Chris Rodda has a great post about what is going on at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska (a base that has been on MRFF’s radar for quite a while) is really ramping up the fundamentalist activities this fall, heavily pushing the “convert everybody” meme.
The article on the Elmendorf-Richardson website begins:
When Jesus gave his apostles their final orders in Matthew 28:18-20, he didn’t tell them to make converts who would dedicate an hour of their lives on Sunday mornings to him, provided they liked the style of music being sung.
He commanded them to “… make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
So, what’s coming to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to get the U.S. military to help fulfill the “Great Commission” from Matthew 28:18-20?
Chris helps cut through a pretty ugly ‘article’ published by the JBER chaplaincy. She lays out their various plans, and explains that much of the content is provided via NON-Chaplain resources [read: charlatans who know how to write gov't contracts].
Rodda saves the best for last.
And let’s not forget about getting to the kiddies! Also coming to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is the Child Evangelism Fellowship, which will be starting Good News Clubs in all the elementary schools on base. As I’ve written about before, Child Evangelism Fellowship is the group whose tactics include targeting “unchurched” children on military bases by stalking their school buses. If you don’t know about Child Evangelism Fellowship and their Good News Clubs, I urge you to read Katherine Stewart’s excellent book The Good News Club.
Here’s the bit about proselytizing to kids:
Children will be continuing in the “Generations of Grace” curriculum, which takes the kids through the Bible in three years.
This year the course will focus on the Old Testament from Deuteronomy to Daniel.
There are classes planned for Pre-K, Kindergarten, first and second grades, third and fourth grades, and fifth and sixth grades.
The classes will cover the same sections of the Bible each week, with lesson plans adapted to each grade level.
Handouts will be given to parents to keep them apprised of what their kids have studied.
The JBER Protestant Chapel program has invited Child Evangelism Fellowship to come and start Good News Clubs in the elementary schools on base.
This is an after school program which will take place Tuesdays starting this fall.
Every week, trained teachers will present an exciting Bible lesson, music, games, Scripture memory, and a missionary story.
Parents must sign a permission slip in order for their children to attend.
Fort Bragg plays the “oh hey… we put out permission slips!” game too. After hearing about Vacation Bible School at Fort Bragg, I demanded equality. Either knock it off (the easy way), or support atheist summer camp too (the hard way).
They chose ‘the hard way’. Initially they pretended to be eager to support a similar atheist summer camp, mainly because they thought their curveballs would thwart me. Eventually the Religious Support Office at Fort Bragg stopped returning my emails altogether. A year went by.
March 31st of this year, the Rock Beyond Belief festival welcomed Amy Monsky from Camp Quest South Carolina. She had children ‘walking on water’ right in front of the main post chapel, using non-newtonian fluids (corn starch and water). Not to mention the rest of her amazing secular kids activities! We actually had kids interacting with and learning about liquid nitrogen (safely).
All of our children’s activities were self-funded and run by a small army of volunteers.
*Much more below the fold*
Chris Rodda works at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). This means her inbox is stuffed with things that would shock most people.
We’ve worked closely on many things, and I can tell our email boxes are growing in similarity. Some things no longer shock us, such as vile messages with awful grammar – usually topped with “I’ll pray for (or against) you!” Of course we always take the violent threats seriously, and regularly forward those to the FBI.
Importantly, there are things that never cease to shock us. I am always stunned at every new example of U.S. taxpayers funding so much *non-chaplaincy* religious proselytism. This comes in the form of DoD contracts with fundies who know how to write these things. It’s a fraudulent and unconstitutional industry – easily turning hundreds of millions of dollars over to greedy evangelical civilians every year.
The media often doesn’t touch this stuff because of the knee-jerk aversion to shining negative light on aspects of religion in the US military. All Americans are being swindled, and even devout Christians should be angry at the bureaucratic abuse.