Air Force Class Canceled Over Biblical Words
The Airforce has suspended (see video) a mandatory ethics class due to a complaint filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation representing 31 missile launch officers. Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley expressing his concern over the suspension. He wrote, ““Although our Founding Fathers rightly included language in the Constitution that precludes the Federal government from establishing an official religion, this language does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references.”
I took a mandatory philosophy class at West Point, “Critical Reasoning“, which I believe was similar to this class. Within the class, we read a book called Just & Unjust Wars. This book attempts to outline the mindset and philosophy of how a person (in this case, a soldier) can approach a very profound issue- is there such a thing as a just, or moral, war? And within either a just or unjust war, is there such a thing as just & unjust actions of a soldier? When is it not ok to follow orders, for example? (remember Lieutenant William Calley in Vietnam?) As a soldier, this is the difference between sanity & insanity if you have to shoot people dead someday.
But before we could even approach this book, we first needed to answer the question, is there even such a thing as ‘Just’? In other words, is there any such thing as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘moral’ and ‘immoral’- and if there is, then is there such a thing as ‘universal morality’– ie, a God? Because if there is no such thing as Right & Wrong that ALL people can agree on- then there can be no such thing as a ‘just’ war in the first place and the whole exercise is moot.
Do you follow the logic?
And before we could even approach the question of universal morality, we needed to address the issue of Critical Reasoning. In other words, logical argument. If A=B and B=C, then A must be = to C. Stuff like that.
Therefore, the class went like this:
1) Learn the art of critical reasoning & logic based argument.
2) Determine if there is Universal Morality (we couldn’t- it ended up with a leap of faith to be taken or not taken).
3) Determine if there is such a thing as a just war (we decided there was). Is there such a thing as just actions of an individual in war? (we decided there was).
In the process of moving through these questions, we evaluated all the great philosophers of human history- Aristotle, Socrates, Nietzsche, Machiavelli and of course, the Bible. Did we also study the Koran & Buddhism? About as much as the Bible. Did we study quotes from the Bible? Don’t remember, but probable. The point was not to indoctrinate the students into a (or ANY) religion, but to examine the various philosophies that have formed Western thought (and subconsciously, each & every student there). We did not delve deeply into Christianity either. But rather examined the moral implications of having One God & one morality for every human being on earth. To study the philosophy of humans without the study of religious thought is intellectually disingenuous. Whether atheists wish to believe it or not, religion has shaped all thought that exists today. It is the most vital component in world law. Perhaps in another 1000 years, atheists will have stamped out all religious thought, but the study of religion, as concerns philosophical thought, will still be studied as relavant to human societal formation. It is an absolutely valid & critical component when discussing moral thought.
And yet, here we see another example of Progressivism thwarting logical thought, valid philosophical reasoning & intellectual honesty- in the name of a non-existent promise of religious ‘equality’ that atheists & progressives like to claim is part of the Constitution. Let me print, again, the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.”
Where does it say that all religions must be either 1) wiped out of government or 2) represented equally among governmental agencies? It. Doesn’t. This was meant as a limitation of government’s power to interfere in an individual’s religion- not to ensure that there was equal representation thereof. Nor to ensure that no person was ever exposed to religious language. The question must be: does this thing force a religious practice upon an individual by the government? Does this prohibit an individual’s right to exercise their religion? A class that demonstrates the idea of just vs. unjust wars with the use of some biblical words to point either way does not meet either of these criteria. Students are not forced to subscribe to anything.
Further, this intellectual dishonesty is hurting the future soldier leaders of this nation. The class I took was, undoubtedly, the number one best class I ever took in my life. This class changed me from a stupid 12th grader into an adult- in one semester. Cadets were pounding on their desks and confronting one another vehemently with ideas. Shouts reverberated in the hallways as we strove to bring our immature, young minds into focus over these massive ideas. We ultimately came to a point (mind you, most of the cadets were top ranking students in high school with high IQ’s and test scores) where we ALL had to admit: you can’t prove the existence of God. Nor can you disprove it.
Does that sound like Christian indoctrination to you?
To cancel this class is to do a great disservice to our nation. I wonder if they will move to cancel this class at West Point now? Who do you think will lead our military in the future? Did you know that the graduates of the three academies (West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy) represent 90% of the generals & admirals of our military? Do you really want them to not understand the concepts of just and unjust wars- and just and unjust ACTIONS within the battlefield environment?
Political correctness has run amok and is destroying what made this nation great: a deep & abiding love of God. It is the moral character of a people who will determine its success or failure. People. I know government is broken. But We, the People, still have power. But the power comes from our collective mindset & soul. It is when that rots, that the leadership rots. And we all lose. Think about it.