The other item hasn't seemed to get much notice around here, though perhaps it should. Duncan Hunter has slipped into The National Defense Authorization Act of 2007 a sweet little gift for his Evangelical buddies.
But the defense bill is being held up by a number of disagreements between the House and the Senate. Among them is a particularly inappropriate provision, inserted into the House version of the bill by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. -- head of the House Armed Forces Committee -- that would break with tradition and allow military chaplains to say sectarian prayers at official gatherings.
Isn't that so nice of him? Letting those chaplains preach and proselytize to their heart's content. After all, they're only following their dominionist agenda, attempting to takeover the Military. It isn't the dreaded nanny state liberals who keep trying to turn such bastions of filth and depravity (And I hope to hell they never change!) as the Navy and Marine Corps into the Boy Scouts, it's the Evangelicals. They want Holy Warriors who will do their bidding.
The measure has been championed by evangelical Christian groups such as Focus on the Family. "Chaplains take their orders on prayer from a much higher authority than their commanding officer," said one minister. But the provision is opposed by a wide range of heavyweights, from the Defense Department to powerful Sen. John Warner, R-Va., (the Senate sponsor of the bill) to the Baptist Joint Committee, the Episcopal Church and the American Jewish Congress.
They don't just want Chaplains to take their orders from a much higher authority, they want to control every last servicemember, and Duncan Hunter's happily going along with that insanity. Even though the Defense Department doesn't want to be subject to this social engineering, possibly even less than they want to allow openly homosexual people to serve.
What I can't figure out, is with all this obvious, open hostility towards the military, why anyone in America still thinks Duncan Hunter's a supporter of said institution. He opposes them on issue after issue, from forcing unwanted contracts onto them, to forcing them to be subjected to the insanity of dominionists, to telling the Army who can and can't be in combat, to detainee treatment.
Fortunately, it is an election year, and Duncan Hunter does have an opponent. One who is uniquely suited to hammer him on at least the evangelical pandering. John Rinaldi, at one time a chaplain in the United States Navy. A progressive, pro-labor, supporter of stem cell research, who also has some good political cartoons on his site.
Duncan Hunter too often seems unbeatable, it's a gerrymandered district, in what is thought of as a very red part of California. I'm not sure how exactly he can be beaten, but I'm really sick of nobody even putting up a fight.