Last week we reported on the Army EEO briefing that described evangelical Christians and Catholics as “extremists” alongside the likes of the KKK and al Qaeda. That incident occurred in Pennsylvania. Today, Todd Starnes reports that an Army officer at Ft. Campbell, KY sent an email to subordinates using similar descriptions and epithets.
“Just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values,” read an email from LTC Jack Rich to three dozen subordinates at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. “When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values, don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.”
Among the groups that LTC Rich says “do not share our Army Values” in his 14-page email are the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.
“The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement,” the officer wrote. “One of those has been defamation.”
The officer accused the “Christian Right” of “engaging in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as ‘perverts” with ‘filthy habits’ who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and ‘convert’ them to gay sex,” he wrote.
Name calling goes both ways in politics. It’s routine for leftists to insult Christians in a variety of ways. The “religious right” is itself meant as an insult now. Apparently that’s fine with Army Values, as those insults are not singled out for criticism.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, now an executive vice president of the FRC, told Fox News that all Americans should be concerned about the contents of the email.
“If this is the action of a single Army lieutenant colonel, it needs to be investigated,” he said. “On the other hand, if what he reflects is a shifting policy or attitude of the Army or DOD, then I think it is a much bigger issue.”
There have been several incidents that hint at a disturbing policy change within the Pentagon. They include a war games scenario in which evangelical Christian groups were identified as threats, the 2009 Homeland Security memo that warned evangelicals and veterans may be threats to national security, a West Point study linking pro-life advocates to terrorism (while omitting eco-terrorists), and many others. The length of LTC Rich’s 14-page email suggests that it represents a significant service-wide policy. Why would an officer draft such an extensive document, if he did not believe that it represented the Army’s views and would help him earn promotion? If Rich does not share the view that mainstream Christian groups are extremists, then he should have adhered to the Army’s sixth core value, integrity, and its seventh core value, personal courage, and resisted broadcasting that view to his subordinates.
These two recent incidents in Pennsylvania and Kentucky suggest that, at least in the Army, values have changed, and officers are being charged with telling their subordinates that millions of peaceful Americans are potential enemies akin to the terrorists that the Obama administration is busily drone killing overseas.