Jeff Sharlet

Fight for Jesus, damn the Constitution


Jeff Sharlet, author of the article “Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military,” discusses the widespread Christian fundamentalist evangelism among U.S. military officers, how a soldier’s perception of a war on Islam in Iraq trumps politically correct Bush and Obama administration rhetoric, the process behind the influx of intolerant evangelical military chaplains and Christianity’s usurpation of the Constitution at premier military academies.

MP3 here. (25:38)

Jeff Sharlet is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine and the author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.

14 thoughts on “Jeff Sharlet”

  1. The greatest enemy America faces is not Al Queda or even the Taliban…its The Christian Embassy – Jeff Sharlet is right, its a disgusting attempt by the fundies to take over the US by stealth.

    They are the Christaliban.

    Expose these cockroaches for the anti-American, anti-freedom authoritarians they are. Feel free to consult the Constitution, specifically the 2nd Amendment if needed.

  2. Many born-agains have a false folk-memory, that just a few decades ago, they were the vast majority of Americans, that the USA was “christian” in their sense, and that everything was ipsy-pipsy, no major problems. If you read history, it’s easy see otherwise, but many refuse to look.

  3. It takes an irrational rational to fight an irrational war, and that’s just about all of them.
    But think about about it; we’ve got an entire generation or more’s worth of undereducated, bigoted, insecure and easily led young men, (and a few girls, I wouldn’t want to be unfair) with a great capacity for and proopensity towards violence. Basically, the entire part of their brain which is normally occupied by the things which make us civilised human beings is filled with violent media images and false contexts. Maybe we are better off. But jeez, those poor people overseas. America’s biggest export is turning out to be whopper-fed bullies.

  4. Anyone read Ron Paul’s article on today? It starts thusly:
    “While much of the country’s attention is on other issues, a serious situation is developing in Pakistan that threatens to plunge us into another fruitless and bloody war.”

    I had to do a double take after listening to Sharlet. Could Paul be talking about his crusade against an ideology that he doesn’t like? Which matters more? Stopping war or consoling oneself with the idea that fighting some disliked ideology somehow makes a difference to the innocents dying in Af-Pak? Fundamentalists of any ilk make me cringe, religious or secular.

    Is Sharlet with or against the antiwar movement? What’s more important…ending war or wasting time and energy bitching about Christians? With distractions like this taking up space on, PNAC, CNAS, et al can smugly afford to ignore us.

  5. Scott, I’m an anarcho-capitalist libertarian (like I think you’ve stated you are), so the US Constitution means nothing to me. But as a point of fact, I have to agree with the “Christian”-right on the 1rst Amendment. “Congress shall make no law…” is pretty clear. Congress is the restricted body and the restricted action is legislation. Any other “interpretation” (as though English requires interpreting) is unConstitutional (again, not that I care. Spooner’s “No Treason” demolishes the myth that the Constitution is valid).

    Of course, the idea of a Christian soldier (literally, not in a spiritual sense) or a Military Chaplain is false. Jesus commands his disciples to love their enemies, pray for those who persecute them, turn the other cheek, etc… Paul told the Christians to not return evil for evil (and plenty of other New Testament admonitions for peace and what in practice may be thought of as “pacifism”).

    A true Bible “fundamentalist” (someone who strictly follows the fundamentals) will have nothing at all to do with war, government (which is theft, slavery, and murder), killing, violence, agitating for armageddon, or any other characteristic view of the so called “Religious”-right. By holding these views, these people are exposing themselves as the frauds they are, by the very standard they supposedly hold as true.

    Biblical Christianity is Anti-War.

  6. What do influential “Christians” such as John Nelson Darby, Cyrus T. Scofield, Jerry Falwell and John Hagee have in common?

    Distorting the words of the Bible to lead millions of Christians to believe that God wants them to support Israel, they have all been closely connected to political Zionists, and seem to have profited handsomely from the relationship. Menachem Begin’s gift of a Learjet to Jerry Falwell in 1979 is perhaps the most egregious example of this marriage made in Hell.

    Rev. Stephen Sizer’s “The Historical Roots of Christian Zionism” gives a pretty good overview of this decidedly un-Christian doctrine. Sizer writes:

    “Christian Zionism is essentially Christian support for Zionism.

    “Grace Halsell summarises the message of the Christian Zionist in this way: “every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us.” Whether consciously or otherwise, Christian Zionists subscribe to a religious Jewish agenda best expressed by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, who claims: ‘We should not forget … that the supreme purpose of the ingathering of exiles and the establishment of our State is the building of the Temple. The Temple is at the very top of the pyramid.’ Another rabbi, Yisrael Meida, explains the link between politics and theology within Jewish Zionism: ‘It is all a matter of sovereignty. He who controls the Temple Mount, controls Jerusalem. And he who controls Jerusalem, controls the land of Israel.’ For the religious Zionist, Jewish or Christian, the three are inextricably linked. The Christian Zionist vision therefore is to work to see all three under exclusive Jewish control since they believe this will lead to blessing for the entire world as nations recognise and respond to what God is seen to be doing in and through Israel.”

  7. This is the most frightening aspect of U.S. policy that I have come upon yet. Think I’ll just shoot myself.

  8. This all may be true, and if it is, wowsers. But like Andrew Cockburn on Rumsfeld, it all sounds just *too bad* to be believable to me and I listen to it and just think it’s ideologically based.

    In other words, I kind of don’t believe it. But I can’t believe Harpers would publish something so full of it. I don’t know.

  9. eCAHNonomics, don’t kill yourself! Go live in Canada or Germany or some place. Get a different perspective on how to live. Teach English, it can be a magic carpet that will take you anywhere.

    Lester Ness

  10. Jeff Shartlett is an idiot. You miss quoted my brother John DeGiulio. Alll to fit your agenda. Myt brother is the furthest thing from a christian fundamentalist. Get your facts straight before tarnishing someones name.

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