Jesus Loves Nukes

No, really, he totally does.

The “ethics” training—imparted by USAF chaplains—uses many passages of the Old and New Testament to justify the use of atomic weapons to obliterate innocent populations (aka the enemy). Its core document, a 43-page Powerpoint presentation, also quotes St Augustine’s Causes to Just War. It contains references to Hiroshima and Nagasaki too, teaching the official—and much debated—excuse for the bombing of those two Japanese cities.

The document also dedicates an entire slide to rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun, who justifies the use of missiles as a morally just decision:

Jesus also loves Powerpoints.

(Original TruthOut story)

A 43 page PowerPoint presentation?!?

The excellent Harpers article on Dominionist Christian infiltration of the US military suggested that the air force academy was one particularly Christianized place IIRC.

Mind you, so long as you’ve got to have military personnel whose job is to bring about the apocalypse, you’re going to have sort of an interesting “ethics training” problem.

It’s always the Air Force that’s the craziest. Amateur sociology speculation as to why, go!

Most time on their hands.

Persecution complex.

Smartest.

The Air Force academy is the rapiest of the military academies too.

Pynchonesque obsession with rocketry and/or oblivion.

That’s a great article, and more than a bit shocking. Thanks for the link.

Jesus hates the fuck out of powerpoint, by the way. If anyone’s unclear on this let me know and I’ll post some exegesis. lol

I wish there was still some combination of “Christian thing A in the US does/believes crazy thing B” that shocked me.

H.

High altitude flight gets them closer to God, and/or oxygen deprivation.

I knew a guy who went to the Air Force academy, intent on becoming a fighter pilot so he could fulfill his role in helping to expurgate the Middle East so the Rapture could occur. It was his destiny.

Several years ago now when the story of the born-agains dominating the USAF Academy came out, I asked my grandfather about it — he was a major general in the USAF and a West Point grad (before the USAF was created) and also a staunch Catholic (i.e., to the born-agains a dupe of Satan).

His response was, No, that could never happen. But it is happening. Nope, they’d never let it happen. But they did. Nope.

We had the same conversation about his donations to the Texas Republican Party.

Ha ha those slides — “inter-testimental” period, Maccabees revolt against their Syrian oppressors. They were Greeks who had taken over Syria as well as the entire Levant; exactly what does this bit of subterfuge imply, hmmmmm?

On slide 31, the “chronologically” point is that the submarine and air missiles will already have launched, so you might as well launch yours too!

Slide 35, OMFG

I’m really at a loss to understand why you’re all so shocked and dismayed.

Military chaplains, whether you agree with the concept of having them or not, are people who help people of a certain religion relate to and cope with their military service.

Why is it so terrifying that one of them created a talk about how military members can think about their responsibilities in the context of their faith?

What if a Muslim chaplain created a powerpoint about how it’s ok for Muslims to fight against Muslim enemies in a war? Would that also be shocking and scary?

What if a Muslim or Christian chaplain created a powerpoint about how being a conscientious objector was consistent with their faith? Is that ok?

Nobody is even attempting to articulate what, exactly, is offensive or problematic about this. It’s just the usual “Christians are always frightening” derp that comes out of this board.

I am disappoint.

[EDIT]

Oof…mandatory huh? Not cool. See my later post.

If you really don’t think the deck is crazytown, note it was mandatory for all officers.

The training program was given to all new missile officers by Air Force chaplains.

Spoofy, the assumption here is that this is an ethics course being taught in a religious way, not that it’s a chaplaincy service treating an ethical subject. If it is in fact a Christian chaplaincy that non-Christians wouldn’t encounter then it’d be a non-story.

Given that 30 officers complained and the program was halted - in a military that, per Harpers, has put up with a lot of very sketchy crap - I kind of doubt that.

I’m really at a loss to understand why you’re all so shocked and dismayed.

Military chaplains, whether you agree with the concept of having them or not, are people who help people of a certain religion relate to and cope with their military service.

Why is it so terrifying that one of them created a talk about how military members can think about their responsibilities in the context of their faith?

The problem is that this presentation was part of the mandatory training all USAF ballistic missile officers receive. It’s not an optional seminar that Christian officers can choose to attend if they’re having trouble reconciling their faith with their role.

From the article Lum linked in the OP:

A senior Air Force Space and Missile officer who reviewed the materials, said the teachings are “an outrage of the highest order.”

“No way in hell should this have been presented as a mandatory briefing to ALL in the basic missiles class,” the officer, who requested anonymity, said in an email. "It presumes ALL missile officers are religious and specifically in need of CHRISTIAN justification for their service.

“If they wanted to help people with their spiritual/religious/secular justification for serving as missile officers, then they should’ve said something like ‘for those of you with religious concerns about missile duty, we’ve arranged the following times to chat with chaplains from your particular faith group.’ For those with secular concerns about the morality of missile duty, we’ll have a discussion moderated by a professor [and/or] counselor, a noted ethicist, too. If you’re already good with your role and duty as a missile officer, then you’re welcome to hit the golf course or gym.”

Oops.

I didn’t RTFA, just the deck. I am disappoint myself. :(

Yeah if this was mandatory then that’s super not cool.

Separation of church and state is one of the primary things that keeps Christians free and protected in this country. It’s good for everybody.

I am disappoint in USAF too. :(

It wouldn’t surprise me if it was directly related to the same sort of determined religious activism that the Harper’s article talked about - which is also worth a read, Spoofy.

I certainly don’t break into a cold sweat because militaries skew disproportionately traditionalist, religious or politically conservative (or aristocratic, in European contexts.) That’s pretty much a fact of life.

The stuff in the articles is sort of at a different level.

The USAF motto is “a screaming comes across the sky” if I’m not mistaken.