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News US Troops Proselytizing with Bibles

  1. May 4, 2009 #1


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    Aljazeera reporting on Evangelicals handing out Bibles in Afghanistan and Iraq. It seems they are right about this.

    Of course proselytizing is against Army regulations. It is a proscribed activity. It's unfortunate that these people exacerbate the locals dealing with what already is jihad, by acting like this. I'd hope that these people would be reprimanded and reminded of their obligations for being so short sighted and insensitive and even insulting to the local people.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2009 #2
    Looney Tunes. These people are out of their minds.
  4. May 4, 2009 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Soldiers with guns and bibles. GREAT!!!

    Idiots! If they want to proselytize, they should quit the service, join a church, and go on a mission. I hope they throw the book at these guys, so to speak. Note also the typical double-talk that we get from these types: It isn't proselytizing, they are gifts.

    Didn't their mammas teach them not to lie? They know full well what their true motives are.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  5. May 4, 2009 #4
    Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.
  6. May 4, 2009 #5
    This is from a blog I can't verify. But how do we sort out possible spin?
  7. May 4, 2009 #6


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    The story does link to:

    Maybe it's not as bad as it would seem. We can only hope that it is not. That kind of thing can only serve to exacerbate local opposition and cost more lives than thinking anything good could come from the saving of souls.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  8. May 4, 2009 #7
    I'm highly sensitive to spin. The portion of that clip where we hear the preacher going on about "we hunt people for Jesus" set off those little spin alarms I have. I want the whole video before I pass judgment on anyone.

  9. May 4, 2009 #8


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    I certainly recognize that as the evangelical line. Unfortunately in its framing it is ambiguous with regards to mixing metaphors of official duties with acts of evangelism. The Chaplain should know better than to offer up language that blurs the line between military orders and conduct of the inner life.
  10. May 4, 2009 #9
    Can you point out where there is any overlap? From the video, I can't see enough to reach this conclusively.
  11. May 4, 2009 #10


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    I'd say in the portion I quoted. The special forces guys hunt men. We hunt souls part. I'd say it's an unfortunate juxtaposition, that may be useful in trying to draw an analogy to what the Chaplain would encourage his audience of evangelical brethren to, but can be easily taken by those unfamiliar with the oratory of evangelicals to construe it as a call to action in a more quasi official way.

    At the very least Al Jazeera has seized on it to stoke potential Islamic fears of conversion and proselytizing.
  12. May 4, 2009 #11
    How is this ambiguous? It seems like a blatant admission of guilt to me.
  13. May 5, 2009 #12
    Anything can be ambigious if you want it to be.
  14. May 5, 2009 #13
    Could be. Could also be he wasn't talking about going out off base for conversions. But here where you wrote, "The Chaplain should know better than to offer up language that blurs the line between military orders and conduct of the inner life," I'm looking for where he actually did that. So far it's still subjective or interpretive.
  15. May 5, 2009 #14


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    That's my point. It's blurred to the point that it is in the ear of the beholder and it was not made clear in its statement that it is not the same. That one is a matter of National directive, and the other is a matter of personal religious calling. And the twain shall not meet by direction of General Order No. 1.

    I'd say there is not an appropriate distance given in the two statements to insure that the 2 are not confused. The Chaplain is the architect of his own statements and must bear the responsibility of any failure to communicate. After all that's why he's there ... communicate. He's supposed to be the adult in the room.

    Would statements about Hitler's tactics, immediately preceding a discussion of Cheney's performance in office not be open to the same kind of interpretive discussion, even if there was no direct statement that Cheney acted like a Nazi? (Let me be clear that I intend no connection other than to offer it as an illustration only.) That would be another ear of the beholder thing wouldn't it?
  16. May 5, 2009 #15
    So he is guilty of not communicating cleary to a civilian like yourself?
  17. May 5, 2009 #16


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    And as a result of his lack of clarity he gave propaganda material to those that are taking the lives of those he is nominally there to be serving.
  18. May 5, 2009 #17
    Unless his church reads in these languages, someone was expecting them to be passed out 'off base'.

    nudge nudge wink wink. Simple accounting problem then. Where are they?
  19. May 5, 2009 #18
    He probably was interested in conversion. I don't doubt that. And he may well have had plans to do just that. Presenting the bibles as gifts would have been his attempt to circumnavigate regulations.

    He's not responsible for what ends up in the ear of the beholder as it comes off in a few seconds of some clip a reporter posts. It is inappropriate to pass any judgment on him, as far as the allegation goes, without examination of the entire conversations and sermon.

    The Hitler example does not work very well here since we're dealing with a highly edited report.
  20. May 5, 2009 #19
    He clearly stated an intent to hand them out off base to the people of Afghanistan. He also is seen in the video pointing out the regulation, verifying that his company understands it. His position, then, is that this is okay (not in violation of regulations) as long as they're not preaching the Word or discussing it. Apparently, he hopes they will become interested in the Bible and come to him.

    I think he's walking on broken glass.
  21. May 5, 2009 #20
    Even a Lt Colonel is in this. Looks like the pentagon must been aware of this for some time. They don't want to discharge these military men because of troop shortages.

    Also, given the extreme islam in the region, talking muslims out of religion is pointless. Perhaps they are trying to introduce a more tolerable religion than islam to ease the tensions in the region. It's part of a psychological warfare.
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