Thursday, September 8, 2011

US Air Force Nuke Launchers' Training Included Christian Ethics Class

Conservative Christians are howling because the United States Air Force dropped an ethics class ("Just War Theory") that included material from the Bible. And as usual, these complainers are trying to gloss over the real facts. Texas Senator John Cornyn wrote in a letter to the Air Force:
“Suspending a course like this because of references to religious texts misrepresents the First Amendment. Although our Founding Fathers rightly included language in the Constitution that precludes the federal government from establishing an official religion, this language does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references."
Religious references? Wait a second, Senator. This class was taught by Christian clergy for the last twenty years! And it used text from the Old and New Testaments. You call that "exposure to religious references"? I call it forcing Christianity on our Air Force personnel at government expense.

When it comes to having your finger on "the button" to launch nuclear weapons, it does seem like an ethics class or two would be nice. Blowing up the world is a big step and shouldn't be undertaken lightly.

I'm sure there have been many great Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, humanist and atheist thinkers during the last few thousand years who could supplement the Christian Bible. By limiting this government-supported ethics class to only Christian theology, the Air Force violated the Constitution and the rights of its officers who had to take the class.

Senator Cornyn is using a typical evangelical Christian trick: get the government into the business of teaching or funding Christian teaching, then pretend they're not. David French of the American Center for Law and Justice (the evangelical right's legal attack dog) claimed it's just "another attempt to cleanse American history of its religious realities ... It’s about cleansing religion from the public square and building a completely secular society and military."

No, Mr. French. It's about teaching Christianity using my tax dollars. Happily, Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, along with thirty one Air Force officers who had the courage to join his lawsuit as plaintiffs, have put it right.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.