Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Hunt people for Jesus"

Mimi writes:

It seems the evangelicals enjoy fertile proselytizing ground in the U.S. Army, according to an article by Jeremy Scahill in Common Dreams. Org:
"New video evidence has surfaced showing that US military forces in Afghanistan have been instructed by the military's top chaplain in the country to "hunt people for Jesus" as they spread Christianity to the overwhelmingly Muslim population. Soldiers also have imported bibles translated into Pashto and Dari, the two dominant languages of Afghanistan."
I remember when "separation of church and state" was a basic American tenet. Now it's "torture and kill for Jesus."

I couldn't find the Common Dreams link, but I found this at the Huffy Post, also via Scahill:

Trying to convert Muslims to any other faith is a crime in Afghanistan. The fact that the video footage is being broadcast on Al Jazeera guarantees that it will be seen throughout the Muslim world. It is likely to add more credence to the perception that the US is engaging in a war on Islam with neo-crusader forces invading Muslim lands.


The video footage was shot about a year ago by documentary filmmaker Brian Hughes, who is also a former US soldier. "[US soldiers] weren't talking about learning how to speak Dari or Pashto, by reading the Bible and using that as the tool for language lessons," Hughes told Al Jazeera. "The only reason they would have these documents there was to distribute them to the Afghan people. And I knew it was wrong, and I knew that filming it ... documenting it would be important."
The broadcast of this video comes just days after a new poll of White Americans found that, in the US, church going Christians are more likely to support the use of torture than other segments of the population. The Pew Research Center poll found: "White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did."

I'm reminded of this video I came across recently, regarding proselytizing efforts in India. I know nothing about the context of this video, nor how representative it may or may not be of what's going on at a larger scale(the still image, though intriguing, is not representative either):

cross-posted at Hugo Zoom.

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At May 08, 2009 5:13 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

It seems pretty clear that religious fundamentalists--and maybe others not so fundamental--regard our aggression in the middle east as a holy war. A year or so ago, a video circulated on the Internet that juxtapostioned images of soldiers, tanks, and other military entities with religious symbols, while "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" played in the background. If I'm not misremembering, it ended with a picture of Jesus supermposed on an American flag.

At May 08, 2009 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

most likely this has two purposes.

1) uniting people behind a Sky God to do the slaughtering of infidels is a good way to get troops to not question their mission

2) there's a stark difference between the Qur'an and the Bible on moneylending. Judeo-Christian churches and temples suggest that moneylending is fine and interest can be usurious, J-C God is okay with that, apparently. Allah says interest is an abomination. therefore robber baron capitalism is not approved in Muslim nations. and this, of course, is why Islamic radicals hate the Western culture's spread to their world.

the thing that gets me riled up is the idea that this is about Christians taking over the fed govt. it's not about that. it's about using Christianity as a uniting subterfuge, to gull and delude people, to unite them behind a false commonality. it's a vehicle. this isn't about true believers of the most sincere sort.

the use of Christianity here is as callous and false as Dubya Bush's claim to be a Christian. anyone who's studied the New Testament from an objective view will tell you -- Jesus of Nazareth would not have approved of what the USA is doing in Iraq. He would NOT have approved.

but he's not around these days to rebuke the US Govt's various Pharisees, ya know?

-micah pyre

At May 09, 2009 12:30 PM, Anonymous micah holmquist said...

I think we should give the U.S. military the benefit of the doubt here.

They know that they are clearing Afghanistan of all the Afghans and they do not want these people to burn in hell for eternity.


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