Re: (a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)

1

Now, no one seems to have been beaten or imprisoned -- this incident in itself isn't anything horrific.

This is the new standard for religious freedom in America?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 6:47 AM
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2

Major General James Chambers should be court martialed and sent to to Leavenworth.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 6:54 AM
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3

The extent to which the military has been taken over by evangelical busybodies does not bode well for the country.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 6:59 AM
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4

2. don't give them martyrs. Find him a personal performance job in Washington.

I found this story really scary. I knew the Air Force was infested, but I thought the army was still fairly OK.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 7:03 AM
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I do hope that those attending went into an orgy of the most unchristian forms of fornication (but I am realistic enough to know that non-punishment was worse than punishment - which doesn't make it any less bad that there was punishment).


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 7:04 AM
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Just think of the outcry if they'd punished the troops for not attending a Muslimgauze concert.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 7:06 AM
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3: The extent to which [fill in the blank] has been taken over by evangelical busybodies does not bode well for the country.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 8:21 AM
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8

I'm just kind of stunned that (a) General Chambers, or his staff, didn't figure out that a Christian-rock only concert series endorsed as "the Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concerts" was unacceptable, and (b) that whoever decided to strong-arm soldiers into attending, and punish them for not attending, didn't figure out that that was unacceptable. It's not so much what they did that worries me, as what they assumed they could get away with doing openly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 8:32 AM
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9

My reaction was pretty much the same as 4.

It's especially annoying as the Army had long seemed to do a particularly good job of making space for religion (the chaplains) without being coercive, sectarian, or theocratic about it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:03 AM
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10

Is it just because I personally haven't heard them, or do there seem to be fewer of these sorts of stories about the Navy? Or maybe they are just harder to corral for this sort of thing, since they are off floating around.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:08 AM
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11

In other gratuitous Christianity news [. . .] I am taking a refresher math course at our local Community College this fall. During the "let me tell you about me" part of the first day of class, the professor announced that she believed in God--and in Jesus as the path to God. She also said that she would talk about her faith periodically during the course, and that she would be putting inspirational quotations on the handouts throughout the semester.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:15 AM
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re: 11

That would unquestionably result in a letter of complaint, if it was me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:17 AM
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11: Good grief. And I thought we pinkos were supposed to be brainwashing everyone. (Actually, I did hand out a Wilfred Owen poem on Armistice Day -- but I was teaching a class on war and literature, so I mean, really.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:24 AM
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11 is crazy.

As I think I've mentioned before, in high school my biology teacher did talk about his faith one day during the unit on evolution, but it was in the context of the culture wars (aka, not just personal testimonial), and the way in which he had reconciled his religious faith with his intellectual commitment to science (he left the next year to get a PhD). It was inspiring rather than horrifying, I think, for everyone in the class.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:29 AM
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15

10: the Ted Haggard of the armed forces?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:47 AM
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Because she has that sort of sweetly gregarious East Texas charm, it came off as less scary in person. Other than believing in God, we also know that she's single, drives a hatchback, and is allergic to cats.

The first inspirational quote was the following:

"You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself to be."--Unknown


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:49 AM
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10: Ditto the Marines. See the rather good "Generation Kill" -

--The point, Lance Corporal: we're supposed to be a recon unit of pure warrior spirit. We're out here, 40 klicks in enemy lines, and this man of God here, he's a fuckin' POG. In fact, he's an officer POG. That's one more layer of bureaucracy and unnecessary logistics, one more asshole we need to supply MREs and baby wipes for. And worst of all, worst of all, the motherfucker doesn't even carry a weapon. When push comes to shove even Rolling Stone picks up a gun but this fuckin' shill of God, he can't cover a sector, he'll never hump ammo or Claymores. This is a fuckin' war and we're here as warriors, so on top of everything else that's expected of us do we really need to drag him along and indulge in this make-believe bullshit?

--Oh, no. Now not only do we have to worry about all the Charms you've eaten, but now Brad's just pissed off God.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:53 AM
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18

Context is important here. This is the music the soldiers were being forced to listen to. Be sure to stay on until about the minute thirty mark, when they start rocking out.

Actually, it is one of those really creepy works of art that highlights the resemblance between religious devotion and an abusive relationship.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 9:57 AM
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"You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself to be."--Unknown

I bet the Calvinists in the class were pissed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:02 AM
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20

19: obvious solution. Denounce the teacher as a Pelagianist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:05 AM
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18: Christians are into bondage? In bondage to Jesus!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:07 AM
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22

Or is that guy supposed to be Jesus?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:08 AM
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23

9: I also think of the Air Force as worst in this regard, but then I remember that, in the 90s, a good friend had to fight the West Point brass to be allowed to wear her UU chalice necklace. You're allowed to wear a cross, of course.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:10 AM
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24

22: He unwraps himself from the ropes at the end. I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. Is it significant that he wasn't actually tied, so that the whole time he was writhing and shaking his fists, he could have simply slid out of the ropes and walked away?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:13 AM
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Wait, I know, the ropes are faith, and the video is meant to show that you can free yourself of the bonds of faith just by relaxing and letting go.

Still, I thing I would have preferred being confined to my barracks.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:15 AM
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26

24:So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:16 AM
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27

You want me to listen to the lyrics before I start making fun?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 10:24 AM
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27: That seems a little too close to asking people to read the post before commenting. I, for one, oppose such slippery slopes!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:17 AM
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27: Are you trying to pretend you don't recognize the lyrics in 26, rob?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:26 AM
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26: The key is Promise. Christian is trapped by the giant Despair in Doubting Castle until he's all oh look I've had the key of Promise all along! We don't have to kill ourselves!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:29 AM
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31

Now that I've googled it I recognize it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:34 AM
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32

I didn't listen to the link in 18 at all. I'm not that much of a masochist, it seems.

Excellent Bunyanesque interpretation in 30.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:41 AM
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33

The original article is a fine exercise in why it's a bad idea to read the comments. Even though they seem to be in agreement with the article (in thinking that this is weird/bad), they manage to be offensive in about three different and unrelated ways. Yuck.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:56 AM
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34

Bunyanesque interpretation.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:58 AM
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35

Sorry.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 11:58 AM
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36

Edward Estling Cummings might not be amused that this post title's google results currently have this post first; then again, he might be amused.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 12:42 PM
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37

Bold stance, Stanley.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 12:48 PM
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38

Speaking of military stupidity: Colonel thrown out of war for hating PowerPoint


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 12:56 PM
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39

Bold stance, Stanley.

I like waffles; then again, I like waffles.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 1:05 PM
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40

FTA: "We really believe that to be a Christian in today's world, you have to be a warrior..."

I was exposed to this attitude in Sunday School to a certain extent, but it seems to me it's become much more widespread and taken on a disturbing edge. My Cousins are involved in right wing evangelical christianity, and they've been doing Tae Kwon Do in large part because of it. There seems to be a very real shift from the metaphorical to the concrete in the twenty plus years I've been paying attention to this stuff.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 3:57 PM
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41

"You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself to be."--Unknown

Closet existentialist!


Also, 36: Estlin. No g.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 4:20 PM
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42

The editorial ultimately linked in 38 seems more career-threatening for its denigration of command staff than for its criticism of PowerPoint. But this gets to me:

We are part of the operational arm of the International Security Assistance Force commanded by U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus. It is composed of military representatives from all the NATO countries, several of which I cannot pronounce.

Saying you can't pronounce something is the bog-standard "aw-shucks" move, I know, but FFS, what NATO country can this guy not pronounce? The Czech Republic?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 4:36 PM
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43

Also, 36: Estlin. No g.

Ah, crap.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 4:48 PM
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44

Maybe he means the names of its officers. The current commander of Polish forces in Afghanistan is Brigadier General Andrzej Przekwas.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 4:56 PM
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Gotta watch out for those scary Muslims from the Bronx

Muslim leaders in the United States are criticizing New York Gov. David Paterson for his description of the developers of a mosque planned near ground zero as peaceful, ''almost westernized'' Muslims.

In broadcast interviews Thursday, Paterson said Sufi Muslims trying to build the Islamic center two blocks from the World Trade Center site aren't like Shiite (SHEE'-eyet) Muslims. He then said the developers aren't what he would classify as ''mainland Muslim.''


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:02 PM
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45: Is there a more pathetic and embarrassing example of "falling up" than Patterson? Ugh. Spitzer should have refused to resign. Come back, Elliott! Have all the hookers you like!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:08 PM
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47

Can't have me, Eliot.


Posted by: Zombie John Lee Hooker | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:11 PM
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48

42.last: Maybe he can't pronounce "Shqypnia" or "Magyar Köztársaság".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:14 PM
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49

42: Albania and Croatia are in NATO now? I gotta start paying attention.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-10 5:17 PM
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Speaking of NATO, we had a guy with ISAF patches attempt a mass killing this afternoon at the beginning of my shift.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12175791

Went to the best hotel in my beat with all his gear, a rifle, and loads of mags. Unloads on one of our units as he rolls up. Somehow, taking 5.56 rounds through his windshield and vehicle, the cop manages to get out of the car and return fire. Only got a minor wound to his calf. Sends a couple back with a 9mm Glock and miraculously puts one in the guy's head just below his Kevlar helmet.

It all went down amazingly fast. Myself and a few others were a few blocks away and it was all done before we could get there. Good thing, because this guy was geared up for a proper massacre.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 2:20 AM
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51

Woah. That's awful heavy. Pleased to hear you're all right...


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 2:39 AM
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And then they there are those who say that "The Expendables" is unrealistic!


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 6:01 AM
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Jesus, gswift.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 6:23 AM
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Oh jeez. You stay away from those spree shooters, gswift!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 6:25 AM
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55

Fuck. Hope this doesn't happen often.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 6:31 AM
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Shit. Imagine if he'd been planning well enough not to start shooting with a cop right there. Take care of yourself, g.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 6:37 AM
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50: Yikes! Take care of yourself.

(I weirdly recall that "Deseret News photographer, T0m Sm@rt" is uncle to Elizabeth -- I think he was sent to shoot pictures of Dooce and Family and she wrote about it.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 6:50 AM
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56

Shit. Imagine if he'd been planning well enough not to start shooting with a cop right there. Take care of yourself, g.

From the linked story it's unclear he intended to perpetrate a general massacre. Apparently he was conversing with passersby and didn't start shooting until the police arrived. Could be he had a specific grudge against the police or that this was an elaborate "suicide by cop" or maybe just total craziness.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 7:22 AM
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54: I think the people of his jurisdiction would prefer he didn't, actually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 7:26 AM
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60

Wow. Glad you missed the worst of it.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 7:45 AM
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Jesus. Glad you're OK, gswift. In (supposedly peaceful) Utah yet. Is it my imagination, or are these crazy mass shooting incidents getting more common?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 7:50 AM
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59.--I'm selfish like that.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 7:57 AM
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61: probably so given crazy mass shooting devices are more common and craziness is rather constant.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 8:46 AM
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Glad you're OK, gswift.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 10:10 AM
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63: I actually wonder if two wars + economic collapse has anything to do with it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 10:18 AM
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I'm not sure craziness is constant.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-28-10 10:22 AM
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I appreciate the good vibes from everyone.

or that this was an elaborate "suicide by cop"

I can't discuss details except for what's already public info. There's a bit more here.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12193103

When a guy suits up in his Army rig complete with Kevlar helmet, body armor, plus loads of spare mags, I think it's a safe guess that he intended to take a lot of people with him.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-29-10 1:05 AM
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66: rather constant

65: sure, the first increased mass shooting devices availability and the second temporarily increased a certain vengeful type of madness


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 08-29-10 3:07 AM
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