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Wicker Jumps on False Claims About Pentagon

The religious right is still freaking out about an entirely fictional claim about the Pentagon supposedly getting ready to court martial Christians for talking to their fellow soldiers about Christianity. Sen. Roger Wicker says he’s going to get to the bottom of this:

Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) is a retired Air Force JAG officer and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He tells American Family News that he intends to get some answers.

“I’m asking for them to define what they view as proper, acceptable evangelizing and how that differs from proselytizing,” he says. “So we’ll get an answer to that.”

According to the GOP lawmaker, this is not an isolated incident but what he sees as a pattern of anti-Christian sentiment that comes from the top. He remembers listening to the president during a visit to the White House one Christmas.

“He just couldn’t say the word ‘Christmas’ – the word just didn’t come out of his mouth. He finally mumbled out about ‘the holiday,’” shares Wicker. “So he has a lot of difficulty in feeling comfortable with the religious heritage of this country.”

Wicker would need a promotion to get to be a moron. And this is standard demagoguery for him. When he was in the House of Representatives, he weighed in on a lawsuit filed in his home state of Mississippi over a public school teaching kids to believe the Bible is true. This is what he said:

“Now I want to say this to the plaintiffs in this lawsuit: You could not have inflicted a deeper wound upon the souls, upon the very core of this community, than to do what you’ve done.”

So yeah, he’s got zero credibility. He’s a pure demagogue.

Comments

  1. Synfandel says

    evangelize: transitive verb. to teach the gospel to. to convert to Christianity.

    proselytize: intransitive verb. to induce someone to convert to one’s faith.

    Neither of these sounds like merely “talking to their fellow soldiers about Christianity”.

  2. MarcusC says

    Maybe it is confirmation bias, but liberals seem to be accepting that some folks in power in various places,even their own liberal cohorts, are idiots. My conservative and christian friends instead take the view that all liberals are idiots no matter what and all conservatives never make a mistake, mislead, or manipulate. It is that unquestioning view that lets grade A idiots like this get where they are.

  3. unbound says

    And when I try to get the attention of my senator or representative about real issues, I can only get a generic e-mail in response….

  4. kantalope says

    “He just couldn’t say the word ‘Christmas’ – the word just didn’t come out of his mouth. He finally mumbled out about ‘the holiday,’” shares Wicker.”

    Right the President barely mentioned Christmas in the introduction and conclusion…then there was all this blahblahblah about troops and stuff can’t expect Wicker to pay attention for all of it
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/22/weekly-address-president-and-first-lady-extend-holiday-greeting-and-than

  5. kantalope says

    and just maybe (oh who am I kidding?) wicker meant another year:

    2012: from above link- THE PRESIDENT: Hi everybody. This weekend, as you gather with family and friends, Michelle and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays.
    2009: PRESIDENT: Hello everyone, and Merry Christmas.
    2010: THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody.
    2011: THE PRESIDENT: Hi everyone. As you gather with family and friends this weekend, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I – and of course Bo – want to wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

    So granted in 2011 Christmas was a little down the list…Wicker probably stopped listening what with those foreign sounding names.

    And what about 2008 – ha Wicker was probably at the White House and there’s no record of Obama even uttering the words Christmas or even Jesus in 2008.

  6. says

    While he’s diving in that cesspool, to get to the bottom of it, is he going to rely on the Armor of the Righteous or wear a standard HazMat suit?

  7. Christopher Denney says

    The sticking point is that there is no “proper, acceptable evangelizing” in the workplace.
    In the service you can go months without being out of the workplace, so I can comprehend why they are whining. They need to get over it.

  8. whirligig says

    But what will they do if they finally find the one guy in the United States military who hasn’t heard of Jesus? You expect them to just not tell him?

    Of course, I’d rather they didn’t. Destroying such an amazing, impossible state of blissful ignorance would be like stabbing the last leprechaun to death with the horn of the last unicorn.

  9. Nomad says

    So here’s the important point in all this. I’ve spent the past few years following the blogger who goes by the name The Slacktivist. I jokingly call him The Non Evil Evangelical, because, well, he’s an evangelical but he’s conspicuous in not supporting all their culture war bullshit.

    He occasionally gives illuminating insight into the evangelical world. The short story is, the name is a major clue into their focus. They are ALL about telling other people about their religion. To the point where they can develop a weird kind of anxiety, the feeling of pressure of being expected to constantly try to convert people. Understand the distinction, it’s not all power mad conquerors trying to make everyone into a copy of themselves, it’s also people who have been lead to feel this crushing burden of responsibility, of HAVING to do it because they’ve been taught that that’s the good thing to do.

    Look at rules against proselytization from that perspective. I understand why some would be horrified, they feel as though one of the central values of their sect has been forbidden. I’m not defending it exactly, just saying that I understand why it seems so severe to them. They’ve been taught to feel guilty if they fail to use an opportunity to try to convert someone, and now they’re facing the idea that they might be forbidden from doing it.

    The question of the difference between proselytization and evangelizing is kind of curious. I don’t really think there is one. Either way, it’s a question of degrees of aggression and offensiveness. I fear he’s trying to play word games, looking to establish a precedent of saying “nuh uh, I wasn’t proseltyzing, I was evangelizing”. I’m curious how the military will resolve that. But no matter what, I don’t imagine it’ll stop superior officers forcing their subordinates to attend religious services. The rot is too deep for a rule change to stop it.

  10. steve84 says

    @Nomad
    They’ve convinced themselves that they are doing a good thing for their targets. Because if they don’t convert them they’ll go to hell. So they can actually feel terribly bad if they don’t succeed and blame themselves for the barbequing.

    And I don’t really see the difference between proselytizing and evangelizing either.

  11. Nomad says

    Yes, exactly Steve. I’ve seen it parodied to the point where they feel responsible for spreading the good news, and the news is that you can spread the good news. That’s how much it can take over the message of Christianity in that sect.

    I want to make it clear I’m not saying they should be allowed to do this because their sect says they’re supposed to. There’s all manner of potential problems with doing this within the military, from the power structure that leaves subordinates without the ability to say no to the problem of armed soldiers trying to evangelize to civilians in occupied countries. I support very clear, very enforced boundaries, and look forward to seeing how they put this into practice.

    But I do get why some of them are freaking out about this. To some that’s as fundamental a part of their religion as the magic flesh-cracker is to Catholics.

  12. Alverant says

    @Nomad
    It’s why I stopped (pretty much) considering christianity to be a religion. Instead I see it as a marketing campaign. Evangelizing is just a form of commercial. Jesus is a mascot. Their promise of salvation is their product. To them not needing their product is like saying you don’t need soap when it’s really saying you don’t need a used ford pinto.

  13. Nomad says

    @Alverant

    I don’t think I’d go that far. It’s true that some religions seem rather less focused on recruiting new believers, but I think it’s fairly understandable human nature. The believer believes that they have something good. They believe that their religion makes their life better, and typically the lives of others as well. They want the world to be a better place, they want other people to achieve the same benefits, so they try to spread it. For Christians there’s that nasty little bit of belief where if you don’t do something (depending upon sect, it might be say the magic words, believe the right things, or go through the right ritual) you’re doomed to eternal torture. It’s not just something used to scare other people into conforming, it’s something used work on their desire to help others. I’m less familiar with, for example, Islam, I have no idea if a similar rule is at work there, but that’s part of why Christians are so interested in assimilating others.

    I don’t deny that there’s also the motivation of the quest for power and domination, but I try to remember that these people are human and don’t see themselves as the aggressor. Well, typically, the dominionists make it awfully hard to maintain that belief when they talk about conquering the world.

  14. says

    “The rot is too deep for a rule change to stop it.”

    Unless it’s rigorously enforced. Wreck a few careers; issue a few “bad conduct” or “dishonorable” discharges. Let the fuckers BE martyrs in the matter of their careers.

    That their delusion causes their compulsive behavior in no wise excuses it. End of story.

  15. Alverant says

    @Nomad
    “The believer believes that they have something good. They believe that their religion makes their life better, and typically the lives of others as well.”
    That’s why I consider it to be a marketing campaign/product. If I discovered a new brand of pasta sauce that was f-ing awesome, I’d tell my friends about it because I think they’d like it too. It’s the same thing.

    “but I try to remember that these people are human and don’t see themselves as the aggressor”
    Just because they don’t see themselves as the aggressor doesn’t mean they aren’t the aggressor. No one sees themselves as evil (unless you’re Forester from MST3K), there’s always some kind of justifcation for what they do. What they need is an education so they realize they are wrong to coerse others to join their faith.

  16. thumper1990 says

    There is no such thing as proper evangelising in the workplace. If I’m at work then I have stuff to do, and you don’t get to waste my time and yours trying to convert me. Just fuck off already. Here in the UK, I am absolutely certain that evangelising in the workplace would earn you some sort of disciplinary, if anyone complained about it.

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