling the guidelines an infringement of the Constitution's guarantees of free speech and free exercise of religion.
Seventy-two members of Congress also signed a letter to President Bush criticizing the guidelines and urging him to issue an executive order guaranteeing the right of military chaplains to pray 'in Jesus' name' rather than being forced to offer nonsectarian prayers at public ceremonies.
The revised guidelines are considerably shorter than the original, filling one page instead of four. They place more emphasis on the Constitution's free exercise clause, which is mentioned four times, than on its prohibition on any government establishment of religion, which is mentioned twice.
The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church, a congregation near the Air Force Academy, said the revised document restores the proper balance between the free exercise and establishment clauses."
"A video made by a Christian ministry group shows Air Force Academy cadets being pressured to become 'government paid missionaries when they leave' the academy, according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which released the video this week.
MRFF president Mikey Weinstein says the video is unconstitutional and an outrage.
'This is absolutely out of control. You cannot engage the U.S. government to propel your religion,' said Weinstein.
The video features former Academy Campus Crusade for Christ director Scot Blum saying, 'They're government paid missionaries when they leave here,' referring to graduates of the academy.
'Our purpose for Campus Crusade for Christ at the Air Force Academy is to make Jesus Christ the issue at the Air Force Academy and around the world,' said Blum on the video."
“On the way to the Gulf, we stopped in Hong Kong. I went to a gay bar there and it was like, 'Hello, shipmates!' The place was packed with sailors. So yeah, from what I observed, there were quite a few. It's kind of an open secret. It's totally apparent, but everyone pretends not to notice. Many of the gay and lesbian sailors and marines I met were out to their friends and co-workers on the ship and it seemed to not be a big deal.”
"As evidence that Christianity is being forced on soldiers, there is a promotional video from a group called the Christian Embassy shot inside the Pentagon and featuring several generals.
Then there's the Web site of the Officers Christian Fellowship, which has representatives on nearly all U.S. military bases worldwide."
"Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide 'Christian leadership to change the world,' has worked hard in its two-decade history to upgrade its reputation, fighting past years when a majority of its graduates couldn't pass the bar exam and leading up to recent victories over Ivy League teams in national law student competitions.
But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website."
"To the Bush haters of America, the young Monica Goodling is a footnote of this wretched era, one of the many Washington types that they'll be happy to get rid of come January 2009: Venal Vice President, Ex-Lobbyists Turned Regulators and, in Goodling's case, Young Evangelicals in High Places.
...Goodling is part of a new generation of evangelicals ushered in by Falwell, who insisted that Christians get involved in politics. They are graduates of the exploding number of evangelical colleges, which no longer aim to create a parallel subculture but instead to train 'Christian leaders to change the world,' as the Regent mission statement reads.
It used to be that being 33 and in charge of 93 U.S. attorneys would mean you'd been top of your class at Harvard or Yale or clerked at the Supreme Court. Now, Christian schools are joining that mix. Regent has had 150 of its graduates working in the White House; the school estimates that one-sixth of its alumni are in government work. Call them the Goodlings: scrubbed young ideologues, ready to serve their nation, the right's version of the Peace Corps generation."
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