|American soldiers assemble for prayer service near Fallujah, shortly before the assault on the city began. November 6, 2004|
Sixteen words may be all that stand right now between the apparatus of government and the Founding Fathers' worst nightmare. And those words are starting to give.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."
When George Bush, in the wake of 9/11, puffed himself into Richard the Lionheart and declared he would lead the country in a "crusade" against terrorism - you know, crusade, as in slaughter of Muslim infidels - turns out . . . oh, how awkward (if you're on White House spin duty) . . . he may have been speaking literally.
What's certain, in any case, is that a lot of people in high and low places within the Bush administration - and in particular, the military - heard him literally, and regard the war on terror as a religious war:
"The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Fallujah. And we're going to destroy him," a lieutenant colonel, according to a BBC reporter, said to his troops on the eve of the destruction of that undefended city in post-election 2004.
"I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol," Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jerry Boykin notoriously boasted a few years back, speaking of a Muslim warlord in Somalia. And by the way, George Bush is "in the White House because God put him there."
And, of course, just the other day, Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, who conducted the first official investigation into Pat Tillman's death, opined that Tillman's family is only pestering the Army for the, ahem, truth about how he died because their loved one, a non-believer with no heavenly reward to reap, is now "worm dirt."
Until I read the newly published "With God on Their Side" (St. Martin's Press), Michael Weinstein's disturbing account of anti-Semitism at the U.S. Air Force Academy, I shrugged off each of these remarks, and so much more, as isolated, almost comically intolerant noises out of True Believer Land. Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do . . .
Now my blood runs cold. Weinstein, a 1977 graduate of the Academy and former assistant general counsel in the Reagan administration, and a lifelong Republican, has devoted the last several years of his life to battling what he has come to regard as a fundamentalist takeover of the Academy, turning it, in effect, into a taxpayer-supported Evangelical institution. He charges that the separation of church and state is rapidly vanishing at the school, which routinely promotes sectarian religious events, tolerates the proselytizing of uniquely vulnerable new recruits and, basically, conflates evangelical interests and the national interest.
If you think this is just a fight over some abstract principle, with ramifications only for atheist, Jewish, Buddhist and other cadets who may be "offended" by fundamentalist God talk, I urge you to check out Weinstein's book or website (militaryreligiousfreedom.org). He documents a chilling phenomenon: The whole U.S. military, up and down the chain of command, is coming to be dominated by members of a small, characteristically intolerant sliver of Christianity who truly regard themselves as Christian soldiers, on a God-appointed mission to harvest souls and battle evil.
Weinstein, whose family tradition of national service is pretty impressive, does not do battle lightly with those who now run his alma mater. One of his sons is a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy and the other is still a cadet there. The fact that both of them endured anti-Semitic harassment initially spurred him to take action. But this goes deeper than disrespect for other faiths. The attitude he has encountered in his attempt to hold the institution, and the rest of the military, accountable smacks of a coup: "The Christian Taliban is running the Department of Defense," he told me. "It inundates everything."
Can you imagine a contingent of religious zealots, with their contempt for secular values (and such manifestations of secular order as the U.S. Constitution) - and with their zest for holy war - in control of the most potent fighting force and weaponry in human history? Is this possible?
Well, said Weinstein, consider the 523rd Fighter Squadron, based at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., which calls itself The Crusaders, and whose emblem consists of a sword, four crosses and a medieval knight's helmet. Check 'em out at globalsecurity.org, which reports that the payload on the F-16s they fly consists of "a wide variety of conventional, precision guided and nuclear weapons."
And listen once again to Commander-in-Chief Bush, speaking in 2003 to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: "God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."
If this is a religious war - a "clash of civilizations," waged by competing agents of God's will - victory may be indistinguishable from Armageddon. God help the human race.
Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at [email protected] or visit his Web site at commonwonders.com.
2007 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
"When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory,
And thou dost see the people enter Allah's Religion in crowds,
Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy)." Quran 101. 1-3.
Masha Allah... How Great is Allah!!! He works in fine ways we dont easily realize... when a muslim convert was horribly murdered by the devil worshippers, the Yazidis, for no other fault than she believed in Allah and disbelieved in polytheism. She took Islam as her religion and disbelieved in her people's false deity. He replaced her with two new muslim sisters...
When thousands of muslim women and children are being slaughtered by the crusaders and the zionists, in Iraq, Afghan, and elsewhere... double more people are coming into the fold of Islam...
When they thought they have diminished the light of Islam, it's shining even more brighter and more and more people are guided to Islam.. Subhanallah!
Congratulations and welcome to Islam to sister Katherine O'Connor and her sister!!!
The birth of "little" Isaac was a threat to big brother Ishmael 14 years old.
For he was thinking the promises of God to Abraham in his flesh to hold.
The same rhythm now sound, the children of the barren deserts as ringing tools.
God declared that with Isaac would establish His lively covenant, rejecters are fools.
The 60 Million dollar question is not whether God is on our side BUT whether we are on God's side. AND the glaring truth is that in order for us to be on HIS side, we must let go of our own egotistical and self-serving I, ME and Myself. That Ego must perish before we have a modicum of chance to comptehend God. God does not exist in a heart where duality exists. One of us must die and since my death is certain, then I must give up the struggle to dominate and insist that everything must be fashioned to my liking. Give up the fight and let GOD enter that purified heart. Let go and let GOD do HIS work. This is the first step towards surrender, towards being a Muslim (one who surrenders in peace to the will of God). Until then we are left to our own devices and God does this out of HIS pure love because He only wants us to return to HIM through our own feewill, by choice and a deep desire to be with HIM even though HE has been with us all the time, recording and witnessing our deeds.
In surrender to the will of Allah, the magic of this life and the next starts to unfold. Blessed are the peacemakers (meaning the ones who have surrendered in peace to God and none other) for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Do you for one moment think these neo-cons can challenge the might of ALLAH (swt)?
Since when did Anti Semitism at the academy become a problem Muslims have to solve?
We have more pressing things to worry about like making sure our kids don't lose their faith.
The Crusade mentality is alive and kicking. Typically White Christian Americans, especially from the Midwest, do not regard non-white, non-English speaking, non-Christians as human beings. They will tolerate a non-white Christian as long as he knows his or her place but if you happen to be a Muslim - its open season. But if you are Black and a Muslim, that is a mortal sin. Why because that is what their parents and grandparents and their clergy have been filling their brains with since they were born. They will go to Church on Sunday, sing those hymns and drop in that dollar or two in the collection box, smile at all, shake hands and say cute and solemn things. Then, as they lave the Church, they leave behind all the humanity and decency that previously seemed to fill the church. They will not think twice to throw a bottle or two at Mexicans, whom they call 'greasers'. They will, occasionally, if they can get away with it, beat up, insult, jeer and even urinate on some poor Spanish guy waiting on the corner looking for a day laborer's job. Worse, if the conditions are right they will happily lynch and murder some dark Muslim, Black or Spanish looking immigrant, and in many instances the local law usually knows who the culprits are - but they are complicit in these crimes which only surface a decade or so later, and by which time its all forgotten. For fun they will set dogs, cats, raccoons, and other little critters on fire.
The current swirl of caselaw against Christian expression in the military, public schools- which is a clear attack against Biblical belief- is evidence against this numbo-jumbo of a hostile takeover of the military by "evangelicals".
Not only that: the author is clearly ignorant of the fact that of ALL Christian groups, Evangelicals are generally MOST pro-Israel and pro-Jews. The whole anti-semitism rant reeks of propaganda that can easily be refuted by collections of Evangelical teaching and material.
How does it work?
1) lab rats are taken through the next of kind (relatives); in my case, it was due to circular thinking (I have been recently diagnosed with a form of Personality Disorder by Doctor US Army Major Bacon: a long term male adaptation; they have run research on me since 11, and 7 years ago, I would call it two long term reasons for male adaptation);
2) at the same time, Doctor Major Bacon stated that I do fulfill retainment requirements (male adaptation is a common reaction to human research) , since causes of my trouble are environmental, and, if causes have not lasted for so long, I would have been normal. In other words, I am maladapted and constantly distressed, but not insane;
Therefore, I am a slave or an involuntary lab rat sold by my family into slavery as a human Guinea pig, and an ex-US Army soldier, Infantryman, who received an honorable discharge, and who, as of today, can join either a National Guard or Active Reserve of the US Army.
I had, but no choice, but to stop by NJ because my wife does live in Elizabeth, NJ, and my "staff" is being shipped here from Bavaria; however, at the same time, I will follow the last order that I did receive from CPT Highley:to move out from NJ, and to start my life anew, ASAP.
Sincerely, Robert Kolakowski son of Stanislaw born 28 DEC 73 (out of Eugenia Kolakowska; 908-353-2808/908-351-2858); husband of Annie M. Le(h)nhardt--Kolakowski nee De Vone (mother of Tatiya(n)na 'Ebonet' Le(h)nhardt);
I shall be known from now on as the slave of the state and the warrior of the sate as
Robert 'Mamluke' Kolakowski son of Stanislaw.