Religion & Philosophy

When “God and country” becomes “God is country…”

The inspector general of the Department of Defense has released a report that finds high ranking Pentagon officers in violation of long standing military regulations for their participation in a recruiting and marketing video by the fundamentalist group Christian Embassy while in uniform and on active duty. offers thorough coverage of the report and its implications as well as the chance to view the controversial video in which the participants appear. The inspector general’s complete report is available here.

The report is clear – these persons, including four generals, a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, were in direct violation of specific army regulations preventing military officers from participating in the work of a “non-Federal entity” while in uniform and on duty.

So what’s the penalty for this kind of violation?

Depends on who’s doing the violating, apparently:

Over the past few years, the military has set its sights on prosecuting Iraq war veterans (such as Cpl. Adam Kokesh and Sgt. Liam Madden, USMC) who have completed active duty, soured on the war and participated in antiwar protests while wearing their uniforms. –

One would expect that no matter what the reason for the violation that the military would prosecute violators of its code equally fairly and vigorously:

However, it appears unlikely the military will apply the same standard to the Air Force and Army officers who the inspector general said violated the same code of conduct Kokesh and Madden were found to have broken, according to the disciplinary recommendations of the report. –

The question, of course, is why would there be a difference in the standard applied to prosecution of the violation? Could it be the rank of those charged? That seems unlikely despite the traditional notion that RHIP (rank hath its privileges) – or logical given the need for military personnel to believe that every member is equally treated under regulations. So why a differing standard?

Well, let’s look at the reasons for the violations.

Kokesh and Madden, those two Marines were participating in anti-war protests, were photographed taking part in an anti-war march after having completed active duty. Generals Jack Catton, Bob Caslen, Vincent Brooks, and Peter Sutton were proselytizing for Christian Embassy and were photographed while working at The Pentagon.

In the case of the two Marines who protested against the war, the prosecution was swift and brutal:

Recently, the US Marine Corps prosecuted Cpl. Adam Kokesh and Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, both of whom were photographed marching in an antiwar protest while wearing their uniforms in what the Marine Corps says was a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Military prosecutors vigorously sought to have both men dishonorably discharged. –

In the case of the Pentagon officers who spoke out for Christian Embassy, the inspector general’s report is rather gentler. It recommends only:

That the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Army consider appropriate corrective action (emphasis mine) with respect to the military officers concerned. – Inspector General’s report

It seems highly unlikely that these officers will face the prospect of dishonorable discharge for supporting the Jesus agenda of The Decider. That kind of danger will continue to be reserved for military personnel courageous enough to oppose the Iraq debacle….

5 replies »

  1. Kinda makes you wonder why Dominionist-friendly outfits like Blackwater are even bothering with their own private armies, when they’ve got a perfectly good assembly of Christian soldiers ready to go.

    Ugh. Thanks for posting this, Jim.

  2. Martin,

    You know I thought about this all weekend – including your point about the “conversion of the troops” into Christian soldiers – in light of a couple of articles I read about the fascist plot of 1934 that involved Prescott Bush, among others. What I concluded was that the family had decided that where old Prescott failed was in his reliance on a private army – Roosevelt was able to use regular military to break up the plot. So this time the plan is to have both the private army AND the regular military on their side. And with God for them, who could stand against them? (Shivers)

  3. This is terrifying! Why don’t more American Christians have discernment about this kind of thing? True dominionists are few and far between in this country, but it seems like too many people are uncritically friendly to this kind of religious nationalism.

  4. I thought this shit had stopped after the investigation at the Air
    Force Academy! But, what do you expect from people when their
    boss vetos a stem-cell research bill because Pat Robertson told
    him that he would go to hell if he signed it into law.
    I have some bad news for George W! You will burn in hell for every
    dead Iraqi (Including Saddam Hussein) and for every dead GI
    who died in this insane damned war.
    GOD is watching……….