Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Jason Leopold has more on the situation I reported last week where the military allowed Christian missionaries to be embedded with them, travel with them to meet Afghan villagers and then hand out Bibles to them and proselytize them to convert to Christianity. One of the things I didn’t mention was that an active duty military chaplain said in one of the videos that he tries to convert Afghani Muslims himself:

In one scene, an Army Chaplain named Capt. Brad Hanna of the Oklahoma National Guard, talks about the possibility of a “revival” in Afghanistan and says he frequently speaks to Afghans about converting to Christianity. Hanna was made a full-time support chaplain for the Oklahoma National Guard after he returned from Afghanistan.

And he wasn’t the only soldier helping the missionaries:

Additionally, Decker and Scott prominently cite SSgt. Sheldon Hoyt, who was stationed in Afghanistan with the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, as playing a hands-on role in helping the missionaries facilitate their proselytizing as opposed to simply being a tour guide of sorts.

Though some continue to deny that there is a problem with this kind of thing in the military, this is just the latest in a long string of similar incidents, many of them involving soldiers on duty at the time:

Earlier this year, U.S. military personnel launched a major initiative to convert thousands of Iraqi citizens to Christianity also by distributing Bibles and other fundamentalist Christian literature translated into Arabic to Iraqi Muslims.

An article published on the website of Mission Network News reported that Bible Pathway Ministries, a fundamentalist Christian organization, disclosed that the organization provided thousands of a special military edition of its Daily Devotional Bible study book to members of the 101st Airborne Division of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, currently stationed in Iraq.

The project “came into being when a chaplain in Iraq (who has since finished his tour) requested some books from Bible Pathway Ministries (BPM).”

“The resulting product is a 6″x9″ 496-page illustrated book with embossed cover containing 366 daily devotional commentaries, maps, charts, and additional helpful information,” the Mission Network News report said.

Chief Warrant Officer Rene Llanos of the 101st Airborne told Mission Network News, “the soldiers who are patrolling and walking the streets are taking along this copy, and they’re using it to minister to the local residents.”

“Our division is also getting ready to head toward Afghanistan, so there will be copies heading out with the soldiers,” Llanos said. “We need to pray for protection for our soldiers as they patrol and pray that God would continue to open doors. The soldiers are being placed in strategic places with a purpose. They’re continuing to spread the Word.”

All of this is contrary to Pentagon policy and the constitution.