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JOHN DOUGLAS: Too much political correctness in military

Former State Sen. John Douglas of Newton County.

Former State Sen. John Douglas of Newton County.

There can be no doubt that all of us are very proud of the young men and women who wear the uniforms of our country. As I write this on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we are reminded of the huge sacrifices these Americans have made on our behalf for 235 years. Our freedom and liberty are a direct result of their labor of love for this country.

I wish I could say the same for the uniformed men and women at the highest levels of the military and their civilian masters. Working out of public view, some of those individuals are making a deliberate and concerted effort to remove all traces of Christianity from the American military. Their work includes direct assaults and other more subtle work to undermine traditions that go back 236 years. It is yet another example of the extreme political correctness that riddles our military.

While there have been a number of examples of anti-Christian bias, let's examine the recent record. In November, the US Air Force Academy ended its participation in Operation Christmas Child because religious messages were placed in the boxes of toys sent to children around the world. The charity is sponsored by the Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Dr. Billy Graham, and sends out 110,000 boxes every year to children who might not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas. An atheist front group, The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, complained to Air Force leaders. The group has a record of frequent complaints that often achieve their goal of Christian cleansing the military. The Air Force quickly caved in to their demands. A smug Mickey Weinstein, the atheist group leader, said, "We got this one fixed."

Not to be outdone, the academy recently spent $80,000 to construct a so called "Pagan Chapel" on academy grounds. The structure is a circle of rocks with a propane fire pit in the center where the only three known Pagan cadets can worship earthly objects like trees and rocks. When it was discovered that there are no self-admitted witches enrolled or employed at the academy, two were brought in to lead the first service, one a civilian and the other an Air Force reservist. According to officials at the academy, the "chapel" can be used by "pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches and followers of Native American faiths." Both the military and naval academies have made inquires about the facility, and Weinstein has not complained.

While the Air Force seems intent on establishing an anti-Christian reputation, (AF chaplains have been directed not to pray "in the name of Jesus" outside chapel services), other services are not far behind. In a shocking directive, the Navy recently banned Bibles and religious materials from its premier hospital, the newly merged Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital. On Sept. 14, hospital Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan issued guidelines for "wounded, ill, and injured partners in care." It said, "No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit." In other words, no family could read Bible verses over a grievously wounded son or daughter.

The outcry was swift and loud. Congressmen demanded an explanation as did patients and family members. The misguided policy was soon revoked but still begs the question of how such a thing could have happened? Clearly the anti-Christian atmosphere that permeates the senior levels of the military led the hospital director to believe he was making a good decision. Only the vigilance of the public made a difference and got rid of a terrible policy.

Of course the case of Army Major Nidal Hassan comes to mind. A radical Muslim, Hassan made such outrageous, inflammatory Islamic statements in class presentations and in front of his peers that they often complained to senior officers. Had he been making similar statements as a Christian, he would have been quickly muzzled. But he is not Christian so their complaints fell on deaf ears and he eventually murdered 13 fellow soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood, Texas.

Remember that not a single objection has been heard from the senior officers concerning the open homosexuality now permitted in uniform. The top brass seems to believe Christianity is a greater threat to the stability and good order of the military than the disgusting moral decay imposed by the Congress and White House.

President Obama, himself a secular humanist, has not shown the slightest interest in protecting Christians either in our own military or anywhere else in the world. Once again we see the true meaning of calls for tolerance heard so often from the left: There is no tolerance for Christianity, but believers must tolerate anything non-Christians demand. The civilian and uniformed military leadership in this country should not be proud of what they have created.

Former Senator John Douglas was Chairman of the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee of the Georgia Senate for six years. He is a retired Army officer who lives in Newton County and can be reached at jfdouglas@aol.com.

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