Coereced Attendance of Evangelical Christian Concerts by Military Officers

Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concerts. They have been going on for years at Fort Eustis and Fort Lee, but these disturbing misuses of government funds and abuses of soldiers’ rights have only recently been brought to our attention.

These concerts, and the stories of soldiers who were punished for choosing not to attend, were reported in a recent article by Chris Rodda, Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Rodda reports that Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers has started these religious conversion oriented concerts at both bases where he has been the commanding officer, and that they have continued at For Lee even after his departure, at an appalling cost to taxpayers.

The costs may be small compared to the enormous military budget, but any money spent on promotion of a religion by government agencies is unacceptable, and “Spiritual Fitness” programs in the military cost uncounted millions of dollars per year. Millions of dollars taken from citizens who for the most part are not Evangelical Christians and who would not willingly pay to promote that religion, or to coerce anyone into sitting through repeated and extended attempts to convert them.

The fact that military officers are wasting up to $100,000 per act at each concert with the clear intent of promoting Evangelical Christianity is disturbing enough, but punishing soldiers who choose not to attend these “Spiritual Fitness” events where their commanders support these blatant attempts to convert them to Evangelical Christianity is an unmitigated abuse of the rights granted to every citizen by the constitution of the United States of America.

Lest there be any confusion as to the purpose of these bands and the officials who hired them, an article in the Fort Eustis Wheel quotes one member of the BarlowGirl trio who headlined this particular concert as stating that their group is “on a mission to bring the armor of God to servicemembers”, and they are doing it with your money and with the support of your military commanders.

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About Kazz

My name is Shawn Esplin and I am an advocate of Free Thought and general good sense and thought in general. To that end, I encourage people to seriously question the things that they have been taught, especially as children, because many of these things - religious and secular - are taken on faith until we actively choose to seriously examine them for ourselves.

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