Gen. David Petraeus’ endorsement of a religious book is inciting a group of nuts to ask for his court martial. Petraeus, the American hero who completely turned around the situation in Iraq, has seen his thoughts published on an Army chaplain’s book for Soldiers putting him in the middle of the ongoing conflict over the role of religion in the U.S. military, says Military.com.
The book is “Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel,” by Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) William McCoy. Petraeus’ published endorsement of the work read, “it should be in every rucksack for those times when soldiers need spiritual energy.”
And this has fueled a great outcry from the separation of church and state folks.
The author is saying Petraeus’ endorsement was a personal view which was never intended for publication, says the author. “In the process of securing … comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable,” McCoy said in an Aug. 19 email to Military.com. “This was my mistake.” He’s saying Petraeus didn’t know his quote was on the book for the past year as he’s been pretty busy for the past year.
Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is a former Air Force judge advocate general and White House counsel during the Reagan administration. His group has been fighting in the courts to keep what they consider “improper proselytizing” out of the military. Weinstein, not one to let things pass, I guess, said he intends to incorporate the Petraeus endorsement into an ongoing lawsuit against the Pentagon for an alleged pervasive and pernicious “pattern and practice” of religious liberties violations in the military.
With his plug for “Under Orders,” Weinstein said in a statement to Military.com, Petraeus – one of the most widely recognized officers in the American military – is endorsing religion as something all Soldiers should have and, specifically, the Christian religion.
“General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism,” Weinstein told Military.com Aug. 16.
And by endorsing a book that argues only those who believe in God can fully contribute to the military mission or unit, Weinstein contends that Petraeus insults “”the integrity, character and veracity of approximately 21 percent of our armed forces members who choose not to follow any particular religious faith.”
He said that even if Petraeus offered his comments personally, that’s a distinction without a difference. “Privately he’s denigrating 21 percent of troops,” Weinstein said. Suppose he privately denigrated women, African-Americans or Jews? Weinstein asked.
“He should still be relieved of duty and court martialed,” he said.
So as war rages on in the Middle East, it’s sad to see that our country has enemies at home as well.