How You Pay For Military Proselytizing

Regardless of what your personal religious beliefs are, you are paying to have some of our soldiers preached to against their will, forced to attend religious concerts and events, and punished for exercising their Constitutional and Military rights to refuse to participate. The events are called “The Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert Series”, and they are the scheme of Maj Gen James E. Chambers. Soldiers in Fort Eustis and Fort Lee, in Virginia, are being marched to religious concerts, in formation, and only given a chance to back out of attending once they arrive at the venue. If they choose to opt out, they are ordered to march back to the barracks and report for maintenance duties. If they are caught doing anything other than maintenance (while their fellow soldiers are enjoying a concert), they face punishment. And though the idea is not to promote any one religion but “to have a mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds”, the bands that headline these events have all been Christian rock bands. Not only do they play their evangelical music, they also give their Christian testimony and read from the Bible.

And you are paying for this. They aren’t inexpensive local bands, either. They are often the top Christian bands in the nation, and they get paid anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000. (The warm-up acts can run about $10,000 each.) That’s your tax money being used to proselytize to our soldiers against their will. When I went through Air Force Basic Training (Jan 1983), our first Sunday there we were required to attend church services as a unit. After that, those of us who wished to not attend religious services were allowed to stay at the barracks. But we were free to read or play cards or anything else until the rest of the unit returned. We were not expected to work when our fellow airmen were not.

Simply put, this is wrong. No member of our military, especially our military (the one that defends a secular nation) should be forced to participate in religious events, nor punished for refusing to do so. Yet that is what is happening right now in Virginia. And it must be stopped.

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9 thoughts on “How You Pay For Military Proselytizing

  1. I agree this practice must be stopped (or altered). How do you suggest this is done? The military is not known for listening to the concerns of civilians.

    I doubt many of the members of Congress would be interested in stopping this. Perhaps the ACLU could do something, but it would take a member of the military who’s rights have been infringed to get them involved. (Wouldn’t it? I’ve never had any direct contact with the ACLU, so I don’t know how that works).

    I do hope a way can be found to stop our military from becoming a religious military. This planet does not need, yet another, Army of God on it. (We have plenty, thanks.)

  2. Thanks for this posting. It is very wrong to use taxpayers money to promote a religion. This is one place that spending can be cut to help reduce the deficit.

  3. All that is needed is an order from the CIC. I would hope that he issues same. If nothing happens in the next few days a note to the White House might be appropriate!

  4. When I was in the service during boot and school various spiritual services were made available. We were told if you want to go see a chaplain (of whatever denomination you wished) no one could deny you. The ship I was on was too small to even have a chaplain so we were on our own. There were some sailors who would hold prayer meetings and the Captain was fine with that.

    There is no place in our military for any sort of active participation on a command level for any sort of religious activity beyond allowing services and chaplains. If this holy roller jackass doesn’t get his stars handed to him on a platter, the military has changed in ways I don’t want to see.

  5. Walt,

    Hopefully the publicity (if we can get more sites to post about it or, better yet, starting getting folks from the TV machine to talk about it), then we might see some action soon. But this has been going on for some time now.

  6. WAS,

    This issue has just surfaced. I’d give the CIC a few days to issue an order. His primary problem is that the extremist could label him as non-Christian if he is not careful in how he words the order. This is in spite of the fact that Baptists are a minority in the military.

    Oops – that creates a dilemma, we must respect the rights of minorities./snark

  7. The President shouldn’t have to get involved in this. This is an Army issue and I am sure this general answers to at least to more before it hits the top echelon.

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