Bomb Throwing Pacifist
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Your daily dose of heaping melodrama for Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 has been carefully prepared by our master chef Helen Valois using only the finest of ingredients including (but not limited to) succulent hyperbole, delicious paranoia, and the finest-ground faulty reasoning. The side of snark was prepared by some guy named Marc, who probably cleans out the dumpster in the back of the restaurant and hauls off the barrels of kitchen grease every Thursday (at least, that's what his paycheck says). Anyway, bon appetit!
"Wear and tear on the guillotine" of today
January 13, 2007
What has happened to Gordon Klingenschmitt and his family is certainly a shame.
Quick recap: Gordon Kligenschmitt (chorus: his name is my name too!) is- or was- a Navy chaplain of the aprticularly shoeless and wingnutty evangelical "Praise Jesus" variety. You know, the whole "non-believers in Christ burn in hell forever" thing and whatnot. Which is fine if you're an Evangelical Christian, but which might be just a wee slightly bit offensive to others if you're- say- a Jew or something.
Anyway, Gordon decided that the best way to testify and fufill his duty as a chaplain was to mention Jesus and pray in Jesus' name every time he had the chance, which included in "all-hands-on-deck-type" religious gatherings, public speaking events, the nightly ship's prayer (spoken over the PA system) and so on.
Well, it just so happens that apparently quite a few people on board the U.S.S. Anzio had a problem with Gordon's shall we say, less than ecumenical approach to religion and complained to the ship's commanding officer. The ship's commanding officer (and another onboard chaplain) looked into the matter and determined that Gordon was in violation of several Military regulations governing the roles and responsibilities of uniformed clergy, including a 1998 Navy policy instructing chaplains to respect the views of all Sailors and Marines by not preaching their doctrinal orthodoxy, especially during mandatory command fuctions, and another policy mandating that all public prayers at mandatory functions (outside of divine services) be non-sectarian in nature. In other words, if you're a Catholic priest or a Jewish Rabbi, you can pray and talk about anything you want during a service (ie. the importance of Confession or keeping Kosher), but at mandatory public gatherings such as a ships's evening prayer, you are politely asked to say something a little more broad-minded and non-doctrinal. Seems fair enough.
Anyway, Gordon made a huge stink about it and became something of a cause celebre amongst the evangelical right. After going on a hunger strike, disobbeying the direct orders of his superiors regarding his conduct, demanding a full court martial (instead of a less serious disciplinary hearing), and generally bitching about how he was a Christian being persecuted by the PC establishment (ie. the military), it looks like the hammer has finally come down. Anyway, on with the show!
This now ex-Navy chaplain, who stood up for his and others' right to pray in Jesus' name, has reportedly been relieved of duty — and of his means of supporting his family — because of his beliefs.
Technically, I would point out that he was dismissed not because of his beliefs, but because of the court martial. Which only occurred not because of his damned beliefs, but because of his refusal to follow military policy and shut the hell up about them.
Today's lesson. Actions and beliefs. Not the same.
"We are homeless, we are jobless, and we are in God's hands," says this outstanding man, who is not complaining. A million-dollar pension has also been sacrificed in the process of winning a victory for which both Christians and non-Christians must be very grateful.
Fortunately, while he is not complaining in the above statement, he has Helen to do all the complaining for him. Talk about delegation!
EDIT: On a side note, what's this about a million-dollar pension? Did the Navy reinstitute the policy of granting their crews prize money or something? This must be further investigated at once!
EDIT II: Wait. What's this about a victory? And why should non-Christians be happy about being told that they are hell bound every night at 6:30 p.m. over the ship's speakers?
EDIT III: Oh screw it. Beer o'clock is coming early today.
But, where is the outrage over this innocent family's fate?
It can be found at http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/valois/070113, among other places. As for the fate of the innocent family, I do agree that it is remarkably unfair that the man's poor wife and kids have to suffer under the weight of such an atrociously stupid man. There's no justice in this world.
Neal Boortz and all you doughty defenders of Keith Ellison's decision to take his oath of office on the Quran — why aren't you in high dudgeon about the necessity of recognizing religious liberty, where Christianity is concerned?
Yeah punks! And if I start my own religion which requires me to worship some fat, bearded Japanese guy and includes nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway as one of my sacrements, I certainly expect to find your hypotricial asses up there on a podium defending my religious freedom as well! Tools.
The fact that mainstream commentators do not seem upset about the defunding of the Klingenschmitts is an indication that their punishment at the hands of the powerful and bigoted is more than just a shame.
Following this logic, I also maintain that the ignorance mainstream commentators display with regards to my quest to buy a new Toyota FJ Cruiser is further proof that my situation is more than just a shame too!
It is a grave and disturbing symptom of the anti-life movement's waxing influence over a nation that can only be described as increasingly sold out to a concatenation of vacuous propaganda. Economic marginalization is a time-tested means by which tyrannies attempt to keep the uppity in line; the Klingenschmitts are not the first to suffer it and, if the deafening silence surrounding their plight is any indication, they won't be the last, either.
In other words...
1) Gordon's dismissal is a sign of...
a) The strengthening of the anti-life movement
b) The increasing selling of vacuous propaganda to our nation
c) Economic marginalization (viz. his being fired for loudly disagreeing with the rules and then daring the military to court martial him)
d) An example of the tactics used by a tyrrany keeping the uppity in line
e) A media increasingly uninterested in focusing on the offbeat greivances of fringe whackjobs
f) ...of things to come
g) An evil conspiracy perpetrated by the Clinton administration, the UN, Old Europe, and environmentalists to aid
Saddam Hussein Hugo Chavez in his attempt to acquire Vorgon Battlecruisers.
All right fine. In all fairness, I did make up item e). Gordon is not, in fact a fringe whackjob, but is in fact a fairly typical example of the type of person living in the vast wilderness of our nation, something the Republicans refer to as "the base."
There was a man living and working in Munich in the 1940s, named Kurt Huber. A quiet fellow, slightly crippled and with trembling hands, Huber was a university professor who taught philosophy, well.
Did he teach philosophy well? Or did Helen just end a sentence with a proposition? And does this sentence seem just a little fishy, to?
When the Nazi movement overtook his country like an ideological tsunami, Huber's keen intellect was not drowned; he refused to buy into the prevailing cliches.
Ideological tsunami? Oh, I think I can come up with an appropriate example. Granted, it was a hurricane, but the effect was much the same.
And to make matters even better, I beat Helen to the punch by calling her faction Nazis before she did. Score!
Some of his students — Hans and Sophie Scholl and their intrepid companions — launched the White Rose resistance group, spreading anti-Nazi leaflets throughout Munich and the surrounding area. Huber detected and joined them.
There were disagreements. The seasoned professor did not see eye-to-eye with the young firebrands in every particular, but in essential purpose they were unified.
The purpose of spreading fire-and-brimstone evangelical Christianity no matter what the evil politically correct Nazis might think!
What was this fine man's fate? Like the rest of the core membership of the White Rose, Huber was caught, "tried," and beheaded. Unlike most of them, however, he had a wife and family to leave behind, making the pain of his sacrifice the keener. For him, an authoritative historian elaborates, "to be arrested, accused, and jailed was a special torment. He was immediately stripped of his status as a university professor and civil servant, which cut off his only income, canceled his pension, and left his wife and children destitute."
Just like Chaplain Godron! Who after having been caught spreading the message of Bob Jonesism over the ship's PA system was tried, sentenced, stripped of his professorship, and keel hauled by the Navy authorities, leaving his wife and children as penniless outcasts. Right?
As a matter of fact, the Nazis highlighted the essentially vindictive nature of contemporary totalitarianism for us by going even further than that. Kurt's wife "Clara Huber was not only left penniless," the record states; "an official at Stadelheim presented Frau Huber with a bill for 3,000 marks for wear and tear on the guillotine in the execution of her husband!"
Just like in the case of Chaplain Gordon! Who not only so nobly sacrified himself for his religious ideals, in a purely selfless and courageous act, but whos family found itself destitute and unable to pay when the United States Navy presented them with a bill for the damaged rope which had been used in the keel hauling process (man, them barnacles are sharp!).
Gordon Klingenschmitt has not, thank God, been executed.
NO FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!111!!!!
Still, the similarity between the fate of his family and that of Kurt Huber (not to mention countless other examples, from both the German and the American "night") is too striking to be overlooked.
One was a courageous professor who joined an underground resistance movement, was arrested, tried, convicted, beheaded, and left his wife destitute and humiliated by the Nazi authorities.
The other was some evangelical shithead who refused to abide by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which he was sworn to uphold) despite numerous warnings and hearings, got himself court-martialed at his own request, was dismissed from the military, forced to surrender 5% of his pay and written off as a laughingstock and embarassment by the rest of the Chaplain Corps (yet managed to become a wingnut hero and martyr in the process).
It should serve as yet another sobering warning of the direction — namely, headlong towards self-destruction — in which libertarian America is drunkenly careening. Economic retaliation against those who refuse to bend the knee to state-enforced neopaganism is a bad, bad sign indeed.
Ie. being disciplined for breaking the rules in the name of "Christianity."
God, washing the taste of this one out is gonna take forever....
I'll keep looking for more of your posts.