Shameless Religious Testing in Armed Forces

How far will religious extremists go to exert control over those who do not subscribe to the “beliefs” that the extremists champion?  We do not have to look toward foreign nations such as Iran to find examples of harsh, underhanded religious misconduct that the aggressively devout claim is carried out in the name of morality.  We need look no further than the halls of Congress, the tax-free charities, and even find it polluting the ranks of our nation’s armed forces.  How low these misguided faith warriors are willing to go is astonishing, for much of what they do to impose their faith upon others flies in the face of what their own scriptures teach.  Such behavior is also unconstitutional. 

The United States of America rose to greatness because it extended the rights of  personal freedom to its citizens, which included the freedom to believe or not believe in some never-seen being.  There is spiritual strength in tolerance that is beyond dogma.  Those blinded by some ritualized “faith” will always fail to understand that attacking others  in spiritual sabotage will not unlock the gates of heaven.  One of the worst sins, if sins can really be graded, is to get swept up in spiritual pride, for, if scriptural accounts are consulted, elitism has no place in God’s domain.  Seeking to impose some brand of man-conceived “faith” upon others therefore is not a spiritual practice; it is indulgence in activist politics. 

So we may ask again: How far will religious extremists go  to exert control over those who do not subscribe to the self-serving “beliefs” that the extremists champion?  Apparently sewer depth offers their best view of heaven.  Consider: Since late in 2009 the military has been screening service persons through the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness test, an alleged “holistic fitness program” purportedly employed as a means to reduce the number of post-traumatic stress disorder cases that often lead to suicides.

The test, an experimental Army mental-health and fitness project, has a critical portion in it that is devoted to what can only be termed the spiritual measurement of the one being tested!  In practice it amounts to a religious test on the service men and women who expose themselves to life threatening danger to protect the alleged land of freedom.  Clearly this tramples upon the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  Indeed, Clause 3 of Article 6 of the body of the US Constitution explicitly declares it to be illegal to use any form of religious test in correlation with any government service.  Perhaps we should note here that this so-called “fitness” assessment test happens to have been designed by the  same psychologist who inspired the CIA’s torture program that was used with the blessing of the Bush administration.

In this sham of psychological practice, the standard for judging a person’s mental desirability is that the test requires enlistees to believe in God or at least some “higher power” to qualify as being “spiritually fit” to serve in the US Army.  The questions in the test have been written in such a way to approve those who believe in God or other deity, and target nonbelivers for training so they can be made to measure up to an arbitrary level of spirituality.  In other words, the test has been intentionally designed so that non-believers are discriminated against. 

Thankfully, there are persons of conscience and  integrity standing sentry against such mockery of democratic principles imposed upon service personnel.  The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which currently represents over 200 Army soldiers who have been subjected to the transparent Comprehensive Soldier Fitness test, has strongly objected to the Secretary of the Army and to the Army’s Chief of Staff.  According to released Defense Department documents, since that registered objection the spiritual portion of the CSF test is rated as the Army Chief of Staff’s “third highest priority.”

Acts perpetrated against the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and indulgence is spiritual sabotage rank third behind —what?

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