Apr 07 2013

Hell Hath Frozen Over — MRFF Agrees with Ron Crews?

I think it goes without saying that there is very little that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty (CARL) — an anti-gay, fundamentalist Christian organization whose primary purpose seems to be fighting the nonexistent threat of military chaplains being forced to perform same sex marriage ceremonies — would ever agree on. But, when it comes to an issue that came up last week, MRFF is in full agreement with Ron Crews, the executive director of CARL.

As reported by numerous outlets, from FOX News to the Army Times, an Equal Employment Opportunity briefing at the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Pennsylvania included a slide on “Religious Extremism” that listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism in a list of extremist groups.




According to Ron Crews, “It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization.” MRFF agrees 100%.

The Catholic Church’s military archdiocese also issued a statement, saying, “The archdiocese calls upon the Department of Defense to review these materials and to ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.” Again, MRFF agrees 100%.

An Army spokesman responded in the typical ‘we don’t know how this happened’ fashion that MRFF is quite familiar with, saying, “The slide was not produced by the Army, and certainly does not reflect our policy or doctrine. It was produced by an individual without anyone in the chain of command’s knowledge or permission.”

But, while Crews and the Catholic archdiocese were clearly outraged that Evangelical Christians and Catholics were in this list, not a word was said about another “wrongheaded characterization” on the slide – the inclusion of Sunni Muslims (about 85% of all Muslims) in the same list.

I’m sure this was just an oversight on their part, and that Crews finds it just as “dishonorable” for a “U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization” of Muslims, and that the Catholic archdiocese means to include anti-Muslim material in their call upon the Department of Defense to make sure that “taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.”


UPDATE: It seems that Ron Crews omitted the verbiage that went along with the slide. (h/t thenewcivilrightsmovement.com)




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  1. 1

    It’s pretty weird. I can easily see an fundie Christian including Catholics among the extremists, but he wouldn’t have included evangelical Christians too. Combining broad sects with very specific subgroups like that wasn’t a good idea. It should say “Dominionism”. That would have been more accurate.

  2. 2

    I’m sorry but the verbiage gives a very fair representation of catholicism – “their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only ‘right way’ and that all others are practicing their faiths the ‘wrong way’, seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.” That is exactly what catholicism teaches and what good catholics believe.

  3. 3
    Jeffrey Stuart Nelson

    In truth, I’m not at all sure that you actually agree “100%” with either Ron Crews and the Evangelicals or with the Roman Catholics who are protesting their inclusion in that abhorrent informational/educational slide on Religious Extremism…

    People can say “the same thing” and yet when you scratch the surface, actually mean entirely different things by the very same words… You have to dig deeper and test the truth of what they say…put them through the hoops as it were in order to find out what the actual significance of their words are by questioning what actions they think need to be taken to fix the problem. And even then you can’t be sure and you need to watch how they behave in the future to see what they really meant: “By their fruits ye shall know them…”

    Perhaps you simply meant this rhetorically…Ironically you know and are aware of the real, deep problem with the Evangelical/Fundamentalists and the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy…but you act as if their comments are in good faith and are operating at a different level, in an egalitarian religious/non-religious arena, in order to promote such freedom of conscience.

    Good Luck!! All the best… But please don’t be gullible… Already you have had to update and explain that Ron Crews “lied” by omission… That contextual lie is a part of what he said… Do you still agree 100% with him?

    Bottom line… The real test of the good-faith of both the Evangelicals and the Roman Catholics is if just their names are removed from this list, would they still protest… As a matter of fact, it is also a test for you and your good-faith as well… Were you protesting this before Ron Crews and the RCC brought it to your attention? I suspect so…or that it would be so if you’d become aware of the materials… It would have been different, for you wouldn’t have omitted the contextual explanation as Ron Crews did, but you would have cautioned against the construction of such materials that allow for out-of-context misconstrual… No?

    Thanks for your good work!

  4. 4
    James Scaminaci

    Rodda, You might be interested to know that in the course of my research I came across the exact same slide. It was originally produced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

    You can find the entire report from which the slide came at:

    U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance and State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT), Terrorism Training for Law Enforcement: Terrorism Indicators, no date, accessed February 12, 2014, Public Intelligence, http://info.publicintelligence.net/SLATT-TerrorismTraining/terrorismindicators.pdf.

    This guy Michael Snyder, a creationist, caused quite a ruckus about it:

    Michael Snyder, “Patriots And Christians Have Been Repeatedly Labelled As Potential Terrorists Since Obama Became President,” The Truth Wins, October 4, 2012, at http://thetruthwins.com/archives/patriots-and-christians-have-been-repeatedly-labeled-as-potential-terrorists-since-obama-became-president.

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