Monday, June 29, 2009

Religion and the US military

by Julie Jigsawnovich

I was taken to Evangelical churches as a child, but really never believed in the religion. I liked the directness with which opinions were expressed by the preacher, but strongly disagreed with most of them. And I distrusted the emphasis on emotion and belief as opposed to intellect and reason.

I have always been interested in ethics, however, and am sometimes surprised to find myself in accord with religious people. Here in the U.S., religion may offer alternatives to the hedonistic materialism overshadowing the earlier concept of sovereign liberty in our culture.

Yet, one of the reasons I like our system of government is that it was founded with a separation of church and state. Trends toward fusing religion with the state--and in particular, with the military--run counter to fundamental liberties and rights. We can see the extreme result of such a fusion in Iran. I recently visited the Islamic Republic of Iran, and I have also lived in a town in the "execution state" of Texas which did not allow alcohol or movie theaters or night clubs, and forced most businesses to close on Sundays for religious reasons. The differences between societies based on Fundamentalist Christianity and societies based on Islam are sometimes a matter of degrees. So I am wary of a rise of evangelical Christian impact on legislation and on the US military, just as I would be wary of the rise of any other religion's impact on our state and military.

Here is an interesting video and article:

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