MIKEY’S COLUMN (HUFFPOST, TRUTHOUT) – Evolution, Revolution, and the U.S. Senate Confirmation of Lt. General Robert L. Caslen

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Since receiving word a little over a week ago of President Obama’s nomination of Lt. General Robert L. “Aroma of Jesus Christ” Caslen to become the next Superintendent (i.e. “Commander”) of West Point, I have been voraciously digesting volumes of information in order to determine what position I should take on his pending Senate confirmation. [...] [Caslen] once publicly demonstrated that his personal mission of Christian proselytizing and evangelism was significantly superior to his sworn oath of commission to the United States Constitution in the scandalous Christian Embassy video [...]
  • Indeed, it was never Caslen’s chosen denomination of Christianity, nor his professed personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which was the gravamen of our unconstitutional charges and effusive outrage. Far from it. What WAS the source of this “anti-Caslen” fury was the time, place, and manner in which the General chose to promote and practice his faith. He chose wrong on all three categories – egregiously so. Well, that was then and this is now.
  • OK, everyone, please grab your coats – because hell is apparently freezing over. After literally painstaking consideration of every salient detail available to me, I am pleased to announce that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation fully endorses the United States Senate’s confirmation of the President’s nomination of Lt. General Robert Caslen to the position of Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
  • It is important for me to make something exceedingly clear to the nearly 200 MRFF clients at West Point, along with the well over 31,200 MRFF clients throughout the U.S. armed forces (the overwhelming majority of whom – approximately 96% – are either practicing Protestants or Roman Catholics). The Lt. General Caslen who, pending likely Senate confirmation, will soon be returning to West Point as the Superintendent, does not at all appear to be the same Brig. General Caslen who chose to use his position [...] to unconstitutionally endorse his dominionist, fundamentalist, evangelical Christian faith in uniform.
  • Shortly after the announcement of Caslen’s nomination, I began reaching out to MRFF clients and supporters who have been working closely with Lt. Gen. Caslen in the “post-Christian Embassy” era and especially during his current deployment to Iraq, where he is serving as the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation. [...] Without exception, every one of these men and women who are directly associated with MRFF have reported to me that Lt. Gen. Caslen today has a powerfully revised view of the world that particularly includes a genuine respect for plurality, diversity, and the dire national security implications of unbridled religious extremism in all of its poisonous and divisive forms.
  • This new position, where Caslen will be THE titular leader of America’s oldest – and arguably most iconic and venerable – military academy will be a thorough test of the magnitude of his “evolution” and of his comprehensive mettle. For instance, to stand up and say that branding an entire cadet regiment as Christian Crusaders is wrong will take guts. Further, to acknowledge that flaunting Christian pageantry at mandatory events by requiring prayers is wrong would be revolutionary. [...] For Lt. General Caslen to avoid that same mortally myopic oversight, to ignore the shameful plank in West Point’s eye while speaking out against specks in the eyes of others (à la Matthew 7:3), would be a significant transformative first step on the long, laborious road to a truly Constitutionally compliant U.S. Military.
  • It is presently unclear, of course, as to what Caslen will actually do at West Point. What IS clear is that he incontrovertibly deserves and merits the chance to do it.
  • I will continue to monitor Lt. General Caslen’s performance and seek a meaningful, good faith dialogue between him and MRFF in order to unequivocally ensure that the precious religious freedom of the many MRFF clients at West Point are assiduously defended from the top down and even bottom up. I believe that Lt. General Caslen has “evolved.” It is my conviction that he has well learned that one’s personal religious rights, be they evangelical Christian rights or not, shall never trump the bedrock civil and human rights of one’s fellow Americans. That fact is foundational Constitutional truth.

Click to read article at Huffington Post

(also featured in Truthout and Alternet)

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    1 Comment

    1. David C. Lyles

      I as an American Muslim Service Member worked daily under the command of LTG Caslen as while in Iraq. Prior to that, I worked for him indirectly as part of the Center for Army Lessons Learned. I sat in the daily briefings with LTG Caslen, and escorted him on a mission to the Iraqi Lessons Learned Center. Over a Four month period while serving directly under him and being present at his daily briefs had I not once heard him mention religion. As a service member who have been victimized because of my religion, I strongly support the nomination of LTG Caslen. I have not worked for a more dedicated and compassionate leader. He cares nothing but for the best of those who are under his commands and the best way to accomplish the military mission. I’ve never worked directly for a more a compassionate and dedicated leader at his level.

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