JOIN VNN COLUMNIST TEAM | SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER
VETERANS NEWS NOW ON : FACEBOOK | TWITTER | FORUM
|

U.S. Air Force Pulls Bible-Themed Training for Nuclear Missile Officers After Truthout Report

A slide taken from a PowerPoint presentation on Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare cites St. Augustine's Christian Just War Theory to teach missile officers about the morals and ethics of launching nuclear weapons. (Image: United States Air Force)

By Jason Leopold at Truthout

 

Judeo-Christian-Nazi Bible training for Nuke launches rejected in victory for secular U.S. military

The Air Force, in response to an exclusive report published by Truthout last week, has withdrawn materials used in a training session that relied upon passages from the New and Old Testament and a quote from an ex-Nazi SS officer to teach missile officers about the morals and ethics of launching nuclear weapons.

The Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare training “has been taken out of the curriculum and is being reviewed,” said David Smith, chief of public affairs of Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas.

“The commander reviewed it and decided we needed to have a good hard look at it and make sure it reflected views of modern society.”

Smith said the ethics training has been in place for “20-plus years” and the decision to remove it was made on Wednesday after Truthout’s report was published. He added that it will now be “given thorough scrutiny” and “folks will be appointed to look at what we have and determine its utility and if they think its useful to continue having an ethics course they will develop a new course.”

The course was led by Air Force chaplains and took place during a missile officer’s first week in training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Officers who train to be missileers were required to attend the ethics course, which included a PowerPoint presentation on St. Augustine’s “Christian Just War Theory” as well as numerous examples of characters from the New and Old Testament the training materials asserted engaged in warfighting in a “righteous way.”

St. Augustine’s “Qualifications for Just War,” according to the way the Air Force characterized it in slides used in the ethics training, are: “to avenge or to avert evil; to protect the innocent and restore moral social order (just cause)” and “to restore moral order; not expand power, not for pride or revenge (just intent).”

One of the PowerPoint slides also contained a passage from the Book of Revelation that claims Jesus Christ, as the “mighty warrior,” believed some wars to be just.

At the conclusion of the ethics training session, missile officers were asked to sign a legal document stating they will not hesitate to launch the nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) “if lawfully ordered to do so by the President of the United States or his lawful successor.”

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.

The 43-page PowerPoint was included with more than 500 pages of other documentspertaining to a missile officer’s first week in training that was released by the Air Force under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and provided to Truthout by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a civil rights organization.

Another PowerPoint slide quoted Wernher Von Braun, a former member of the Nazi Party and SS officer who is regarded as the father of the US space program. Von Braun was not cited in the PowerPoint as a scientific expert, rather, he was specifically being referenced as a moral authority, which is remarkable considering that the Nazi scientist 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.

MRFF President Mikey Weinstein said more than 30 missile officers contacted his organization over the past week to complain about the Christian imagery and biblical passages in the ethics training. He said the decision by the Air Force to pull the ethics course material is a “great victory for the constitution.” [Full disclosure: Weinstein is a member of Truthout's Board of Advisers.]

“We are not going to commend the Air Force for doing something they should have done a quarter-century ago,” Weinstein said. “It’s an outrage and a deliberate attempt to torture and distort our constitution when the US Air Force mandatorily teaches its nuclear missile launch officers that fundamentalist Christian theology is inextricably intertwined with the ‘correct’ decision to launch nukes.”

Short URL: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/?p=130112

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VNN or any other VNN authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners. Notices

Posted by on Aug 1 2011, With 0 Reads, Filed under Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Get Your Loan Now
Apply for VA Loan Now
Education
Get Your Loan Now
Get Your Loan Now
Get Your Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now

COMMENTS

To post a comment, you must login using Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail in the box below.
Don't have a social network account? Register and Login direct with our site and post your comment.
Before you post, read our Comment Policy - Legal Notice


Comments Closed

Comments are closed

 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Join Our Daily Newsletter
  View Newsletter ARCHIVE

WHAT'S HOT

  1. CIA Terror Chief Pulls Rank in Kiev
  2. VA Researchers Receive Nation’s Top Award for Early Career Scientists
  3. Understanding Modern Israel: Why It Is Driving The World Towards Madness
  4. President Vladimir Putin’s letter to leaders of European countries
  5. BBC misreports John Kerry on talks failure
  6. A review of the role of workplace mobbing at Fort Hood, TX
  7. Washington and NATO’s New Surrealpolitik
  8. Chris Hedges: “Israel’s War on American Universities”
  9. Iran, Orientalism, and Western Illusions about Syria
  10. HHS announces progress in disease prevention and health promotion
  11. InfoCision IS Hiring U. S. Veterans For Their Call Center Solutions
  12. Look at the World from Behind the Wall: Part Two
  13. VA Hosts Senior International Forum and Ministerial Summit on Veterans Affairs
  14. “What we got here is failure to communicate”
  15. Friedman the Fox
  16. Human Resource Provider Hiring
  17. The Monster on the Hill
  18. American Oligarchs – Their Money, Our Votes
  19. Mr. Rosenberg’s Conundrum
  20. US killing machine turns on itself
  1. Anonymous Nr: From an article by Janice Harper in 2011, about another incident of workplace violence:...
  2. GrassPossum .: I think the acid test remains 9/11. If someone will confront the truth on 9/11 and the unavoidable...
  3. mcfadden: Tilting at windmills, Finian. As a student of the global situation have you not read Eustace Mullins’...
  4. mcfadden: Awaiting moderation? This didn’t show yesterday. What gives?
  5. Debbie Menon: The current failure is Kerry’s naming of a nominal Israeli immigrant, Martin Indyk, as the...

Apply for VA Home Loan Now!

Military Veterans Radio

Archives