Tweeted by Governor Palin this afternoon:
From the article by Todd Starnes at FOX News Radio that she linked to:
Army Removes Bible Reference from Scopes
Apr 22, 2013
Two weeks ago, Todd Starnes wrote about another attack by the military on Christianity. From his article at Town Hall:
Last week, Fox News reported that an Army training instructor told a Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania that Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism were examples of religious extremism. The Army categorized that episode as an isolated incident.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance, told Fox News that the latest revelation is proof of a much larger problem within military leadership.
“We’re concerned that this is more than an isolated incident,” he said. “We’d like answers. Is there a policy in the military concerning people of faith?”
Crews said that soldiers have religious liberty – and they should not be punished for being members of respected religious groups.
“This is part of a trend that is concerning us,” he said. “Several in the military have this belief that evangelicals and people who hold to traditional values seem to be a problem and need to be monitored.”
Perkins, a Marine Corps veteran, said it’s clear that “Army Values” have indeed changed.
“And it’s the values of Evangelicals and Catholics,” Perkins said. “It’s not the values of the vast majority of those serving in our nation’s military. I think it’s the values of this administration trying to superimpose upon our military.”
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, now an executive vice president of the FRC, told Fox News that all Americans should be concerned about the contents of the email.
“If this is the action of a single Army lieutenant colonel, it needs to be investigated,” he said. “On the other hand, if what he reflects is a shifting policy or attitude of the Army or DOD, then I think it is a much bigger issue.”
Boykin served more than 36 years in the military before retiring in 2007. Since 2008 he said he’s seen withering attacks on religious liberty.
Among the incidents:
-A War Games scenario at Fort Leavenworth that identified Christian groups and Evangelical groups as being potential threats;
-A 2009 Dept. of Homeland Security memorandum that identified future threats to national security coming from Evangelicals and pro-life groups;
-A West Point study released by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center that linked pro-lifers to terrorism;
-Evangelical leader Franklin Graham was disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service because of his comments about Islam;
-Christian prayers were banned at the funeral services for veterans at Houston’s National Cemetery;
-Bibles were banned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center – a decision that was later rescinded;
-Christian crosses and a steeple were removed from a chapel in Afghanistan because the military said the icons disrespected other religions;
-Catholic chaplains were told not to read a letter to parishioners from their archbishop related to Obamacare mandates. The Secretary of the Army feared the letter could be viewed as a call for civil disobedience.
But Boykin called the newly-uncovered email the most “egregious” attack.
“That kind of rhetoric is isolating the institution of the military from a large sector of the American population,” he said. “This is an attack not only on the Christian faith, but on fundamental, traditional American values.”
Crews said the military is getting their information on domestic hate groups from the Southern Poverty Law Center. And the email written by the lieutenant colonel referenced the organization.
“This is disturbing that the military would use this list composed by the Southern Poverty Law Center when these organizations that are highly esteemed and respected in the evangelical community,” he said.
The Chaplain Alliance filed a Freedom of Information Act request – asking if the SPLC list had been widely distributed in the military or if had been used in a formal manner.
The response they got from the Dept. of Defense left Crews troubled.
“They told us they had no record of the SPLC list being used,” he said – even though the email clearly proves otherwise.
“This is part of a trend that is concerning us,” he said. “We believe it is more widespread than the military is acknowledging. We keep getting calls from military personnel telling us of their issues.”
David Jeremiah, the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, was among the first to publicly support the FRC and AFA and denounce the attack.
“For it to be coming from a left wing political group is one thing, but for it to be coming from our own government is unconscionable to me,” he told Fox News.
Shadow Mountain is an evangelical mega-church near San Diego – attended by many military families. Jeremiah said he suspects there is a significant disconnect between the Pentagon and the rank and file troops.
“There are so many good and godly people in the military who would be appalled to think that their leaders would be saying things like this,” he said. “The attempt on the part of the social engineers of our day to secularize our culture is in full swing. Everything they can do to remove God, the Bible and morality from the marketplace is being done – not subtly but overtly.
It is clear that faith and prayer have played an important role for our military, especially in time of war. The First Principles Press website writes:
In 1775, John Adams wrote Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America to create good order and discipline of a newly organized military charged with defeating the most powerful military force in the world. His first principle defined “Exemplary Conduct;” his second principle directed prayer and divine services twice a day. The US military was established upon virtue, honor and patriotism, and prayer and worship twice a day—these are the military’s First Principles, because Adams understood armed men needed a unifying moral foundation especially those trained to search and destroy and charged with defending the American way of life.
“The Studies in Social Psychology in World War II Series,” produced by the Social Science Research Council, was one of the largest social science research projects in history. Volume II, The American Soldier, Combat and Its Aftermath, Princeton University Press, (1949), reported data on the importance of prayer to officers and enlisted infantrymen. Prayer was selected most frequently as the soldier’s source of combat motivation. The motivation of prayer was selected over the next highest categories of “thinking that you couldn’t let the other men down,” and “thinking that you had to finish the job in order to get home again.” From the responses, “did not help at all,” “helped some,” and “helped a lot,” 70% of enlisted men in the Pacific Theatre (n = 4,734), and 83% in the Mediterranean theatre (n = 1,766) responded “helped a lot,” as did 60% of Infantry officers (n = 319).
The problem of suicide in the military reflects a loss of moral support to a soul not girded by the prayers and moral support that carried our soldiers, who fought without medication, through bitter battles like Normandy. First Principles Press is telling this present generation about the military’s first principles, the moral support previous generations could readily access, the availability of prayer and the brand of valor seeded long ago in the US military’s first principles of virtue and prayer. Endowed By Their Creator: A Collection of Historic American Military Prayers 1774-Present is a collection of hundreds of years of evidence for the benefit of leader-led military prayer from the War for Independence to the present conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. We ask every church in America to distribute Endowed By Their Creator to servicemen and women and their families and friends. Together, we must tell this generation to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:1-4).
America’s first and most famous general, George Washington, delivered the same message to his troops when he wrote in his Orderly Book on July 9, 1776,
The blessings and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man will endeavour to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.
Before the 2008 election, Pastor Steve Foss shared what he considered prophetic insight concerning that election, including the following.
I want to put this deep in your spirit. I am speaking as a prophet. The words I’m about to tell you are “thus saith the Lord”. If Barack Obama is elected, the attacks against free speech, against those who believe differently than he does, and the systematic use of the government and laws to silence the voice of fundamental Christians will be unlike anything ever seen in this nation before.
You can read the rest here.
Never before in America’s history have we seen attacks like this on Christianity in our military. In fact, the opposite has been true. Many will remember when President George Herbert Bush asked America to pray during Desert Storm and the resulting low number of casualties. And politics aside, who can forget FDR’s prayer on D Day after the troops had landed on Normandy Beach:
Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day without rest – until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
It is clear that the Christian faith and prayer have been part of our national discourse for most of our nation’s history. No longer can Christians afford to be silent as the government and the institutions it controls or influences take away our religious liberties one by one. It is imperative to stand up and be heard before it is too late. One important place to make our voices heard is at the ballot box. Sitting home because we despise the corruption in our government and in politics only makes the problem worse. There are candidates worthy of our vote each election, and we need to lend our support to getting them elected. And most important of all, we need to pray for our country. God bless America!