Looking For a Few Good Sheep

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

The U.S. Army is using the mandatory Soldier Fitness Tracker to measure the “spiritual” fitness of soldiers as part of the $125 million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program. Soldiers are required to answer if they pray, if they attend religious services, and if they find comfort in religious beliefs. Non-believers are guaranteed to score poorly.

While homosexuals can serve openly since the repeal of DADT, atheists are spiritually unfit.

For those that don’t measure up, there is a “recommendation” for remedial spirituality training.

Here are the pertinent questions:

The Army enlisted “Psychology of Religion” expert Dr. Kenneth Pargament of Bowling Green State University along with Army Chaplains to develop the spiritual portion of the test. Pargament’s area of research involves drawing on religious beliefs and practices to understand and deal with the stresses of life.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) have sent cease and desist letters to Secretary of the Army, John McHugh and General Casey, the Army’s chief of staff.

If the Army is truly interest in the psychological well being of the troops, how about teaching them reasoning and critical thinking skills? Those skills will help them recognize nonsense.

H/T: Rock Beyond Belieftruthout, FFRF, MRFF.

106 thoughts on “Looking For a Few Good Sheep

  1. Every United States military recruit at MEPS is receiving one mini Bible before the test.

    Jared Loughner is a military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix.

    Therefore, Jared Loughner is receiving one mini Bible before the test.

    I didn’t write a belief on my Army application and the recruiter wrote on my application,none.

    Jared Loughner mass murderer Jan 8 2011

  2. I would trust a devout atheist before a self proclaimed christian any day of the week….as I have more faith in the formers word than the later….so who would I want guarding by back?

  3. she was born on 9/11/01 if the news reports are to be believed. And she wanted to get involved in politics to make the world a better place. I’m not sure we are capable of being a better place so maybe she is lucky for having to put in all that effort and watch us get worse.

  4. From what I understand about the (9) year old young lady she had just been elected to her student council and a neighbor took her to the event to expand her civics knowledge.

    So sad,I have daughters and I don’t know how I would have survived that phone call.

  5. My son joined the Army back in the late 90s & said Sunday services were ‘required’ in basic and AIT. He also noted that one of the major themes being preached every week was that Bill and Hillary were the devil incarnate and leading America to Godlessness. Naive waif that he was he thought such crap would not be allowed in the Army no matter who was the President.

    There is are christianist extremists in positions of power inside our military today and you see small glimpses from time to time. The harassment of Jews at the military academies, this joke of a questionnaire; but the there is a lot more going on that we don’t see and it should scare the hell out of decent Christians as much as the rest of America.

  6. The harassment of Jews at the military academies, this joke of a questionnaire; but the there is a lot more going on that we don’t see and it should scare the hell out of decent Christians as much as the rest of America.

    Like the newly enacted it’s ok if your a Muslim in the military to have a beard but if your Jewish in the military it’s not.

  7. Some people don’t believe that Stalin used the wealth and influence of the Jewish people during the small revolution that occurred in the early part of the 20th century…then summarily had these same folks executed and took their money for the good of the country….the same premise that Hitler and his propaganda machine used some 20 years later to make a rationale for the extermination of the Jews….so if history repeats itself the Jews are mostly blamed for the ills of society…so read up and maybe you will understand the point….but then again…some people never understand what they don’t understand…

  8. Nal,

    Well done! I was working on this story too. Here’s a video of a Countdown segment with Keith Olbermann interviewing Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, about the Soldier Fitness Tracker and Global Assessment Tool:

  9. First of all, most of the attention has been given to Gifford but his intended target COULD have been the judge. She, Gifford MIGHT have been bonus points and nothing to do with the analogy. Kinda like all the blame that he, Loughner was a Tea Partier.

  10. Bdaman: My point is that there is speculation about the shooters’ motives. I use the word shooters because they are now looking for a white man between 40 and 50. Didn’t you read that the shooter liked to read “mein kampf”?

  11. He was? And Bush has stacked the system as well..limited press and radio and was Rather fired because of controversial news about Bush…oh oh …damage done…. junkies like a setting sun….oh oh damage done….

  12. Bdaman,

    from the Sky Valley Chronicle:
    First time in more than 30 years
    a U.S. lawmaker was victim of assassination attempt
    January 09, 2011


    (TUCSON, ARIZONA) — The aftermath of the lone gunman attack in Tucson Saturday that left U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona critically wounded is six dead, 13 injured and millions of Americans asking why.

    Why did such a tragedy happen?

    Arizona authorities now say Giffords was targeted by the killer, that it wasn’t just a random shooting into a crowd and that law enforcement officers in the region were searching for a second suspect.

  13. Nal,

    I don’t believe in redundancy. Besides, I had a lot more work to do on my post–and I have a killer cold…so my energy is at a low level. I’m glad you posted the story this morning. In addition, I think it best to keep the discussion going on one thread.

  14. Bdaman
    1, January 9, 2011 at 9:02 am
    I’m just catching up on the story. I spent most of the day yesterday in the ER with my mother.


    I’m sorry to hear that … how is she doing?

    My hubby is back in … tomorrow they shock his heart.

  15. Bdaman & Blouise:

    Your pain and trials are felt,Bdaman I really know your pain.

    Blouise,my prayers are continual.

  16. Nal,

    Thank you for this very important topic. I was an atheist when I served in the Army during the Viet Nam Era. I will write more about this later.

  17. eniobob,

    I’ll email you and others on Tues when I know what’s up

    Bda’s mom’s situation is painful … he needs the support.

  18. To ALL and especially to you Ms.Blouise

    My mother fell over backwards doing physical therapy by my hands. Split second. My hands reached her shoulders as the back of the head struck the dresser. Had to pick her up off the floor back to a seated position and examine the source of blood coming from the back of the head. Thank God it was a nick. CT good ex rays negative, just real sore and me freaked out!!!!!!!!!!! Still trying to figure out how that happened. I’ve already reenacted it twice including rubbing my finger an the small metal handle on the dresser which the back of her head struck. Had it been another lb. of force it would have cracked her 80 year old skull. It could have been worse and I’m still counting my blessings. Like the shooting yesterday I find it quite amazing how things can take a drastic turn in less than a second.
    Everything is good and God is GREAT!!!!!!!!!

  19. Nal,

    I just found this interesting video about religion in the military. One of the people interviewed is Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.”

    Fault Lines – Religion in the military – 25 June 09- Pt1

  20. Bdaman:

    I take it things have worked out,I think I am reading your response correctly.

    ” I find it quite amazing how things can take a drastic turn in less than a second”

    So true.

  21. So what are you all bitchin’ bout? The bitch ain’t got no clout. She’s deader than an English doornail. Ain’t my fault she done been taught. The sinners will inherit this earth. I will be in heaven as I am understood. God hates a sinful person and puts them out of our misery as seen here.

  22. Thanks for the well wishes and I’m already planning on picking up right where we left off. She now has peace of mind that she’s a tough old bird and neither one of her wings were broken.

    That hateful group will do anything for publicity.

    For you Swathmore Mom

  23. The last 30 seconds of Fight the Power

    Don’t believe the hype, Everybody !!!!!! don’t believe the hype

    Do or die, don’t believe the hype

    Rock the House Ya’ll

    Don’t believe the hype

  24. It was still the work of the chosen one. God is answering our prayers daily.

    Yes but the problem is he doesn’t answer everyone’s every time. There are some things that are still left to chance.

  25. bdaman,

    Glad your mom is okay.



    Thanks for proving “Westboro” and “Man” are mutually exclusive terms. Next time you want to open your spiteful pie hole about who God hates, why not look in the mirror first?

    “He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.” — John 4:8

  26. Ms. Elaine I’m tryin to tell mine she’s fought a hell of a fight to be 81 in a few months. No disease or organ problems and it would be a shame that it would be a freak accident to take her out.

    Thanks Buddha appreciate it.

  27. Bdaman,
    I am glad to hear that your mother is ok after her spill. I know your pain. Several years ago I was helping my mother who was probably 70ish at the time, out of fishing boat in Northern Wisconsin and she put her foot down on the rope tie down support and she broke her ankle! I am still hearing about that one from my siblings. Enjoy every day that you can with her. My Mom is 87 now but she is on oxygen full time and living in assisted living. She will probably out live me!

  28. Nal,
    I forgot to mention that I too was looking at this article the other day. If I remember correctly wasn’t the author of this program the guru behind the “enhanced interrogation” methods employed by the Bush administration? This is crazy stuff.

  29. Not everyone is safe. You people probably stood around and let our God die at the hands of the Jews. You know who you are, your conscience does not ever enter the picture for you are forsaken. Remember that every time you have a problem. God can make it worse and we can too.

    What is it you say Buddha is Laughing? Does your heart smites your chest. If your eyes causes you trouble, you should pluck it out. Do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. You are forsaken.

    Trouble comes to those that invite it. God loves the Westboro Baptist more than any other people. We are chosen. Save yourself before you try and save anyone else. God despises a fool. Repent for the hour is near all you sinners.

  30. WestboroMan,

    The only fool here is you and Fred’s other barbarians, you anti-Semitic homophobic clowns.

    The best thing about leaving Kansas City is the distance I now have between you and your hateful brethren.

    As to being forsaken by your “God is Hate” nonsense?


    Because if God is Love, you douche bags are going to be in for a real shocker at the Pearly Gates.

    See you in Hell.

  31. Okay, that is weird and creepy.

    If Christians had their heads on straight they would be offended that their young men (and women) are suitable fodder for imperialism.

  32. I think if I were in the Army and wanted to be there, this would be an easy test to take. The secret code is alway select the right most answer.

    I wonder why they left out the Army relevant questions:

    I have tried to kill people (never to always)

    I feel no remorse for killing people. (not like me to very much like me)

  33. Where did we pick up the Westboro man? Holy cow! I do love how some people who call themselves Christians, just love to hate people who are different then themselves. Budha, I could never put it the way you do, but nice response! These are the same “Christians” that cheer at Marines funerals, isn’t it? They are just one more example of radical right wing religious “beliefs”. Other than the beards, they are no different than the Taliban.

  34. It is you who are in need of redemption for your soul is lost to lost and his wife. Repent for the hour is near. Hell is where you do not do the right things and you know better. Your life will be spent and spent in eternal damnation. The Marines are unfortunate collateral casualties. It is unfortunate that they have to die for the people that cannot do the right thing. Drop the bomb and be done with it. I am sorry that you do not want to be chosen like we the people of Westboro. Kansas has not missed you if you ever lived there. Yes there are better places and most of the upper hierarchy at Gods house is comprised of Attorney and person skilled in deciphering the true word of he who is. Do we have people here that are skilled in the law and do not use it to advance the Natural Law of man? You will burn a double death as you will never be asked in to my fathers house. Please visit us sometime. We will pray for you in the mean time. All of you who are heavily burdened call my name and I will give you rest. Can I hear an Amen?


  35. No amens to that venom Westboroman. If spending the rest of my life in damantion keeps me away from the likes of you and your hate, then bring on the heat.

  36. We will add you to our Prayer list. It is essential that your Soul be saved. You don’t want the same thing to happen to you that happened to Lot? It is shameful, he knew better. What about Sodom. It is fortunate that God saw fit to relieve these folks of the suffering that they endured.

    We are not like Taliban. Yes, some of us used to have beards. It is unnatural to have a beard and long hair. Women shall cleave to there husbands as he is head of the household. It is written in the Bible, so it must be so. Thank you for your attention.

  37. WestboroClown,

    Chosen ones? What’s the matter? Not breast fed as a child so you feel the need to be “special”? You lot of literalistic Fundies are special alright. Special Ed. The world is what we make of it and you twits make it a hateful and narrow minded cesspool of bigoted jackasses who operate based on attacking what they hate rather than promoting what they love. Jesus taught love and tolerance, whereas you nitwits preach hate and intolerance.

    Eh . . . I’m not the one you should be praying for there, sport.

    As I said, see you in Hell.

  38. eniobob
    1, January 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm
    Seem to be missing input from anon nurse.


    I suspect she’s working or recovering from working

  39. And raff?

    Westboro’s inappropriate behavior knows no bounds . . .

    Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Funerals Of Arizona Shooting Victims

    From the article:

    In a flier posted on its web site, the controversial church writes, “THANK GOD FOR THE SHOOTER — 6 DEAD!” The message continues:

    “God appointed this rod for your sins! God sent the shooter! This hateful nation unleashed violent veterans on the servants of God at WBC–hoping to silence our kind warning to obey God and flee the wrath to come.”

    The flier claims that the shooting of both a House member and a federal judge — the latter of whom was killed — is god’s punishment for judicial and Congressional action against the WBC. “God sent the shooter to shoot you! And He’s sitting in Heaven laughing at you!” the announcement reads.

    In graphic language, it continues:

    “Your federal judge is dead and your (fag-promoting, baby-killing, proud-sinner) Congresswoman fights for her life. God is avenging Himself on this rebellious house! WBC prays for your destruction–more shooters, more dead carcasses piling up, young, old, leader and commoner–all. Your doom is upon you!”

    In December, Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. The group is known to display signs that say ‘God Hates Fags’ and ‘Thank God For Dead Soldiers.'”

    Crazy is as crazy does.

  40. Probably best to just ignore westboroman. He crawled out of the woodwork because of this story & will return to his shit heap once he gets tired of annoying decent people. Most likely to get bored faster if we don’t feed his twisted, stunted, ignorant, pathetic bastardization of religion.

    I think he better hope that the cosmic muffin he prays to does not really exist or eternity will be hell for him.

  41. Unless I’m reading it wrong, it appears the Taliban fighters would fit out Soldier Fitness Tracker pretty much to the “T”.

    I personally can’t think of any more dangerous a human than one with a rifle in one hand and his or her “instructions from the Lord” in the other.

  42. Wayne Frost, thanks for the link, the info on the new realty programs green-lit by the Pentagon are amazing.

  43. Goat is fine to eat. It is the shell fish and swine that must not touch human lips for you will be as unclean. God recognizes those with perfect adherence to the principals laid down by our divine savior Jesus. Please people, I do not know how to warn you that the time is near. It would be our pleasure to accept you as our newest member. Thank you for spreading the good word and deeds of our folks. It has been a pleasure to read your messages and share them with our folks. Amen, Amen I say unto thee. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. I will continue to spread the word.


  44. Bdaman, I’m glad to hear your mom is OK. As to: “…fell over backwards doing physical therapy by my hands”; not your fault buddy, that’s why they’re called accidents.

  45. LZ,

    Thanks, I just got home and you expressed my sentiments exactly as I would have stated…..

    They a pigs and maybe the Tax exempt status will be taken away as the are politicizing the very thing that keeps them separate…. I would call them Inglorious Bastards but I seem to recall another movie with that title…..ass wipes….

  46. Westboro Man,

    Some other poster here posted this a while back, someone with wit and sensitivity and a fine mind for putting things in their proper perspective. (I admit I don’t recall who so please take a bow.)

    I suggest you watch and consider taking his advise to “ask a Jew” because, while not Jewish myself, even I know you’ve just plain got it wrong.

  47. Those words you keep using “good word and deeds”?

    They do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – Luke 6:27-28

    For people who think the Bible is literal, you certainly aren’t very literate. Last I checked praying for people’s death is most certainly NOT a good deed nor is it loving your “enemies”.

    And there’s a difference between “spreading your word” and “warning people you are flat out crazy”.

    Because I was doing the later, but not the former.

    And for that, you are welcome.

    See you Hell.

    I’ll be in the mojito drinking section, but don’t try to get a seat. They seat the hateful insane zealots in a different section because you clowns annoy the sane sinners and Satan hates the competition when it comes to annoying people in Hell.

    And what LK said.

  48. Lottakatz,

    I’ve posted that video at least once before. I LOVE Lewis Black!

    Here’s one of my favorite Daily Show Back in Black segments:
    Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourette’s syndrome. I’ve seen it more than a dozen times–and it still cracks me upevery time I watch it.

  49. Good Evening to all.

    I am here to inform you that you missed a stupendous service this very day. It amazes me that you all do not wish to be on the path to righteousness, but choose to live with eternal damnation. This suffice it to say is a personal choice, yours.

    You understand that the civil unrest is increasing daily with the coming of the rapture. Please, people understand we live by the laws of divine guidance and wish to share with you our brothers and sisters in Jesus’ name our lord and savior the word as spoken. Please accept this as an apology if I made anyone feel ill towards the message that was intended earlier today. I certainly am of the impression that this Buddha is Laughing does not appear to laugh very often. This is sad, we could use someone with his great command of the word. Let us pray that Buddha is delivered from the internal conflict that he has exhibited here. Can I hear an Amen? Now let us pray for the delivery of all souls to the one that is the divine one. Thank you for this opportunity to spread the message.

    Your Brother in Christ,


  50. Thank you and thank you! Lewis Black is also one of my favorite comedians. I agree the ‘nazi tourettes’ clip is a gem. LOL

  51. Good evening LottaKraptz,

    You are a female or a male? You look almost manly in that picture. But you have a feminized first name. I hope you are repentant in your living. God takes care of those who take care of us.

  52. Wayne Frost: “As a veteran I will say that the military command has no business advocating for or against any religious practice nor snooping in to the religious practices, if any, of members of the armed forces.

    It leads to this: https://bfdblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/underming-the-first-amendment-by-creeping-christian-prostelyzation-2/

    Not to hijack anyone else’s comment BUT:

    I’ve reposted Wayne’s posting down here because we have gotten off topic and the link he posted deserves a chance to be given some attention.

    One of the things it reveals is that the embedded fundamentalist chaplains are taking their service as an the opportunity to proselytize among the Afghans. This is dangerous. From what I have read of some of the extremist Muslim sects and their warlord leaders in control of large sectors of Afghanistan just to be seen talking to someone proselytizing christianity puts ones life in danger.

    That the person being preached to may well have been in a highly coercive situation and unable to disengage would not lessen the danger- once tainted the damage would be done.

    Also, to have active proselytizing going on will only reinforce the belief (apparently partly true!) that the US is waging a crusade against the Muslim religion. This is no doubt putting our own troops in more danger.

    Our government needs to put a stop to this immediately. It’s going to get people killed and probably already has. Any job we think (mistakenly IMO) we need to do in Afghanistan stands less of a chance of success (however that is being measured today, or will be measured tomorrow) as long as we are perceived as crusaders.

  53. Elaine M, Will do, It was on my watch list and I;ll do it now. There has been so much discussion the last couple of days I’ve missed some good information because it’s too much to take in in any reasonable manner and still deal with personal stuff. Thanks for the reminder.

  54. Lottakatz,
    I like your comments on Waynes posting. You are spot on about the chaplains. This has been a problem expecially at the service academies. The Air Force Academy is one example where they have had many complaints about the chaplains and the pressure on the cadets to join in.

  55. The St Louis Post Dispatch has a big article on the military chaplain situation and how disproportionate its various members are compared to the number of officers and enlisted there are for the different religions there are e.g. “While just 3 percent of the military’s enlisted personal and officers call themselves Southern Baptist,Pentecostal or a member of a denomination thats part of the National Association of Evangelicals, 33 percent of chaplains in the military are members of on of those groups according to Pentagon statistics ” The article continues with this statement “Data from the Air Force indicate that 87 percent of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled in evangelical divinity schools…” This is just part of the article in the Post Dispatch that was written by Tim Townsend….it was an interesting and troubling read.

  56. It’s a well-documented and historically proven fact that christians, jews and muslims have always been fitter for committing genocide and other immoral mass murder…

    They should do quite well in the current department of defense indeed.

  57. WetboroMan:

    Reminds me of this previous thread and why it happens.

    “I just saw this story on ABA Journal as a cautionary warning to those lawyers who allow their emotions to get ahead of their judgment. Two Florida lawyers — Nicholas Mooney and Kurt Mitchell — have been sanctioned for an exchange of emails that included such notable comments as one calling the other a “scum sucking loser.” The state supreme court was not”

    He seems to be taken some off of their game,Which I can understand.
    Sometime or should I say all the time you should ignore,ignorance.

  58. Ever talk to anyone that’s been to the Air-force Academy in Colorado Springs?

    Let’s just say that it fits in with all the other missionary and Evangelical groups in the city.

  59. The vid posted by Elaine M at 10:27 is very good and verifies the info MetroCowboy (nice shout-out to my hometown paper, buddy!) has posted. Elaine had to call my attention to her vid because it got buried in my To read/To do list but I finally got to watch it and it’s well worth the time. Scary too.

  60. Blouise

    I hope all went well today.


    Stuff happens. Don’t feel too bad – we’ve almost all had accidents that affected others. Part of the human condition.

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