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Author: TheRealBCF Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 37585  
Subject: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/21/2004 2:51 PM
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Here's the latest example at the Air Force Academy: http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/11/20/academy.religion.ap/index.html

Coach Fisher DeBerry agreed Friday to remove the banner, which displayed the "Competitor's Creed," including the lines "I am a Christian first and last ... I am a member of Team Jesus Christ."

Apparently, that offended some of the students. I have a couple problems with this. I have to say first that I am not a very "good" Christian in that I personally don't believe that Jesus was God. That said, it doesn't bother me in the least that other people do. What are we doing that we have a generation of cadets that are so darn sensitive that a banner like the above makes them feel ostracized?

I've noticed in the past 10 years or so the level of extreme sensitivity in the military is growing. In my first deployment after 9/11 to the UAE, I had four different times that young airmen complained to me that I somehow "offended" them. Significantly, none were Guard or Reserves, they were all active duty. I think I'm a pretty nice guy, but somehow I managed to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and each time there was a young airman that felt they were owed some sort of apology (they didn't get it).

This kind of atmosphere is fostered by a number of things that is not only in the military. However, it is driving me nuts that we have to bow to the hypersensitive in this world. Obviously, racial/religous and ethnic slurs are wrong and shouldn't be tolerated. However, I believe there are people who use the current politically correct climate to find offense in whatever they can in order to play a power game with their supervisors, or deflect any kind of responsibility from themselves.

I also have a problem with the growing attempt to stamp out any form of religion from public life. Granted, I'm not religious but so what? If some day I decided to be a more religous person, why couldn't I freely show it in public? This quote from the article really upset me in this matter: In September, academy officials issued a memo explaining the government's e-mail policy after some staffers put biblical verses at the bottom of their e-mails. Some cadets were admonished in March for using academy e-mail accounts to encourage other people to see "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's movie about the crucifixion.

Am I the only person disgusted by all this?

BCF
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Author: JPLenny Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22934 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/21/2004 3:12 PM
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Am I the only person disgusted by all this?

I have a problem with Coach Fisher DeBerry putting that banner up. I'm sure there are a few folks that are not a Christian first and last ... and not a member of Team Jesus Christ. The statement that this makes is that if you aren't Christian, you aren't part of the team. Is that the message the Air Force wants to send to non Christians?

I spend 5 years in the Army and I've worked with the military for over 20 years. I think they have a pretty good balance on religion expression. There were plenty of places and events to celebrate one's beliefs. Christmas isn't banned on post or base. You can still go to mass or services and you can have a bible study group at the library on post.

The question is, at what point does it cease to become religious expression and become proselytizing? Signing off your email telling someone who may be Jewish, Atheist, Muslim, or any other non Christian person to that they need to accept Jesus as thier savior isn't about your freedom to express your religious views, it is proselytizing.









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Author: TheRealBCF Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22935 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/21/2004 3:25 PM
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I have a problem with Coach Fisher DeBerry putting that banner up. I'm sure there are a few folks that are not a Christian first and last ... and not a member of Team Jesus Christ. The statement that this makes is that if you aren't Christian, you aren't part of the team. Is that the message the Air Force wants to send to non Christians?

The banner wasn't put up by the Air Force, the coach put it up. I'm not a Christian first and last and not a team member of Team Jesus Christ. However, I'm not so hypersensitive that a banner like this bothers me one way or the other.

The question is, at what point does it cease to become religious expression and become proselytizing? Signing off your email telling someone who may be Jewish, Atheist, Muslim, or any other non Christian person to that they need to accept Jesus as thier savior isn't about your freedom to express your religious views, it is proselytizing.

I highly doubt they were signing off e-mails with "Accept Jesus or Go To Hell". Usually I've seen "Jesus is Lord, John 3:16". Again, so what? My Muslim friends start correspondance with "In the name of Allah the Merciful and Beneficial" and I don't take that as proselytization.

BCF


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Author: JPLenny Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22936 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/21/2004 3:37 PM
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The banner wasn't put up by the Air Force, the coach put it up. I'm not a Christian first and last and not a team member of Team Jesus Christ. However, I'm not so hypersensitive that a banner like this bothers me one way or the other.

The coach is employed by the Air Force, so he is representing the Air Force. It may not bother you, but I'm sure it bothered some. The statement the banner made was very exclusionary in nature and probably not what the Air Force is looking for.

I highly doubt they were signing off e-mails with "Accept Jesus or Go To Hell". Usually I've seen "Jesus is Lord, John 3:16". Again, so what? My Muslim friends start correspondance with "In the name of Allah the Merciful and Beneficial" and I don't take that as proselytization.

I've seen stuff that bad and worse in emails and I've called several people on it. Why does one see the need to sign off an email with any of this? It's part of a professional office correspondence, not your own pulpit. You want to send out relgious fanfare to your friends, that's fine. You want to tell me that Jesus is my savior at the bottom of a message that deals with official military business, I don't care for it.





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Author: TheRealBCF Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22937 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/21/2004 4:06 PM
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The coach is employed by the Air Force, so he is representing the Air Force. It may not bother you, but I'm sure it bothered some. The statement the banner made was very exclusionary in nature and probably not what the Air Force is looking for.

As I stated in my first post on this thread, we've gotten to the point that people are looking for things to be offended by. Exclusionary in nature is to me "whites only". If the banner said "non-Christians will go to Hell" that would be different. So, does that mean members of the Air Force should not have religous materials in their offices (like a Bible or Koran) because it indicates the Air Force is endorsing that?

I've seen stuff that bad and worse in emails and I've called several people on it. Why does one see the need to sign off an email with any of this? It's part of a professional office correspondence, not your own pulpit. You want to send out relgious fanfare to your friends, that's fine. You want to tell me that Jesus is my savior at the bottom of a message that deals with official military business, I don't care for it.


My reaction to all of this is "so?". There are more important things to get offended by and upset at. We've are now ruled by the hypersensitive.

BCF


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Author: Veloci Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22939 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 1:36 AM
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BCF: "Muslim friends start correspondance with "In the name of Allah the Merciful and Beneficial" and I don't take that as proselytization."

That's because this opening is equivilent to me writing a letter to you and starting off with: Dear BCF,

Its the normal, accepted openingg form of address, just like the normal ," God willing." in speech.

Veloci



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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22943 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 10:03 AM
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" You want to tell me that Jesus is my savior at the bottom of a message that deals with official military business, I don't care for it.


My reaction to all of this is "so?". There are more important things to get offended by and upset at. We've are now ruled by the hypersensitive."

At the very least, putting the "Jesus" or "Allah" stuff in a BUSINESS email is unprofessional. It would be considered unprofessional in business or the military.

If I put a "Jesus" or "Allah" message on all my emails here at work, I'm sure I'd be called to task for it, and fast- if it doesn't pertain to the job, it doesn't need to be in there!

For your PERSONAL email, put whatever you want in it, but if its a business email, using your business/military account, keep the irrelevant "God" stuff out of it (unless you are the military Chaplain).

jb


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Author: SuaSponteMark Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22944 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 11:27 AM
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Am I the only person disgusted by all this?

Being one of a small group - registered independant/atheist - in the military is an interesting thing. In basic there were calls along the lines of "for those of you that don't want to go to mass, you can go back to your room and worship the devil or shine your shoes or sacrifice a goat or whatever." They weren't to the individual's face but in even a more passive-aggressive cowardly manner, in front of the ranks. In other words, if you don't worship in one of the proper ways (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and even Mormons were acceptable) we're going to single you out. Didn't bother me too much except when someone would get in my face about it. I had an ugly argument with a Chaplain at Fort Bragg once, about 6 years ago, when he was prosthelyzing to me in public and I told him loudly that his job was to be a counselor and source of comfort for the ranks and not to recruit for his particular flavor of pretend friend. I went on to discuss how if he had the one true path then it sure didn't help him much with his failed marriage. Could have heard a pin drop back then. I tend to be quiet about my non-belief until someone doesn't respect my space/freedom from not having to be lambasted with a lot of religious blather. 1SG currently is the assistant pastor in his church and we get along fine. We don't discuss religion; we recognize we have very different takes and that's fine - we're headed on the same azimuth at work and on our time we have our differing interests.

I'm not disgusted by what is happening at the Air Force Academy; I'm disgusted by the hyper type-A culture where too often fellas with extra Y chromosomes try to dominate their environment and coerce others to their every whim. I've literally had to throw down with a few as that is the only language they would hear in order to realize that not everyone in the ranks is in the NRA, votes straight Republican, goes to the 1st Baptist Church, and drives an American made (though there's no such thing) pickup.

Mark

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Author: fcarlson Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22950 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 2:11 PM
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I'm not disgusted by what is happening at the Air Force Academy; I'm disgusted by the hyper type-A culture where too often fellas with extra Y chromosomes try to dominate their environment and coerce others to their every whim.

Amen, bud. And these guys are EVERYWHERE and they don't fight fair. But, if you stand up them they fold each and every time.

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Author: fcarlson Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22952 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 5:17 PM
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I'm not disgusted by what is happening at the Air Force Academy; I'm disgusted by the hyper type-A culture where too often fellas with extra Y chromosomes try to dominate their environment and coerce others to their every whim. I've literally had to throw down with a few as that is the only language they would hear in order to realize that not everyone in the ranks is in the NRA, votes straight Republican, goes to the 1st Baptist Church, and drives an American made (though there's no such thing) pickup.

Directly related to the hyper type-A comment. This article from COL George Reed of the War College is worth a read, IMO.

It's a PDF.

http://www.leavenworth.army.mil/milrev/download/English/JulAug04/reed.pdf

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Author: SirYoda Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22953 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 5:57 PM
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Directly related to the hyper type-A comment. This article from COL George Reed of the War College is worth a read, IMO.
-----------------

Great article! I've known bosses like COL Reed describes, "toxic leaders, indeed!"

Yoda

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22954 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 6:53 PM
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I have found the toxic type have a common denominator: insecurity masked by an aggressive or passive force of personality. Easy way to spot them is by asking subordinates, “Does your boss let you do your job or is he/she constantly taking over?”

I don't say this lightly, many have a pathological need for control and, my first point above, feel that relinquishing control is a loss that will backfire on them. The result is they micromanage and create an environment where people fear to act on their own initiative because they're told they can't do the job right.

Then there's the additional pf the Peter Principle where people rise to the level of their incapability. First sign of this is an urge of the person to spend time on the inconsequential which I describe as 'Are all the window blinds all the same level?”

When you have both of these in one person it can be a nightmare for those working for him/her. It's costly, too. Sometimes you have to bring in people like me and my cost makes some people blanch.

COL Reed's article had a very good question to ask a person leaving: how was the relationship with your superior? Sure, you don't have to like your boss but if several say their superior was a horse's ass then steps need to be taken.

My take on the banners? Micromanaging to a level where nothing is acceptable so therefore nothing is better than something. Ye gads, next is mistletoe. You do know that it's a Pagan rite, don't you?

MichaelR




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Author: TheRealBCF Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22958 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 10:14 PM
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My take on the banners? Micromanaging to a level where nothing is acceptable so therefore nothing is better than something. Ye gads, next is mistletoe. You do know that it's a Pagan rite, don't you?

Which was my feeling exactly. I don't agree with proseletyzing (sp?) and so on, but there has to be some common sense in the equation. I've had some pretty uncomfortable experiences with people pushing their religion on me, and I don't appreciate it. I also think it is unprofessional and wrong. Years ago when I graduated from college I was going through the interview process at a large railroad, and I had to go to their security department for a background check. The interviewer spent the whole time trying to get me to change religions. Very unprofessional, and made the experience uncomfortable for me.

I don't think it's right to ban all forms of religious expression as a reaction to this though. There has to be some common sense, which seems to go out the window so much of the time.

I couldn't get Col. Reed's article to download.

Then there's the additional pf the Peter Principle where people rise to the level of their incapability. First sign of this is an urge of the person to spend time on the inconsequential which I describe as 'Are all the window blinds all the same level?”

I've run into the above type so many times in both my military and civilian careers. My most memorable? In 1989 I was on a deployment for training in Honduras with my Air National Guard unit, and we found a pipe bomb in our camp. A Lt. Col. came out to visit the next day, and I was rather shaken up by the experience. I was telling him about it, showing him where we found the bomb, and he interrupted me mid-sentence to ask me if we were performing operator maintenance on our vehicles. At the time I was just a young LT, so I thought there must be something wrong with my concern over the pipe bomb. No one else seemed to give a damn. Years later, I still shake my head at this experience.

BCF

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Author: CaveGirl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22959 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 11:48 PM
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Great article. I've seen and worked for toxic leaders. They are the ones we all talk about behind their backs and we hamsters band together for support when they become too overbearing and critical and threaten emotional breakdown. Toxic leaders cannot be dealt with by complacent management that rules over them. They are almost like opposing forces to work for/with. It's an ugly thing to witness.


CaveGirl


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Author: CaveGirl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22960 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/22/2004 11:50 PM
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Ye gads, next is mistletoe. You do know that it's a Pagan rite, don't you?

----------------------------------

So if you crush the mistletoe and mix the pulpy results in kool-aid, it becomes religious again, doesn't it?


CaveGirl
p.s. I recommend grape flavor

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22963 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/23/2004 9:26 AM
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Fwiw:

Here is a link to the Competitor's Creed. I find it well beyond the pale.

http://www.teamfca.net/national/TEAMFCA/TheCompetitorsCreed.lsp

I am a Christian first and last.
I am created in the likeness of
God Almighty to bring Him glory.
I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.
I wear the colors of the cross.

I am a Competitor now and forever.
I am made to strive, to strain,
to stretch and to succeed
in the arena of competition.
I am a Christian Competitor
and as such, I face my challenger
with the face of Christ.

I do not trust in myself.
I do not boast in my abilities
or believe in my own strength.
I rely solely on the power of God.
I compete for the pleasure of
my Heavenly Father, the honor of Christ
and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.

My attitude on and off
the field is above reproach -
my conduct beyond criticism.
Whether I am preparing,
practicing or playing;
I submit to God's authority
and those He has put over me.
I respect my coaches, officials,
teammates and competitors
out of respect for the Lord.

My body is the temple of Jesus Christ.
I protect it from within and without.
Nothing enters my body that
does not honor the Living God.
My sweat is an offering to my Master.
My soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior.

I give my all - all of the time.
I do not give up. I do not give in.
I do not give out. I am the Lord's warrior -
a competitor by conviction
and a disciple of determination.
I am confident beyond reason
because my confidence lies in Christ.
The results of my efforts
must result in His glory.

LET THE COMPETITION BEGIN.
LET THE GLORY BE GOD'S.


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Author: KPart Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22966 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/23/2004 4:01 PM
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I am a human, first and last.
I am created as an efficient
design of nature's selection.
I am a member of Team USA.
I wear the colors of the flag.

I am a Competitor now and forever.
I am made to strive, to strain,
to stretch and to succeed
in the arena of competition.
I am a natural Competitor
and as such, I face my challenger
with the face of humanity.

I lay trust upon myself.
I do not boast in my abilities
yet I believe in my own strength.
I rely solely on the proof of my actions.
I compete for the pleasure of
glorious victory, honorable sacrifice,
and the humility of defeat.

My attitude on and off
the field is above reproach -
my conduct beyond criticism.
Whether I am preparing,
practicing or playing;
I submit to no mans authority
who has not earned my respect.
I respect my coaches, officials,
teammates and competitors
out of respect for humanity.

My body is the temple of my spirit.
I protect it from within and without.
Nothing enters my body that
does not do honor unto Myself.
My sweat is an offering to my teammates.
My soreness is a proof of my pain.

I give my all - all of the time.
I do not give up. I do not give in.
I do not give out. I am the my own warrior -
a competitor by conviction
and a disciple of determination.
I am confident within reason
because my confidence lies in proof.
The results of my efforts
will result in our glory.

LET THE COMPETITION BEGIN.
LET THE GLORY BE MAN'S.



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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22968 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/23/2004 4:43 PM
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KPart:

As I read it, it sounded far more pagan than Christian.
Perhaps it was Mr. Read's mistletoe comment.

I am a Viking first and last.
I am created in the likeness of
Odin All-Father to bring Him glory.
I am a member of Team Thor.
I wear the colors of the Hammer.

I am a Berserker now and forever.
I am made to strive, to strain,
to stretch and to succeed
in the arena of competition.

I compete for the pleasure of
Odin All-Father, the honor of Valhalla
and the embrace of the Valkyrie.





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Author: 5and10 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22969 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/23/2004 10:22 PM
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There is, and must be, a difference between social and professional relationships.

The former falls into the "I know you, you know me, and we're pretty much equals" catagory. The latter acknowledges that there is a senior and a junior and the relationship exists in a structured environment dedicated to effectively getting the job done.

I may absolutely "have you for lunch" as a result of some professional action or inaction on your part and still buy you a beer outside of hours. The conditions of our relationship vary and our actions must mirror that difference.

I was taught, loe those many years ago, that in a professional relationship "anything can be discussed EXCEPT religion, sex, and politics".

In the issue at hand, it appears that someone forgot the rule and the consequences came home to roost

Regards,


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Author: KPart Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22976 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/24/2004 3:11 PM
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It's funny you should say that, a large part of christian doctrine is a result of the absorption of local customs and beliefs as christianity converted and conquered the germanic regions of the world (and many others). This is evidenced in the Easter traditions: notwithstanding the resurrection of any saviors at this time - Bunny Rabbits and fertility, whiskey tango foxtrot?

Actually I was only trying to present how the former "competitors creed" could, using only minor changes, be changed in such a way that still invoked a sense of pride and the merits of fair play. Some of my own pagan naturalist beliefs <sic.> may have gotten mixed up in the process but I was still trying to keep the general rhythm.
It does have that tnedency to fill you with bloodlust doesnt it?

kPart

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Author: jimicarlos100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22981 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/24/2004 9:37 PM
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Very good ! My son is in the Marines and will likely land in Iraq in January or February . Your message hits close to home !

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 23004 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 11/26/2004 10:49 AM
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Fwiw, this is perhaps OT and probably is more appropriate on PA. You may wish to skip it.
Still, since I posted against the Creed, I thought perhaps I should share this as well.


Ruth Scheidt said Lowell Middle School officials had her 12-year-old son sign a letter last month stating he understood that he could be expelled if he missed another day of school for any reason before the end of the semester in January.

The family had just returned from an out-of-state, eight-day religious observance called the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated by the United Church of God

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0411260181nov26,1,7753683.story?coll=chi-news-hed
(may require free registration)


Indiana allows 5 excused absences. The family missed eight days this semester for a religious retreat, and now the student is in danger of expulsion.
Schools exist to support the family, not the other way around. I understand Indiana Department of Education's desire to define and curb truancy, but it is obvious to me that they are way out of bounds on this one.



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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24802 of 37585
Subject: Re: Political Correctness and the Military Date: 5/2/2005 1:00 PM
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Fwiw, kind of a followup.

The 14-page report, released Thursday, listed incidents of mandatory prayers, proselytizing by teachers, insensitivity to religious minorities and allegations that evangelical Christianity is the preferred faith at the (Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo).

"I think this is the most serious, military-related systemic problem I have ever seen in the decades I've been doing this work," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "There is a clear preference for Christianity at the academy, so that everyone else feels like a second-class citizen."

Lynn sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking for a prompt investigation.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2002258355_academy30.html

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