US Army: “Al Qaeda, Hamas, KKK, Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity, Orthodox Judaism”

From “Extremism and Extremist Organizations” training for the US Army Reserves.

Three of these things are not like the others:

Orthodox Jews (Haredim), Evangelical Christians, and Catholics oh my! Also, “Sunni Muslim” is a pretty broad category. And why Sunni and no Shia? And who is this “Morman” you would have us fear?

Statement from The Archdiocese for the Military Services and Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty:

The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist.

According to an investigation and reply from the Army Chief of Chaplains office, the training in question appears to have been an isolated incident not condoned by the Department of the Army. The Archdiocese and the Chaplain Alliance explained that the Army can and should take steps to prevent such incidents in the future.

The Archdiocese calls upon the Department of Defense to review these materials and to ensure that tax-payer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.

HT Dale Price via Facebook

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

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  • A Hermit

    Frankly, as a secular citizen of Canada nothing scares the sh*t out of me more than the thought of the American military juggernaut coming under the sway of any religious dogma; Catholicism included.

    Maybe Quakers or Mennonites would be OK, but I can’t see that happening…

  • Liz Davenport

    @ A Hermit – According to the article, this was apparently an anomaly, uncondoned by the Army — or was it?? Plenty of Americans share your trepidation about the concept of the U.S. military coming under the sway of any religious dogma — in fact, I would go so far to say as all reasonable Americans would (or should/must) share that trepidation. And, from what I have read, there is reason for the trepidation in the form of Fundamentalist military personnel in positions that make infiltration possible.

    However, recently, I have seen evidence of individual state legislation (such as in Kansas, which has passed some very conservative abortion laws) and results of polls (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/06/christianity-state-religion_n_3022255.html) that indicate that even American citizens, far too many of them, are straying from their traditional moderate stances and deep understanding of the absolute need for separation of church and state. Pretty foreboding — but I have hope that this, too, will even itself out, as it usually does. I believe that some of this (especially the “state religion” thing) is reactionary and related to Islamophobia and to the conservatism that seems to go along with protracted economic problems, but in any case, it is NOT good.

  • sailor1031

    “followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way”….believing their faith/religio superior to all others.”
    Sounds exactly like the catholic church I grew up in. And going to catholic school this was the message daily!

    “The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist.”
    The good archbishop needs to do a quick review of catholic history – maybe starting with the Albigensian crusade, and noting that the papal authority only abandoned torture in the early nineteenth century, to get a feel for the violence and extremism with which the catholic church has been associated.

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    Yawn. Find some new websites: your talking points are stale and boring.

  • sailor1031

    No problem!

  • David Szaks

    I have to agree w/ you and the guy who made this presentation. When you believe that your religious view is the only valid one and that all others should submit to it and your religion should be the law of the land (*cough* conservatives *cough) that is the very definition of extremism. Any religion can foster extremists. Why would Christianity or Catholosim be excluded. Especially considering their histories and current events. Seriously the archdiocese and Thomas need to check themselves. If being called out as really makes you angry, then maybe you need to stop and ask yourself… ‘Are we being extreme? Am I?’.

    On the other hand, You could argue the army official who made this presentation is an extremist. As he believes that his views are right and should be accepted by others. Even if those views are Equality and Tolerance. It could be said that we are all extremist in such a way….. my brain hurts.

  • Howard

    Perhaps the problem is that you are simply too easily frightened. I mean that seriously.

    I can understand being frightened at having a neighbor who is much more powerful than you are, simply because he is much more powerful; but if we set that aside, you should fear a neighbor more in proportion to how disconnected he is from reality. A failure to connect to reality inevitably leads to miscalculations and surprises, and even if these are not dangerous in themselves (which they often are), they contribute to dangerous instability.

    So, for example, you would not feel “frightened” by the US “coming under the sway” of science, with a better ability to improve the environmental and economic consequences of actions taken today. That’s because you believe science to be reliable and trustworthy — though of course always in need of some improvement.

    I would be terrified of the US coming under the sway of Catholicism if I believed Catholicism to be a pack of lies. As it is, I am much, much more afraid of an increasingly apostate America, no longer constrained by moral considerations like Just War Theory but very much interested in as much sensory pleasure (at least for those powerful enough to seize it) as possible, consequences be damned.

  • Howard

    “improve” -> “foresee”

  • Howard

    You wish to impose an idea of what it means to be an extremist while leaving the premise “extremism is bad” unchallenged. Sorry, you aren’t allowed to smuggle baggage in like that.

  • D

    Aha! I always knew those papist bastards couldn’t be trusted. Just goes to show you.

    (Note: I am a papist and a bastard, so I can say that.)


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