Who’s The Extremist?

Army: Chrstians Are Dangerous

Posted: April 19, 2013

Maybe you’ve read about this, maybe not — but when we first heard this story, we figured some late-night comedian was the source, or perhaps it was that famous satirical newspaper, The Onion. Not so. This is not the figment of anyone’s imagination, however fevered.

Apparently, someone involved in the training of U.S. Army Reserve recruits took it upon him- or herself to compile a list of “extremist” groups worldwide. This font of erudition then incorporated this compendium into a slide presentation.

Among the groups so adjudged are the usual — and unworthily worthy — suspects: al “Quaeda,” Hamas, even the Muslim Brotherhood now posing as the legitimate rulers of Egypt. But such organizations prompting genuine concern share a Top 10 listing with a pair of others to which one of five Americans claim affiliation — evangelical Christian denominations and the Roman Catholic Church. In the addled brain of the compiler, the evangelicals reside at the head of this dubious class — Public Enemy No. 1.

The presentation did not stop and end with the list. Citing a Southern Poverty Law Center study — a red flag if ever there were one — it said that “extremism,” even here at home, is on the rise and cautioned its audience that military members are forbidden to take leadership roles in any organization the Defense Department considers “extremist.” So an Army captain could not serve as chairman of an evangelical congregation’s pastor-parish board, or as grand knight of the local Knights of Columbus council.

Needless to say, outrage bubbled up promptly. Among the first to lodge a complaint was the Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services, which oversees the training of military chaplains. The AMS asked the Pentagon “to review these materials and to ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.”

Though the Army removed the offending slides, a spokesman said the instructional presentation was produced by someone “not a subject-matter expert” who included the noxious information without the permission or knowledge of “anyone in the chain of command.”

That includes yearling Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who, noted Rep. Randy Forbes, R-4th, on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Monday, answered
a series of inquiries on the matter with a fusillade of “I don’t knows.”

Who’s in charge here? That’s something we don’t know.

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