Jews on First has a very good overview of the lawsuit that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is filing on behalf of Jeremy Hall. Hall as you may remember from previous posts on this blog, is a soldier who is suing the Department of Defense for the religious discrimination that he has received from superior officers and enlisted soldiers, as well as from the bureaucracy of the Army as well.
This case has been on going for nearly a year, and the government has asked for more time until sometime in July to prepare their case. Currently, the MRFF has received over 8000 complaints from soldiers, airmen, and sailors who have experienced harassment from conservative, fundamentalist evangelists. 96% of these complaints are from Christians, whom the evangelists consider “not Christian enough”. There is a podcast of a Mikey Weinstein and Jeremy Hall interview here.
An excerpt from the report and the interview:
Maj. Welborn’s tirade notwithstanding, the Constitution’s First Amendment forbids the establishment of an official religion. In practice, however, according to Hall, fundamentalist evangelical Christianity pervaded his combat experience in Iraq. Before seeing any combat, his unit was lined up and a chaplain handed each soldier a New Testament. When a bullet hit the shield on the turret in which he was riding, leaving him “as scared as I’ve ever been,” the convoy stopped, “and the first thing I was asked was ‘Hey, Hall. Do you believe in Jesus now?’ And not ‘hey are you okay?’ Or ‘what happened?’ or anything like that, just immediately my eternal soul was in question; my religious beliefs were automatically brought into question as a test or as a means to gauge me, all the time.“ After this particular episode Hall replied, “’No but I believe in ballistic glass.’ And I knocked on the shield which had just saved me.”
Wow, these Jesus pushers are like telemarketers, they really don’t know when to stop. And to know when they have crossed the boundaries of respectful behavior. Perhaps the Department of Defense can have an opt out list for members. They can call it the Proselytization Opt Out List (POOL). This can work just like with telemarketers. Violators can have their pay docked each time they violate the list by trying to convert those on the list. And anyone can be on the list, even Christians who are tired of their fellow Christian’s bullshit.