Evangelical Christians, pro-life groups and members of the Tea Party are a threat to the United States, and are “tearing the country apart,” soldiers were told in a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood. Any of them caught donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under military code, the soldiers were told in a half-hour lecture on “Christian Extremism.” An investigation of the briefing is under way.
It happens that Fort Hood is the very site of a mass murder by a radical Muslim soldier. The statements making evangelicals appear to be enemies of the nation has some soldiers shocked and worried whether they can attend church, tithe and donate to Christian charities or to politicians who happen to be part of the Tea Party. Hardly a word was said about Islamic extremism say soldiers who attended the meeting.
“I felt like my religious liberties, that I risk my life and sacrifice time away from family to fight for, were being taken away…” said one soldier. “This is a slap in the face,” he said. “The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.”
Though the Fort Hood public affairs office denies the allegations, they have refused to provide detail of the content of the briefing. This is not the first time Christians have been in the Army’s crosshairs. “Last April an Army Reserve briefing classified Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as ‘religious extremism.’”
Also, recently “several dozen active duty troops at Camp Shelby in Mississippi were told the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because it advocates for traditional family values.”
The military has claimed that these were isolated incidents, but the growing list of such events reveals that they are not. Questions are being raised whether this kind of training is being directed from the Pentagon or even higher.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance, called the military’s behavior dishonorable. “Far from mere ‘isolated incidents,’ as the Army has dismissed previous occurrences, this latest incident demonstrates a pattern and practice of Army briefings identifying mainstream religions, such as Evangelical Christianity, Judaism, and Catholicism, as examples of ‘religious extremism’ similar to Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan.”
Could this process be laying the groundwork for more precise targeting of Christians, particularly those who uphold and honor the whole law of God? By making Christians in general feel vulnerable to discrimination or even persecution, will Evangelical and other Christians be quick to redirect the hostility to a smaller group who keep God’s holy Sabbath, and that can become the scapegoat instead of themselves?
“The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God. All will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will “be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pages 472 and 473