Gird yourself, brace yourself, temporarily mute your sensibilities, and read this article:
"Al Jazeera report: U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan have Pashto Bibles, told to 'hunt people for Jesus.'"
Good. Now that you have done that, peel yourself down from the ceiling and read on.
I read this article twice, after which I had to pick my jaw up from the floor (it had missed the desk top completely, on the way down), subdue my feelings of rage, indignation and horror, and remind myself I was indeed living in 2009 and not in the midst of the Crusades, lopping off the heads of infidels, in search of the Holy Grail. Jeebus Asparagus! Can this be real? Is this even remotely possible I in an "enlightened"- age? I kept hoping that Lt. Col. Hensely was a fictional character.
As is my nature, I sent the story out and about, among my circle of friends, detractors, and critics, and my email screen lit up like (pardon the expression) a friggin Christmas tree. An infuriated Buddhist reminded me that the Dali Lama has said that "Buddhism is not for everyone,"- the implication being that cramming your religion down another's throat does not work. Even worse, using religion at cross purposes with itself is both counter-intuitive and heretical (In this case, it amounts to, "Excuse me. But I want to kill you in the name of my lord and savior."-)
A Coptic Christian Arab fired back that he would tell these antagonists "Get this stuff out of my lands."
A non-Christian, non-Jew, non-Arab "plain white American"- added that he would not want this "stuff"- in his lands either. All were shocked, offended and as mortified by the gall and moral turpitude as I was.
Clearly we have a chain of idiots responsible for this bonfire: the first is the one who thought this perversion up ( lit the match), in the first place. The second is the officer who approved it (put wood on the fire). The third is the procurement officer (or officers) who authorized the materials preparation (poured on the gasoline), and the fourth is the person who outlined and presented the procedural guidelines (fanned the flames). The chaplains involved ("This is general order #1"-) and who attempted to disguise the proselytizing as "gift giving"-, should be summarily dismissed, disenfranchised, disgraced and de-frocked. These boys have got their Bible-learnin' all wrong.
The nearly unthinkable and wholly inconceivable notion that a set of widely-held religious beliefs, the accompanying morals and the humanitarian foundations that accompany them, might be wrapped around the military goals of murder, death and destruction, like a putrefied pork rind, is disgusting. I do not know what else to call it. Using the misinterpreted tenets of any form of theism as a guise for hideous behavior is simply anti-theistic.
Evangelical Christians should be stunned at the audacity of it all.
Christians of any ilk should be shamed and embarrassed.
Christian leaders, east and west, religious thinkers and theological luminaries should be roiling with anger and resentment.
Any Muslim believer or practitioner should be enraged, affronted and infuriated. (Is it any wonder that so many are willing to take up arms or strap on a bomb?)
John the Baptist, beheaded as he was, should be acting now as the [headless] horseman of the apocolypse, railing against such despicable goings-on--we could use his waterboarding skills, now.
Even practitioners of the dreaded protestant "Jesusology"- should be horrified in the manner in which their core beliefs have been maligned, misused and misrepresented.
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