It's The Hypocrisy, Stupid: Fundamentalist Christian Bullies Running Amok in America's Military
‘Tis the season when goodwill, family unity, fireside warmth, and generosity seemingly reign; the more discerning eye, however, clearly evinces the cold chill of holiday hypocrisy, crass commercialism, and spiritually vacant pseudo-religious posturing. Within the United States Armed Forces, one needn’t wait for the scent of holiday spices and burning yule logs to witness a similarly ugly display.
All year ‘round throughout the U.S. military, we hear of “good order, morale, and discipline” being the ultimate mandate of the day. The sad truth, however, is that instead of the rule of Constitutional law applying equitably across the ranks, we instead see the brutal rule of the jungle – “honor among thieves” – rife with state-sanctioned, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing, corruption, wretchedly obvious glad-handing, and an absolute dearth of accountability. The repercussions for our brave war-fighters and, consequently, the essence of American national security itself, are extraordinarily grave.
Case in point: my alma mater and the alma mater of 4 of my kids, the scandal-drenched United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO. Out of our 35,383 clients across the U.S. military (96% of whom are practicing Christians), the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) currently represents 435 cadet, staff, and faculty clients at USAFA alone. Of that number, 372 are practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics. Further, 27 of these clients identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB).
Despite pathetically disingenuous damage control efforts by newly-minted Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the Academy simply can’t shrug off the pungent stench of Keystone Kops negligence and willful malfeasance which it has ignominiously accumulated over its last deplorable decade of serial scandals. Clearly, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agrees. The arresting news broke only a few days ago that the OSI allegedly “recruited” (read: strong-armed) multiple Academy cadet informants into forced participation in “FBI-style” sting operations to allegedly infiltrate those suspected of sexual assault and drug distributors among the ranks of Academy personnel. It is alleged by at least one former cadet, since expelled from USAFA, that the OSI instructed and even encouraged cadet informants to break laws, as well as the venerated Cadet Honor Code, to buttress the likelihood of the accomplishment of their informant “missions”. They were further apparently promised by the OSI, it is alleged, that there would be no negative consequences for doing so. Suffice it to say that such “promises” by the OSI appear to be a load of crap. Minority cadets appear to have been disproportionately targeted by the OSI both as targets and informants. Having personally witnessed and experienced, as an Academy cadet, utterly outrageous acts of unconstitutional depravity that shocked the conscience from this very same OSI, I cannot say I am even remotely surprised. Stay Tuned.
These disgraceful revelations burst upon the scene contemporaneously with USAFA’s senior leadership’s absurd attempts to paint “happy faces” on their windows in order to obscure a blatantly intolerant and dreadfully oppressive anti-gay atmosphere at the Academy. Last month, the world learned that the Academy is employing Dr. Mike Rosebush, an Academy grad and allegedly “ex-gay” fundamentalist Christian whose entire professional career has been geared toward “curing homosexuality,” fighting “unwanted same-sex attractions” among Christian men “acting upon their homoerotic temptations.” Homophobia, thy name be USAFA.
Rosebush’s position at USAFA? Well, according to the Air Force’s own Global Address List, Rosebush is “Chief, Coaching Development” at the Academy’s much vaunted and revered “Center for Character and Leadership Development.” Meaning that Rosebush’s “work” – and the mind clearly boggles here – sets the standard for what constitutes leaders within the Air Force Academy, specifically, and the United States Air Force, generally.