In 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, an inspirational painting referencing a Bible verse was removed from a dining hall after an anti-religion group filed a complaint. The more recent uproar surrounding Indiana Governor Mike Pence and the Progressives continual assault on religious liberty only served to open a raw wound for those in the Armed Forces suffering similar assaults. What is so astounding about these reports is not necessarily the facts of each case, rather it is they are symptomatic of a disease that appears to have plagued America’s senior military and civilian leadership: moral cowardice.
For the military, the message from the Obama Administration is loud and clear – either toe the line on its radical social agenda or get out. The general and flag officers’ failure to stand up to a seeming unending and corrosive assault upon its core values by what were once society’s fringe elements, radical homosexuals and atheists, will doom their services to failure on the home front and the battlefield.
The painting at Mountain Home featured a medieval crusader and referenced biblical verse Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, led by Atheist Mikey Weinstein, called the painting “repugnant” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism.” One could be hard pressed to find anything repugnant about this verse, which has become a core part of our Republic’s Judeo Christian ethic. Pursuant to Weinstein’s logic, Saint Michael the Archangel should be removed from his place as Patron Saint of the Paratroopers; Chaplains, such as Medal of Honor recipients Emil J. Kapaun and Rocky Versace, would be stricken from active duty; and, all of the glorious chapels throughout the military, like those at the Naval Academy and West Point, would be forever closed.
This assault on our military’s core values is nothing short of an attempt to replace the cardinal virtues of temperance (self-control), prudence, justice and fortitude (courage) with those of secular humanism: self-aggrandizement, narcissism and a nihilist worldview of relativism. In a quote attributed to G.K. Chesterton, “The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything” or its corollary, “If one believes in everything, they believe in nothing.”
The military’s senior leadership would be well served to reexamine its conscience and regain the intestinal fortitude to tell the Mikey Weinsteins of the world – and their pusillanimous supporters at the White House – to practice the tolerance which they so often preach. Unfortunately, based on recent trends, the opposite seems to be happening. Instead of standing up for those asking the “hard” questions – like Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, who quite logically asked the question, “Is Islam compatible with a Constitutional Republican form of government?” – the military folks, at the behest of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR),1 often turn on the inquisitor. When told to implement the concept of homosexual partners – in defiance of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – again, the military’s leaders fold without any serious reflection, pushback or consideration of how this is fundamentally offensive to the core ethics and morality of its warriors.
Truth, the seeking of the truth, and even acknowledging that there are fundamental truths, are all quickly being defined as hate speech within the military. Do you think that the current culture of political correctness, which is nothing more than progressive dogma, fosters creative thinking, planning and thought? Think again. The rapidity of the military’s retreat on these matters is saddening and worrisome. And the further down the road it retreats, with military leaders more concerned about their next promotion instead of what is truly the right thing to do, the less likely we will maintain our ability to dominate and favorably shape world events.
About the Author:
Lt. Col. David G. Bolgiano is a retired paratrooper who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple occasions. He is the author of Combat Self-Defense: Saving America’s Warriors from Risk-Averse Commanders and their Lawyers and co-author of Fighting Today’s Wars: How America’s Leaders Have Failed Our Warriors.
- Jason Howerton, “Army Instructor Ousted Over Muslim Groups’ Complaints About ‘Bigoted’ Teachings on Radical Islam Fights Back,” The Blaze, October 5, 2012.