Looks like General David Petraeus has stepped outside his bounds and endorsed a pro-Christian book: Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel by Army chaplain Lt. Col. William McCoy.
While Chaplain McCoy is certainly free to have his theological opinions and to share these opinions with those who choose to read about them, Petraeus’s endorsement — “Under Orders should be in every rucksack for those moments when Soldiers need spiritual energy” — prominently displayed at the top of the back cover this book, a book marketed to our military in the PXs, BXs, military clothing stores, and other outlets in the Army and Air Force Exchange System (AAFES), is indefensible.
The book never directly attacks atheists, but I did find this excerpt from it:
Christianity does something about sin’s power but doesn’t take it away completely. Other religions may have you strive or deny yourself in order to achieve another level of realization. Yet Christianity has this purging quality to it that strikes deep into the power of sin and renders it ineffective. Ineffective in a couple of ways.
Sin becomes ineffective to be your only moral choice. As a human being you have a choice to be part of the social answer rather than the social problem. When I don’t recognize that I’m running only on sin’s capabilities, I never have access to options for myself. Only my good natured-ness can help me contribute to the betterment of my unit or team. When I realize that sin is an agent, I can more quickly identify my own tendency to corrupt a group a bring havoc to what needs cohesion and team confidence. My sin can also make my agenda more important than my unit’s agenda and thus lead to unit failure.
Take note of that and then watch this excerpt from last night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, where he mentions the story:
MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein adds:
“Look, there is simply no other way to say it but to speak the absolute brutal truth here. General Petraeus has shockingly abrogated and noxiously defiled the sacred oath he took to protect and preserve, support and defend, NOT a parochial biblical worldview of the New Testament’s Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the United States Constitution; which includes a specific beacon provision which boldly proclaims absolutely ‘no religious test’ in Clause 3, Article 6. By so very prominently and universally endorsing Chaplain McCoy’s book, with its unadulterated promotion of Christian religious supremacy and concomitant excoriating and denigrating of the veracity, integrity, and character of the hundreds of thousands of United States military personnel who freely elect to follow no religious path, Petraeus unlawfully fashions his own de facto ‘religion test’ in direct contravention of America’s most cherished and beloved governing document. His command leadership role thus has become terminally freighted and compromised with this disgusting, vile, unconstitutional Christian religious tyranny and exceptionalism at precisely the same time we are at war with Islamic fundamentalists framing America’s Iraq and Afghanistan combat efforts as a ‘modern day Crusade.’ The monumentally detrimental national security risks attendant to Petraeus’s actions of Constitutional defiance justify the swift forfeiture of his titular position of military command and, further, cry out for his immediate punishment by General Courts Martial under Article 134.”
Incidentally, as Olbermann noted, when Petraeus gave the book cover’s blurb to McCoy, he apparently never intended for it to be published… he simply intended it to be for McCoy personally.
Military leaders have no business endorsing or denigrating anyone’s faith or lack thereof. They’re welcome to their own beliefs but they should not make it a public affair.