Third Rate Christian Right Legal Group Sees $ Signs

With the entirely fictitious claim that the Pentagon is going to court-martial soldiers merely for sharing their faith becoming a mantra on the right, the Liberty Institute, a third tier religious right legal group at best, is seizing on this as a way to get attention and raise funds. And the Worldnutdaily is helping with the PR campaign, which is filled with lies.

The Pentagon’s recent vow to punish Christian evangelism among military members, along with an activist’s assertion that such behavior is treasonous, has prompted a legal team to offer to defend any member of the armed services persecuted for expressions of faith.

The Liberty Institute has announced the launch of its Armed Forces Religious Liberty hotline – (972) 941-4543 – along with a petition to support Christian members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

“The Pentagon released an appalling official statement that I didn’t believe at first, but unfortunately it’s true,” said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the organization. “They are about to implement a new policy under which any members of the military ‘caught’ talking about their Christian faith will be subject to court martial or imprisonment!”

Shackelford said his group is establishing the emergency hotline “to protect our armed forces members, who can call and get free legal representation when they are persecuted for their Christian faith.”

All of this is a lie, of course. The Pentagon did not “vow to punish Christian evangelism” at all. But Shackleford, whose previous moment in the sun was defending John Freshwater, knows that this is the kind of thing that gets the dollars rolling in.

19 comments on this post.
  1. Chiroptera:

    … a third tier religious right legal group at best….

    Aren’t they all third tier at best?

  2. Anthony K:

    Shackelford said his group is establishing the emergency hotline “to protect our armed forces members, who can call and get free legal representation when they are persecuted for their Christian faith.”

    Jesus: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
    Christians: “Fuck that noise. Gimme a lawyer! Er…see you in heaven, Jaycee!”

  3. tubi:

    Of course it’s a Texas area code. And speaking of, couldn’t these ratbags at least provide a toll-free number? Surely they are aware of how little service personnel are paid?

  4. Geds:

    Anthony K@2: Jesus: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
    Christians: “Fuck that noise. Gimme a lawyer! Er…see you in heaven, Jaycee!”

    You forgot the bit about “blessed are the peacemakers…”

  5. Modusoperandi:

    Geds, He was talking about the Second Amendment. Now who says the Constitution isn’t based on the Bible, hmm?

  6. John Pieret:

    whose previous moment in the sun was defending John Freshwater

    Liberty Institute was also involved in the case of the Ohio school with a “portrait” of Jesus hung up in it’s “Hall of Honor.”

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/02/12/suit-filed-over-jesus-picture-in-school/#comment-218552

    But that was more like a moment in the twilight.

  7. timpayne:

    The pentagon clarified its policy last week – soldiers are free to evangelize, but not to proselytize. How could anyone still have questions?

  8. Modusoperandi:

    timpayne “How could anyone still have questions?”
    Um, gee, I don’t know…because Barack Hussein Obama’s Pentagon is going to throw Christian soldiers in jail!

  9. Synfandel:

    …soldiers are free to evangelize, but not to proselytize.

    Does the pentagon not own a dictionary?

  10. leni:

    Aren’t they all third tier at best?

    Wait… how many tiers are there?

  11. Anthony K:

    Wait… how many tiers are there?

    Oh, lots. Upper, lower, Lido, poop…

    That’s the one. That last one.

  12. stever:

    It actually makes sense if you remember that “sharing our Faith” is christofacist-speak for obnoxiously aggressive proselytizing. Even if the regulation is enforced, I doubt that we’ll see any courts martial unless there is an unbelievably blatant violation, such as a unit commander ordering his men to convert to his edition of his sect of the Cult of the Cross.

  13. Nomad:

    I’m going to uncharacteristically kinda sorta defend the Christians again. Referring back to The Slacktivist, my source of insight into the Evangelical world, he would say that the proper way to evangelize is to treat it as “hospitality’, to offer to share with people who would like to hear it.

    Believe it or not that does exist. I’ve encountered it. Once. I was talking about the future with an acquaintance who mentioned his special relationship with Jesus, that it was working out well for him, and asked if I’d considered following the same path. He was a nice enough guy, so I tried very nicely to say no, and he accepted it and let it drop. Entirely. He was just a guy who had found a thing that worked out for him, and he wanted to offer to share it with me.

    I have no doubt that many Evangelicals (others too, but their name provides a hint that it’s a big deal to them) do not take this approach. They’ll be a problem. They’ve been taught to be aggressive and pushy, that making converts is their duty. There’s this whole bullshit about being taught that “the gospel offends”, so for them to do their job they should expect people to be offended and to react poorly. In other words, if you’re not offending people you’re doing it wrong. That’s not a joke, they really are told that.

    Before new recruits are kept from doing it it would probably be necessary to stop the higher ups from forcing their subordinates to convert, at the moment the rule seems to be closing the tomb after Jesus has already been resurrected. It’s so bad that even subordinates who are not the right flavor of Christianity, or not maniacal enough in their obsessive devotion to the sky daddy, are getting harassment.

    I mean, I suppose you could call “being forced to clean the barracks and having them dirtied again once you’re done just to give you more work to do if you choose not to attend supposedly optional religious services” proselytizing, but somehow I get the feeling that the rules won’t be enforced on those vicious bullies.

  14. neike:

    OT

    Guatemala’s Rios Montt found guilty of genocide.

    A court in Guatemala has found former military leader Efrain Rios Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

    A three-judge tribunal sentenced the 86-year-old to 80 years in prison.

    Rios Montt was convicted of ordering the deaths of 1,771 people of the Ixil Maya ethnic group during his time in office in 1982 and 1983.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22490408

  15. jnorris:

    With the Evangelicals it is always about raising money, only about raising money, period.

  16. kantalope:

    Nomad – slaltavist’s approach might be in the real world but the military is different. The military is all about power relationships and almost none of them are equal.

    If a commanding officer makes a request: I’d really like a glass of water. That is an order to get him a glass of water. Thus – “I’d like to tell you about my relationship with jesus” is really – “You have to stand there and listen to the sermon.”

    Even if the relationship is just a little closer – your squad leader…heck, even your fireteam leader (that would be a guy of equal rank or one step higher and only in charge of three people) has arbitrary power over you. If she decides that you are not onboard with something (like taking jesus seriously) you can find yourself filling sandbags all weekend.

    And you can’t just walk away. That would be disrespectful.

  17. kantalope:

    might be in the real world

    should be

    might be ok in the real world

  18. democommie:

    I don’t think that the Liepretty Institute has really thought this thing through.

    “Hi. Hey,I was ONLY talking to my battalion about what a swell relationship I had with JESUS. Anybody who wanted to could get up and leave and walk from our firebase perimeter back to HQ.”.

    Re: Ed’s item about EVERY phone conversation being recorded. Writing or saying stupid shit might come back to bite you in the ass from time to time.

  19. thumper1990:

    I am beginning to suspect that including the word “Liberty” in the name of any US institution is akin to including the word “Democratic” in the name of a country.

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