Nazis, Nukes, and the Bible: Vandenberg to stop mixing the three

August 4, 2011

For two decades Vandenberg’s officers’ training on how to launch nuclear weapons  included instruction on the morality of war with the aid of quotes from the Bible and a former Nazi SS officer. [Truthout]

The ethics briefing ended abruptly after 31 missile launch officers reported the religious nature of the briefing to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

“There were several things that they found disgusting,” Mikey Weinstein founder of the foundation said. “The first was the fact that there is actually a slide that makes it clear that they’re trying to teach that, under fundamentalist Christian doctrine, war is a good thing.”

As part of the missile launch officer’s instruction at Vandenberg Air Force Base, chaplains taught an ethics course that included examples of biblical teachings that discuss the “righteous way” to conduct war and included quotes from Von Braun, regarded as the father of the U.S. space program.

Before that, Von Braun had been a member of the Nazi Party and an SS officer during World War II who “used Jews imprisoned in concentration camps, captured French anti-Nazi partisans, civilians, and others to help build the V-2, a weapon responsible for the death of thousands of British civilians,”  Truthout said.

“The documents’ blatant use of religious imagery and its numerous references to the New and Old Testament would appear to constitute a violation of the First Amendment establishing a wall of separation between church and state and Clause 3, Article 6 of the Constitution, which specifically prohibits a ‘religious test,’” Truthout said.


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17 Comments

  1. rogerfreberg says:

    I don’t see the excitement.

    Looking at history, I am sure you are aware that the Soviet Union brought a lot of equipment and German scientists back with them to the old USSR. Contrary to their reporting, their space program wasn’t completely homegrown…. they also claimed to have invented the internal combustion engine and the light bulb… the radio and almost everything else.

    As an aside, I fear the rational, humanist, atheist who will logically, methodically and efficiency push the button to end the life of one person or millions.

    I look forward to 2012 as well.

    (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
  2. justme says:

    Any question after this article on the insanity of the human race? And right next to the happiest place on Earth?
    We’re all nuts.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. oto says:

    Hey, Ghost, what’re they breeding over there, intellectuals?!…

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. Ghost Walker says:

    Really this is news worthy? There is a judeo-christian bent on lots of things in the military. Its not a conspiracy. Its institutional memory. It is and has been phased out as our religons have become more diverse. Wanting the capsul crews that turn the keys and push the button that launch ICBMs to be spiritualy reassured to do there job is no big thing. Instead of removing the training, they should make it optional or reference multiple faith belifes. The last thing needed is someone who is supposed to be relied upon to do there job having last minute moral objections when they could have been addresed by prior training.

    (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      If they need to be ‘spiritually reassured’ then they shouldn’t be launching ICBMS. This rediculous training is nothing but a waste of the tax payers money.

      (1) 17 Total Votes - 9 up - 8 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      You do realize that the bible was given by the Spanish inquisitioners as justification for their own atrocities against their political enemies, don’t you?

      I–and other taxpayers who like the Constitution and BOR just the way they are–don’t want to subsidizie Christ Pimping to the military. Your mileage may vary, however, so YOU can fund your own Military Dimwits Christ Pimping Propaganda Outreach storefront in Vandenberg Village, if you wish.

      The military has been, for centuries, been justifying slaughter of humans by linking the military to god. Why do you think the knee-jerk patriotic phrase “Serve God and country” came from? They link “god” to “country” because the bible is littered with god-justified and god-instructed murder, rape, torture, and other human atrocities.(***Examples) If “god” and “country” are linked, then it is a short step to using the christian bible to justify all sorts of horrific acts.

      So it’s not like these soldiers couldn’t easily find biblical passages to justify any kind of murder and slaughter they want to perform. Let them do it on their own. I don’t want to pay for unconstitutional, government-subsidized , religion-based formation of another delusional freak like Anders Breivik, thank you very much.

      ———————

      ***To get you started, here’s a few quick biblical slaughter justifiers:

      KILL ALL GOD’S ENEMIES
      But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
      – Luke 19.27

      MURDER ANYONE WHO DOESN’T DO WHAT THE PRIEST SAYS
      Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel.
      – Deuteronomy 17:12

      MURDER ANYONE WHO IS NOT “US”
      The leaders of Ephraim responded, “The men of Gilead are nothing more than rejects from Ephraim and Manasseh.” So Jephthah called out his army and attacked the men of Ephraim and defeated them. Jephthah captured the shallows of the Jordan, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim tried to go back across, the men of Gilead would challenge him. “Are you a member of the tribe of Ephraim?” they would ask. If the man said, “No, I’m not,” they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” If he was from Ephraim, he would say “Sibboleth,” because people from Ephraim cannot pronounce the word correctly. Then they would take him and kill him at the shallows of the Jordan River. So forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
      –Judges 12:4-6

      FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM ANYONE WHO SAYS THEY SPEAK WITH GOOD, INCLUDING MURDER, DESTRUCTION, PLUNDER OF OTHER CHURCHES
      Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people that they would be the LORD’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. And all the people of the land went over to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They demolished the altars and smashed the idols to pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Jehoiada the priest stationed guards at the Temple of the LORD. Then the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, the guards, and all the people of the land escorted the king from the Temple of the LORD. They went through the gate of the guards and into the palace, and the king took his seat on the royal throne.
      –2 Kings 11:17-19

      YOUNG GIRLS AS PLUNDER
      And the LORD said to Moses, ‘You and Eleazar the priest and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals. Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of the people. But first give the LORD his share of the captives, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats that belong to the army. Set apart one out of every five hundred as the LORD’s share. Give this share of their half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the LORD. Also take one of every fifty of the captives, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats in the half that belongs to the people of Israel. Give this share to the Levites in charge of maintaining the LORD’s Tabernacle.’ So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses. The plunder remaining from the spoils that the fighting men had taken totaled 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 young girls.
      –Numbers 31:25-35

      MURDER OF THOSE WHO APPROACH THE TEMPLE
      For the LORD had said to Moses, ‘Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.’
      –Numbers 1:48-51

      ENSLAVE FOREIGNERS
      There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These were descendants of the nations that Israel had not completely destroyed. So Solomon conscripted them for his labor force, and they serve in the labor force to this day. But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for forced labor. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, government officials, officers in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers. He also appointed 550 of them to supervise the various projects.
      –1 Kings 9:20-23

      ———–

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • R.Hodin says:

        No wonder contemporary fundamentalists have such strong persecution complexes.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        MaryMalone, you have some rather odd and convoluted ideas about religious history. You are taking this material out of context, a fatal mistake. You need to consult a good study bible or commentary to understand these passages. The way that you present them here is a misrepresentation and distortion.

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          I disagree, Mary is 100% spot on. Like the Quran the Bible promotes violence, many wars were caused by religion. Explain what Mary took out of context.

          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  5. zaphod says:

    Atheists, Christians Agree: WWJD??

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      I wonder how the Teavangelicos feel about this. Somehow I picture someone like Sarah Palin wanting this nonesense mandatory. Your link only addresses the more normal Christians.

      (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        The politicochristian right just LOVE this, as do the political forces who support the GOP’s kow-towing to the evangelical/religious right voters.

        The alignment of the GOP and the RR started with Ronald Reagan. He was the first GOP presidential candidate to bend knee to the religious right in exchange for their votes. When he did, he created a monster of leviathan proportions. Paul Weyrich was the architect of that quid-pro-quo deal made in hell, and we have paid for his avarice and greed ever since.

        It has so polluted our political system that Obama, a democratic president, has now started serving the RR, as well. Which–based on how the RR/GOP union has turned out for the GOP– is very, very unwise.

        The problem the GOP has now with the RR voters is that they are a very large demographic of their voting base. In other words, a GOP national candidate (president, House, Senate) cannot get elected, in most regions, without the support of a good portion of the RR.

        This is good and bad. It is good for the GOP because the RR voters vote in herd-like unity, following the instructions of their christian handler du juor (i.e., Pat Robertson, James Dobson, etc.). So all the GOP candidate has to do is bend over for their RR voters, and they have a chance at winning. If they don’t get the RR voters, they don’t have a chance of winning.

        Most folks don’t know this, but John McCain did not select Sarah Palin as his VP candidate. She was selected for him by the most currently powerful RR handlers, led by Richard Land. This is a topic more involved than is suitable for addressing in a post on another subject.

        If you are interested in this issue, a google search for [McCain Palin Richard Land” will bring you a string of articles]. To get the full impact of the power this relatively unknown (outside of the RR-political interests) man on the outcome of the 2008 election, it will take surveying a few articles.

        Suffice it to say, the GOP has formed an Unholy Trinity with the RR-voters and the RR-voters-handlers, and the RR-voters-handlers have become the Dominant in this perverted triangle.

        However, since the vast majority of RR voters are very gullible, and can be easily manipulated with a few buzz-words, the RR-voters-handlers now control a very large block of GOP voters.

        As a result, the GOP’s short-sightedness and greed has now enslaved the GOP to the whims of the current RR demagogues who control the RR voters. The tail is now wagging the dog, and we saw an excellent example of the reality–and frightening potential for great harm–for our country in 2008. McCain’s being forced to choose Palin in 2008 as his VP candidate, or face a challenge by the RR-handlers on the floor of the GOP convention when McCain announced his non-Palin choice, showed how powerful these RR demagogues who control the RR votres have become..

        On top of this, another horrible development as developed–thanks to the short-sightedness, knee-jerk planning of the GOP in insisting on Michael Steele be the GOP chairman to offset the democrats’ election of the first black president.

        This is also another involved situation, but here is the short summary: Steele so horribly mismanaged the RNC that he, on several occasions, outright insulted the largest contributors to the RNC–many of which are macro-RR-handlers who have formed public-relations companies for the micro-RR-handlers like Pat Robertson and James Dobson.

        These relatively new PR groups are now basically laundering A LOT of RR micro-handlers’ money by calling it “public relations” when, in fact, it is buying of candidates who will perform on the macro/micro-RR-handlers’ agenda.

        In short, the RNC no longer controls what the RR is doing and who they will vote for. That has been lost–thanks to the RNC/Steele two-year debacle of Steele as RNC chairman.

        Therefore, any remote chance of even the most miniscule clarity of thinking on how such a large and powerful group of voters can change the nation, has been lost.

        So this is where we are now:

        1. Money is what controls election outcomes.

        2. The RR voting bloc in the GOP has become so large it has a big impact on which GOP candidate gets elected.

        3. The RR voters, mostly, are very gullible and easily manipulated by whatever RR demagogue they follow (like James Dobson).

        4. The RR demagogues have turned to relatively-newly-formed public-relations firms, and pay them A LOT OF MONEY for their “public relations” services–some of which WAS being given to the RNC to support GOP candidates.

        5. However, RNC/Michael Steele so alienated those PR firms that the PR firms made it very publicly known that they would not be funding the RNC so heavily and, instead, would be choosing their own candidates to support.

        6. Therefore, there is no longer even the pathetic mediating influence of the GOP/RNC on which of the RR-backed nutball political candidates gets elected.

        I see this as a centralizing of the control of an important part of the GOP voting base, into a very small part of corporate America. This makes a small number of corporate PR firms in control of which GOP candidates get elected.

        The 2012 election will be the first time we really see the impact of this–I think the insistence of the RR-handlers on Palin as McCain’s 2008 VP candidate was just a dry run.

        There are already clear signs of the religious right gearing up for the 2012 election. They have been sending out trial balloons of issues and possible issues and non-presidential candidates for about 6 months now.

        Batten down the hatches: 2012 is going to be interesting.

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          Mary, the RR has always played a big part in our politics. Reagan wouldn’t have been elected if not for the Moral Majority (MM which is neither).

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down

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