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The Atheist Foxhole (Rumsfeld "marginalized" religion in military)
American Spectator ^ | Feb 06 | Angelo Codevilla

Posted on 02/24/2006 9:39:55 PM PST by churchillbuff

-----Editor's note: As reported in the Washington Times, the U.S. Air Force last Wednesday "released revised guidelines on religious observance that say chaplains need not recite prayers incompatible with their beliefs... The move won tepid praise from evangelicals, who see the move as progress but not close to a guarantee that they can pray 'in Jesus' name.'" This action follows in the wake of strong critical reaction to guidelines issued by the Pentagon last summer, as described in this article from our February issue.----

THE ATHEIST FOXHOLE by Angelo Codevilla

Arguably the worst, most gratuitous, most ominous act inflicted on America in living memory was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's August 29, 2005 promulgation of guidelines for religious expression in the U.S. Air Force -- intended as a model for the rest of the armed forces. Their essence is to forbid anyone in uniform from giving "the reasonable perception that [the Armed Forces, and hence the U.S. government] support any religion over other religions or the idea of religion over the choice of no religious affiliation." However, they place no restriction on anyone who might advocate atheism, or mock, or restrict, or cause discomfort to, the religiously observant in any setting. Indeed they are all about placing the U.S. government's weight against talking about the presence, or praying for the guidance or protection, of God. Meanwhile, the Air Force and other services require their members to take instruction in "sensitive" thought and behavior amounting to a secular religion.

Marginalizing religion among people likely to be shot at is always a bad idea. But discouraging religion in forces once headed by George Washington, whose current members come from the most devout sectors of the modern world's most devout country, at the behest of people scarcely present in those forces, shows incompetence more than evil. Stalin's rules for the Red Army in World War II were more God-friendly than Rumsfeld's.

Until recently, traditions and the habits of servicemen combined with common sense to exempt the Armed Forces from the U.S. government's longstanding Kulturkampf against religion in America. Anyone going up to the Secretary of the Air Force's Pentagon office would pass by a huge mural of an Air Force family going to church, with the words, "Here I am Lord, send me." Cadets at the Naval Academy still pray collectively before common meals. Young men away from home for the first time -- at least those who do not simply drink and whore -- find religious practice a lifeline that keeps them connected to normal human life. The advent of the "All Volunteer Force" in the 1970s increased the proportion of practicing Christians among both officers and enlisted. Since 9/11, the "foxhole factor" has come into play: The number of atheists is inversely proportional to that of bullets flying. In short, there have been the very opposite of popular pressures for secularization.

THE EXCUSE THAT THE MOST recent restrictions on religion are being forced by the courts is insincere. Yes, one Mikey Weinstein filed a suit alleging that the longstanding patterns of behavior at the Air Force Academy amounted to "severe, systemic and pervasive" religious discrimination. But no ruling of the Supreme Court has invalidated them. Nor has any law done so. Yet a few officers wanted to have less Christianity there, and key officials in the Rumsfeld Pentagon agreed. Nor does the excuse wash that the restrictions are necessary for the maintenance of good military order. The pragmatic way to ensure unit cohesion is surely not to displease the many for the sake of the few.

The guidelines are more radical than they seem. "Public prayer," they direct, "should not normally be included" -- read, is banned -- except in "extraordinary circumstances." The only ones they cite are "mass casualties, preparation for imminent combat, and natural disasters" (emphasis mine). In essence, the Bush Pentagon lets the name of God be invoked only when absolutely necessary to provide the equivalent of a shot of booze, or of a mood-altering drug. Practically, it treats religion as Marx described it: "the opiate of the masses." Prima faciae, even opening a routine meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance flouts the guidelines, because it affirms that America is anything but indifferent to God.

Worse, the guidelines also permit prayer where, "consistent with longstanding military tradition," there are "change of command, promotion ceremonies, or significant celebrations..." -- but only if such "prayer" is emptied of "specific beliefs" and intended "to add a heightened sense of seriousness or solemnity." How patent unseriousness may add seriousness is part of the Bush White House's closely guarded formula for success. It may not have realized that it outdid the judges who had tried to outlaw the Pledge of Allegiance.

THE GUIDELINES PLACE special restrictions and responsibilities on chaplains. Heretofore they had been allowed, even encouraged, to shepherd men of their own denomination, urge members of other denominations to be faithful to them, and to try to bring the godless to God. Now they are to help restrict their flock's own urges to proselytize, to restrict their own and their flock's religious practices to the guidelines, and above all to give no one the impression that God exists and that it matters. To chaplains who wear the uniform, these are orders. But these orders raise the most fundamental questions of all: What is the chaplain doing in uniform? For whom is he working? To what end?

A chaplain's job has always been inherently problematic. On the one hand he must do nothing to impair his flock's ability to do their military jobs. On the other, he cannot simply be yet another voice urging people to do what they're told regardless of what they might think. His authority comes from God, on whose behalf he cares for the things that are most important to each individual. For Christian chaplains, Jesus' words "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" have offered a practical solution to this conflict. In America, a nation explicitly "under God," the chaplains could counsel people to follow the faith's dictates fully, while obeying orders wholeheartedly because the two did not conflict.

But what can a Christian chaplain under the guidelines say when he reads, or someone asks him about, the Gospel's charge to "go out among all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father..."? Or what can a Jewish one say when several of his flock are disciplined for gathering together in prayer at the times prescribed by the Law? The free exercise of religion involves speaking and acting in public. Clergymen's stock in trade must be to urge religious practice in everyday life. What can they say, what can serious Christians or Jews think, about an organization in which they risk their lives while demanding that they behave in ways that they believe endanger their immortal souls? It becomes difficult for them to say, I belong here.

It is inherently difficult to believe that one is serving God by working in an organization that will penalize you for speaking his name. But does not one serve God by serving His America? Not if America insists that those who love God shut up about it while those who mock him may do so at will. Whose America is it anyway? It cannot belong equally to people whose views of it are incompatible with one another. The Air Force cadets who charged that a critical mass of evangelicals at the Academy had created an environment they could not stand, and the captain featured in the New York Times article that supported them, had every right to tell themselves and the world something like "this isn't me, and this is not my idea of America." And, because their views of America coincided with those of powerful people in Washington, the Bush administration promulgated guidelines congenial to them. But, by the very same token, these guidelines frame an environment unacceptable to serious Christians and Jews.

THE ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE lives by attracting people. Its character, and its size, depend on who finds military service attractive. There may exist a pool of young people big enough to fill America's military who combine appetite for physical challenges, tolerance for danger, a spirit of self- sacrifice, discipline, and patriotism, but who don't really care whether America is "under God" or not, who get along just fine without the Ten Commandments, are more bothered by piety than by homosexuality, and are inspired by "sensitivity" training. And perhaps the social changes forced upon the U.S. military in recent years will bring such people out of the woodwork and into uniform. Maybe America will end up with atheist foxholes. But surely these changes tell the families who now actually fill the Armed Forces that maybe the kinds of people who are making the rules should also be doing the fighting.

Angelo M. Codevilla is professor of international relations at Boston University, a Claremont Institute fellow, and a senior editor of The American Spectator. His intellectual history of U.S. foreign relations will be published by Yale University Press.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: agnosticism; army; atheism; chaplain; dod; faith; hijackedreligion; ifitsbadchurchyposts; nazis; rumsfeld; wardchurchillbuff

1 posted on 02/24/2006 9:39:57 PM PST by churchillbuff
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To: churchillbuff

Rumsfield is a closet Muslim, everybody knows that. Rove too!


2 posted on 02/24/2006 9:47:25 PM PST by bybybill (If the Rats win, we are doomed)
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To: churchillbuff

I served, and There was one time, when a brand new chaplain maid the rounds, and I (being an atheist) joked about being a wiccan, I was willing to make such a silly statement cuz at the time (it was a VERY brief period of time) I was a bit of a golden boy, and I SWEAR TO GOD! (if there is one) This young, asian baptist 2lou chaplain arrived at my dorm (yeah, It's not that bad a life) and asked if wanted to talk, at which point he handed me his FRIGGEN PHONE! and there was a friggen dude claiming to be a wiccan on the phone.

I immediately hung up and appologized to the chaplain, and then he sat down, had a beer and we talked.

Chaplains are servicemembers just like others, they chose to not prosceletize (spelling?) their faith, ONLY so they can serve the needs of the men and women who serve their nation. Like I mentioned, I'm not a believe, but it is JUST as noble, and altruistic on the parts of chaplains to NOT force those they counsel into a particular faith, in fact, they tend to go out of their way to connect their "flock," though it is not the same flock they envision, with their shepherd.

and, unlike all other officer Corps, it is the chaplins who are at their best at their earliest.


3 posted on 02/24/2006 9:48:32 PM PST by wickedpinto (The road map to peace is a straight line down an Israeli rifle.)
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To: churchillbuff
This whole chain of events and their associated outcomes have been disappointing to observe.
4 posted on 02/24/2006 9:49:36 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: churchillbuff
The number of atheists is inversely proportional to that of bullets flying.

Stopped right there..Flat out wrong if not a outright falsehood

See http://www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/200464.asp

The old adage that there are “no atheists in foxholes” does not appear to apply as much as it used to. It turns out that the active duty troops in the American armed forces are somewhat less religious than the population as a whole.

Americans over all are 78 percent Christian, 1.3 percent Jewish, .5 percent Moslem, .4 percent Hindu, 13 percent unknown or none and the rest various other sects and faiths. But the troops are 55 percent Christian, .3 percent Moslem, .27 percent Jewish, .04 percent Hindu, .24 percent Buddhist and 34 percent unknown or no preference.

Part of this may be a generational thing, as the troops are younger than the population as a whole. People become more religious as they get older. Another factor is probably education, as the high education standards for recruits means those in uniform have several years more formal education than their civilian peers. More literate too, as people in uniform read at a level a full year ahead of civilians. As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious.

5 posted on 02/24/2006 9:52:58 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: bybybill

Less chaplins, more troops.


6 posted on 02/24/2006 9:58:13 PM PST by Hidden Imam
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To: qam1
As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious.

Pure atheistic arrogance and hubris.

7 posted on 02/24/2006 9:58:51 PM PST by Right Brother
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To: Right Brother

It's called "statistics."


8 posted on 02/24/2006 10:01:11 PM PST by orionblamblam (A furore Normannorum libra nos, Domine)
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To: Right Brother

It's sort of like "As people become more educated, they tend to be less conservative."


9 posted on 02/24/2006 10:02:52 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: churchillbuff

The function of the chaplain is to guard the First Amendment Rights of the soldier. This has not been done. Chaplains who buck the lione officers are not supported by the chief of chaplains.


10 posted on 02/24/2006 10:06:39 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Right Brother

Depends on what is meant by "educated." One can be educated inb line with the doctrines of the Third Reich. Nazis also had contempt for Christianity and thought of themselves as "progressives."


11 posted on 02/24/2006 10:10:00 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Texas_Jarhead

True. Education is not synonymous with knowledge, hence the term "educated idiot".


12 posted on 02/24/2006 10:11:06 PM PST by Right Brother
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To: wickedpinto

In my opinion, if you are thinking about risking your eternal existence in the afterlife because you have conned yourself into believing that you have a better grasp on the Universe than Jesus Christ, C.S. Lewis, Einstein, Moses and Muhammed did, I would reccomend that you at least consult with someone that is equipped with the mental fortitude to spell out both sides of the arguement in a way that someone like yourself can understand.

The very fact that you call yourself an atheist when you are clearly agnostic at best tells me that you should do a little more research. I suggest God In the Docks by CS Lewis. It is not an attempt to sway you one way or the other, but a collection of debates that CS Lewis had with religious figures that took place while he was atheist. He then discusses the path he took as a result of those debates to becoming a man of faith. Just a thought.


13 posted on 02/24/2006 10:12:07 PM PST by willyd
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To: RobbyS

14 posted on 02/24/2006 10:13:01 PM PST by M203M4
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To: wickedpinto
but not close to a guarantee that they can pray 'in Jesus' name.'"

So, Christians are not allowed to pray in the Air Force.


What tolerance. But then, we Christians know that "because they hated me, they will hate you also"
15 posted on 02/24/2006 10:14:05 PM PST by Sweetjustusnow (Oust the IslamoCommies here and abroad.)
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To: RobbyS
The function of the chaplain is to guard the First Amendment Rights of the soldier

No - the function of the chaplain is to either "perform or provide religious support" to all members of the military, the families, retirees, and civilian employees. I know - I wrote the Religious Support Manual for the Army that was published in 1993-4 time frame

Litekeeper
Chaplain, US Army, retired

16 posted on 02/24/2006 10:18:45 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: willyd

Agnosticism requires an acknowledgement of a KNOWING lord. I don't believe that.

I don't intend to offend you Willy, to tell the truth, I envy you. Truth is I lack faith in a LOT more than just the divine. :)

However? I envy your faith (not cuz I'm superior, but because in fact I KNOW I'm a lesser man, who sometimes has bigger arguments, but an argument only gets you into a fight :) I'm an Atheist, because the "god" I hope for, is not a loving one, but an indifferent one, I PRAY, not for an eternal joy, and satisfaction in the presence of absolute goodness, but rather, I pray for the indifferent god of absolute and eternal blackness. Close my mind, and let me rest.

And I have read, I've Sought out meaning throughout most of my life, and the bible did not suite me, and I like to think I am a good person, I have done good things, FAR more than bad, and I have always regretted and appologized, not to god, but to the person I wronged. If there is a Christian god? he should still accept me, because I accept the teachings of Jesus, though I do not name him god or prophet.

If God is so fickle that he can't accpet that? then F him.


17 posted on 02/24/2006 10:25:02 PM PST by wickedpinto (The road map to peace is a straight line down an Israeli rifle.)
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To: qam1
"As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious."

I disagree.

18 posted on 02/24/2006 10:25:22 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: Sweetjustusnow

Of course.

Question? If you ever felt the urge to punch someone, but were affraid to get hit who would you punch?

The person who accepts the strike, and responds with love? or the person who doesn't give you the chance to lash out and kills your family?

That is why the MSM is full of crap, and why the anti-christian, CHRISTIAN motive of all aspects of the US government is intolerable.


19 posted on 02/24/2006 10:27:16 PM PST by wickedpinto (The road map to peace is a straight line down an Israeli rifle.)
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To: wickedpinto

Sounds like you have a lot of problems.


20 posted on 02/24/2006 10:27:52 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: sageb1

Thats life :)

Bedtime now, If you respond, I will catch in the morning.

Night hoss.


21 posted on 02/24/2006 10:30:54 PM PST by wickedpinto (The road map to peace is a straight line down an Israeli rifle.)
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To: wickedpinto
If there is a Christian god? he should still accept me, because I accept the teachings of Jesus, though I do not name him god or prophet.

If God is so fickle that he can't accept that? then F him.

You do not understand Christianity. The gift of God through Christ is Grace. Not by anything that you do. It is an acceptance of a Power greater than yourself and the acknowledgment of such, and that 'such' is God through Jesus Christ our Savior "nobody comes to the Father unless they come through me" said Christ. It is indeed declaring God's story as true and faithful and the only road to salvation.
22 posted on 02/24/2006 10:35:00 PM PST by Sweetjustusnow (Oust the IslamoCommies here and abroad.)
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To: LiteKeeper

Sounds more like the job description of a recreation officer. Of course, many judges have forgotten the meaning of the term" free exercise of religion."


23 posted on 02/24/2006 10:40:05 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: qam1

"78 percent Christian"

"As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious."

So under 20% are not religious because they have become 'more educated'.


Bwaaahhhhaaaaaaa


24 posted on 02/24/2006 10:41:56 PM PST by Sweetjustusnow (Oust the IslamoCommies here and abroad.)
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To: M203M4
Not those damn belt buckles again.

They refer to some Viking mythology the Nazis appropriated:

Drei kleine Kittens,
verloren sie ihre Handschuhe,
und sie fingen an zu schreien,
die liebe OH- Mutter,
wir sich fürchten traurig,
denen wir unsere Handschuhe verloren haben.

The text on the buckle is a shortended version of "I have my mittens"/"Gott Mituns" as the original "Ich habe meine Handschuhe" was too long to fit on the buckle and entitle the Viking kitten stormtrooper bearing it to any pie.

25 posted on 02/24/2006 10:49:29 PM PST by Hoplite
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To: jwalsh07; Sabramerican

Is theism among the ranks necessary for a lean mean principled killing machine? I ask, you decide. The smart answer is that the answer is complex and opaque and depends on a lot of other factors. Just a little hint at the right road on this one. :)


26 posted on 02/24/2006 10:56:54 PM PST by Torie
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To: RobbyS
Sounds more like the job description of a recreation officer

How in the world do you get that from what I said?

27 posted on 02/24/2006 10:57:43 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: wickedpinto

Your perspective is all wrong. You cannot name Jesus the son of God or a prophet and that is the point that I was trying to make. As far as God being accepting and/or fickle, this is another issue of perspective. God is was and will always be. We as humans tend to give him human traights and characteristics (as I just did) in an attempt to make God more familiar to us. Even assigning a gender to God is an example of this. In my opinion it is blasphemous to assign human traights to the creator because it diminishes the perfection that is our God. I think religions are mans' attempts to interpret and pass on his perfect word as well as a way to control the masses in the absence of government or rule through strength. I think you might find out that you have the capacity to believe in a higher being albeit maybe not in the traditional form. I would suggest that the relationship is important regardless of what form it takes.


28 posted on 02/24/2006 11:09:18 PM PST by willyd
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To: qam1

I listed no religion on my official record despite my being a devout Catholic.

I did it for privacy reasons.

I know many others who do the same.


29 posted on 02/24/2006 11:21:55 PM PST by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
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To: Hoplite
It is from Prussia's Order of the Crown (specifically, the Star of the Order, circa 1860's). Whatever the prior origins of the phrase, its meaning by the late 1800's was divorced from Viking mythology.

Gott Mit Uns translates DIRECTLY in German to mean "God With Us". Hitler appropriated it as a "peace offering "of sorts to German Christians, whom he had mostly pissed off previously (much of the resistance within Germany during the buildup to WWII was lead by Christian groups).

The nazis cared only about power - it was their only "principle". They used whatever propaganda they could to increase their standing. Hitler had deep disdain for any organization that threatened the nazi party - from the atheists and Freethinker groups, to devout Christians. Their aim was to break the non-party support structures and then reintegrate. Recall "Kinder, Kirche, Kueche" (Children, Church, Kitchen). He used the Enabling Act to dissolve particularly meddlesome churches and outlawed most atheistic and freethinking groups.

So yes, the nazis held contempt for devout Christians (and everyone else who threatened them, including atheists). And they didn't see themselves as, nor where they, "progressive". The totalitarian mindset only cares about control.

Hey, I coulda just called a Godwin. :)

30 posted on 02/24/2006 11:29:02 PM PST by M203M4
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To: M203M4

I should also add that Hitler wasn't the first to reintroduce "Gott Mit Uns" in the 20th Century. They pulled the same stunt in WWI. Give people who would otherwise disagree something to rally around.


31 posted on 02/24/2006 11:31:23 PM PST by M203M4
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To: Hoplite
Although German is my mother tongue I am not able to understand this:

Drei kleine Kittens, verloren sie ihre Handschuhe, und sie fingen an zu schreien, die liebe OH- Mutter, wir sich fürchten traurig, denen wir unsere Handschuhe verloren haben.

I does not give any sense. Could you translate it for me please?

32 posted on 02/25/2006 12:37:36 AM PST by Atlantic Bridge (O tempora! O mores!)
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To: Right Brother
"As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious."

"Pure atheistic arrogance and hubris"

Yes, but none-the-less true for some people, especially in the sciences. Their education puffs them up like prideful balloons and they find it gloriously uplifting to worship themselves and their own perceived intelligence.

33 posted on 02/25/2006 1:07:58 AM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: M203M4; Hoplite
Gott Mit Uns translates DIRECTLY in German to mean "God With Us".

Yep! This is perfectly correct.

Hitler appropriated it as a "peace offering "of sorts to German Christians, whom he had mostly pissed off previously (much of the resistance within Germany during the buildup to WWII was lead by Christian groups).

He did not need to make a "peace offering" to German christians since he had close contact to both churches from the very beginning of his career as Reichskanzler.

With the Catholic church he fixed a treaty, the so called "Reichskonkordat" which give them the possibility to collect a so called "church tax" in Germany. Until today this is the most important financial basement of the Vatican. Pecunia non olet. Nothing new since Vespasian in Rome. There were many Catholics from the bottom of the church who had the balls to fight Hitler, but its leaders failed to give a adequate answer.

The situation within the Lutheran Church (Evangelische Kirche) was even much more critical. They founded a organisation called "Deutsche Christen" that tried to prove that Jesus was an aryan. Do I have to say more? Like in the Catholic church there were some who understood the true message of Christendom like Bonhoeffer, but they were very few.

It is a sad fact that German churches failed completely to find a answer to such a crude ideology like national socialism. Being devoted to their political "leaders" they followed blind all orders of Hitler. It is a shame that the atheists organized a much broader resistance than the Lutheran churches in particular.

The meaning of the second headline is: "Christ is the deadly enemy of the jews".

34 posted on 02/25/2006 1:07:59 AM PST by Atlantic Bridge (O tempora! O mores!)
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To: TR Jeffersonian

ping


35 posted on 02/25/2006 1:15:40 AM PST by kalee
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To: churchillbuff; Thunder 6; LTCJ; aristeides; P-Marlowe; LiteKeeper; jude24

This is an excellent article that recognizes that the rules until recently imposed on military chaplains and military Christians amounted to the creation of a new religion....an establishment, if you will.

That is the reason the Air Force and the DoD backed off. If they had felt they were on solid legal ground, they would have stubbornly stuck to their guns.

As with any "establishers," they intended to control the speech of those outside the official church. They told them HOW they could pray. Huge legal mistake.

There is no way that any military leader would invite an expert from any other field and then tell him what he was permitted to say. It would be foolish to ask for the professional input of an expert in nerve gas, but command him ahead of time that he couldn't mention that it is deadly.


36 posted on 02/25/2006 4:52:01 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: wickedpinto
It is such a shame that many men have perverted religion to the point where you went from seeker of the truth to someone who came away from the search not believing.

I believe (and have faith) that it is entirely possible that your search may not be over. If there is a God [and I believe that there is but I write "if" for your benefit so as to not be off putting], He will be the only One who sits in judgment of you...it will not be members of an Internet message board who are offended by what you write on the subject.

If your [never ending] search ever leads you back to the bible, may I suggest that you just stay with the four canonized gospels. But also read the gnostic gospels that are not found in the bible. Either nine of Christ's followers were full of crap and handed down bogus accounts of what Jesus had done or they passed along the truth. Many of those nine passed along these accounts at tremendous risk and peril to themselves...most people will not do these kinds of things; think about that for a while and it may spark and interest in reading Mark again.

37 posted on 02/25/2006 4:52:46 AM PST by LowCountryJoe (The Far Right and the Far Left both disdain markets. If the Left ever finds God, the GOP is toast.)
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To: Right Brother
As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious.

Pure atheistic arrogance and hubris.

I think it is somewhat true. As I became more educated I started to wonder why a God, who won't prove his existence without a doubt, would want us to worship him or go to hell. I still believe in God, but I am starting to reject the dogma of the Catholic church.
38 posted on 02/25/2006 4:54:00 AM PST by P3pilotJAX
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To: qam1

"As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious."

I know quite a few people with doctorates who are very religious. I have found less-educated people are less religious. But I wouldn't expect to hear that from a confused atheist like yourself.


39 posted on 02/25/2006 5:13:28 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: wickedpinto
You obviously haven't studied the Bible very thoroughly if you have arrived at your "conclusions" as you say by studying the Bible. Remember where the Bible says "There are none good"? Believe what you wish but know why you believe it.
40 posted on 02/25/2006 5:16:39 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: wickedpinto

"and why the anti-christian, CHRISTIAN motive of all aspects of the US government is intolerable"

Then leave.


41 posted on 02/25/2006 5:17:25 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: TheCrusader

"Yes, but none-the-less true for some people, especially in the sciences. Their education puffs them up like prideful balloons and they find it gloriously uplifting to worship themselves and their own perceived intelligence."

A few Freepers come to mind...


42 posted on 02/25/2006 5:19:34 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: wickedpinto
I pray for the indifferent god of absolute and eternal blackness.

I hope this helps.

43 posted on 02/25/2006 5:21:17 AM PST by Triggerhippie (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.)
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To: wickedpinto
Aristotelian Logic: noun: Aristotle's deductive method of logic, especially the theory of the syllogism.

Atheist: noun: someone who denies the existence of god

Agnostic: noun: one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

Deist: noun: a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it.

Theist: noun: one who believes in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

Proof: noun: The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.


Descartes’ proposition: Cogito sum Ergo --- “I think, therefore, I am” [exist]

Aristotelian logic standard: “Nothing” can come from “nothing,” i.e., an occurrence, event, object, etc., can be traced backward through a casual chain to a “first cause.”

By Descartes’ proposition anyone who thinks, exists. For an individual to exist, by Aristotelian logic, he or she had a cause, i.e., parents. However, parents had a cause, i.e., grandparents who had a cause, etc. At some point (even with evolution) life had a cause and so forth to the cause of the universe in which life came to exist. Hence, the question what or who was the “first cause?” … There is no possible, logical answer but a creative entity that exists outside the constraints of the universe, i.e., beyond the constraints of time, space, etc.: God.

An atheist must deny Aristotelian logic. Consequently, atheism can provide no rational explanation for existence, i.e., a “first cause.” Therefore, atheism is an illogical proposition.

Agnosticism similarly denies that Aristotelian logic is a valid reasoning tool in the sense that it denies that one can conclude positively that there was a “first cause.” Therefore, agnosticism is an illogical proposition.

Consequently, only Deism and Theism can be considered rational, or logical, positions. Therefore, the “God” argument logically reduces to, not whether God exists, but, what is the nature of God. All of the differences among all of religions on earth essentially reduce to differences about what is the nature of God and/or what are God’s expectations for the behavior of mankind.

Aristotelian logic combined with careful scientific observation and knowledge allows someone to infer things about a creator from an artifact. For example, a forensic scientist can examine a signature and with enough knowledge, deduce whether the author was left handed or right handed, etc., or test for the existence for power residue on someone’s hand and infer whether the person may have fired a gun recently, or the marks on a bullet and infer what type of gun fired (or created) the shot. The same methodology can be applied to the universe and its creator. For example, if Planck’s constant, the universal gravitational constant, etc., were different by even small amounts, the universe could become inhospitable to life, in general, and mankind, in particular. From this line of reasoning one logical position is to conclude that the Creator of the universe intended for life, in general, and mankind, in particular, to exist. This rationale is known as the anthropic principle.

Combine the anthropic principle with some general observations of human kind in contrast to the rest of creation as we know it. Mankind has the power of complex speech, the ability to control atomic reactions, to visit other celestial bodies, to reason out the complexities of biology, to pass accumulated knowledge to future generations, etc. Prominent among these formidable, human capacities is the ability to rationally question the nature of the “first cause.” The mere existence of this human ability combined with the anthropic principle suggests that mankind was intended by the Creator to seek the nature of God. The proof is left to the reader.

Pascal’s proposition (paraphrased): If I believe in God and there is no God, I have lost nothing, but I do not believe in God and there is a God, I have lost everything.
44 posted on 02/25/2006 7:37:27 AM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: Lucky Dog
Sorry...typo

Pascal’s proposition (paraphrased): If I believe in God and there is no God, I have lost nothing, but if I do not believe in God and there is a God, I have lost everything.
45 posted on 02/25/2006 8:04:15 AM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: Atlantic Bridge
Could you translate it for me please?

Sure:

Three little kittens,
they lost their mittens,
and they began to cry,
Oh - Mother, dear,
we sadly fear,
our mittens we have lost.

I blame any errors in translation on babelfish, 'cause I can.

= )

46 posted on 02/25/2006 10:50:56 AM PST by Hoplite
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To: Torie

Does proselytizing ever lead to cohesiveness?


47 posted on 02/25/2006 11:13:07 AM PST by Sabramerican
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To: M203M4
The nazis cared only about power - it was their only "principle".

Which might explain their bosom-buddy status with the Islamics.
As well told and extensively documented in the book shown below.
Chapter Six (pp.127-145) is especially good; it's titled:
"Hitler's Mufti: Muslim Anti-Semitism And The Continuing Islamic
War Against The Jews"


"The Myth Of Hitler's Pope by David G. Dalin


After reading that chapter, I wondered how the Islamics were
so slighted for their vigourous assistance to the Nazis in the
history classes I took.
LOL! Maybe the Jews were responsible for obscuring the WWII role
of the Islamics!
48 posted on 02/25/2006 11:14:20 AM PST by VOA
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To: Sabramerican

Sometimes, when it works. :)


49 posted on 02/25/2006 11:17:05 AM PST by Torie
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