UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 5, 2009

U.S. TROOPS PUSHED CHRISTIANITY IN AFGHANISTAN


"The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down"


Al Jazeera
- The US's highest ranking military officer has said it is not the US military's position to promote any specific religion, after Al Jazeera revealed footage of troops apparently preparing to convert Afghans to their Christian faith.

"From the United States' military's perspective, it is not our position to ever push any specific kind of religion, period," said Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Monday.

The US military has also confiscated Bibles that Christian US soldiers in Afghanistan had apparently intended to give to local Muslims, a military spokesman told Al Jazeera.

In addition, some of the soldiers who appeared in the video have also been reprimanded, US government and military officials told Al Jazeera's James Bays.

The video, shot about a year ago, appeared to show military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country's main Pashto and Dari languages.

In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him".

"The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down," he says.

"Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business.". . .

Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai, a former Afghan prime minister, told Al Jazeera from Kabul: "This is a complete deviation from what they [the US military] are supposed to be doing.

"I don't think even the US constitution would allow what they are doing . . . it is completely against all regulations.

The footage shot by Brian Hughes, a documentary maker and former member of the US military who spent several days in Bagram near Kabul, was obtained by Al Jazeera's Bays, who has covered Afghanistan extensively.

It is not clear if the local language Bibles were distributed to Afghans In other footage captured at Bagram, Sergeant Jon Watt, a soldier set to become a military chaplain, said during a Bible study class: "I also want to praise God because my church collected some money to get Bibles for Afghanistan. They came and sent the money out."

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any serving member of the forces except a chaplain who so much as makes their religion visible through the day should get an Article 15 for the first offence, a summary court for the second, and a medical-reasons (mental) discharge for the third.

If there is anything "prejudicial to good order", it's god-botherers buttonholing people who might have no choice but to listen.

May 6, 2009 4:57 PM  

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