God Wants You To Blow Stuff Up (With Nukes!)

From the Department of Defense

For the last twenty years officers in the Air Force who run the launch platforms for nuclear weapons have had an “unusual” training manual. It explains the necessity of nuclear war based on fundamentalist Christian principles.

Strangely enough, I spent years in a fundamentalist Christian Church and we never discussed the morality of vaporizing our enemies. Of course in those teachings, Jesus Christ was militant and not afraid to kill his enemies, so I guess you can extrapolate from that.

From CNN

The Air Force halted the class last week after 31 missile launch officers reported the religious nature of the briefing to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group which tries to ensure religious freedom among the troops.

“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.”

From  The Atlantic Monthly

A curious mix of vigilant atheists and devout Christians are celebrating the Air Force’s decision to suspend a Christian-themed course taught to nuclear missile launch officers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. For almost 20 years, military chaplains presented these officers with slides filled with biblical references such as “Revelation 19:11 Jesus Christ is the mighty warrior” and Christian literature, such as St. Augustine’s Just War Theory, in an attempt to dismantle the moral and ethical qualms of annihilating human beings with nuclear weapons. Surprise! Not everyone liked it. Last week, the Air Force suspended the course after 32 missile launch officers reported the religious bent of the briefings to the watchdog group Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Cue a Bill O’Reilly Culture Warrior™ moment? Not so fast. It seems both believers and non-believers are pleasantly amenable to the policy change.

From Military.com – Today in the Military

AETC halted the ethics training last week after an article on the training was posted at Truthout.org. Former Air Force Capt. Damon Bosetti — described as a missile officer who took the training in 2006 — said he and others referred to the religious section of the ethics training as the “Jesus loves nukes speech.”

The Air Force says it was unaware of the training despite its twenty year run.

James Pilant