In my last post, I highlighted a couple of especially obnoxious actions by evangelical fundamentalist Christians that are illustrated in MRFF‘s latest lawsuit. In addition to calling non-Christians second class people, materials about chastity and sexual promiscuity were given to women. These materials are not geared towards men. Here is what I said in my last post:
As if this was bad enough, there is worse, especially for female military members. Look at some of the items used as training material in the Army’s Strong Bonds program:
“Every Woman, Every Day,” (365 Christian readings and sermons about “sexual purity”)
“Every Woman’s Battle,” (a book of Christian sermons, and Bible verses to “Discover God’s plan for sexual and emotional fulfillment.“)
“Every Woman’s Battle Promise Book,” (a “daily devotional” of Bible verses to support the reader in a quest for “sexual integrity“)
“The Thrill of the Chaste,” by Dawn Eden. The author is described on the back cover as “Jewish-born” and throughout the book as a “former agnostic Jew.” The book describes in detail how she led a highly promiscuous and drug abusing lifestyle until she had a “born again experience” and “realized for the first time … that [Jesus] as truly God’s son.” The book is filled (almost every page) with Bible verses and with the author proselytizing Christianity. Chaplain Johnson recommended the book multiple times during the training.
Apparently, Dawn Eden did not lead a “highly promiscuous and drug abusing lifestyle”, she corrects this impression in her blog. But I’m familiar with the common evangelical claim of a very extreme lifestlye until they find Jesus. This book was probably confused with another, similar book or story. Chris Rhoda in the comments to Dawn’s post, I’m In the Army Now, responds that MRFF will be correcting this part of the lawsuit.
I’m curious about this fixation that fundamentalist Christians have about women and sex and decided to do a few Google searches. I’ve already read about “Purity Balls” and such for teenage Christian girls where they pledge their sexuality to be guarded or “covered” by their fathers. Others have commented on the bad choice of the word “covered”, which is another way of saying “mounted” for horses and cattle. But I was really shocked at now there are materials geared towards children, telling them that their sexuality is bad and somehow shameful if they are not virgins when they get married.
Here is a website for Christians overly obsessed with controlling other people’s sex lives. Why the conflation of “purity” with chastity, unless they think sex is nasty and unclean? And will their obsession for “purity” change from the sexual to all aspects of their lives? Will they start regarding all those they regard as “impure” as some sort of second-class people?
Parents for purity is a website dedicated to increasing awareness of the dangers of the impurity in our surrounding culture. Our main directive is seeking to teach the benefits of living a pure life that is alert and striving towards God’s will for purity in our daily walk with Him.
Parents for Purity is founded out of gratitude to God for revealing His power and authourity over every aspect of our lives.
So I decided to take a look at the Army’s Strong Bonds program. Take a look at their symbol, telling isn’t it. The symbol of the eagle but, hidden within it is the Christian dove. Just like every time overt Christian proselyzation is discovered, these “fearless” warriors for Christ scatter and hide again. If they are convinced they are following the law, why hide? Why do they hide the religious nature of the program until one signs up for it? I don’t see any of the materials available for reading to find out what the program is all about. On the Strong Bond’s website there is very little information and a requirement to sign up before any information is given. Why?
Here is a description of the Strong Bonds program from their website:
As members of the world’s premier fighting force, Army Soldiers sacrifice for our country every day, and so do their loved ones. Military life places extreme hardship on relationships, especially in wartime, so the Army – backed by Congress – has committed unprecedented resources to help Soldiers build stronger relationships through the Strong Bonds Program.
Strong Bonds empowers Soldiers and their loved ones with relationship-building skills, and connects them to community health and support resources. It is a holistic, preventative program committed to the restoration and preservation of Army families, even those near crisis. The program is initiated and led by the Army Chaplains. More than 90% of those who have attended the program rate it positively.
With Strong Bonds, participants not only bond with their loved ones. They bond with other Army families, chaplains and the Army community as a whole. In turn, our Soldiers realize that they’re not in this alone. They have an entire Army of support, both on duty and off.
There would be no problem with a program led by chaplains, except for the fact that the chaplain corps is now 40% fundamentalist evangelical Christian. These fundamentalist chaplains seem to have of a lot of problems dealing with those who are from differing branches of Christianity or are non-Christian. They seem to be unable to relate to those of differing beliefs without try to shove their own brand of religion at people. These particular chaplains for the most part are not as highly educated as other chaplains from other religions and branches of Christianity. Many non-denominational and Pentecostal Churches have very little educational requirements for a pastor. And a lot of these forms of Christianity do not have any female leadership. Perhaps this explains the sexual focus of women’s materials. They see women as objects to be controlled, not as strong, capable, human beings.