The latest faux outrage brouhaha being peddled by right wing hate and fear merchants is one slide from an unofficial U.S. Army Reserve training course on “Extremism & Extremist Organizations.” At issue? The chart above, a powerpoint slide which right wing nuts have opted to misuse by removing the verbiage from the training script, created by someone not authorized to do so.
Read the headlines:
Military Warned ‘evangelicals’ No. 1 Threat (World Net Daily)
U.S. Army Training Manual: Catholics = al-Qaeda (National Review)
Army Labeled Evangelicals as Religious Extremists (Todd Starnes – Fox News)
The list goes on and on…
If you look at the graphic at the top and do absolutely no research, no sleuthing, no picking-up-the-phone, no investigating, nothing that requires a modicum of intelligence, you might deduce that the military has labeled Evangelical Christianity as “religious extremism.”
But, if you do sixty-seconds of Googling, you would find the graphic, where it came from and the underlying text that the instructor, albeit unauthorized, shared with his students.
Extremism is a complex phenomenon; it is defined as beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, or strategies of a character far removed from the “ordinary.” Because “ordinary” is subjective, no religious group would label itself extreme or its doctrine “extremism.” However, religious extremism is not limited to any single religion, ethnic group, or region of the world; every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way” and that all others are practicing their faith the “wrong way,” seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.
The willful ignorance, desire to crucify anything in the Obama administration as anti-American and anti-religious is pathetic. Partisan hacks that delight in causing controversy and spreading falsehoods or mistruths to divide our nation and advance their own extremist agenda are just embarrassing themselves.
And by the way, the force behind all these reports? The ADF, formerly the Alliance Defense Fund, now the Alliance Defending Freedom, which several “news” reports link to as providing the source materials.
Rather than accept the facts that even their own Todd Starnes at Fox News reported (albeit in a twists partisan manner):
Army spokesman George Wright told Fox News that this was an “isolated incident not condoned by the Dept. of the Army.”
“This slide was not produced by the Army and certainly does not reflect our policy or doctrine,” he said. “It was produced by an individual without anyone in the chain of command’s knowledge or permission.”
Wright said after the complaint was lodged, the presenter deleted the slide, and apologized.
the right wing extremists claim it’s the “U.S. Army” or the “Obama administration,” rather than a lone wolf instructor.
Mark Steyn’s at The National Review was the most ridiculous, warning, “Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.” If that’s true, it will be from right-wing extremist hate, misinformation, and willful ignorance like theirs.
Frankly, it’s pathetic, painfully easy to debunk, dishonorable, an assault on the intelligence of good Americans, and embarrassing. Yes, they are embarrassing themselves. If they didn’t have the ability to reach a wide audience, it might almost be amusing, but the consequences are real — and dangerous.
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