I don't get out much (so to speak) but I got up early this AM for the taping of a half hour segment, for a Boston radio show, with my friend and colleague Chris Rodda, author of "Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version Of American History", and in talking about what we've uncovered over the past 5 months, on the influence of fake history in the US government, and the influence of fake history, fundamentalism, and neo-apocalyptic theology in the US military, I began to reflect on what Chris and I have accomplished over the past several months...
Since May things have been such a blur that I couldn't have even begun to sum it all up easily but last week, Chris and I were confronted with the necessity, under deadline, of reviewing and summarizing our research discoveries, from the last five months or so, for some upcoming Military Religious Freedom Foundation lawsuits. Since May it's been one thing after another, and last week was the first time we've actually walked back over the research ground we've been blazing for almost a half a year.
So, because readers on the Daily Kos, even those few who are devoted to the work Chris and I have been doing - for MRFF and on the fake history front - might find it hard to get an overview of where we've been over the past 1/2 year, I decided to do a quick summary. My intent is not to boast, it's actually to simply underline the radical and unprecedented nature and scope of the research and discoveries we've been powering in 2007. I'm not aware of any precedent.
A quick anecdote: I can't divulge his name without asking him first, but I was talking to an associate editor of a major US bi-monthly who I've been helping with some research that's feeding into a big, upcoming feature on the influence of the Christian right in US government, and he told me he had to apologize - prior to my recent research he said he wouldn't have expected the extent of influence, of apocalyptic Christian theological views, that I'd demonstrated in the Pentagon.
I didn't expect it either.
I've been working closely with historian Chris Rodda over the past 5 months, both on the fake history front and in doing MRFF research - so, the following is a partial compendium (only partial - there's a great deal we haven't yet published, including findings we have to keep confidential for the time being) of what we've uncovered over the past 5 months. Also, I've left my work - outside of fake history and MRFF areas - out for reasons of brevity.
FAKE AMERICAN HISTORY
- Discovered falsified US history in the Army JROTC curriculum that's taught to possibly hundreds of thousands of US high school students every year.
- Discovered falsified US history in the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools' Bible class curriculum that's currently taught, claims the group, in hundreds of US high schools around the United States, in a multi-part series at Talk To Action.
- Exposed how best-selling New York Times book list author Stephen Mansfield's new book "Ten Tortured Lies" was full of fake US history.
- Published authoritative reviews, on Amazon.com, of three leading books of fake US history [note: scroll down pages I link to for reviews by historian Chris Rodda, and recommend them (see "was this review helpful to you?") if you think they're worthy] by leading American history falsificationists such as Stephen K. McDowell and Mark A. Beliles ["America's Providential History"], David Barton ["Original Intent"], and Stephen Mansfield ["Ten Tortured Words"] and exposed the works of those authors in reviews on Talk To Action ( see Chris Rodda's reviews of David Barton and Stephen Mansfield ). This effort - to bring factually accurate, sober but critical reviews to fake history books found on Amazon.com, will continue.
- Documented that US politicians, at the highest level - in the Senate, Congress, and the White House, appear to have lost (if they actually ever possessed it) the ability to recognize egregiously falsified American history when it is staring them in the face.
- Pioneered the story of a new, expanding program under the US Federal Marshall's Service - the "temporary" installation of courts in churches (this is, end the end, a story about fake US history in the sense that understandings of church/state separation have become so degraded that such a bizarre program can even be conceived of as possibly Constitutional.)
- Exposed the history lies of the late, not-so-great D James Kennedy, whose "Coral Ridge Hour" broadcast has been aired on the Armed Forces Network for the last several years (at least).
INFLUENCE OF THE FUNDAMENTALIST & APOCALYPTIC CHRISTIAN RIGHT IN THE US MILITARY
- Uncovered preliminary evidence that top Pentagon officials who appeared in the Christian Embassy video, the subject of a Pentagon Inspector General's report, may have lied in their testimony to the inspector general.
- Discovered the "OSU" scandal - that the Department of Defense and the Pentagon Chaplain's Office seemed to have endorsed a Christian fundamentalist evangelical ministry. "Operation Straight Up", that planned on sending both Christian evangelizing materials double printed in English and Arabic and also an apocalyptic video game based on the "Left Behind" book series, to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. OSU also planned (and still, essentially, does) a "military crusade" in those two countries (OSU's "crusade" is actually a planned evangelizing tour).
- Documented the apocalyptic theological views of the US Army's new head of chaplains, Douglas L. Carver.
- Discovered that, in 2005, the Pentagon invited evangelist Dave Kistler into the Pentagon, along with ministry volunteers who brought Kistler's ministry PA system, to give two consecutive sermons in the Pentagon courtyard at lunch while Pentagon employees were eating their lunch. The Pentagon's head chaplain called this "cutting edge evangelism".
- Uncovered a pattern of Christian nationalist public events held last summer, across the US (details to be released in upcoming MRFF lawsuits) which featured Pentagon endorsements of various kinds violating DoD regulations on the endorsement of religious groups.
- Investigated allegations of anti-Semitism at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. That research, in turn, led to the exposure of an egregious anti-semitic incident at Fort Stewart in Georgia.
- In general, conducted an unprecedented survey into the influence of the Christian right in the US military, that we'll soon be publishing, provisionally under the title "The MRFF report" (stay tuned). Never before has anyone attempted even a remotely comprehensive survey of this research area. Jeffrey Scahill's book on Blackwater was a fine piece of work... But, this is more central still - Blackwater is big, but the Pentagon is truly vast, and the work Chris and I have done, for MRFF, has demonstrated an extent of influence never before recognized.
Back in May, before I started doing research work for MRFF, I emailed a half dozen leaders of the biggest progressive blogs on the internet, to inform them I had good (hard) evidence on the influence of the Christian right in the US military. I even called one of them up, to have a direct conversation.
I never heard back. Not even a peep.
Basically, it's been my experience that the leadership of the progressive blogosphere has been generally oblivious to the issues I've described here (with some notable exceptions - Buzzflash, Truthout, and Cursor have done better) In fact, it's been the mainstream media that's been quicker to pick up on these issues than the blogosphere - I can say that in regards to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation stories spun off from mine and Chris's research because I get emailed every MSM story and blog post about MRFF material. I can't divulge details of pieces in the works, but mainstream media appears to be more aware than progressive bloggers, on at least the MRFF-related issues.
I'm not going to name names or point fingers, but suffice it to say this - leaders in the progressive blogosphere are only human. They have the usual compliment of biases and preconceptions, on what is - or is not - important. They have egos, big ones sometimes, and are known to hold grudges. And they don't like to be blindsided - to miss a big issue, that is. Fake history and the influence of the Christian right in the military are arguably very BIG issues : issues that will not go away, with any amount of wishful thinking.
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