I was going about my day on Facebook (like any “productive” member of society) when a link from a comedian friend of mine caught my eye. It was a story from the Huffington Post about an incident that happened in a U.S. Army post in Virginia:
U.S. Soldiers Punished for Not Attending Christian Concert
For the past several years, two U.S. Army posts in Virginia, Fort Eustis and Fort Lee, have been putting on a series of what are called Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concerts. As I’ve written in a number of other posts, “spiritual fitness” is just the military’s new term for promoting religion, particularly evangelical Christianity. And this concert series is no different.
On May 13, 2010, about eighty soldiers, stationed at Fort Eustis while attending a training course, were punished for opting out of attending one of these Christian concerts.
Naturally this got a bee in my bonnet so I reposed the story on MY Facebook page. I threw a pointless reference to the “mosque” debate in the tag and I felt quite pleased with myself. Then, one of my friends commented:
If it is a true article, it’s not right for the military to be doing that… Everyone has a right to their own religion… But I’m sure that the Huffington Post left out some key details that would shed some more light and truth on this story…
So I thought to myself, “Well let’s see if Fox even covered the story.” I did a quick search and sure enough they did.
APNewsBreak: Army probes claim that soldiers were punished for skipping a Christian concert
The Army said Friday it was investigating a claim that dozens of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian band’s concert
at a Virginia military base were banished to their barracks and told to clean them up.
Fort Eustis spokesman Rick Haverinen told The Associated Press he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the investigation. At the Pentagon, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins said the military shouldn’t impose religious views on soldiers.
The same friend commented that the Fox News story actually points out there is an investigation into the soldier’s claims where as the Huffington Post piece takes the soldiers’ claims as fact, and then just goes on to espouse the down side of these Christian concerts in general. That’s when I looked at the byline for the author of the HUffington Post piece, it was written by Chris Rodda who is the
Senior Research Director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and the author of “Liars For Jesus.” So this is less a “news article” and more an opinion piece.
So it would seem this Huffington Post piece is and example the same king of irresponsible journalism that annoys me about Fox News AND really pissed me off on Yahoo the other day.
So why did I blindly re-post it? Am I a hypocrite? Probably. But I feel like there’s been too much Christian bullying in this country lately. Form gay marriage, to the ground zero mosque, to “Barack is a Muslim,” to the constant assertion that this is a “Christian nation,” I’ve had my fill of Jesus in my government.
Look puss bags, I did not elect any of you to watch out for my spiritual health. I can handle that! I have a direct line to Jesus, and I can pray whenever I wanna. You focus on the economy, defense, education, infrastructure, etc…you’ve got WAY too many things to worry about before you start worrying about the invisible man in the sky.
So when I saw an “article” that the government was at it again, I reacted without the necessary critical thinking. For that, I apologize. Now, I realize that I’m too low on the entertainment totem pole to have my opinion account for anything…so no apology is really necessary, but my own personal integrity forces me to call myself out as a hypocrite.
Tim Babb, you’re a hypocrite…and you suck!