Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Our Bullshit is Better than Your Bullshit

I wasn't posting back when the row was going on about the fight a woman was having with the Defense Department regarding her husband, who was killed in Iraq. He was a Wiccan, but the DoD refused to put a pentagram on his headstone, though, of course, Christian crosses and Stars of David are just fine.

Now, as reported by the Washington Post, an Army chaplain who tried to switch from being a pentecostal chaplain to a Wiccan chaplain was withdrawn from Iraq and removed from the chaplain corps. As the Washington Post reports:

For Wiccans seeking public acceptance, obtaining a military chaplain is the next
major goal. More than 130 religious groups have endorsed, or certified,
chaplains to serve in uniform. But efforts by Wiccan organizations to join the
list have repeatedly been denied by the Pentagon.

Lt. Col. Randall C. Dolinger, spokesman for the Army's Chief of Chaplains office, said the Sacred Well Congregation has met all the requirements to become an endorser, except one: It has not presented a "viable candidate." The group's previous nominee was turned away because his eyesight was not correctable to 20-20.

Fair enough. So, when Army chaplain Don Larsen decided to become the first Wiccan chaplain, it looked like things were moving ahead. But not so fast. You see, since, as noted above, chaplains must be "endorsed" by a religious group, and those groups can cancel that "endorsement" at any time. Picking up the story:

When the Sacred Well Congregation applied on July 31 to become Larsen's new endorser, the Army initially cited a minor bureaucratic obstacle: It could not find a copy of his previous endorsement from the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, a Dallas-based association of Pentecostal churches.

And so, the Army, to resolve this obstacle, contacted the Full Gospel Churches to get the form, and also, you know, by the way, happened to mention that Larsen was planning to switch to being a Wiccan chaplain. Because, you know, pentecostals are so very tolerant of those with other faiths, and never think that even other Christians, like Catholics, are actually being deceived by Satan and going to Hell, and of course would never do anything to try to make sure no devil-worshipping Wiccans ever were allowed to be Army chaplains. No, never.

So, of course, here's what happened:

The Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches immediately severed its ties to Larsen. The Sacred Well Congregation could not renew his papers, because it was not yet an official endorser. Lacking an ecclesiastical endorsement, Larsen was ordered to cease functioning immediately as a chaplain, and the Pentagon quickly pulled him out of Iraq.
So, let me get this straight. Sacred Well is not an official endorser because it doesn't have a viable candidate. And it couldn't endorse Larsen, obviously a viable candidate since he was already serving as a chaplain in Iraq, because it wasn't an official endorser.

Right. That makes sense. No discrimination there. It's not as if the reason Full Gospel pulled Larsen's papers was because the Army conveniently couldn't find Larsen's papers all of a sudden, and then used the lack of papers as an excuse to contact Full Gospel and happen to mention to them that he was going to become a devil-worshiping Wiccan, is it? It's not as if the Army essentially called Full Gospel and said, in essence, with a wink, "If you don't pull this guy's papers, we'll have to let a devil-worshipper become a chaplain." No, of course not.

But, if not, then why mention what Larsen was planning to Full Gospel at all? Couldn't the Army have just called them up and said, "We can't find Larsen's papers. Can you send us a copy?" without telling them about Larsen's Wiccan intentions? Apparently not.

But hey, there's no discrimination here. The Army says so:

Dolinger, the Army Chief of Chaplains spokesman, denied that any discrimination
was involved. "What you're really dealing with is more of a personal drama, what
one person has been through and the choices he's made. Plus, the fact that the
military does have Catch-22s," he said.
Oh, well, that completely explains it. It's not as if the Army knew about this particular Catch-22, and actually took advantage of it by informing Full Circle about what Larsen intended to do. Oh, wait, that's exactly what they did. This Catch-22 wasn't unavoidable; in fact, it would only come up if and only if the Army made sure that Full Circle pulled Larsen's papers before he could switch his endorsement.

But, you know, military Catch-22s trump the freakin' Bill of Rights, don't they? At least when it benefits one religion over another, apparently.

It already pisses me off that my taxes go to pay people to preach their fantasies to our troops. But it pisses me off even more that the military is shitting all over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by trying to keep fantasies they don't like out. Guess what? You don't get to pick and choose which fucking fantasies to allow in. You don't. That's the whole fucking point of the fucking First Amendment, get it? Get it? When assholes like this righteously claim they are fighting for my freedoms with one breath and then try to destroy those freedoms with another, it really pisses me off.

And that's despite the fact that I don't believe in Wicca any more than I believe in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Last-Tuesdayism, the FSM, Santa Claus, or the Force. The Wiccan religion is bullshit just like all those others, and it's just as silly too. And I'd just as soon see Wicca thrown on the dustbin of history as any other religion.

But if you're going to allow one person's bullshit in, you have to let them all in.

That is what the fucking Christian majority in this country don't understand. And the passive acceptance of Christians -- even most moderate ones -- that it is okay for government to endorse Christianity by forcing it on kids in school, putting its tenets up in courtrooms, and by legislating it into law, is why I label them as theocrats and why it is they who are anti-American and want to destroy the Constitution and everything America stands for, not liberals, not American Muslims, Jews, agnostics, or atheists. American Christians are the ones with no respect for democracy, for our Republic, or for the ideals this nation is based on, and they are the ones who would tear everything America stands for down in the name of their nonexistent God.

Muslims who want to establish Shariah law across the Muslim world are the ideological brothers of American Christians. They both want exactly the same thing: to rule in the name of their God. The only difference -- the only difference -- is which God's name they want to rule in. They are both equally dangerous to democracy, to the Western world, and to freedom.

Make no mistake.

What the Army chaplain corps has done here is nothing less than an assault on the Constitution they swore to protect and defend. Those who have done this are oathbreakers, without honor, and have betrayed America and its Constitution.


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