Christians in the US military are coming under outlandish attack. I do not believe the average citizen realizes what a boon it is to have legal lethal force placed in the hands of many soldiers who claim Christ as their ultimate Commander in Chief. This blessing is about to be undermined. A seemingly hate-inspired Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, (you will not believe this) is employed by the Pentagon to set in motion a policy to court-marshall Christian military, whether soldiers or chaplains, who share their faith. He openly charges Christians with “virulent religious oppression,” vilifying them as “monstrosities” and “pitiable unconstitutional carpetbaggers,” and compares them to “bigots” in the Deep South during the civil rights era. Weinstein concludes, “Let’s call these ignoble actions (that is, teaching orthodox Christian beliefs from the Bible) what they are: the senseless and cowardly squallings of human monsters.” (See here.)
Christian believers as “human monsters.” This language from Weinstein is so hateful and over-the-top that it ought to provoke immediate suspicion and outrage from any normally-constituted human being. I am reading sociologist Peter L Berger’s A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural. He looks into human experience for signs of transcendence, and points to things like “order” and “hope.” But one sign he identifies is odd, an “argument from (eternal) damnation.” He claims that a refusal to condemn certain kinds of evil should be seen as a radical human failure to identify evil. The kinds of deeds he is talking about are not just evil. He states: “They are monstrously evil. And it is this monstrosity that seems to compel even people normally or professionally given to such perspectives to suspend relativization.” (p.66). He is thinking of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s crimes against humanity during WWII, which nobody relativizes. Such deeds should not be simply condemned. They should be damned—and the fact of this sense of eternal damnation for Berger is a sign of transcendence.
How can Weinstein, who, as his name suggests, may know something of the holocaust, be recognized in polite, official society when he uses such terms about the faith of millions of Christians across the planet and throughout history, whose moral response is to follow Christ by turning the other cheek? The amount of hatred here might qualify for Berger as an “argument from damnation”! The failure of the authorities to condemn Weinstein, and their encouragement of him, indicates the point our society has reached in terms of hatred of the truth and the rejection of the supernatural.