Author Topic: Dominionist Air Force General  (Read 403 times)

Recusant

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Dominionist Air Force General
« on: August 20, 2018, 06:02:12 PM »
I've read previously that the US Air Force has a strong element of evangelical Christians in it, but this is the first I've heard of this fellow. (For reference: "Dominion theology" | Wikipedia.)

"Exclusive: Is a senior Air Force general using his power to spread far-right Christian nationalism?" | Salon

Quote
On July 18, Air Force Brig. Gen. John Teichert assumed command of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base. Less than one month later, on Aug. 12, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a 22-page complaint against him for violating military rules and regulations about religious proselytizing, based on the online record at Teichert's Christian ministry website, “PLUS” (“Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States”), which has been in operation for five years, well before his latest promotion. Within the week, the MRFF, a watchdog group founded in 2005, received word that the Department of Defense was beginning a formal investigation.

According to a press statement from MRFF founder and president Michael L. Weinstein, a former Air Force officer, on Teichert's website he has “denigrated LGBT individuals, slammed American society at large, and, of course, delivered election voting mandate directives" urging that only certain categories of Christians should be elected to public office.

Military officers enjoy the same freedom of religion as everyone else in America, so Teichert's religious faith is not an issue in itself. But military service entails special restrictions on how religion is expressed, particularly if that expression is deemed to undermine military effectiveness, a point that lies at the heart of the MRFF’s complaint.

[. . .]

Teichert fervently believes that America was founded as a Christian nation, and has fallen away from its original exalted state. The cultural resonance of these views — although they represent fake history — helps give cover to activity to would otherwise cause outrage.

[. . .]

In an early post, from April 2013, "Unrecognizable from the Original — Hebrews 13:8," Teichert fumes over the ways America has changed since its founding, which he assumes was well-nigh perfect, slavery and all, because it was supposedly so thoroughly Christian.

"It is clear that American Christians have steadily drifted away from the Lord, following in the footsteps of an aggressively liberalizing society,” Teichert writes. “How did we, both as a people and as a nation, arrive at such a position that is largely unrecognizable from where we began? The answer is a series of small compromises." What compromises is he talking about? The abolition of slavery? Voting rights for women? He doesn’t say.

[. . .]

This is all justified, it would seem, by the mythology of America’s supposedly pure Christian origins, which supports a multitude of false or distorted historical narratives. This is a subject long studied by Frederick Clarkson, senior research analyst at Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank in Massachusetts.

“Teichert’s blog posts epitomizes a kind of historical revisionism that historian Frank Lambert calls creating a ‘usable past,’” Clarkson told Salon. “This is done by selecting tidbits from history and suggesting that they support contemporary conservative Christian political views and candidates, or more importantly an interpretation of the Constitution. This is how Christian nationalists create a history that they use to justify not only their favored politicians and issues du jour, but often the more profound vision of political dominion we call 'Dominionism.'”

In its starkest forms, the ideology known as Dominionism is clearly anti-democratic and un-American. Laws passed by overwhelming majorities are invalid if they conflict with “God’s law” — separating the races, for example, which was long perceived as a biblical mandate in the pre-civil rights South. So for obvious reasons most American Dominionists of the 21st century shield or shade their beliefs, sometimes even from themselves.

[Continues . . .]

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Dave

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Re: Dominionist Air Force General
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 06:21:05 PM »
Sounds typical of the breed.
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Re: Dominionist Air Force General
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 06:57:54 PM »
Frankly horrifying and terrifying by turns.
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Re: Dominionist Air Force General
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 09:29:25 PM »
Not surprised at all.
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Re: Dominionist Air Force General
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2018, 11:45:38 PM »
Someone seems lost in the wild blue yonder.

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Re: Dominionist Air Force General
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 01:31:20 AM »
Several years ago the faculty and general management officials at the US Air Force academy got into a jam.  They were, for all practical purposes, requiring the cadets to accept and practice the christian faith and  participate in its ceremonies.  There was a big stink about that and several of the faculty and others lost their jobs.  But not enough of them were fired or transferred.  There are still overtones of christian necessity at that institution.

It seems that the people who fly high in the sky are closer to God than some of the rest of us.

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Re: Dominionist Air Force General
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 03:33:07 AM »
I wonder how much of this is because of a lack of indigenous tradition in the US Air force.  As a former member of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Australian Navy we had through our heritage association with the Royal Navy something like a 1,000 years of tradition to fall back on and to guide our day to day actions, all the little things that build esprit d'corp and make you feel part of the group.  In the USAF, in the absence of such a long tradition, maybe they have simply grafted on their xtian tradition without a lot of thought.

Of course, I could be wrong.
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