Army's "Fitness" Test
Designed by Psychologist
Who Inspired CIA's Torture
Program Under Fire
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Selected Article Excerpts:
- An experimental, Army mental-health, fitness initiative designed by the same psychologist whose work heavily influenced the psychological aspects of the Bush administration's torture program is under fire by civil rights groups and hundreds of active-duty soldiers. They say it unconstitutionally requires enlistees to believe in God or a "higher power" in order to be deemed "spiritually fit" to serve in the Army.
- Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) is a $125 million "holistic fitness program" unveiled in late 2009 and aimed at reducing the number of suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases [...] Defense Department documents obtained by Truthout state CSF is Army Chief of Staff George Casey's "third highest priority."
- ...for the thousands of "Foxhole Atheists" like 27-year-old Sgt. Justin Griffith, the spiritual component of the test contains questions written predominantly for soldiers who believe in God or another deity, meaning nonbelievers are guaranteed to score poorly and will be forced to participate in exercises that use religious imagery to "train" soldiers up to a satisfactory level of spirituality.
- Last week, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh and General Casey, the Army's chief of staff, demanding that the Army immediately cease and desist administering the "spiritual" portion of the CSF test.
- "And it's not just the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which is being blatantly violated here," Weinstein said. "Clause 3 of Article 6 of the body of our nation's Constitution specifically prohibits any type of 'religious test' being used in connection with any government service. Thus, this 'spirituality' portion of the Army's CSF test completely savages this bedrock Constitutional prohibition."
- Weinstein said MRFF currently represents more than 200 Army soldiers who are "vehemently objecting to this clearly transparent 'religious test', the majority of them practicing Christians themselves."
MRFF DEMANDS THAT
CEASE & DESIST
SURVEY OF SOLDIERS
Monday, January 3, 2011
MRFF's legal clout unquestionable
it sends letter via prestigious
international law firm Jones Day
"spiritual fitness" survey
Click here for a PDF version of the cease and desist letter
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