Another Installment From The WTF Desk…

25

May 19, 2009 by esarsea

 

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This from Comcast.net News:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Monday it no longer includes a Bible quote on the cover page of daily intelligence briefings it sends to the White House as was practice during the Bush administration.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he did not know how long the Worldwide Intelligence Update cover sheets quoted from the Bible. Air Force Maj. Gen. Glen Shaffer, who was responsible for including them, retired in August 2003, according to his biography.

For a period in 2003, at least, the daily reports prepared for President George W. Bush carried quotes from the books of Psalms and Ephesians and the epistles of Peter. At the time, the reports focused largely on the war in Iraq.

The Bible quotes apparently aimed to support Bush at a time when soldiers’ deaths in Iraq were on the rise, according to the June issue of GQ magazine. But they offended at least one Muslim analyst at the Pentagon and worried other employees that the passages were inappropriate.

On Thursday, April 10, 2003, for example, the report quoted the book of Psalms — “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him. … To deliver their soul from death.” — and featured pictures of the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down and celebrating crowds in Baghdad.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand,” read the cover quote two weeks earlier, on March 31, above a picture of a U.S. tank driving through the desert, according to the magazine, which obtained copies of the documents.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, on Monday said U.S. soldiers “are not Christian crusaders, and they ought not be depicted as such.”

“Depicting the Iraq conflict as some sort of holy war is completely outrageous,” Lynn said in a statement. “It’s contrary to the constitutional separation of religion and government, and it’s tremendously damaging to America’s reputation in the world.”

What’s, “Outrageous” in my opinion is not that The Pentagon has discontinued the practice of including bible verses on the cover page of daily intelligence reports for the White House, but that the change was implemented because, “…they offended at least one Muslim analyst at the Pentagon and worried other employees that the passages were inappropriate.”

Politically correct intelligence briefings. What’s next?

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25 thoughts on “Another Installment From The WTF Desk…

  1. bill says:

    Don’t like it if they removed them because a Muslim worker complained.

    But after all, we are a Christian nation, people! (Sorry, Jews! Fcuk You! And fcuk you, atheists, and fcuk you Hindus and fcuk you agnostics and fcuk you, especially Muslims, the world’s largest religious order).

    (Through tighly clenched teeth:) This…is…a…Christian…(erg, gack!,gurgle) Nation! The rest are trying to steal our precious bodily fluids!

    But seriously, they shouldn’t have been there in the first goddam place any more than the Ten Commandments should be featured conspicuously on the lawn of the City and County building to the exclusion of other religious symbols. We just had a bit of dust-up in Utah last year because recording and minutes were unearthed showing Utah former Gov. Mike Leavitt would open each day’s business with a super-early prayer meeting of high-profile Mormons. Kinda creeped out everyone, including local Mormons…and me.

  2. Jane says:

    “Politically correct intelligence briefings. What’s next?”
    Stu….um if its the government politics, SHOULDN’T it be politically correct?

    “Depicting the Iraq conflict as some sort of holy war is completely outrageous,” Lynn said in a statement. “It’s contrary to the constitutional separation of religion and government, and it’s tremendously damaging to America’s reputation in the world.”

    That says alot right there. Beyond damaging our country’s rep. (choke) it seems to me to be putting our troops in potentially more danger as well. But that is just my perspective.

  3. Stu says:

    Should goverment politics be politically correct? Not necessarily. Not when concerns about offending a specific group overrides what might be the greater good. I’m not saying that was the case here – but as a general answer to that general question, no.

  4. Joanie says:

    Frankly I’m tired of everyone stepping all over themselves so as not to offend someone somewhere. You know what? THAT offends me.

    Common courtesy goes a long way. And really, there is no need to be so PC that one goes about saying nothing in the most sensitive way possible. It truly does amount to “nothing” when you get to the point that you’re sugar coating each word. Common courtesy. Stick with that and you’re fine. But when you have to pretend you’re not Christian or Jewish or Muslim or agnostic just to ensure you don’t offend someone else? That’s insanity.

    There are some people who want to tear down a cross on a hill in San Diego because it’s too representative of Christianity. Guess what? It’s been there for over 50 years as a monument to many men and women who have served in the military. There’s a beautiful wall around it with names of troops of all faiths represented. One of the main guys fighting to KEEP the cross there is Jewish.

    The seal of the county of Los Angeles came under fire from the ACLU because it depicted a cross. That cross represented the missions that are very much a part of LA County’s history (and that of California). The County has had this seal for over 50 years. The county voted 3-2 to remove the “offensive” symbol. However, there was major outcry from LA County citizens of all faiths to restore the seal to its former glory because of the historic significance of the missions and Christianity. The cross didn’t represent religion, it represented history.

    Thanks to the ACLU, Michael Newdow, and many others who have nothing better to do with their time and OUR funds, we get to fight to maintain history, to acknowledge that Christianity is PART of our heritage, that as a country we were founded because the idea was that freedom of religion was worth fighting for. That doesn’t mean we have to disavow all religion and eliminate it from everything the public sees. It merely means that we acknowledge there are many schools of thought, many different beliefs, and we aren’t to use religion as a means of rule.

    We’ve become so, for lack of better word, pussified when it comes to placating everyone who has a differing opinion. And when you stop and think about it, all this whining from the “offended” is just bullying in reverse. They want something their way or no way, so they make as big a deal over something as they can just to prove how “right” and PC they are.

    I call shenanigans.

    Don’t we have bigger things to worry about?

  5. Stu says:

    Joanie, you posted a comment in response to one of my comments a while back that read, “Definitely better than how I said it. Thank you for putting it into words that were more easily understood.”

    Let me return the favor. BRAVO!!

    You nailed it. Thank you

  6. Jane says:

    I’d be curious to know the details of said complaint about this particular issue. It is one thing if it was a muslim complaining for their own level of acceptance but honestly as a US citizen I am offended by it, given the circumstances and the context. Much different in my opinion than a memorial. I wonder if the person complaining wasn’t bringing it up for conerns of country rather than personal views. I know not all might think that is valid or understand the gravity of it in the same way. I also realize there are likely details I am unaware of that may change my opinion somewhat but this is not to me a matter of offending one Muslim….

  7. Da Goddess says:

    Thanks, Stu.

    And you know this conversation turned up in a similar, but totally different way regarding the pussification of the TV show 24 over on Pamibe.com. I was so on a roll from over here, I followed it through over there. Go check it out. I think you’ll find I was definitely in the zone.

    Jane, honestly, I think it doesn’t matter if one person complains and what their reasons are. If it were sexual harrassment, yeah, bring it up. But seriously? This other stuff? It becomes ridiculous when you look at how many ways we can possibly offend everyone. To be quite honest, my feeling is this: If you take a job with the government, you give up all your personal bias so that you can think in terms of the whole country. They’re (we’re) not generic, but we’re also not so sensitive and stupid and crabby as everyone seems to think we should be. Most of us would prefer government employees to work on the really difficult stuff and stop wasting their time and our money on frivolity and petty details.

  8. Jane says:

    Yeah I would prefer government employees do thier job as well.

    perhaps this section of Stu’s cut and paste puts it in a little more perspective for some. It does for me. It is not about politcal correctness IMO its about this, and it has grave implications for the US, IMO.

    ” The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, on Monday said U.S. soldiers “are not Christian crusaders, and they ought not be depicted as such.”

    “Depicting the Iraq conflict as some sort of holy war is completely outrageous,” Lynn said in a statement. “It’s contrary to the constitutional separation of religion and government, and it’s tremendously damaging to America’s reputation in the world.”

  9. Jane says:

    I also wonder if Stu would fidn it equally outrageous if the part where it said one Muslim was offended was removed but the part that said “worried (other) employees that the passages were inappropriate” remained .i mean it doesn’t even say why the Muslim was offended let alone why the other employees were worried about it…

  10. Stu says:

    Well wonder no more.

    This thing with the intelligence reports is just one example of an ongoing pet peeve of mine. It’s not about nit-picking “what if it said this or that.” It has nothing to do with who complained, or what the employee’s concerns were. It’s simply demonstrative of a larger problem.

    If I immigrated to Israel I don’t expect them to stop saying, “Happy Hanukkah” in favor of a more generic, “Seasons Greetings.” If I immigrated to an Islamic country I would not expect them to remove their daily prayer sessions from public schools because it might offend my child attending their school. I CHOSE to be in THEIR country. I went in with both eyes open. I can assimilate into their culture, OR if they were like the United States I believe in, they could respect my right to worship (or not worship) as I wished – but I sure wouldn’t expect them to change their traditions and/or the ideals on which their country was founded simply to appease my sense of being offended.

  11. bill says:

    …and justice and freedom for all…not some…for all…not just the “majority,” whoever that is anymore…for all.

    There’s nothing written into law or documents anywhere that states that Christianity or any other religion is the Master of Reality.

    Only in the minds of devotees of those disciplines does anyone believe that they have the right and power to impose their icons and their beliefs on others. I hea conservtaives say,”But this country was founded on Christian principles!”

    Bullshit. It was not. The people we refer to as Founding Fathers were anything but God-fearing Christians.

    You want to put up a cross to honor fallen heroes? Fine. But don’t have workers from the Dept of Transportation come along and throw away a flower and note shrine I put together to honor a dead motorist at the site where they died.

    You want the Ten Commandments monument in Library Square? Fine. But you need to be ready for other religious symbolism to be installed. They are citizens and taxpayers, too. If you want prayer in public school, let those who don’t want to or have other belief systems to opt out, or better yet, pray in church and at your family’s dinner table and at the foot of your bed at night.

    There’s nothing to be proven by public displays of one religious pursuasion over others. It makes the people pushing it look entitled and thoughtless.

    Rumsfeld adorned his situation reports with military and combat images accompanying biblical quotes.

    I think it’s silly because our militiary isn’t a Christian organization or God’s Army. I can adorn my own situation reports with biblical quotes or photos of M1A1 tanks zooming through the desert, but the government shouldn’t be doing any of that.

    It not a Right Wing or Left Wing thing. It’s the correct thing to do. Has nothing to do with politics, in my mind, any more than returning a wallet I found in the parking lot to its rightful owner.

  12. Jane says:

    I guess I am looking at this in a COMPLETELY different sort of way?
    The significant thing here to me is that these were supposedly Intelligence briefings about the war in Iraq. I do not think the main concern here is whether or not they offended a Muslim employee but that they could misinterpreted (easily IMO) in a way that indicates that our soldiers were on a mission from God (oh geez that Palin church video just popped in my head).
    I am not sure I can find a way to say what I am trying to point out in any other way than what I have already attempted.
    I find it disturbing but its far from the most disturbing thing to me about the war in Iraq and how the US got to be in it.
    Some could argue it is about as far from a mission from God as one can get.
    :( :( :( :( :(
    From my perspective it is damaging to our troops but I see how many would disagree. Just as i don’t find it the most disturbing thing about the war in Iraq, i don’t find it the most harmful thing for our troops either.
    I know there will be many things that all Americans and troop suporters can never agree on so the best I feel I can do is attempt to share understandings and seek the truth.

  13. bill says:

    Jane, I think I know what you mean.

    It was a dangerous thing for George Bush to say,”Bring it on!” or “Wanted dead or alive!” when referring to a sector of Islam that doesn’t care if they die doing battle. On the way out of office, even Bush acknowledged that those comments were something he wished he’d never said.

    Just as dangerous to our troops is the notion, from our behavior and attitudes, that we are on a Holy Mission or Christian Crusade. Muslims are well know to hold grudges for a million years and they haven’t forgotten The Real Crusades. The Real Crusades were waged over a period of centuries and encompassed 9 or 10 separate “crusades.” One of the results was a long-standing feeling that Christians had “lifted” Islamic culture, technology and scientific advancements for the Western world.

    You know, it’s a deep, deep subject (Wiki) and another reason why it would have been helpful to understand the history and culture of the region before we went wallowing around there like a dangerous, drunken elephant backed by a born-again president who spouted nonsense about knowing that God wanted him to go to war. Did we know that there were 4 or 5 armed, extremely dangerous militia-type tribal sects in Iraq? People who were going to use our invasion as an excuse to extract old, old retributions and vendettas? Did we stop to think about being caught in the middle of a civil war that Republicans denied was taking place for years?

    I can understand the criticism of these images and verses on several planes. The ones I’m concerned about have little to do with political correctness and reaction from a Muslim analyst.

  14. Randy Spiker says:

    Hasn’t “God” always presided in battle, for EITHER side? I think it’s only human nature to want “their” battle blessed from a higher source.

  15. Randy Spiker says:

    Bill, wars NEVER EVER go as planned and good old Monday morning quarterbacking ALWAYS points that out.

  16. Da Goddess says:

    Stu, you said a mouthful with this: “If I immigrated to Israel I don’t expect them to stop saying, “Happy Hanukkah” in favor of a more generic, “Seasons Greetings.” If I immigrated to an Islamic country I would not expect them to remove their daily prayer sessions from public schools because it might offend my child attending their school. I CHOSE to be in THEIR country. I went in with both eyes open. I can assimilate into their culture, OR if they were like the United States I believe in, they could respect my right to worship (or not worship) as I wished – but I sure wouldn’t expect them to change their traditions and/or the ideals on which their country was founded simply to appease my sense of being offended.”

    Not a one of us should be ashamed for believing in Christ or for holding any other (or no) religious beliefs. That’s one of the founding principles of the U.S. I’m damn well not going to hide my religious beliefs because someone else doesn’t agree with me. And neither should anyone else.

    I liken this to two of my best friends not being able to share public displays of affection like simple hand-holding or a peck on the check because they’re afraid to offend someone who is against same-sex marriage. And don’t even get me started on the scrutiny they endure via work, or if they wanted to adopt a child.

  17. bill says:

    Randy-No one is Monday Morning quarterbacking Iraq. We went in, no WMD’s were found and we should have left immediately. Instead, we did what we do best…wandered around aimlessly looking for a fight and a theater to test our newest shit.

    And, yes, you are quite correct in that every side thinks God is on their side. Until we get off the “God Bless America”-thing and start thinking, “God Bless Us All,” we’re stuck chasing our tails.

  18. Stu says:

    I’ve got to take exception to your statement that, “…wandering around aimlessly looking for a fight and a theater to test our newest shit” is what we do best (and I really don’t believe you feel that way either).

    I would add my opinions of the WMD issue but that’s a long rant. Maybe later.

  19. bill says:

    I was referring to how we didn’t leave Iraq when our original mission, the one that Congress ok’d, was revealed to be a farce. If you recall, the reason for being there was edited, updated and changed about once a week after it became obvious we were there for the wrong reasons. Especially if you consider that invading Iraq forced us to take our eye off the ball in Afghanistan. Everything we did there immediately following Sept, 11, 2001, was wasted and undone as the Taliban came back into power, poppy farmers (heroin) in the south are bigger than ever and now Pakistan is involved up to its eyeballs.

    And, even though things have quieted down, we’re still there looking for a mission in Iraq. Only now, we’re investing billions from our depleted treasury rebuilding shit we blew up in the first place. You know we did. Millions of Americans and people around the world watched through video cameras on rockets and bombs as we took out building after building, bridge after bridge, power plant after power plant.

    My comments about “testing our shit” comes from years of watching how we invest our treasure in militiary gizmo-dom that has no place to be utilized. If you look at the level of technology we have, the technology to completely decimate an enemy army, it’s just amazing.

    So how come a band of sandy little brown guys in turbans and burkas, wearing SANDALS, carrying an AK-47 or grenade launcher, can hold off the most technologically advanced nation on Earth? They carry what they eat, use their family cars for military operations, have primitive medical care and they can kill as many modern Marines as they killed in Fallujah and disappear back into the population like ghosts.

    You can’t make a weapon to fight that kind of fight. You need boots on the ground, you need amazing intelligence and you apparently need to bribe the local tribal chiefs with lots of moolah. I mean, what good is a satellite that can read a license plate from 200 miles up if the guy isn’t driving a car, so to speak?

    That’s what I meant…

  20. Randy Spiker says:

    “You can’t make a weapon to fight that kind of fight. You need boots on the ground……”

    Wrongo! Duke Nukem says drop the Bomb, kill em all and let God sort em out. (jk)
    ;>)

  21. Randy Spiker says:

    “My comments about “testing our shit” comes from years of watching how we invest our treasure in militiary gizmo-dom that has no place to be utilized. If you look at the level of technology we have, the technology to completely decimate an enemy army, it’s just amazing.”

    I agree with you Bill. Many of our new weapons are tested on the battlefield though I have to think that they at least get a little preliminary down in the Desert somewhere first. The technology to completely decimate an enemy Army never seems to be realized because of political calculations coming from Wash. It’s been like that since Korea.

  22. Eine Anthropologie unserer Vernunft und Moral.
    Campus Verlag: Frankfurt am Main; New York 1995. 199 Seiten

    Daß die Bibel nur Gutes lehrt, diese Meinung überwiegt sogar bei den Gegnern der Institutionen, die sich auf die Bibel berufen. Gegen die Kirche z.B. ist man oft nur deshalb, weil diese sich angeblich nicht genug an die Bibelworte hält. Die traditionell gute Meinung von dem, was in der Bibel zu lesen ist, scheint wirksamer zu sein als die eigene Bibellektüre, zu der dieses Buch anleiten will.

    Angesichts der nicht enden wollenden täglichen Grausamkeiten, die sich vernünftige Wesen gegenseitig antun, wird gern der Zusammenhang von Vernunft und Moral beschoren: als wäre Moral, insbesondere die der Tötungsächtung, eine Sache der Vernunft. Da beschert uns der Blick in die Bibel (anstatt nur ins Fernsehen) ein aufschlußreiches Erschrecken:

  23. Stu says:

    Not sure how accurate it is, but here’s a German to English translation using Google’s language tools:

    “An anthropology of our reason and morality.
    Campus Verlag: Frankfurt am Main, New York 1995. 199 pages

    That the Bible teaches nothing but good, this view prevails even among opponents of the institutions which have relied on the Bible. Against the Church e.g. is often only because they are supposedly not enough words in the Bible holds. Traditionally good opinion of the things in the Bible to read, seems to be more efficient than their own Bible reading, to which this book will instruct.

    Given the endless daily atrocities that are rational beings do to each other, is like the relation of reason and morality beschoren: as if morality, particularly the Tötungsächtung a matter of common sense. Since gives us a look into the Bible (rather than just on TV) is a rich horror instructive:”

  24. […] Another Installment From The WTF Desk…  707 views […]

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