Our local mullet wrapper published a couple of columns the other day regarding our local sainted college football coach (the one with a winning record, not the other one) who has apparently spoken up in favor of a religious fanatic who's managed to get himself appointed as a football coach at the Air Force Academy and has obviously spent more time trying to convert his team to extreme Christianity than to winning an over-grown child's game to justify his taxpayer-paid salary. This guy put up a banner in the locker room exhorting the would-be future 2nd Looeys to join "Team Jesus Christ", but under pressure from the evil liberal media out there in Colorado he's now pulled the offending banner down, but still has prayers during games. Our sainted one went on record during an interview as saying that he supported his embattered compatriot and that "Christians" needed to speak out. This from a guy who is well known as a speaker at churches and who allows a minister to wander up and down the sidelines during games, praying with various and sundry players (presumably asking forgiveness of the High Holy One for dropping passes or not using the brain He gave them to pick apart the other team's defensive plan). Yup, that's all we need; more outspoken "Christians" using federal or state taxpayer dollars to feather their bully pulpits to spread the gospel of right-wing wackiness.
What's really bad is that the Air Force Academy has apparently become a hotbed of religious nutcases who've been allowed by the higher-ups in the Pentagon to turn a once respected military academy into Liberty University West. Various accounts indicated that a Brigadier General in charge had "codewords" for his flock, so when he said something like "Airpower!" the cadets in the know were supposed to respond with "ROCK, Sir!"; when the befuddled newbies (and Jews, Hindus, Muslims and agnostics) asked someone more sure of him/herself what it meant, they could "testify" about Jesus and how God likes America's military to be faithful to him in the cockpit. Those cadets who missed "prayer sessions" were hearded by upperclassmen back to their rooms in what was affectionately called "heathen flight". No wonder our terrorist friends think we're taking a page from the Crusades.
Apparently the American Taliban-types have made the military, and particularly the academies, their target. Is the idea that they'll take over the military with hopes of molding more and more of potential future political and business leaders into their own image? Probably and the prospect should scare the hell out of everyone. It's interesting to me that we're all for secularizing the Iraqi government, helping them get away from the conflict between the various sects of Islam, but we're willing to allow sects of Christianity to take control of OUR government, allowing public money to fill the coffers of "faith-based" organizations and private schools. Meanwhile, the conservative "commentators" and "experts" say absolutely nothing about it and pooh-pooh the idea that putting Bible-thumping extremists in charge of governmental entities is a bad thing and, I suppose, why should they? They are pretty much all cut from the same cloth and their goals are the same--to recreate America into the myth that they've created, a nation "blessed" and "established" by God and a bunch of God-fearing Founding Fathers, happy to allow the preachers and Bible-thumpers to spend tax money freely for their own purposes and to heck with anyone who disagreed with them. Forget the fact that history doesn't support that myth and that the myth puts us in a dangerous position with all the other humans that we've got to share this world and its resources with; our new fundamentalist elites want us to cut ties with the non-believers and to be isolated, perhaps the better for God to tell them apart from the rest of us infidels on the soon-to-come Final Days.
I suspect, reading daily now about boycotts and listening to pundits on the religious and conservative mouthpieces, that we'll eventually get the government and country that the fanatics want and on that that day you'd better hope you've exercised your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, because the faithful will probably come 'a huntin' for you, if you're not among the faithful. A new Dark Ages will arise and everything our country ORIGINALLY stood for will fall with a crash and the rest of the world will soon follow suit. But maybe the great mass of the easily-led will open their eyes to the danger when their readily-available pleasures are outlawed and made illegal by God's Army; maybe, but I wouldn't count on it, not as long as SUVs are still around for them to drive.