US Army Evangelism: Is It a 'Crusade'?

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2009 8:30 PM CDT
US Army 82nd Airborne chaplain Dan Knight speaks during a field worship service September 8, 2002 at the Orgun-e Kalay forward base in Afghanistan.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – US Army chaplains have distributed Arabic-language Bibles in Iraq, told soldiers to "hunt people for Jesus," and speculated that President Obama is a secret Muslim. Enough already, says a religious rights watchdog: Led by Air Force veteran Mikey Weinstein, the group is suing the Pentagon over alleged religious-based practices and chaplains who "see the military as a mission field with a lot of low-hanging fruit," Weinstein said.

The suit alleges that top chaplain and fiery sermonizer Jim Ammerman, 83, runs a chaplaincy that violates Pentagon rules, eschewing interfaith cooperation and linking with supremacist causes, Kathryn Joyce writes in Newsweek. But Ammerman's lawyer says the Constitution protects him, and so far, the Pentagon agrees. Meanwhile, critics say, America's fastest-growing denominations—evangelical and Pentecostal—have long driven mainstream Christian belief from the US Army.
(Read more US military stories.)