Saturday, January 15, 2011

smokescreen for evangelical xtianity?

NPR | "There's nothing about this assessment that indicates that you are fit or not fit to be a soldier," says Cornum. She says the training module only offers ideas for developing one's spiritual side. It is not mandatory and has no effect on one's career.

"There's no pass-fail, nothing happens. No one sees it but the guy who takes it," she says.

To which Mikey Weinstein replies: "Tell it to the judge."

Weinstein, a former Air Force lawyer who founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says it's ridiculous to tell a soldier that a suggestion to buff up his or her spiritual muscles is voluntary. He believes the term "spirituality" is a smoke screen for religion — particularly evangelical Christianity.

As evidence, he cites the part of the spirituality training module that describes the meaning behind the flag-folding ceremony. For Christians, the narrator says, the 12th fold "represents an emblem of eternity, and glorifies in their eyes, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost."

Weinstein says the Army is promoting religion and creating a religious test for its soldiers, which is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. He says he has 220 Army clients — some atheist, but the vast majority Christian — who are willing to sue to eliminate the spiritual fitness assessment.

"This is not a hard decision to make," he says. "This is a 1-inch putt if you're playing golf. This is clearly, blatantly unconstitutional — and it has to stop."