Christianists in Afghanistan- ‘we hunt people for Jesus’

Also note Bagram is home to a huge prison and CIA torture centre, what would Jesus do? (ht2 Mahatma X Files)

Al Jazeera-Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai said there must be a “serious investigation” after military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram were filmed discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country’s main Pashto and Dari languages.

In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility “to be witnesses for him”.

“The special forces guys – they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down,” he says.

“Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That’s what we do, that’s our business.”

It is not clear if the presence of the bibles and practice of calling on soldiers to be “witnesses” for Jesus continues, but they were filmed a year ago despite regulations by the US military’s Central Command that expressly forbid “proselytising of any religion, faith or practice”.

But in another piece of footage, the chaplains appear to understand their actions were in breach of a regulation known as General Order Number One.
“Do we know what it means to proselytise?” Captain Emmit Furner, a military chaplain, says to the gathering.

“It is General Order Number One,” an unidentified soldier replies.

But Watt says “you can’t proselytise, but you can give gifts”.

The footage also suggests US soldiers gave out bibles in Iraq.

In an address at Bagram, Watt is recorded as saying: “I bought a carpet and then I gave the guy a Bible after I conducted my business.

“… the expressions that I got from the people in Iraq [were] just phenomenal, they were hungry for the word.”

9 Responses to “Christianists in Afghanistan- ‘we hunt people for Jesus’”

  1. earwicga Says:

    So what is the problem? Why have you posted this?

    • RickB Says:

      Because faith isn’t reason and when combined with military force it’s a recipe for any horror being justified as god’s will (cf Gaza). Christian fundamentalists are keen on a ‘clash of civilisations’ a war against Muslims and they are growing in influence in the US military (and politics).

      • earwicga Says:

        Fair enough, I don’t see it that way myself. Putting a religious tag on war is handy – but it is ultimately about power I should have thought.

  2. libhomo Says:

    Injecting more religious extremism into Afghanistan is just plain crazy.

  3. ralfast Says:

    I’m afraid this is just the tip of a very dark and looming iceberg. From a recent Harper’s Magazine article (which I read in print but it is behind a subscription firewall online):

    “The rest of that Easter was spent under siege. Insurgents held off Bravo Company, which was called in to rescue the men in the compound. Ammunition ran low. A helicopter tried to drop more but missed. As dusk fell, the men prepared four Bradley Fighting Vehicles for a “run and gun” to draw fire away from the compound. Humphrey headed down from the roof to get a briefing. He found his lieutenant, John D. DeGiulio, with a couple of sergeants. They were snickering like schoolboys. They had commissioned the Special Forces interpreter, an Iraqi from Texas, to paint a legend across their Bradley’s armor, in giant red Arabic script.

    “What’s it mean?” asked Humphrey.

    “Jesus killed Mohammed,” one of the men told him. The soldiers guffawed. JESUS KILLED MOHAMMED was about to cruise into the Iraqi night.

    The Bradley, a tracked “tank killer” armed with a cannon and missiles–to most eyes, indistinguishable from a tank itself–rolled out. The Iraqi interpreter took to the roof, bullhorn in hand. The sun was setting. Humphrey heard the keen of the call to prayer, then the crackle of the bullhorn with the interpreter answering–in Arabic, then in English for the troops, insulting the prophet. Humphrey’s men loved it. “They were young guys, you know?” says Humphrey . “They were scared.” A Special Forces officer stood next to the interpreter–“a big, tall, blond, grinning type,” says Humphrey.

    “Jesus kill Mohammed!” chanted the interpreter. “Jesus kill Mohammed!”

    Here is the link to the full excerpt. The article itself is a must read if you can find it.

  4. ralfast Says:

    And check out these gems from a Xtristian Ministry whose mission is to “infiltrate” the U.S. Military:

    “Military Ministry’s first strategic objective is to Evangelize and Disciple Enlisted Members of the US Military. We seek to provide uniformed sons and daughters of America with an “anchor for the soul” through Jesus Christ. This process begins at the recruit Marines in prayertraining bases…boot camps…where new troops are transformed physically, mentally, and spiritually.

    Working within the framework of spiritual support provided by military chaplains and commanders, we come alongside these leaders and also assist local churches to help build values, character, and Christian faith in these dear military service members throughout their military careers as they serve us at home and abroad.”

    The key words are “bootcamp” and “commanders”. Illegal under military regulations (and a clear violation of the Separation Between Church and State). I mean might as well paint red crosses on their body armor and star swinging longswords.

  5. wyamarus Says:

    Just a little commentary on the ‘red cross’ and Crusader inferences. The ‘red crosses’ were the insignia of the Knights Templar, and signified a willingness to die before surrendering (be a martyr). They were legendary for their character and prowess as warriors, along with their piety and chastity (the other mark of a Knight Templar was the white mantle they were required to wear at all times). They earned the respect of the Arab Muslims for their fairness and abilities as civil administrators as well as tolerant views of other religious practices; it is generally accepted that the core beliefs and rituals of the Freemasons, as well as most of their early membership, was derived from former Templars after they were driven underground by the Catholic Church in collusion with Philip IV, the King of France.

    The popular image of European Crusaders in full heraldic regalia, acting out of chivalric and pious motives was as much BS and propaganda then as it now. For most of the willing (monied and privileged) participants it was all about being given an effective license to murder, rape, and pillage. For the greater number, it was forced co-option in a fruitless exercise that exposed them to privation as well as mortal physical jeopardy. While most of the parallels between the current Adventures In Empire in the Middle East and the historical Crusades are still true, I don’t see the equivalent counterpart to the Templars. In competency, as well as character, it more resembles the ill-fated ‘Childrens’ Crusade.

    • ralfast Says:

      Well said wyamarus, but I think what does carry over it is the imagery, the idea of a Holy Army going off in Crusade against heathens (the Crusades or at least the cycle of purges and persecution started much earlier with the wars against the Cathars and the Agnostics).

      A tragic legacy all around.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: