Air Force sued over religious intolerance
Brad M Pardee
bpardee at unlnotes.unl.edu
Thu Oct 6 11:46:54 PDT 2005
It may be that I've been fortunate in the people I've had around me. I
was raised Presbyterian, and I don't remember hearing anything said there
about Jews at all unless we were talking about Old Testament history and
things like that. As an evangelical, I've heard that there were
individuals, some of whom were Roman and some of whom were Jewish, who
brought about the death of Christ, and that only those specific
individuals could be held accountable for those actions. I've heard that
the Holocaust was about Satan's unending hatred for the people with whom
God had made a covenant going back to Abraham. As I said, though, it may
be that I've simply been fortunate in the people I've had around me.
As far as the second item goes, nobody should be harassed or marginalized.
The action being requested by the plaintiff, though, seems to go beyond
righting those wrongs. While the hierarachy of the military certainly
present different challenges in this matter than those of us in civillian
life face, there should be a way to avoid throwing the baby out with the
bathwater. We should be able to find a way, within the constraints of the
military hierarchy, to permit conversations that are freely entered into
by all parties without jeopardizing the rights of those who do not wish to
discuss the subject from being made unwilling participants.
Steven Jamar wrote:
I'm surprised that you've never heard any evangelical state the Holocaust
was revenge for killing Jesus or refer to Jews as Christ killers. I have
heard such from Catholics, traditional denominational Christians, and
evangelical Christians. At one time it was official Catholic church
doctrine, if I recall my religious history correctly, and from there the
idea continued on even long after the doctrine was abandoned.
The second item recognizes voluntary/involuntary conversation distinction
you are making -- or am I misreading it?
I have also found that what some evangelicals consider mere witnessing
comes across to me and even more so to many others as inappropriate, or at
least unwanted evangelizing or proselytizing. In a rigid hierarchy like
the military where superior rank is based on when your papers were signed
giving you your rank, this can be a serious problem in a practical way.
I think the problem did not arise from one or two or even a dozen cadets
meeting together, publicizing meetings, or one-on-one witnessing. It
arose, as I understand it, from creating a pervasive culture in which the
non-evangelical students were harassed and marginalized from officers from
the top (or near the top) down. It happened when the majority started to
oppress the minority.
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