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View Diary: CNN picks up the Christian Embassy video story (159 comments)

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  •  Quick story... (51+ / 0-)

    It was Festivus 2003 (23 Dec 2003) (odd) and I was on my first deployment. That morning we had a formation and the CC came out and rambled and said something about it "being a tough time, and having to do things you wish you didn't have to, like being here for the holidays."

    I stood there, half ass listening, thinking how much I'd like to be at home with my Festivus pole.

    The following day the chaplains were having a christmas service when boss (an E8) comes in and says that we all have to go. So everyone gets up to leave (there were 8 of us in the shop) but me.

    E8 - Get you, you deaf?
    Me- I'm not going Sgt.
    E8 - You don't have a choice.
    Me- I'm a Unitarian leaning towards agnostic.
    E8 - Well maybe Jesus can fix that, now lets go.
    Me - No
    E8 - (the face turns red, yelling begins) Get your fucking ass to the chapel right now motherfucker, you don't have a fucking choice.
    Me - No
    E8 - Who the fuck do you think you are. Remember yesterday the CC said sometimes you have to do things you don't like, this is one of those times.
    Me - No

    The E8 calls everyone back into the room.

    E8 - Ol Hank here thinks hes better than us, better than god. So we will just pray here.
    Me - No, you can't force me to pray or even listen to you pray.
    E8 - You have no choice (begins to pray outloud, asking god to forgive ME)
    Me - I'm leaving, I'll be in the tent.
    E8- If you live, I'll have you in all kinds of shit.
    Me - I'm leaving, feel free to get the Shirt and CC and tell them why I left.

    About 30 minutes later, the E8, Shirt, and CC come to the tent. The E8 gets < this close  > to my face, and says "I'm sorry." The Shirt and CC told me to take the rest of the day off, and then disciplined the E8.

    Point... this crap is a problem. I had no problem with THEM praying, or hell, I don't even mind participating in a moment of silence or whatever. But to pray ABOUT me in FRONT of me... no thanks.

    •  Bravo! (12+ / 0-)

      Good on you for standing up for your Constitutional rights not to be forced to participate in someone else's nonsense.  Did you have trouble with the E8 later, as a result of his being disciplined?

      If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. -Phil Pastoret

      by Granny Doc on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 05:47:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and no... (7+ / 0-)

        He was an idiot to begin with, and everyone else kinda knew he was in the wrong (even if they wouldn't say anything.) So we just avoided each other until it was over.

        They asked me if I wanted to make a formal written complaint, and I didn't. It seemed childish on my part to stoop to his level. There was one caveat to that though, I'll leave it alone if he keeps his mouth shut. It worked.

        •  That was an important distinction. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Margot, barbwires, Shaking the Tree

          Good on you. That's the way the game is played (or supposed to be). You agreed not to make waves, they make him keep his piehole shut. Everyone makes nice and lies through their teeth if necessary (like his so-called 'apology').

          Unfortunately, this is one area where the neocons have had a major impact throughout our government and its institutions. They don't believe in the getting along and making nice part.

          Blessed are the arrogant...for they shall be really impressed with themselves.

          by homogenius on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:20:53 AM PST

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          •  Decades of empowerment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            homogenius, Simplify, LNK

            will do this to you (or them):

            Unfortunately, this is one area where the neocons have had a major impact throughout our government and its institutions. They don't believe in the getting along and making nice part.

            For 3 decades now, these Xtianists have been thumping their bibles and force feeding their children with manipulations about Jesus and God.  They have taught many generations of young kids (think Jesus Camp) that if they meet a non-Xtianist, they are to try and convert them.  If that doesn't succeed, then they are to avoid them or try to coerce them via methods like peer pressure and public ridicule.

            They have been empowered by the likes of Pat Robertson, and by the neo-CON cabal who have been working diligently behind the scenes to stage the current coup upon America.  It will take a lot of strength and courage on our part to stand our ground against them, but in the end, I believe that they will cower.  After all, they are the ones who FEAR everything and anything.  Living in fear is not living free.

    •  Great story (10+ / 0-)

      and more power to you!

      I have zero patience for "Christians" who are literally  Holier than Thou.  On the other hand, I have strong respect for people who are religious, even fervently so, but keep it to themselves unless asked or invited to speak up with others.  The difference between the two is wider than the Grand Canyon.

      Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

      by dnta on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 05:55:08 AM PST

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      •  I agree... it's (13+ / 0-)

        The big difference between my mom and dad, who are divorced but found religion on their own.

        My dad married a hard core evangelical nutjob and it went down hill. You'll go to hell for this, and for that, and for this... Jews are bad, Muslims are bad, everyone is bad. Gays are evil... etc. He annoys me.

        My mom on the other hand goes to a liberal, informal church with a reformed crack addict for a preacher. He tells my mom (and it saddens me that it takes someone to TELL her) that everyone is ok. All religions are fine. No one has absolute knowledge of the truth. God cares about your belief and the good works you do. That is something I can tolerate.

        On a side note... my mom called me the weekend of Vets. Day and told me that they had a speaker at the church talking about the war (I had to fight back the "here we go.") She told me that he said it was horrible over there and all the other stuff I had told her about. She told me she believed him because he was at church and thought I was just being angry because I deployed twice.

        Argh.

        •  Oh yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell

          I've had the same experience.
          Knowing something from hard experience, and having my kids not listen to me about it until someone they think is the ultimate authority say the same thing.
          Arrrgh~!

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:23:35 AM PST

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      •  I've ranted about this before... (6+ / 0-)

        I don't understand this Christian crap!  Used to be that if you weren't Jewish, but you believed in God, you were a Christian - so anyone who went to church was basically Christian.  Jewish people were Jewish.  No stigma there.

        Now, as I understand it, you have to 'accept Jesus Christ as your saviour' and you have to walk around and preach to everyone, everywhere (practially) and essentially wear your religion on your sleeve and your car and in your office and all weekend long - you know what I mean.  

        So the White House now has a Christmas celebration (which is really a bow-down to commercialism, if you ask me) and a Menorah ceremony (which, again if you ask me or since I'm ranting on, is a spiritual ceremony with little if any commercial connotation).  Like Christian's are best - but "Hey, we're OK with Jewish too - but the rest of you?  Watch out!"

        Aaaargh!  

        •  It gets better than that. Many born agains (5+ / 0-)

          will tell you that there is a book of those that will be saved, written before time, and that you are either in the book or not. There is nothing you can do to have your name added, or deleted for that matter.

          Think about what this means: you can live your life in any fashion you choose, since you cannot earn salvation through works, nor can you be damned by your actions (a major difference here with the Catholic Church).

          17. Ne5

          In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

          by Spud1 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:29:28 AM PST

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          •  Yeah, (4+ / 0-)

            I'm not buying that. Sorry.

            I don't want to get to deep into religion, but I can't buy that our actions are meaningless in some grand scheme. Sorry.

            •  Just telling you what most born agains (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wishingwell

              believe. I don't believe it either, but then, I don't believe in salvation.

              The best is when you talk with someone that believes in predestination. Now that's really of interest.

              17. Ne5

              In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

              by Spud1 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:07:08 AM PST

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              •  Predestination is of interest? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Spud1
                I hope you mean that as a snark.  From what I remember from my Calvinist upbringing, predestination comes essentially down to all life being run by some etheric computer program.
                •  Exactly. I mean the conversation you will have is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jules Beaujolais

                  of interest. I was talking to one guys and he said yes, in fact the socks he ws going to wear tomorrow had been selected. I tried to explain that if this is true, then logically I can go out and do anything, since it already has been determined that I will do so. He didn't seem to get it.

                  I will add that many Muslims belieive in this too. The Mujhadeen fighters wouldn't seek cover from the Soviets because it was God's will if they were going to live or not.

                  17. Ne5

                  In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

                  by Spud1 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 01:07:47 PM PST

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        •  I don't get (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jhwygirl, barbwires, dnta

          it either.

          I go to the All Souls Church in D.C. from time to time (http://www.all-souls.org/) and it's just weird seeing the difference in how people act.

          Granted, the All Souls is Unitarian, and anyone of any faith or any background (Agnostics included) are welcome. Rarely is "god" mentioned, and ::gasp:: gay people are allowed!

          Maybe George should pay All Souls a visit, it's only about 1.5 miles from the WH

        •  Well, this isn't exactly new (0+ / 0-)

          This country was originally settled (I mean, not counting those Native Americans, y'know) by Christian fundamentalists, who were as intolerant of non-believers as possible.  And the fundamentalist movements have been around throughout our history, arguably much stronger in times past (see William Jennings Bryan, Prohibition, etc.).  I think we're aghast to confront it so prominently today mostly because many of us grew up under the delusion that our society had somehow become more "enlightened" over the past few generations.  But there are obviously strong bonds to those traditions of blind intolerance and judgmentalism which seem to scoop up new converts all the time.

          Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

          by dnta on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:12:55 AM PST

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          •  Oh, I beg to differ! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, Simplify, lotlizard

            This country was originally settled (I mean, not counting those Native Americans, y'know) by Christian fundamentalists, who were as intolerant of non-believers as possible.

            Boy, that's a Yankee point of view if I ever heard one. You're thinking of New England.

            I'm descended from a man who left England and his inheritance, and came to Virginia to escape Cromwell and the intolerant fundamentalists. In fact, Virginia was largely settled by the "Cavaliers" -- gentry who were Royalists and traditional Anglicans and who couldn't abide England as a fundamentalist puritan theocracy. My ancestor came with his friend Robert Lee; Robert's brother Richard was already in the colony and had written him that things were much better there.

            Maryland was Catholics. Rhode Island was Baptist (which wasn't a know-nothing fundamentalist church), Pennsylvania had a lot of Quakers, South Carolina had a lot of French Hugenots, and Georgia was the Wesleys, from which the Methodist movement developed.

            Fundamentalism as we know it didn't even develop until the second Great Awakening in the early 19th century.

            America will never again be the land of the free... Until she again becomes the home of the brave.

            by Ducktape on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 11:12:50 AM PST

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        •  "No room at the inn" Christians (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, jhwygirl

          That's what I call the fundamentalists who preach that you're bad unless you're them, basically.
          And they really do not give a damn about anyone who isn't in their congregation.  Family members they regard as unsaved...heck, I'm a Presbyterian, but to my husband's family I'm unsaved.  

          God'll get them. ;)

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:28:06 AM PST

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      •  Quote from a bumper sticker (12+ / 0-)

        Don't tell me you're a Christian; let me figure it out for myself.

        Lying about WMDs changed everything.

        by Nowhere Man on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:45:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Boy, they sure know how to ruin Festivus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barbwires, Brooke In Seattle

      adding to your list of grievances on the very day itself!

      And it's Festivus today! (Happy?) I can't wait for WYFP tonight! When do the feats of strength begin?

      -8.38, -8.00 Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. --Thomas Paine

      by hyperstation on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:09:24 AM PST

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    •  Sonicreducr: you gave me a religion idea (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know if I could carry this out with a straight face, but an Eddie Murphy could do it to perfection:

      While others try to force you to observe their religious practice, you dutifully practice yours in front of them, only yours will be in gibberish language and will include sacrificing a live animal. You don't actually have to kill the animal, just make like you're going to, then refrain from doing so, saying you do not wish to offend anyone or violate local sanitation laws about butchering.

      You will be calling upon a most powerful god [the god of irony? god of derision? god of subterfuge? god of non-violent protest?]

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