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.