Serving God and/or Country?



A U.S. soldier covers his face with a scarf during a patrol in Baquba, in Diyala province some 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad October 17, 2008. The scarf has verses from Psalms 91 of the Bible printed on it.
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (IRAQ)

I love the photo.

Love expressions of faith and piety; and respect soldiers’ needs and desire to draw comfort and inspiration from religion.

I myself am non-religious but appreciate the virtues of American Judeo-Christian traditions and heritage.

But this I find disturbing:

I don’t know much about this story beyond the video and the U.S. Army apparently destroying Bibles they confiscated at Bagram in wake of the Al Jazeera story. But unlike the cover sheets on intelligence briefings provided to President Bush, the circumvention around General Order Number One comes across to me as stupid on the part of the Army Chaplain and those involved in this. Trying to convert Muslims to any other faith is a crime in Afghanistan and feeds into the propaganda of our enemies who wish to recruit more Muslims to their cause by creating the perception of a religious war by Christian aggressors in Muslim lands.

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This activity is clearly in violation of General Order #1 and can result in disciplinary action.
Not a real keen idea in the Stans. It could be a career ender for Commissioned & Noncoms involved. They need to knock this off right now! It only reinforces AlQ’s claim that We are not Allies but Crusaders. It was always made clear in pre-deployment briefings that this was prohibited.

There is a provision in both Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s constitutions that nothing within those constitutions can override Islamic Sharia law.

So, for all intents and purposes, the U.S.A. waged two wars against two nations to enshrine Islamic law within those nations’ constitutions.
Christians and other infidels are now leaving Iraq in droves to escape the traditional persecution of Christians under Islamic law.

I just don’t get it?
Why on earth did the coalition go into these countries?
To fight for Islam?
Heck, the mujahadeen are doing the same thing, so wth!?

Islam and free democracies are anathema to one another.
They are opposites.
Democratic process, without a free tradition to back it up, is simply a head count and does not constitute freedom itself.
So we end up with a whole lot of Muslims voting for Shariah law, ie. an end to democracy …


Islam hates freedom and rejoices in the impoverishment and denial of the free human spirit.
Islam is the enemy of humanity.

I agree Word.

I am a Christian, but I think what these soldiers are doing is wrong. It is not the job of the US Military to impart Christianity in A-stan. However, Christian soldiers can let Afghani’s see what Christianity is about by walking the walk and talking the talk, not by shoving Christianity down their throats.

Bad move.

Over-reaction. Anyone who gets close enuff to read this and has a problem with it is TOO CLOSE! and needs to back off! If a soldier needs comfort from psalms, which by the way, are revered by Jews, Christians and to some extent the Muslim faiths he has the right to wear a sand screen with these words. This is not proselytizing. Take it easy. and May you all have an introspective Memorial day with respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Al Jazeera Narration sure is an unbiased presentation-NOT! A smear piece at best. and outright attempt at incitement of Fundamentalist Muslims at worst by Al- Jazeera. Real responsible journalism right??

I concur with your opinion regarding G.O.#1. It is not responsible, but take it into context from what the servicemen and women are seeing regarding the mistreatment of the populace by theTaliban and maybe it is more underst
andable. I am nor very religious, but this is a left wing hit piece on our troops by Al Jazeera. period

It is a big part of evangelical Cristian credo to be prepared to “spread the word” of Jesus. If they are asked by an Afghani about Christ, what should they say? “Here’s a Bible and read for your self”. Is this Proselytizing if asked? In a literal sense of the word.No. But to push bibles into their hands is a big time no no. according to G.O.#1 the only other alternative is for them to say;”I am not allowed to talk about religion unless it is Islam”? What do you think?

blogforce one,
Obviously You Never Served because a General Order is an Order so get off your soapbox.

So they should be court-martialled and drummed out then?

They should face disciplinary action if the practice does not cease. Obviously You never served. You always counsel first. You obviously have no grasp of the Military or the consequences of ignoring or disregarding Orders. So, get off your soapbox Skippy.

There is a Command structure and Orders are not issued at anyone’s whim or ignored because You are on a “Higher Mission.” There are a lot of things you do not understand about the Military or Service in general. Service overseas demands reasonable respect for local Customs & Culture not just do as you damn well please. Piss on the boots or sandals of the locals and you will get some heat.

Religious Services are offered by Chaplains for Service Members. They are not there to convert the locals, Get It?

I have had Overseas Service in the Middle East, Bosnia, Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Germany and Somalia. You are not there to evangelize or get involved in anything but Your Primary Mission. Nothing will get you in a bind faster than failure to follow Command Directives or dicking around with local religious customs. If you were based in Kuwait you don’t get loud on the custom of polygamy there or tell Buddhists or those of Shinto Faith in Japan that they are heathens.

You must be smarter than that!

@Old Trooper

Well said. Once Afghanistan has been stabilised then Christian missionaries as private individuals outside of the military can then go across – if allowed in by the Afghan Government to do their missionary work. Mixing up the work of the military with Christianity missionary work muddles the operation and will only backfire.