I guess I need to clarify my 'addendum' somewhat... the AFA statement says: "...The USAFA Band presents an average of 500 performances a year; in the last 15-16 months 14 community concerts have been held in church venues: 3.2% of its total performances." What's missing here is the religious diversity... Churches only? Were the proffers to perform at synagogues, mosques, gurdwara's, Hindu temples, or any other religiously affiliated institution turned down or, if the band plays only on request, were there no religious institutions other than churches making requests? Or, are there other non-Christian religious institutions not reported in the AFA's response? Somehow, having the 3.2% of religiously-affiliated events reported being 100% Christian again, raises 'Establishment' questions.
To "David E"... Give 'em an inch and they'll take over!
Addendum... Oh, lookie!! The AFA's now posted a classic example of "IYCDTWYB, BTWBS" [If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, blind them with BS". While the people they're trying to convince of their moral rectitude and adherence to AF Instruction 1-1 may get lost in their verbiage, what's not lost is the fact that the response fails to 'respond' to the prime issue; the "partnership" between the AFA band & a religious organization (verboten per the Constitution - no 'Establishment' allowed!!). Also likely to get lost as one picks their way through the garbage (wearing boots?) is the fact that, somehow, out of the thousands of possible venues throughout the states listed (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, both North & South Dakotas) they couldn't seem to find a single venue that's not a Christian church. The propaganda doesn't hold water nor does it pass the sniff test. I refer back to my prior comment.
An adage entitled “Grey’s Law” states: “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice”. It couldn’t be less applicable in this instance. Considering the past history of USAFA constitutional transgressions, for which Mikey & MRFF have rightly & repeatedly called them on the carpet, there can be no question of the AFA’s power elite knowing the exact details of what’s allowed, and what’s not. Thus, the issue of incompetence or malice is not applicable, it’s clearly an intentional ‘in-your-face’ unconstitutional advancement of a ‘state religion’. In the past, Mikey’s called, ad nauseum, for punishment of the flag-rank Christian nationalist domionist-deconstructionists who wish to substitute their religious myths & so-called ‘sacred scriptures’ for the U.S. Constitution which they swore (clearly falsely, violating their cherished Decalogue’s ‘bearing false witness’ prohibition) to preserve & defend. Will their superiors ever grow the cojones to do what’s needed or will they mealy-mouth their way into doing nothing again?
Now, brace yourselves for the inevitable howl of outrage and accusations of ‘religious persecution’ (as if!! ‘Persecution in a country that’s 85% Christian?) from those who believe their personal mythology should set the rules for everyone regardless of whatever alternative personal mythology others might subscribe to. What’s especially humorous is the domionist-reconsturtionist’s claim to represent “Christians” when, in reality only about 30% of American Christians accept their particular extremist beliefs (not to mention their rejection of any ‘Christian’ beliefs contrary to their interpretation… beginning to sound like anyone you’ve heard of occupying swaths of land in Syrac and persecuting anyone whose beliefs aren’t in line with their own?). If you really want to test whether or not you’ll ‘make the cut’ (perhaps literally) if they have their way and make their ‘End Times’ eschatology the religion de jour for America, read the “The Lausanne Covenant”. You may not like what you find. There is a battle being fought for the secular democracy our founders envisioned; we can’t afford to lose it. Ground zero appears to be the AFA.
This is excellent news & one waits, with bated breath, to learn the contents of the provided materials and whether they're complete or seriously redacted. But, just as with so many FOIA requests from numerous organizations and individuals requesting the transparency that characterizes a democratic government, the fact that these data were only provided at the point of a lawsuit is a damning critique on the ethical void that characterizes so much of our oligarchy. That these data were provided without a protracted court battle is as hopeful as it is unusual.
As a long-term supporter of MRFF and commenter on many of the sites critical of Mikey & the MRFF's work, I've always been impressed that Mikey is one who's drawn the right conclusions from the Jewish experience of the Shoah. Contrary to the Israeli model ("To prevent ever again becoming victims of a fascist state, we'll become the world's leading fascist state), Mikey has understood that the fundamental deprivation in our world is not, wealth, arms, power or influence, but Justice. And, those who most vociferously criticize him are actually defending their own privilege - or desire for more, gained at the expense (applied INjustice) of the 'other'. It comes as no surprise that Mikey would reach out to the Imam of a mosque victimized by Islamophobic terrorism, or that he'd 'just 'go off'' on someone making hate speech in public. It's just how he is... and that's why I'm proud to support him & MRFF.
While the people quoted in this article rightly discuss the obvious unconstitutionality of this flagrant display of ultra-sectarian pageantry & triumphalism, the bad ‘Crusader optics’ vis-à-vis the well-established propaganda value to the horror created by Western exploitation & domination in the Middle East, and the overt disregard for clear-cut USAF regulations, none grapple with the clearly evident intent of this display; an in-your-face insurrectionist display of fundamentalist Christian supremacy (as further evidenced by Mr. Hills “f##k you”response to Mikey Weinstein’s contact regarding its inappropriateness) pursued in open defiance of well-known & long-established regulations (isn‘t that akin to mutiny?).
But, this is not an isolated event. Ultra-wrong-wing fundamentalist Christian dominionists in the military & in civil society have long been intent on subverting our secular democratic republic and instituting a ‘biblical’ theocracy or theonomy (even worse!). It’s critical to realize that when someone tells you they want to establish such a state, they’re not talking about making ‘Merry Christmas’ or “have a blessed day” acceptable governmental expressions or maybe making Christmas trees on government property legal; they’re specifically telling you they want to end the representative democracy those in the military have sworn to ’protect and defend’ (many evidently in flagrant violation of that ‘bearing false witness thing). None of the ‘Abrahamic’ religions (Judaism, Islam, or Christianity) admit of the supremacy of the democratic process over ‘Dog’s Law’. Thus, while they like to point to issues such as ‘honor killing’ (not exclusive to Muslims by the way), they tend not to mention Deuteronomy 22.20-21 but, reading the domionists’ words (such as Rousas John Rushdoony or his Iran-Contra felon acolyte Oliver North) nobody should be in doubt as to the biblical literalism they demand. They are in no doubt that promotion of man’s law over ‘Dog’s law’ is heresy. And the punishment for that, in fundamentalist societies, has been death.
Thus we have elected officials and Presidential candidates attacking constitutionally-protected activities like abortion using an obviously fraudulently concocted video agitprop ‘expose’ as a pretext and proclaiming their fealty to a fetus fetish ^ the 'sanctity of life' concocted out of whole cloth, while their actual fundamentalist agenda is to replace that law with their own version of ‘biblical’ law and at the same time creating an atmosphere of foaming-at-the-mouth insanity that leads directly to events such as the overtly Christian terrorist attack on Planned Parenthood; not surprisingly in that notorious hotbed of Christian domionism; Colorado Springs… right next door to the AFA (imagine that!!). Read only the first few pages of Bonny Weinstein’s book “To the Far Right Christian Hater...You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can't Be Both“ to grasp the profound hatred such fanatics feel toward anyone actively defending the Constitution and thwarting their goal. And, make no mistake, you don’t want someone who believes that it’s their Dog-given mission in life to prepare the way for their Lard’s second coming by beginning Armageddon with nuclear weapons under their control.
We minimize the intent of these activities by overt religious fanatics in defiance of regulations or common sense at our democracy’s and our civilization's risk.
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