It has come to light that an Army training document allegedly cites The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a trusted source to define extremism.
According to a report by Charisma News the Judicial Watch used a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act) to obtain the training document.
The document comes from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). The DEOMI is part of the Department of Defense (DOD).
In a 133-page training document there is a section titled Extremism. On pages 32-33, under the “Lesson Emphasis,” it claims to:
“provide[s] information that describes sources of extremism information, definitions, recruitment of DOD personnel, common themes in extremist ideologies, common characteristics of extremist organizations, DOD policies, and command functions regarding extremist activities.”
Allegedly on the same page, the document cites the SPLC as an approved source for information—and its affiliate Teaching Tolerance. The SPLC is known to label Christians who adhere to biblical teaching as “hate groups.”
It would appear the uproar from Evangelical Christians about being labeled as extremists might be why the Army recently announced it will halt all briefings on extremist organizations. According to the Army, the program needs “to be corrected and standardized to eliminate Christian-bashing.” Army Secretary John McHugh has given military leaders a recent memo. The Memo said:
“On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy.”
The Army calls recent training sessions, where Evangelical Christians were being labeled as extremists, as “isolated incidents.” Are the recent training sessions truly isolated incidents as the Army says? These trainers seem to be espousing their own anti-Christian views on soldiers. Let’s take a look at some instances where supposed rogue Army instructors have been teaching soldiers that Christians are extremists.
In April, World Net Daily (WND) reported the following: “Soldiers in the U.S. military have been told in a training briefing that evangelical Christians are the number one extremist threat to America – ahead of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, KKK, Nation of Islam, al-Qaida, Hamas and others.”
This briefing was given to an Army reserve unit in Pennsylvania, came from a U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief titled “Extremism and Extremist Organizations.” It’s said a soldier who attended the briefing told the trainer he was an Evangelical Christian and was offended by the material. The soldier obtained a copy of the presentation and forwarded it to retired Col. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
Another example of “rogue instructors” training soldiers in extremism happened in Oct. A training course by the Army is said to have labeled the pro-family American Family Association, (AFA), a hate group.
According to a report by Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, “Army spokesman George Wright confessed the information (about AFA) was “acquired from an Internet search.” Wright said the information about AFA (supposedly) didn’t come from official Army sources. He also said it wasn’t “approved by senior Army leaders, senior equal opportunity counselors or judge-advocate personnel.”
It’s reported the likely source behind the labeling came from The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), according to AFA’s Brian Fischer, AFA’s director of issues analysis. World Net Daily (WND) reports, “It was a soldier at Camp Shelby in Mississippi who presented evidence to media that an Army presenter at a briefing identified AFA as a “hate group.” The AFA was labeled as such because of their traditional views about “homosexuality and marriage.”
On Oct. 17, allegedly trainers told soldiers at Fort Hood that Christians and tea party members are extremists and a threat to our nation.
A document the Army has been using in training soldiers is AFSS 0910 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND TREATMENT INCIDENTS (EOTI) LESSON PLAN. This document contains some disturbing information concerning extremism. It says things like: “Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”
According to this those who talk of individual liberties can be considered extremists. Other troubling things contained in the lesson plan are:
“As noted, an ideology is a set of political beliefs about the nature of people and society. People who are committed to an ideology seek not only to persuade but to recruit others to their belief. In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
The training document, mentioned above, was obtained by Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act. The president of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton said, “the Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism.” WND reports that Fitton has also said: “
And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military. And it is striking that some the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and tea party investigations. After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.”
The Army could be right that it was “rogue instructors” that took part in the above mentioned training sessions. However, more than one example has been given where soldiers were being taught Christians are extremists. Like the saying goes, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”
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