Here are two other examples of the work that MRFF is doing.
A Biblical Threat to National Security describes the way that a Bible translation commissioned by the Southern Baptist Convetion – hence, a sectarian translation – was sold under the titles of “The Soldier’s Bible,” “The Airman’s Bible,” etc, complete with additional commentary that spreads a specifically evangelical Christian understanding of being in the military and emblazoned with the official insignia of the Army, Air Force, and so on.
Let’s try a little exercise called “putting the shoe on the other foot.” How do you think the Southern Baptist Convention would respond if Llewellyn published something entitled “The Airman’s Book of Shadows,” and got Air Force permission to use official insignia on it? They’d explode in apoplectic and apocalyptic fury.
But the response to MRFF’s successful efforts to get official insignia (and hence the implication of official endorsement not just of the Bible but of a particular sectarian translation and accompanying pro-war, evangelical interpretations of the role of servicemembers) has been to allege religious persecution against Christians and to insinuate that not selling any more of these Bibles will contribute to the rising problem of suicide among military members. I don’t suppose it would do any good if I assured Rep. Huelskamp that there are plenty of Bibles still on BX shelves – in fact, that in my experience it’s impossible to find any non-Christian kind of “devotional” or “spiritual” literature in a BX.
Second, a Marine unit tried to change its name back to “Crusaders,” in spite of the way that name and insignia will directly undermine American efforts to emphasize that operations in the Middle East and Asia are not a war on Islam. This is vitally important to understand: perceptions that Americans are waging war on Islam contributes to the radicalization of otherwise peaceful Muslims and directly supports recruiting efforts by groups like Al Quaeda. If you show up wearing a cross on a shield, you are sending a message that is going to get more people killed. Both Americans and non-Americans, both Muslim and non-Muslim, both military and civilians, more people of all categories will end up dead.
But the Marine Corps’ counsel disingenuously argued that the Crusades weren’t religious wars, so no one should be offended by the insignia. Similarly ridiculous arguments followed.
This is the kind of crap the MRFF is working against. For this, they get death threats, imprecatory prayers, hate mail, and all kinds of opprobrium. Simply for defending the Constitutional rights of all people, they are deemed un-American and frankly evil. Resisting attempts by evangelical Christianity to establish hegemonic presence in the military is deemed subversive, rather than fundamentally patriotic. And although their client base is overwhelmingly Christian, they are accused of being anti-Christian and abused with the vilest religious slurs imaginable.
If you think this is wrong, then consider supporting the MRFF. And if you are in the military and you don’t know where to turn for help, know that the MRFF will be there for you.
I look forward to serving with them.