Contractors hired to evangelize U.S. soldiers

August 22, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More

How much money does the U.S. military spend on religious activities? According to this article at Alternet, the exact amount is difficult to determine, but it is a large amount of money.


Category: Military, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Here is more information on the staggering sums of money that the U.S. military is spending on religious activities.

  2. mike m. says:

    It’s just Marketing. The military is appealing to their customer base, which is primarily compromised of the very poor, the very religious, and the very unwise. “Liberal Intelligensia” is not the target market for new military recruits – they know better than to buy into the crappy bill of goods the military is trying to sell. By promoting the evangelical agenda the military is simply trying to keep their theatre full, and to do this they need to keep playing they type of music that gets the maximum amount of bodies on the dancefloor. And once the soldiers are in the system, the goal is to keep them as distracted, mesmerized and content as possible so they won’t wake up and realize where they really are and what they’re really doing.

    • Jim Razinha says:

      Odd. In my 20 year career, I very rarely came across any “very religious” and even less rarely any “very unwise” – though I hesitate to pass judgment on that, as the metric is considerably more subjective than even a religious one. I’d probably allow the same percentage as “very poor” as the other labels – very low. I’ve crossed more of the “very religious” and “very unwise” in the civilian sector – meaning a greater percentage, not just numbers – than I ever saw in the military, so I think they are missing their target audience. The comments on this forum reflect a greater percentage of religious, even unwise (?) than the military I worked with, and I worked with all the military services. I admit understanding the Army management/leadership the least, but I do have a passable knowledge so this thread does not surprise me.

      And once the soldiers are in the system, the goal is to keep them as distracted, mesmerized and content as possible so they won’t wake up and realize where they really are and what they’re really doing.

      Really? “Distracted, mesmerized and content” are so far from reality that I’m at a loss to determine where those goals came from. People can’t do their jobs if they are distracted or mesmerized and while it may be a goal of the Army to have content soldiers, anybody who really knows anything about the Army knows that “content” is not a priority.

      This Spiritual Fitness Test is disturbing on many levels, as is the evangelical trend. I suspect the “spiritual” component will be revised if not dropped – the military does evolve.

      I stopped pulling the threads after three or four successive links, but I didn’t see anything not pertaining to the Army. I’m no longer engaged in any level of the affairs of the other services, but I still have friends in them and have not heard of anything like this from them.

      I knew, and was/am good friends with several Navy Chaplains and never saw this zealotry in the Navy. One chaplain friend was a Southern Baptist who believed in the inerrancy of the Bible, and yet fought his commanding officer for the right of one Wiccan Marine to observe the solstice – he was doing his job, even though he did not believe in what he was supporting. Though I did not share his beliefs, I respected what he did.

      And if I haven’t represented myself well enough on this forum, I would probably be classified as one of the “liberal intelligentsia” by those inclined to use the term, though I abhor the completely misused “liberal” label as much as the equally misused “conservative.” Some service members are indeed sold a “crappy bill of goods” – I could never be a recruiter because I prefer to lay out the facts as I know them, tell whomever is asking that the military is not for everyone, and let them make their own decisions without a hard sell – but many are not.

  3. Mike M. says:

    As far as the “very religious” label, I submit this…

    ‘Faith in the Military:

    Evangelicals are playing an increasing role in the military. Department of Defense statistics show that 40 percent of active duty personnel are evangelical Christians. Sixty percent of taxpayer-funded military chaplains are evangelical.

    Only 14 percent of the U.S. population is evangelical Christian, compared to 40 percent of the military’s active duty personnel. More than 60 percent of military chaplains are evangelicals.’
    NPR (9/6/11)

    As far as the “very unwise” label, that’s just my totally subjective opinion of any adult who would willingly enter an organization that would dictate where they have to go, and when, and what they are to do when they get there, and what they are to eat and when they can eat, and when they can sleep and when they can awaken, what they have to wear and when they have to wear it, and who they should kill and when they need to kill those people. I see it as a full-on infantile submission to authority and a complete surrender of all personal will and volition. But again, that’s just my perspective.

    As for the “very poor” tag, I think we all know (whether we admit it or not) that the military has always targeted those in poverty and those with few other viable options (college, high paying career, trust fund, etc).

    Finally, I believe it takes a distracted and mesmerized soldier to defer his basically good human nature and be able to mindlessly kill a perfect stranger at the command and agenda of another entity.
    (How else to comprehend the handcuffing and bullet to the heads execution of children (two 3-yr olds, two 5-yr olds and one 5-month old infant)on a nighttime raid in Iraq)? – For reference, see the recent Wikileaks “Diplomatic Cable” release.

    My labels fit, and military recruiting still pushes an all around crappy bill of goods on the young and the unwary.

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