Christians targeted in the United States & Australian militaries

If you were asked to think of a nation with a politicised military that cracked down on soldiers who dared to support (even privately) political movements that its generals opposed, you’d probably think of somewhere exotic, draconian and totalitarian, like Iran, Russia or Venezuela.

If you were asked to think about a military that was cleansing practising Christians from its ranks while protecting groups that support Sharia Law, you’d probably think about the Egyptian Army, or maybe Malaysia’s. Perhaps even the Afghan Army.

And if you were asked to think about a military force that actively engaged in political activity to change the democratically established laws of the land, you’d probably think that military was stepping outside its boundaries.

You’d probably assume that such a thing wouldn’t, couldn’t and shouldn’t happen in a Western country. Like Australia. Or the United States. And you’d be wrong.

That’s because the United States military has for some time been headed down the murky path of removing Christianity from its ranks. And silencing those who dare support the anti-Obama side of politics.

By silencing, I mean disciplining soldiers because of what they read.

And in Australia it’s not much different. Our generals support political movements that want to change extant laws regarding marriage. They also support gay officers who engage in political activity targeting the rights of Christian organisations.

Let’s start with America, the land of freedom.

In 2012, a training briefing was given to US reservists that stated Catholics were extremists. Just like al Qaeda and the Ku Klux Klan. If you don’t believe me, the slide is pictured below:

Catholic slide

Now, apparently, this slide was a mistake and was then removed. But you have to ask yourself, why would any officer produce training material like this in the first place if they didn’t believe it?

And then it was followed by an email, in which US military personnel were told to be on the lookout for soldiers who are ‘anti-gay’ and ‘anti-Muslim’. By anti-gay and anti-Muslim, the email means soldiers who do not support gay demands, like gay marriage, or soldiers who question Islam and Sharia Law. Apparently, such soldiers are equivalent to skin-head neo Nazis and other racist groups.

Interestingly, this email about ‘threats’ to US Army values didn’t mention any Islamic groups that call for Sharia Law or that support weapon-wielding jihadists with a history of murdering US soldiers.

And it seems that the Chief of the Australian Army might well have been reading from the script of this email. It, too, talks about the standard you walk past being the standard you accept. A nice cliché for a bad outcome.

This was followed by an uproar in US media about whether Christian soldiers would face court-martial for evangelising. No-one defined what ‘evangelising’ is but after much confusion, the Pentagon decided Christians could ‘evangelise’ but not ‘proselytise’.

I’ll let you work out the difference yourself and I’ll come back to that word ‘proselytise’ later.

While this was unfolding, it emerged that the US military had been meeting with a bloke called Mikey Weinstein to develop its policy about Christianity in the military.

Mikey Weinstein has written that:

“Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”

And Mikey wants Christians to be court-martialled if they talk about their faith:

“Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior.”

And now a US Army Master Sergeant has been disciplined for having the wrong bumper stickers on his car. By that, you should read anti-Obama bumper stickers. His other crimes include serving fast food at a private party sourced from a chain that is headed by a bloke who opposes gay marriage. And for reading books written by conservative political figures.

So, it seems the US military is not really doing a very good job of protecting religious freedom for Christians who don’t support gay marriage.

But neither is Australia’s.

Firstly, I’ll start with what the Australian Defence Force protects.

It protects Squadron Leader Vince Chong and Lieutenant Colonel Cate (Malcolm) McGregor. I’ve written about Vince’s political activities to remove rights from Christian organisations before and Malcolm’s attack on Catholicism as well.

The ADF also protects Lieutenant Colonel Paul Morgan. He is allowed to link his military service and rank to an Australian political party. He is also allowed to go on national television, in uniform, and criticise defence policy. And he is allowed to march, in uniform, at political rallies that aim to change Australian laws on marriage.

LTCOL Morgan

 

In contrast, I have been forbidden from conducting private political activity. By the Deputy Chief of Army, Major General Angus Campbell, no less. And because I ignored his illegal order, the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, is taking action to terminate my commission.

Now I’ll come back to that word proselytisation.

The Australian Army have formally warned me that I am verging on proselytisation.

I fail to see how standing up for my rights is proselytisation. I do not expect ADF members to become Catholics. Most of my close mates in the military are not and I do not waste my time, or theirs, trying to change that.

But what this situation shows is that the ADF no longer respects soldiers who practise Christianity and it is engaged in domestic politics with an aim to change the laws of this land. The Australian Defence Force is as pro-gay marriage as the Greens.

It is not the role of the ADF to support the Greens, but the Chief of the Defence Force doesn’t need me to tell him that.

The proof is in the ADF’s approach to the political activity of its members. Truth be told, there is not much difference between the political activity that Vince, Paul and I conduct, except:

  • I have not been conducting activity in uniform, while they have, and
  • I have opposed their radical political platform that aims to remove my freedom to practise my faith.

By the way, if you are interested (and I hope the Chief of Army is because he’s given every indication that he has his minions copy, record and monitor everything I put on this site) the actual policy of the ADF states this:

  • members are entitled to conduct political activity (out of uniform), and
  • members are encouraged to practise their religious beliefs.

So, I’ll let you work out who is breaking ADF law regarding political activity and who is seeking to prevent ADF members from practising their religious beliefs.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of seven children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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