Military Proselytizers Target ‘Darwin’

Apparently, humanism is selfish. That would have been news to Albert Camus, Nobel Laureate and resistance fighter. This is from a military chaplain’s presentation about suicide prevention that apparently is cribbed directly from evangelical preacher Rick Warren:

In March 2008, this presentation, titled “A New Approach To Suicide Prevention: Developing Purpose-Driven Airmen,” was shown at a commander’s call that was mandatory for an estimated 1,000 of Lakenheath’s Air Force personnel, and sent out by email to the entire base of over 5,000 the following day. As the use of the phrase “Purpose-Driven” in its title implies, also incorporated into this presentation is the wisdom of presidential candidate inquisitor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, a book that, second only to the Bible itself, is the most heavily promoted religious book in the military.
Following a slide stating, “Dr. Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, provides a powerful model for Suicide Prevention, developing leaders, and making troops combat ready and effective,” the author of the presentation, Air Force chaplain Capt. Christian Biscotti, brings up Charles Darwin for the first time in defining what he calls “3 Levels of Purpose.”

Oh, no he di’nt! Yes, yes, he did:
USAFslide_10
And here’s the chance canard:
slide_14
Oh, did you know that Charles Darwin is the opposite of George Washington?
slide_15darwinislenin
I didn’t either. Mikey Weinstein put it best:

The shocking discovery of this hideously unconstitutional, mandatory, military PowerPoint presentation, which is essentially coterminous with Rick Warren’s sectarian Purpose Driven Life, takes the quintessential cake as far as magnitude of odiousness of illegality is concerned. Indeed, it is arguably not only the most prominent example in MRFF’s current Federal lawsuit against the DoD of the ‘pervasive and pernicious pattern and practice’ of unconstitutional rape of the religious freedoms of our honorable armed forces members, but an example of the reckless substitution of religious ideology for the real professional help that could save the life of a member of our armed forces considering suicide. Bertrand Russell once sagaciously opined that very few people can be happy without hating another person, nation or creed. This ‘Purpose-Driven Airmen’ mandatory presentation is the epitome of military-sanctioned ‘hatred of the other’ and those commanding its viewing must face trial by General Courts Martial.

I am so tired of having to deal with this abject stupidity.
If you want more brain trauma, you can view the entire presentation here.

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Creationism, Fucking Morons, Military, The War on Science. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Military Proselytizers Target ‘Darwin’

  1. Mike says:

    Legal eagles, a question: What sort of standing does one need to file a suit against this abuse?

  2. k says:

    An individual would have to come forward who had personally been subjected to the presentation and felt discriminated against… which isn’t all that difficult in normal 1st Amd cases, and you only need one person. But from within such a closed society as the military, it could prove difficult.

  3. Katharine says:

    Blood boiling.
    As much as I know there are some intelligent people in the military, they seem to mostly consistently be grunts led by the mindless. No doubt Bush’s incompetence factors into this.
    We need to get more vocal to Obama about ELIMINATING the offices of faith-based services and eradicating religion from government. I hardly care what most people believe, but when they try to impose their beliefs on us, we need to go on the attack and put them in a far worse state than they were before.
    No more playing nice.

  4. Rev.Enki says:

    Since Karl Marx is in Group II, and most of us are (so I’m told) in Group III, I suppose it stands to reason that, failing to move a man into the godly column, a compromise might be reached by convincing him to become a communist.

  5. Ron Hager says:

    I have a grandson in the Air Force Academy and I fear these kind of lies, bigotry, and religious idiocy is what they are teaching him. I fear the result of all of this will be a continuation of the decline of American influence and image and in a hundred years or so the Chinese or India will be in charge, having reaped the benefit of the stupidity the Republicans and their ultra right wing religious supporters have foisted upon America.

  6. Robert says:

    I am amazed by the comments in this blog. So much for science. The people that serve in the military are a lot smarter than you would believe. Everyone that enlists in the military must pass the ASVAB test. Look it up sometime. You might be surprised by the challenge that you would face if you had to take it. I was a soldier, and I have an IQ 6 points lower than Einstein. I chose the military right out of high school, since I wanted the challenge. I now have an MBA and am getting ready to start a degree in Theoretical Mathematics. When someone joins the military, they do not have the same rights as other Americans. They do not have freedom of speech to the same degree as those that do not serve. Niether do they have the same level of religious freedom that those outside of the military enjoy. An Airmen, soldier, marine, seaman, etc. cannot bring a lawsuit against the military. For those that are upset that Darwin is being challenged, in science, everything in debatable. There are no absolute truths, only theories. Until someone can come up with a reasonable theory to explain how this planet went from no life to life, I will not fully accept Darwin’s theory.

  7. tincture says:

    For somebody who claims to be a genius, you make some extremely basic mistakes. The military can’t force people to sit down and be told how Warren’s god is awesome and that anything else leads to suicide.
    Darwin isn’t being “challenged” in this story. His name is being used by some religious tool as a bogeyman, but you seem to think Darwin being “challenged” is something people would be concerned about. The modern theory of evolution is not just a reprint of ‘the origin of the species,’ things have changed in the last 150 years. The theory of evolution is “challenged” everyday by actual scientists doing actual science, not by wannabes pissed that it contradicts their bible.

  8. Paul Murray says:

    “If you love God, you will leve man and yourself”
    And what, I woonder, does this have to do with bombing people from 20,000 ft? Those courageous Air Force boys!

  9. KB says:

    Robert:
    1. The ASVAB? I took it in high school with the rest of the 11th grade. To pass I think that you only need to be marginally literate and able to add/subtract. Those who fail either have a learning disorder or have been very severely let down by the public school system. I can’t tell if you felt challenged by this test or if you are trying to call people here mentally retarded.
    2. I’m not sure what my IQ is, but I pride myself more in information I know, rather than information I could know but am too lazy to learn. You apparently did not take advantage of the educational opportunities the military gave you to learn how science works. There are many smart AND hardworking people in the military who would have their intelligence offended to see this presentation.
    3. The MRFF is trying to bring a lawsuit, not individual members of the military.
    4. Darwin is not being challenged in this presentation. You cannot challenge theories that you do not understand well enough to make an argument against them.

  10. Captain Obvious says:

    That presentation is disgusting. That any mainstream group allows such extremism is bad enough but the military? If any group need to have a grip on reality it is the military, I can’t think of anything worse than a military driven by superstition and a “divinely inspired” hatred for everything different from them – history has seen quite enough of that sort of barbarism, thanks very much.

  11. Barry says:

    ” I now have an MBA and am getting ready to start a degree in Theoretical Mathematics. ”
    That’s a very, very strange path.
    ” For those that are upset that Darwin is being challenged, in science, everything in debatable.”
    Yeah, but you need (a) evidence, and (b) an amount and variety which can compare with the existing evidence, and there isn’t that.
    “There are no absolute truths, only theories.”
    Standard creationist bullsh*t.
    “Everyone that enlists in the military must pass the ASVAB test. Look it up sometime. You might be surprised by the challenge that you would face if you had to take it. ”
    *Passing* the ASVAB is ridiculously easy. Scoring high is, of course, a different thing.
    “Niether do they have the same level of religious freedom that those outside of the military enjoy.”
    There is no evidence to support that.
    “An Airmen, soldier, marine, seaman, etc. cannot bring a lawsuit against the military.”
    Wrong.
    Any other lies?
    BTW, if you’re really going for a math degree, you’ll find that the sort of BS you’re used to spouting won’t cut it.

  12. Mustafa Mond, FCD says:

    Everyone that enlists in the military must pass the ASVAB test. Look it up sometime. You might be surprised by the challenge that you would face if you had to take it.

    Took it. Aced it. Big yawn.

    An Airmen, soldier, marine, seaman, etc. cannot bring a lawsuit against the military.

    It’s a good thing your degree is an MBA and not a law degree, or I would laugh in your face and call you incompetent.

    Until someone can come up with a reasonable theory to explain how this planet went from no life to life, I will not fully accept Darwin’s theory.

    There are several current theories of abiogenesis. But let me guess… you, Mr. ASVAB, Mr. MBA, get to decide what is a “reasonable” theory in a field of inquiry you have not studied.

  13. W. Kevin Vicklund says:

    Everyone that enlists in the military must pass the ASVAB test. Look it up sometime.

    So I looked it up. Depending on which service (air is stricter than navy is stricter than gro-pos), a passing score is 31-40th percentile (normalized AFQT score). That means that 69% of the people taking the exam can score better than you and you would still qualify for the Marines. The ASVAB is a very lousy indicator of intelligence – not to mention the fact that more than half the test doesn’t even count towards passing it.

    Niether do they have the same level of religious freedom that those outside of the military enjoy. An Airmen, soldier, marine, seaman, etc. cannot bring a lawsuit against the military.

    The military by necessity reduces religious freedom. The purpose of military chaplains is to permit the religious freedom of soldiers. The instant a chaplain acts to reduce the religious freedom of a soldier, the chaplain is in violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
    Your claim that service-members cannot bring lawsuits is ludicrous. They may have more hoops to jump through, but they are not prevented from taking action if their rights are violated.

  14. k says:

    “An Airmen, soldier, marine, seaman, etc. cannot bring a lawsuit against the military.”
    The only thing I can think is that the misguided fellow is referring to the Federal Tort Claims Act, which is very limited regarding military personnel.
    But then, this isn’t a tort–it’s a First Amd. claim, which are expressly allowed by the CRA.

  15. Freiddie says:

    This is one of the worst examples of broad-brush oversimplification-ism. Since when did people start equating “chaos” to “Darwin”? Some people have the most distorted ideas of philosophy. This presentation is more like a mockery than a “teaching”. I am disgusted.

  16. SLC says:

    Re Robert
    1. Mr. Robert repeats the old creationist canard, namely that the Darwinian theory of evolution doesn’t explain the origin of life. I have a flash for Mr. Robert, it’s not supposed to explain the origin of life. It explains what happened after life originated (defined as the occurrence of the first replicators). In other words, the Theory of Evolution and the Theory of Abiogensis are entirely separate and distinct theories. The former is now well understood and accepted in the biological community. The latter does not yet exist but there are a number of hypotheses currently being explored.
    That’s what science does.
    2. As for Mr. Roberts’ invocation of a high IQ, the Red Light Bandit, Caryl Chessman, who was executed in California for the crimes of kidnapping and rape, had an IQ of 160.

  17. Carl says:

    Washington is cited as an example of “God Given” purpose.
    Um, George Washington was a Deist. He was not, as implied, a Christian, and did not believe in a personal God. Apparently he did not believe in an afterlife. Note that his monument is a pagan religious symbol, an Egyptian stele.

  18. Ryan says:

    Washington was actually an Anglican (Jefferson was a deist). You can (and many rightie historians have) drum up enough God-talk from him to make him seem fairly theistic, but I’d say it’s pretty spare for the time. Also, he was a strong advocate of religious toleration, even for atheists. How he becomes the paragon of theism (other than for the obvious political purposes) is beyond me.
    The presentation also seems to completely misrepresent humanism…

  19. G Barnett says:

    ASVAB? Joke test. I took it lo, these many years past as did many others here, and I hit 99th percentile in virtually every section — except electronics which I got 96th in. At the time I knew *nothing* of electronics. Honestly, passing that silly thing was the biggest mistake I made back then — the Marines were bombarding me with promo junk for months afterwards.
    And as others have said, this sort of thing is patently unconstitutional and is precisely the sort of thing we *need* to shield our soldiers from. The last thing this country needs is to risk a theocratic coup from religiously brainwashed soldiers.

  20. Robster, FCD says:

    You can fight this kind of thing, as long as you have a goal of not having a career in the military.

  21. Graculus says:

    Until someone can come up with a reasonable theory to explain how this planet went from no life to life, I will not fully accept Darwin’s theory.
    Let me guess, “Magic Man done it” is just fine by you.
    Idjit.

  22. mirc says:

    thanks

  23. Macturk says:

    ONE THOUSAND MILITARY PERSONNEL on the base HAD TO attend this silliness?
    Fire the base commander.
    On a minor note;
    a) What is the difference between “Man given” and “Self given” in the first slide?
    b) The scientific illiterate who prepared the third slide knew nothing of Soviet biology and the damage caused by denying Darwin and elevating Lysenko – in effect elevating Lamarckism.

  24. hoary puccoon says:

    MacTurk @23– “On a minor note, what is the difference between “Man given” and “Self given”?”
    Well, for those of us with two X chromosomes and no Y, actually quite a lot. 😉

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