Religion

U.S. Army Reserve Lists Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism as Examples of 'Religious Extremism'

| by Michael Allen
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The Archdiocese for the Military Services and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty claim that a Power Point presentation of the U.S. Army Reserve cites "Evangelical Christianity" and "Catholicism" as examples of "religious extremism."

According to World Magazine, the slide presentation (pictured) entitled "Extremism & Extremist Organizations" lists the Klu Klux Klan, al-Qaida, Evangelical Christianity, Muslim Brotherhood, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and Catholicism.

The slide presentation says that "some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only 'right way' and that all others are practicing their faith the 'wrong way,' seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others."

History has shown that there are extremists found in every religion, but leaders of some faiths are taking the U.S. Army Reserve presentation an unfair indictment of their entire religion.

"Men and women of faith who have served the Army faithfully for centuries shouldn't be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States," said retired Col. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.

He added: "It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization. It also appears that some military entities are using definitions of 'hate' and 'extreme' from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military."

"The archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist," the Archdiocese for the Military Services said in a statement.

There are no dates on the slides, but an Army spokesman told the Navy Times that the materials were presented last year to soldiers.

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The Army Chief of Chaplains office said that the training was an isolated incident and the slides were not sanctioned by the U.S. Army Department.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is cited as a source in the training documents. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated some faith-based organizations as "hate groups," such as the anti-gay Family Research Council.

Sources: Navy Times and World Magazine