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Show ALL Forums  > Politics  > Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan      Home login  
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 Simlasa
Joined: 10/30/2004
Msg: 2
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan Page 1 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Usually the idea of any book getting trashed or burned is bad news... but in this case the military's reasoning makes sense. Even just storing the things in a warehouse, if news got out, could cause problems.
 geeleebee
Joined: 5/26/2008
Msg: 3
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/20/2009 8:09:26 PM

Usually the idea of any book getting trashed or burned is bad news... but in this case the military's reasoning makes sense. Even just storing the things in a warehouse, if news got out, could cause problems.


I understand the reasoning, but am wondering why they didn't just ship the bibles to the U.S.? Or back to whomever sent them in the first place.
Money, no doubt.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 4
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/20/2009 8:39:50 PM

I understand the reasoning, but am wondering why they didn't just ship the bibles to the U.S.? Or back to whomever sent them in the first place.
They would have been useless here ...
... confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages
I suspect that another reason for burning them was as a symbol or sign that they did not want the Afghans to think they might just be used elsewhere.

This reminds me of the story of Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry. I was soooo pissed when I heard we had to spend good money to rescue those two dumb bimbos from Afghanistan. They knew before ever traveling to Afghanistan … were specifically told not to preach while there, but yet they did. What was more unbelievable … they were barely home and already declaring that they wanted to go back. I do not feel it was ever our obligation to go rescue them. They knowingly brought that on themselves. I wonder if they paid the bill for that. I hope the pentagon sent them the bill. But for those types … I doubt even that would be a wake up call.

If they do go back, we should just let them rot over there. That's the kind of trouble that gets us in all kinds of trouble all over the world. All that proselytizing always. I have worked with many Muslims and not a single one of them ever tried to convert me, did not preach to me, nothing of the sort. They even said they didn't understand why the "Christians go around doing that … trying to make people feel bad for believing other things than they do".

If those two really only wanted to do foreign aid, they never would have taken the "Jesus Video" with them … right?

http://www.rickross.com/reference/fundamentalists/fund67.html
Excerpt
When does foreign aid work become evangelism?
Humanitarians debate: U.S. women jailed by Taliban after showing 'Jesus Video'

National Post/November 24, 2001
By Marina Jiménez
In the converted grocery store in Waco, Tex., where they worship, and in the nation at large, Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry are heroes.
"Jesus has heard the prayers!" chanted congregants last Sunday at the evangelical Antioch Community Church. "Thank you, Jesus!" They were celebrating the release of the women and six co-workers from an Afghan jail where they had been held for 104 days.
The worshippers swayed to the music of a six-piece rock band set up on a stage that serves as an altar at the church, which still has an arch on its roof from the supermarket name it used to carry.
The U.S. media, and George W. Bush, the President, also praised the eight aid workers for their courage and their commitment to religious freedom under the Taliban regime. "They realize there is a good and gracious God. Their spirits were high and they love America," Mr. Bush said last week, after speaking with Ms. Curry and Ms. Mercer by telephone.
Among aid workers in Pakistan and Afghanistan, however, relief has been mixed with a sobering realization of the impact of their imprisonment on the humanitarian community at large. The incident has revived the longstanding debate in the aid community about proselytizing in Muslim countries and tying humanitarian assistance to religion, especially when the lives of any converts could be in grave danger.
Whether the aid workers had in fact been evangelizing has been a sensitive question for family members and diplomats. The workers, after all, entered Afghanistan on visas issued to them as aid workers, not as missionaries.
Now they are free, Ms. Curry, 30, and Ms. Mercer, 24, have acknowledged they were partly guilty of the "crimes" they were accused of. According to a press release from an Antioch church pastor, they did not deny their love for Jesus, nor their desire for "others to know Him."

Then there was all the media coverage … Interview with Larry King
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0111/27/lkl.02.html

Then comes the admission that they want to go back. This time it will be to do a "needs assessment". Ya … right. If you ask me, if they get caught again, they deserve what they get. How the He77 are they getting a visa to go into a war zone … especially with such a background already?

http://www.baptistmessage.com/articledetail.php?articleID=884
"In this room, each one of you has a destiny and the capacity to change the world," Mercer told the students and others assembled. "God is calling people here to the nations as well as locally and we all have a choice to make." Fighting back tears, the young woman begged the crowd. "Please don’t leave here and live for yourself."
Closing the chapel service, Curry led the audience in a song that she, Mercer and the other women had sung in prison. "It’s all about you Jesus, and all this is for you. For your glory and your fame, It’s not about me, as if you should do things my way. You alone are God and I surrender to your ways." Emily Price, a junior social work major from Chattanooga, said she felt deeply challenged by the testimony of the two women.
"I think it was a wake up call for a lot of students - to not just seek God’s good for our lives, but his best - giving up what we think we should do, and sacrifice everything for what he has for us to do," said Price.
Mercer and Curry do hope to return to the Afghans at some point in the future. "We hope to take a short summer trip - a goodwill trip - back to Afghanistan to do a needs assessment for what needs to be done." (BP)

It really does make the Americans look like a bunch of kooky nutcases. It's so embarrassing. I can still remember living in Germany for 10 years and the Germans would ask me if I also do all that crazy knocking on doors and stuff. That's their idea of Americans … crazy super religious nutcases. They take their religion seriously there … just don't feel the need to try to convert the world.
 Zelgadis
Joined: 6/10/2006
Msg: 5
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/20/2009 8:42:22 PM

And it's about time the military stopped catering to the rightwing xtian fanatics.

I'm curious, why do you say the military has been catering to rightwing christian fanatics?
 geeleebee
Joined: 5/26/2008
Msg: 6
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/20/2009 9:13:20 PM

confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages

Oh...duh...

Thanks, Cotter--sheesh...

I have to agree with you about trying to convert others to one's own religion. Some seem only able to view the world through one mindset--never being open to actually learning about another religion/philosophy.
 Zelgadis
Joined: 6/10/2006
Msg: 9
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/21/2009 5:00:55 AM

In fact people have been disciplined over the issue, Jews getting harassed as "jesus killers" at the air force academy. People being passed over for promotion for not being evangelicals. Ect.

It seems a little unfair to say the military has been catering to them, when these are individuals violating the military's policies, and they were punished for it.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 10
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/21/2009 8:14:55 AM
Perhaps "cater" is too strong a word. I prefer the word "coddle." When it comes to matters of faith, the US military is an entity at war with itself. Yes, its official description is that of a secular government entity, but that's merely the facade. Institutionally, the military is a largely Christian organization, much like the Boy Scouts of America.

In short, if you are a non-Christian (namely atheist, Jew, Muslim, or pagan) in the service, prepare to have a slightly harder career path than those who at least claim to be Christian.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 11
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/21/2009 12:20:22 PM

In short, if you are a non-Christian (namely atheist, Jew, Muslim, or pagan) in the service, prepare to have a slightly harder career path than those who at least claim to be Christian.
You got that right.

My daughter was a Lt. in the Air Force and she had to buck it all the time because we are not a family of "churchy" people. My background is Unitarian/Humanist/Agnostic/Atheist. She (as all of my children were) was encouraged to seek a religious path that suited her. She chose basically the same path as I did.

She is opposed to being forced to pray before going into battle and she resents being sucked into it as well, and she very much resents being chastised for not participating. In the end, she just pretended in order to avoid problems. I think that is outrageous. I don't think anyone should be forced to pray when they are not interested in that.

I don't think it should be part of our military. I resent having to use our military to go rescue these reckless people too ... people who insist on going to nations and proselytizing even though they know up front that it is forbidden and unacceptable.
 wisguyingb
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 13
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/22/2009 4:36:34 PM
I was in the military for 6 years and I saw no catering to any religion.

The military wants people who can do the job. Thats it.

The military makes the utmost effort to treat everyone the same no matter race, religion or sex.

NoBushLover: Do you have any real life military experience to back up your claims? It seems that you have a lot of "listening and reading experience" and not enough "living experience".
 geeleebee
Joined: 5/26/2008
Msg: 15
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/22/2009 7:03:26 PM
I read one response where the poster said it made sense to him, because just having the bibles could cause an issue--where are you reading that anyone is supporting the idea of buring books--including the bible?

And--how do you know who is a Democrat?

And--what the hell does
lefty seig hiel
mean?
('heil', by the way--if you're trying to insult a group of people, best to spell everything correctly)
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 16
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/22/2009 7:45:04 PM

... all the people who are "democrats"
lefty seig hiel
LMAO ... that guy did not spell any of that right.

I read and speak German fluently and it's SIEG HEIL. It means "Victory Hail" or "Hail Victory".

If anything, I have seen some pretty dumb people burning books and trust me, they were not "lefty Democrats" ... they were my dumb redneck racist right wingnut neighbors.

"muttnik" ... go back and read up on what happened. Read up and see that they burned bibles that were not written in English and had they been used in the language they were written in, it would have been against that country's law.

Also, it occurs to me that burning them was a symbol or perhaps sign that they would not be used elsewhere in that country ... to break the law ... eh?
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 18
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/22/2009 10:11:13 PM
As a Christian I too would have liked to see the bibles being handled differently as well. Instead of burning them, I would have ratherd seen them being resent back to where they came from instead. With that being said it was the right thing to do by the military to confiscate things that are religious or any other ideological beliefs to be sent out as a conversion tool.
 wisguyingb
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 21
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/23/2009 8:13:06 PM
I was in for 6 years as a UH-60 mechanic and crewman.(I suppose you will google that cuz you have no idea what it is) But if you can point out which post # I said I have "vast military experience" as you claim I have said. Then please by all means go right ahead.

And yes, that's a challenge.

From what I saw. Everybody was treated fair. No matter race, sex or religion. I've know Officers and NCO's of all different races, sex and religion's.

There may be one or two incidents of "catering to this person or that person" that the media of course will hype up. The military does have it's fair share of brown nosers like any other workplace. But that does not mean the entire military is catering to one religion. I've seen NCO's and Officers treat the good looking women better then the average looking women. So does this mean the entire Army is catering to the good looking women? Heck, the Army was begging people to become Sargent's(E-5's) when I was last in. They were even lowering the promotion standards so more people could go from E-4 to E-5. My friend who is atheist by the way, made it to E-6 in 6 years! That's darn good. And our commander even wanted him to go to warrant officer school. (He's out of the Army now as he did not re-up for the same reasons as myself)

I bet I've done more in my 29 years of being on this earth then "some people" have done in 51 years.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 22
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/23/2009 8:57:50 PM

Being a Catholic Christian, while it saddens me that the bibles were burned, I think that the military made the right decision. It would be like throwing gasoline on a bonfire to have those get out and make it seem like the military is trying to convert the muslim population. Religous freedom must be respected, and the fact that the bibles were sent over in the first place is the real problem.
Thank you, "Barbe1963" ... for being a voice of reason in this thread. I know we do not always agree, but I'll be the first to let you know that disagreements are beside the point and be glad to see that we do agree on some things.

I am not a religious person in any way, so my regard for the bible is not that of a religious person. I am however a book lover and you will not even catch me burning a paperback book. I will donate it to a library or homeless shelter or whatever before I destroy a book.

I honestly do believe that keeping the bibles and not destroying them in this case would have put our soldiers' lives at risk. They face enough danger in war zones that we do not have to add that factor to it.

The other factor to keep in mind is that those bibles were printed in a language that would have only been useful in Afghanistan ... where they are prohibited. So while they maybe should have been sent back to the sender, by doing that, the Afghanistan authorities might have viewed that as "they are saving the bibles to re-distribute among our people" ... which would have been a big "NO-NO".

It would have reflected on the US as not having respect for their religious preferences ... which is to not proselytize our Christian religions in their country. I think the military got it right this time and they did good ... especially for the good of the soldiers now stationed there.
 Zelgadis
Joined: 6/10/2006
Msg: 23
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/23/2009 9:44:34 PM

They were only punished months later, when the media started talking about it. Then, and only then, does the military do anything about it.

Do you have any studies or surveys to support that? Otherwise, you're judging the whole service based on anecdotes, with no context. That is why I say your original statement is unfair.
 Zelgadis
Joined: 6/10/2006
Msg: 25
Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/24/2009 7:45:47 AM

^^Do your own research. We're not here to edumacate you. We've given you more than enough to do your own research. Asking for such detailed info such as dates (as if anyone here has memorized the dates of the acts, the dates of the complaints, the dates of the investigation starting, etc) seems like an attempt to continue denying the facts so that you don't have to admit you might be wrong about something

I never asked for dates. I'm asking you to back up your claim that the military caters to rightwing fanatics. You've pointed at a handful of incidents, and claim that those indicate a pattern of behavior in the military. Do you know of any surveys of military personnel, on how they feel their religious beliefs impacted their careers? Or have you seen a comprehensive study of how cases of religious favoritism are handled by the military justice system? If you don't, you are just making a big assumption. You could very well be right, but you could also be wrong. You point to this bible burning, as if it some kind of turning point for the military, but is it really?
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 29
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 1:51:59 PM
What diff does it make what languages they are written in it's still a representation of the Christian bible.

 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 31
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 4:39:03 PM
Hmmm I don't know maybe because the bible itself represents apart of my whole entire faith. Whats the big deal if someone burns something that they hold strongly to...... That’s just like saying what diff does it make to dispose of someone else's flag by burning it, it’s just a flag. What's the big deal? Hmmm, I don't know maybe because it's sort of being disrespectful...

What does saving bibles and going to Afghanistan have to do with the manner in which they were disposed of? Everyone knows unless you have been living under a rock that when you burn something that another feels strongly towards, it's a global sign of disrespect.

As i stated before i don't have problem disposing them but the way that they were disposed is what I have a problem with.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 33
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 5:06:23 PM
I would have rather seen them be sent out to other Christian sectors that are in need of more bibles or at the very least sent back to where they came from myself personally. Even though I knew they weren't doing it on purpose, I just felt that they could have made use of them elsewhere before going to that resort.
 tireofbeinglonely2
Joined: 2/24/2007
Msg: 34
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 5:24:22 PM

Hmmm I don't know maybe because the bible itself represents apart of my whole entire faith. Whats the big deal if someone burns something that they hold strongly to...... That’s just like saying what diff does it make to burn someone else’s flag, it’s just a flag. What's the big deal? Hmmm I don't know maybe because it's sort of being disrespectful...


When an American Flag is retired it is common to ceremonally burn it. It of course is done out of respect as it is a symbol of pride and honor. Just throwing it away would be disrespectful.

I think under the circumstances the Miltary made a descision and an honorable one. The people who sent the Bibles obviously didn't know this could be seen as dishonorable thing. I think the Miltary handle the situation with respect as they always do.

Concerning the statement that people who hold different beliefs are treated differently in the miltary. I was a soldier in the Army for 4 years and I personally never saw this kind of treatment. I never saw any atheists , jews, christians mistreated. or singled out. But there was this one guy very religous , older guy, he was quiet and kept to himself, the guys teased him a little but more so cause he never reacted.. He just smiled this huge smile and nodded at them. He turned out to be more of a father figure to everyone. He was our squad leader and he was good at it. He was is great shape for his age and was well respected.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 35
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 5:35:16 PM
You are correct when it's your own flag but you only burn it when there is no other possible way to repair it. Inregards to disposing someone elses flag that way it is considerd disrespectful. You would sherd it or give it to your local government or Legion Pos instead and have them dispose of that foreign flag properly.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 37
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 5:53:08 PM
I noticed that you are catholic too, we do the same with our palms as well. I totally agree if it's done in a meaningful and respectful manner, I have no problem with that what so ever.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 39
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 9:02:40 PM
Steel ...
Maybe you just don't get it. To leave the bibles in tact ... even to send them back to the senders ... would have put our troops in danger. Are your religious feelings worth more to you than the destruction of some illegal bibles in Afghanistan if left in tact, would put our troops in serious danger? They are illegal ... contraband. The bibles could not have been used by any other so-called "Christian sectors". The bibles were in a language that is only good over in in Afghanistan ... specific to certain tribes there.

They had to openly destroy them. If you ask me, burning was the most appropriate way they could show the Afghan officials that the bibles would no longer be used in their country in an inappropriate (and I might add ) ILLEGAL way.

As I previously posted, I can't even bring myself to burn a paperback book that is missing pages and desperately needs to be glued/taped back together, so I sympathize that burning the books is not easily acceptable, but it was done for the sake of the safety of our troops ... for crying out loud!!!!!
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 41
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/28/2009 10:03:06 PM
Cotter put our troops endanger? What are the troops doing exactly to put themselves endanger, by sending them back in the same box that it came from on a military mail plane? The only way they would have been in any real dangers if they started to pass them out.

Furthermore you are incorrect about those the languages Pashto and Urdu in which those bibles were written under are not just used in Afghanistan alone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urdu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashto_language

Well Barbie although I will agree that disposing them was the right move I still think it could have been handled alittle diffrently instead of burning them. That's just my feelings towards it.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 44
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Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan
Posted: 5/29/2009 12:11:30 PM
From the original post ...
Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles ...
That does not mean they arrived on military planes. It simply means that the military ultimately ended up with the task of doing away with them as best they could so that we could prevent any further problems. It's against the law over there to do such things ... distribute such literature and books. No doubt, our military was having to come to the rescue of still more Xtian missionaries who just can't comprehend when they are told they are not allowed to do it.

Cotter put our troops endanger?
Yes ... if our troops had not stepped in and done the right thing ... destroy the bibles ... who do you think would take the brunt of the punishment that would get handed out for that? Our troops would be the ultimate target ... anyone who represents the US would the ultimate target ... DUH!!! So yes, it endangers our troops if we do not physically and symbolically destroy the bibles. They had to prove they would not just get recycled out among the population ... they had to destroy them.

While I honestly can't stand to burn books, I think they did the right thing.
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