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U.S. Military Still Using "Jesus rifles" in Afghanistan


In 2003, the cover sheets for daily briefings called "World Intelligence Update", written for then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon officials, were adorned with Bible quotations. Described in the GQ story, the April 10, 2003 cover sheet of the top secret briefing, which author Robert Draper stated had been prepared for President George W. Bush, showed Iraqi crowds, jubilant as a Baghdad statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down, and an image of an Iraqi child kissing an American soldier. Over these images was a quote from Psalms 33:18 - "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death." Wrote Draper,

"This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine. On March 31 [on the intelligence briefing cover sheet], a U.S. tank roared through the desert beneath a quote from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” "

As MRFF head Mikey Weinstein told NBC, about the continued use of the "jesus rifles",

"It’s constitutionally noxious. It's an embarrassment and makes us look exactly like the tenth incarnation of the crusades which launches 8 million new jihadist recruiting videos."

MRFF's core mission is to protect the religious freedom rights of U.S. armed forces service members and in media appearances, MRFF founder and head Mikey Weinstein stresses that the vast majority of the tens of thousands of cases MRFF has taken up since the nonprofit's founding concern complaints from Christian service members who report being targeted and improperly evangelized (in violation of Department of Defense regulations) because they profess the "wrong" sort of Christian beliefs.

The 2009 science fiction book The War After Armageddon, by Ralph Peters, depicts a world in which aggressively evangelical Christian elements in the U.S. military have prevailed, and a military corps called The Military Order of the Brothers in Christ (MOBIC) spearheads a United States crusade, battling correspondingly fanatic Islamic jihadists, to reclaim the "holy lands" of the Middle East, for Jesus Christ and, along the way, kill every Muslim man, woman, and child on earth.

As researcher Chip Berlet describes, the sort of religious eliminationist mentality depicted in Peters' work of fiction was expressed in a 2010 U.S. Department of Homeland Security training held in Las Vegas, during which one participant, asked to recap the message from a speech by an evangelical Christian speaker hired by Homeland Security for the training, Walid Shoebat, summed up Shoebat's message to trainees concerning those identified as Islamic extremists: "Kill them…including the children…you heard him." The anecdote was from an investigative report from the Boston-based nonprofit Political Research Associates, Manufacturing the Muslim Menace, by Thom Cincotta which, as Berlet describes,

"skillfully exposes how speakers like Shoebat are teaching our public servants to fear Islam and hate Muslims. Cincotta shows how private counterterrorism training groups utilize a network of biased speakers to train law enforcement at every level and in all parts of the country. The response to these trainings has been, unfortunately, quite positive."

Walid Shoebat, whose claims to be a former Islamic terrorist were debunked in a July 13, 2011 report from CNN's Anderson Cooper, was invited to speak at an anti-terrorism conference held at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2008. Shoebat is one of several "ex-terrorist" evangelical Christians who since September 11, 2001 have been touring the U.S. to warn of an alleged foreign and domestic Muslim menace.