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US Army Burns Bibles in Afghanistan

6 years ago
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On the heels of a report that Donald Rumsfeld included Crusade-esque cover sheets on his intelligence briefings comes a jarring follow-up to the story of proselytizing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jake Tapper reports that Bibles sent to soldiers in Afghanistan for distribution to locals were rather unceremoniously disposed of:
On May 5, Army spokeswoman Major Jennifer Willis told Reuters that at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan "the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed."

Today, Christian Broadcasting's David Brody says "the Bibles were burned because the rules on the base say that all garbage is burned at the end of the day. But just asking here; if the U.S. Military seized a stack full of Korans, would they be burned? You think that might cause a little outrage in the Muslim world?"

The crux of the original story was the allegation that the soldiers were violating General Order 1, which forbids proselytizing. The Pentagon denies this, but when you've got video of a Chaplain urging his men to be bounty hunters for Jesus, that's a tough argument to make:

Still, did they have to burn them?I mean, it's not like with flags, is it? There doesn't seem to be a right way to destroy a Bible.

Brody's point is well taken. Couldn't the Army have sold the Bibles to a local bookstore?

While I am firmly in the camp that says religion has intruded too far into government (as evidenced by the brouhaha surrounding the President's speech at a merely tangentially religious institution), I also think religious texts ought to be respected, even if their owners don't always extend that respect to others.

Surely, there's a middle-ground between being soul-snipers for Christ and burning stacks of Bible?
Tommy on: Daily Dose:

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