Chris Rodda over at Talk2Action has yet more information on past proselytizing by soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars in these countries started. She gives example after example pulled from the websites of various Christian ministries to show that these are not isolated incidents. MAAF also has a web page highlighting some of these stories.
This example tells it all:
But, topping the stupidity list, we have a Lt. Col. who was being so stupid that a missionary had to tell him that he was putting his troops and other people in danger. The missionary was from Liberty Baptist Tabernacle, which had already shipped 20,000 Arabic “Soul-Winning Booklets” into Iraq, with more on the way. This Lt. Col., who knew the missionary from the states, went to his hotel and offered to use his troops to protect the people who were converting the Muslims. This is from the insane story of what this genius of an officer did to meet with the missionary, copied from the ministry’s website:
“On another note, a dear Christian friend, that I had met some ten years prior, who was a deacon of an independent Baptist church in Missouri was also in Iraq. I was totally unaware of this. He was in the Missouri National Guard and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonial. Col. Koontze immediately contacted me when he found out I was in country. He was made aware of my being in Baghdad by a pastor friend of his that he had spoken with in the states.
“Through his command intelligence office, he located the hotel I was staying at. When he came to the hotel, I was sitting outside with the other pastors on the hotel’s terrace, waiting for Robert Lewis [Global Resource Group-Director], who was going to meet with us that afternoon. Col. Koontze must have had 15-20 soldiers with him; they literally blocked off the entire city block with tanks and humvees to secure the area. He then walked into the lobby asking if anyone could tell him where Pastor Furse was. As he was saying those words, he spotted me and immediately said, “It’s good to see you again Bro. Furse.” At first, I did not recognize him, until he took his helmet off. We spoke for about 20 minutes at one of the tables on the terrace of the hotel; all the while the tanks and humvees were being lined up and down the main street in front of the hotel. After renewing acquaintances, I had to tell him that it would probably be best if he and his unit left as soon as possible.
“The Iraqi people in the hotel and those on the street were to say the least, very concerned. I did not want to bring that much attention to the hotel; for fear that terrorists would target the area as well [over the previous four or five days, we had heard sporadic AK-47 gunfire going off just blocks away from the hotel]. Col. Koontze agreed fully with me on that assessment and ordered his unit to leave quietly and as quickly as possible.”
This Lt.Col is quite possibly the stupidest person in Iraq. He reminds me of the Air Force Colonel in the Christian Embassy video gushing on and on about Jesus with the goofiest, most credulous expression on his face. I, for one, would be embarrassed to have such a doofus as a commanding officer.
These Christian websites brag about the influence they have in the military and discuss how many hundreds of thousands of bibles and tracts they have sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army commanding officers seem to live in their own reality when they claim that only personal copies of religious materials are being sent. These missionary-soldiers seem to be completely oblivious to the harm they are causing to their mission and their fellow soldiers. Or perhaps they don’t care. After all, one more convert for Christ, no matter the cost.