A writer for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has published a startling blog entry that, if true, should be a major story on the government’s indoctrination of flawed historical and constitutional accounts in training foreign military personnel. The article below discussed material used in International Military Student Officer (IMSO) program run by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. It is run by the military but is under the supervision and direction of the Secretary of State. The author from MRFF, Chris Rodda, quotes from the material used in the training and it is pretty shocking.
The program trains military personnel on American government and values. The material includes the following passage:
Just as importantly, the church has a still-important role to play in the formulation of national values, ethics, and morals. Beginning with the liberal court of Franklin Roosevelt, the supreme court has divested American law from our religious cultural heritage. The justices have more pronouncedly than ever based their interpretations of law on the written verbiage of the us Constitution and increasingly less on the intentions of the founding fathers. The bible has become less and less an authority for the adjudication of complex legal issues.
This trend has led to the complete disestablishment of church and state. American secondary schools, which were originally intended to provide religious education, have evolved to produce responsible citizens. The ethics and morals of citizenship, however, must be taught in a complete void of American religious heritage. Since the 1960’s, American law has forbade organized prayer in public schools. As late as 1992, such common and traditional rites as non-denominational benedictions at graduations have been banned. Issues arise over the portrayal of christmas nativity scenes at or on public land. And even such long-standing verbiage on us coins — in God we trust — has come under attack.
Still, the values parents pass on to their children are, for the most part, those of our traditional, judeo-christian heritage. Without the benefit of public education, parents must rely on Sunday schools or their own tutoring to impart moral values. With this disestablishment of the church to the community level and with the shear vast diversity of the various sects and churches in this nation, one must wonder how we, as Americans, can claim any moral standards whatsoever. The answer lies in a greater ecumenical movement in to bring the majority of religions, sects, and denominations together on our basic values. For this reason, issues which are not given a second thought in nations possessing a religious homogeneity or majority, become major causes in the United States. The right to have abortions and civil rights for homosexuals are cases which immediately come to mind. Until reconciliation of traditional values occurs among the majority of churches, the debates will remain long and heated.
That passage is breathtaking in its biased and highly distorted view of both the law and history of free exercise in the United States. Putting aside the fanciful statement that the courts have divested our religious cultural heritage, I am not entirely sure what is meant by the statement that this change was caused “by their interpretations of law on the written verbiage of the us Constitution and increasingly less on the intentions of the founding fathers.” Most critics of separation of Church and State argue for a highly textualist reading of the First Amendment. The passage quickly descends into a diatribe. The complaint over the “complete disestablishment of church and state” is ironic since we have a prohibition on the establishment of religion. That would seem a good thing. The material goes further to complain about how “American secondary schools, which were originally intended to provide religious education, have evolved to produce responsible citizens. The ethics and morals of citizenship, however, must be taught in a complete void of American religious heritage.” That is the line that made me question the authenticity of this material. I cannot imagine any reasonable, educated official approving such language for inclusion in published material for the program — let alone writing such material. It reads like a bad parody of the movement against separation.
I would love to see links to the original material. I do not question the veracity of the author. Rather, this is so unsettling, the complete record should be made public to allow a broader discussion of how such material could ever have found its way into educational material for foreign military.
Source: Free Thought as first seen on Reddit.