Reports that the U.S. Army Reserve cites Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of “religious extremism’’ smears countless men and women of faith, a top religious-rights leader says.
“We want the military to provide good training for our military personnel, not biased training that just engenders suspicion and concern,’’ Ron Crews, Executive Director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
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“We’ve got honorable men and women serving, people who come from Baptist churches and Lutheran churches, Catholic churches, Jewish faith, and they should not be labeled as extremist by our military.’’
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Crews’ group claims that a Power Point presentation prepared by the U.S. Army Reserve titled “Extremism & Extremist Organizations’’ lists Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism along with al-Qaida, the Ku Klux Klan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.
The presentation states some followers insist “their beliefs, customs, and traditions are the only 'right way' and that all others are practicing their faith the 'wrong way.’’’
“This is very concerning to us. So we’re asking [the Army Reserve] to take a look at that and on several fronts,’’ Crews told Steve Malzberg.
“One, that they should not be using that list carte blanche. Two, if they’re going to talk about religious groups, they need to get the chaplains involved.
“There’s no indication at all that the person who prepared this briefing ever consulted with their unit chaplain.’’
The Office of the Army Chief of Chaplains insists presentation was an isolated incident and not sanctioned by the U.S. Army.
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