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US Army Reserve training: Catholicism, like Ku Klux Klan and Al-Qaeda, an example of ‘religious extremism’

Catholic World News - April 08, 2013

A slide presentation used in training US Army Reserves in Pennsylvania has included Catholicism and evangelical Christianity on a list of 18 religious extremist organizations. Also included on the list of religious extremists are Al-Qaeda, the Ku Klux Klan, Hamas, Sunni Muslims, and “Islamophobia.”

“Every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs, and traditions are the only ‘right way’ and that all others are practicing their faith ‘the wrong way,’ seeing and believing that their faith/religion [is] superior to all others,” the slide explained.

“Extremist organizations’ goals are inconsistent with the Army’s goals, beliefs, and values with regard to equal opportunity,” another slide stated. Soldiers are prohibited from “participating in” an extremist organization’s “public demonstration or rally,” from “taking a visible leadership role” in the organization, or “distributing literature” on behalf of the organization, whether “on or off a military installation.”

The slide presentation prompted a protest from the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

“The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist,” according to an archdiocesan statement. “According to an investigation and reply from the Army Chief of Chaplains office, the training in question appears to have been an isolated incident not condoned by the Department of the Army.”

“The Archdiocese and the Chaplain Alliance explained that the Army can and should take steps to prevent such incidents in the future,” the statement continued. “The Archdiocese calls upon the Department of Defense to review these materials and to ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform.”

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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 09, 2013 3:14 AM ET USA

    Maybe the Army was confused by the expression, Church Militant?

  • Posted by: R. Spanier (Catholic Canadian) - Apr. 09, 2013 12:09 AM ET USA

    "Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." (St. John 15:20)

  • Posted by: loumiamo7154 - Apr. 08, 2013 6:52 PM ET USA

    MASH re-runs in trouble. Anti-Army attitude good, Fr. Mulcahy bad. Top brass not sure what to do. Photshop Big Sis Napolitano in place of Mulcahy may provide solution. Will send more when stop laughing. Boris Badenov over and out.

  • Posted by: FredC - Apr. 08, 2013 6:36 PM ET USA

    How about disciplining the people who put the slide program together. The slides did not make themselves. People did.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Apr. 08, 2013 6:09 PM ET USA

    So Army Reserve members can't participate or play an active role in Catholic churches? Can't read the lessons, usher or sing in the choir, huh? If I were the Secretary of the Army I would hunt down who wrote this and drum him or her out of the military. Even George Washington, nominally an Episcopalian but probably a deist, would disapprove.

  • Posted by: jasoncpetty3446 - Apr. 08, 2013 11:18 AM ET USA

    Oh well. At least when bloody persecutions inevitably break out here, we can be assured of the cooperation of well-trained professionals.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Apr. 08, 2013 11:00 AM ET USA

    As a Catholic Navy veteran with four years of shipboard service, this is not surprising at all. This is where the current administration is moving. The military itself has been viewed as "racist and sexist" by many in the Democratic Party leadership. Unfortunately, there is a significant group within the American hierarchy which is moving to negate the fact that "never the twain shall meet". It is called world communism which is so far spelled with a small "c".

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