The trip down this river started a long time ago. Once the likes of James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell became the leaders of the most important voting block in the Republican Party and helped put George Bush in the White House and especially after 9/11, the waters started running much faster.
At this 11th hour we come face to face with the full potential of our collective distraction; the US Armed Forces have become the private preserve of a Dominionist Christianity which welcomes an Apocalyptic confrontation between the United States of America and Islam.
The event that triggered this diary was the death this week of Dr. James Kennedy of the Coral Ridge Ministries, the ONLY religious service broadcast by the Armed Forces Network radio to service men and women based in as many as 175 nations and on board 180 ships.
Thanks to the efforts of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and your Recommends we can now shine a light on this sorry state of affairs.
A few days ago troutfishingshone a light on another example of the Apocalyptic Dominionist Christian take over of the Armed Forces with 2 must read diaries;
I'll repeat; the ONLY religious service broadcast to American service men and women by the Pentagon run Armed Forces Network Radio is the Coral Ridge Hour.
This is wrong on so many levels; it is unconstitutional, unfair, unrepresentative and unsafe.
If you want to send this message to Muslims everywhere; "the United States views the Global War on Terror as a new Crusade", you could not do better than to give the only sermon broadcast via Armed Forces Network radio to Dr. James Kennedy, whose views on Islam are prominently displayed on Coral Ridge Hour website;
You need to click on Most Popular and then select "The Religion of Islam"
to get to this beauty;
The Coral Ridge Hour website is full of radio and TV clips that can be understood only as justifying the Iraq invasion and the GWOT from a fundamentalist Christian point of view.
This is unsafe because it puts US troops at increased risk by proving to Muslims everywhere that they face nothing short of a new Christian Crusade.
If you have any doubts and a strong stomach, take a look at these 2 Coral Ridge Hour broadcasts that "prove" that the invasion of Iraq was justified on biblical and religious grounds;
Is the War Justified? (Part 1) and (Part 2)
You need to go back here, select "Media Library" and search "War Justified".
Kennedy was one of a handful of religious figures that gave 100% support to Bush's war effort by giving him a green light from a theological point of view. No wonder the Dominionists in high places in the Department of Defense want to promote the Coral Ridge Hour, it helps them frame the GWOT in their terms.
This page of the website is a good place to start your research into the thought of the only religious worldview promoted by Armed Forces Network Radio.
If you have any doubts about the toxicity of Dr. Kennedy's theology consider this documentary he produced featuring none other than Ann Coulter ranting about how Darwin's Theory of Evolution lead inexorably to Hitler.
You need to go back hereand then select "Most Popular" again to be able to click on "Darwin's Deadly Legacy"
This from their own write up;
"Lawsuits are brought to prevent facts from being told about Darwinism because children must be baptized in the religion of Darwinism to prepare them for the coming belief in atheism." Ann Coulter tells it like it is, when she joins Dr. D. James Kennedy and other experts on Truths That Transform. They will reveal the tragic destruction and deception behind this dangerous theory.
Or check out his views on same-sex marriage also broadcast on Armed Forces Radio
It is also big time unconstitutional.
Obviously it is also very unfair to exclude other denominations such as traditional protestant denominations, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, agnostics and atheists.
Coral Ridge Ministries, with their radical Dominionist interpretation of the Bible are unrepresentative of the majority of Americans. This is wrong in yet another level because the official mission of the Armed Forces Network (a.k.a. American Forces Radio and Television Service) according to their website is;
AFRTS is the American Forces Radio and Television Service. It is part of the Department of Defense, and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The AFRTS mission is to communicate Department of Defense policies, priorities, programs, goals and initiatives. AFRTS provides stateside radio and television programming, "a touch of home," to U.S. service men and women, DoD civilians, and their families serving outside the continental United States. AFRTS includes the Radio and Television Production Office (RTPO), The Pentagon Channel NewsCenter, and the Defense Media Center.
The AFRTS vision is to provide multi-channel broadcast quality radio and television services and expanded internal information products to all DoD members and their families stationed overseas, on contingency operations, and onboard Navy ships around the world. Today, AFRTS uses seven satellites along with digital compression technology to provide multiple television and stereo audio services to over 1,000 outlets in more than 175 countries and U.S. territories, and on board U.S. Navy ships.
Let's take a look at he Armed Forces Network Radio schedule.
If you look carefully, you will find no reference to the Coral Ridge Hour (more on why later) but you will find a "fair and balanced" mix of political views (riiiight!).
Such luminaries as David Horowitz, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, James Dobson (no sermons, just short commentaries) and Dr. Laura balanced on the other side by Alan Colmes and Ed Schultz (who does what he can and I appreciate it).
A MRFF member wrote the AFN for an explanation why on the schedule published on the MyAFN website there was no slot for Coral Ridge Hour and this was the exchange;
Subject/In Regards: Coral Ridge Hour w/James Kennedy
Coral Ridge says you broadcast his program on Saturdays. I do not see
it on radio or tv schedules -- past or present. can you help me locate it on
Good afternoon (redacted) - At this time The Coral Ridge Hour is not being broadcast on AFN, but it has not been removed from our schedule rotation and will be returning.
Please keep an eye on the myAFN.net searchable schedules at http://myafn.dodmedi... when Coral Ridge re-enters the AFN lineup, that's where it will show up first.
Thanks for asking.
- Gene Frederickson AFN Affiliate Relations
So there you have it.
If you want to ask them questions you can use the same email web page the MRFF researcher used;
The Armed Forces Network television schedule is indicative of the current Pentagon state of mind. To start with they carry Bill O'Reilly's Factor.
They do carry 2 religious programs by prominent Christians;
So a MRFF researcher tracked down Major Bruce Kite the AFN chaplain and was told that; "they are unable to get other religious groups because they want to get paid and Christian groups (meaning Coral Ridge Hour on radio) are willing to do it for free".
You see, there are guidelines for religious programming on AFN.
I just cannot imagine that there are no Jewish, Muslim, Free Thinker or Unitarian Universalist groups that would not quickly accept an invitation under the guidelines. The Major's assertion does not ring true at all.
If you want, go ahead and call the AFN Radio and Television Program Inquiries number at the Pentagon 703-428-0619 and ask them yourself.
So what can we do?
One way to fight back is to support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation lead by Mikey Weinstein who has this to say;
This represents an Orwellian Constitutional catastrophe of Kafkaesque proportions......it illustrates a clear and present wretched resurrection of fundamentalist Christian "Jim Crow" oppression and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation intends to expeditiously drag DoD and AFN into Federal Court in the extreme near-term in order to euthanize this noxious religious supremacy tyranny which is all too eerily reminiscent of Russian Politburo Cold War population mind control tactics.
Please recommend so that we can get some visibility.
The fight is on.
Nevertheless, my most sincere condolences to Dr. Kennedy's family.
UPDATE: Several have commented that Olbermann, Colbert and Stewart ARE on AFN Television. I stand corrected.