USAF using Jebus to justify nuclear weapons?
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03-08-2011, 01:53 PM
USAF using Jebus to justify nuclear weapons?
The Disturbing Secrets of the Air Force’s Jesus Loves Nukes Nuclear Missile Program

Jesus loves everyone. He loves innocents, he loves sinners, he loves cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels. And according to the United States Air Force, Jesus loves atomic intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear mass-murdering too.

That's basically what they have been telling their nuclear missile officers for decades under a special ethics training program colloquially known as Jesus Loves Nukes. It seems that the use of nuclear weapons to destroy enemy populations is perfectly fine according to their interpretation of Christian ethics. Now, after being exposed by Truth-Out and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Air Force is canceling it.
What is it?

The "ethics" training—imparted by USAF chaplains—uses many passages of the Old and New Testament to justify the use of atomic weapons to obliterate innocent populations (aka the enemy). Its core document, a 43-page Powerpoint presentation, also quotes St Augustine's Causes to Just War. It contains references to Hiroshima and Nagasaki too, teaching the official—and much debated—excuse for the bombing of those two Japanese cities.

The document also dedicates an entire slide to rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun, who justifies the use of missiles as a morally just decision:

We knew that we had created a new means of warfare and the question as to what nation, to what victorious nation we were willing to entrust this brainchild of ours was a moral decision more than anything else. We wanted to see the world spared another conflict such as Germany had just been through and we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world be best secured.

Braun, before becoming one of the fathers of the space program, was a Nazi scientist who used Jewish prisoners to make the V-2 missiles that terrorized London during the end of World War II. Those words were his justification for the use of those bombs. By the way, the emphasis on that quote is in the original document.
Two decades too late

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation requested the documents (PDF) under the Freedom of Information Act. They did it after thirty religious missile officers—most with Catholic and Protestant backgrounds—contacted them asking to fix the situation.

The publication of the presentation (PDF) has caused the USAF to halt the program immediately. Dod Buzz believes this move is actually in line with the "change of culture" that is coming from the Air Force's Global Strike Command, set by top dog Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski.

Whatever the reasons are, the cancelation comes twenty years too late. While I can understand the moral, ethical and psychological problems that the idea of unleashing hell upon millions of people may cause to any normal human being, there's absolutely no justification for this religious-based training.

As the MRFF's president points out, this has no place under "the 'no religious test' mandate of the Constitution and the First Amendment's 'No Establishment' clause." But beyond that, what seems repugnant to me is the idea of manipulating Christian ethics to try to brainwash officers into thinking that the launch of nuclear weapons is morally right. Simply because it just can't be, no matter the way you look at it.

I'm not a religious person, but having been raised in Catholicism, the ethics of the Judeo-Christian Mediterranean culture were an integral part of my upbringing. For Jesus, the Bible character, there's no justification for the use of force. Much less for the massive annihilation of humans.

But then again, people have been using religion to justify war against others since the beginning of recorded history, so I'm not surprised about this new elaborated twist. In fact, including a Nazi scientist's idea of morals and the official justification for Hiroshima makes total sense.

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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03-08-2011, 03:36 PM
RE: USAF using Jebus to justify nuclear weapons?
I suppose they have to use something to try to make missile officers think it's ok to fire what can only be described as genocidal weapons. Otherwise who would want to use them. Just shows you how faith in a god can be enough to make some people commit truely horrific acts.

Behold the power of the force!
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03-08-2011, 06:51 PM
RE: USAF using Jebus to justify nuclear weapons?
I'm pro nuke as long as we ALL get crisp apple strudels...

Great article, I shall now give you more respect.
I agree FSM, that it's definitely a way to coerce normalish people into using weapons of great devastation.
My guess is that they probably cancelled it due to dropping interest in religion among recruits. I bet every time they would try and spout some biblical nonsense some cadet would be all like "But I don't believe in God, and my morals tell me killing is bad." which would be replied with a stern smack and some push ups.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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04-08-2011, 06:01 AM
RE: USAF using Jebus to justify nuclear weapons?
Ludacris, you remind me of when I was in basic training. Most of my flight was confused by me, I hated violence and conflict.

I was only an aircraft maintainer, so I would never have to actually see combat.

I know many people in the military who detest MAD and nuclear weapons. The military isn't as 'brain-washy' and strict as people like to think.

Shady stuff does occur in the military (such as this example) but honestly it's not that terrible of an organization.

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05-08-2011, 02:40 PM
RE: USAF using Jebus to justify nuclear weapons?
They are putting people in a room with a key and telling them that if they turn the key and push the button they will be responsible for the death of millions of people. That's not quite the same as asking them to fix an airplane, or even engage in basic combat where you shoot at people and probably kill some. This is now genocide on a massive scale including women, children and people who are completely and totally innocent of any wrongdoing or even share the political motivations that lead to the war to begin with. If I'm the military, I'm concerned that human beings are going to hesitate to turn that key and push that button, and some percentage of people are going to flat out refuse to do it. The idea that they took steps to justify it on religious grounds does not surprise me at all. I'd have been more shocked if something like this did not exist.

Monkeyshine - interesting comment: "I know many people in the military who detest MAD and nuclear weapons.". I perfectly understand detesting nuclear weapons (I'm not a fan myself), but I'm surprised at the comment on MAD. Without the assurance of Mutually Assured Destruction, the hawks on one side or the other would have most likely propelled the US and Soviets into a war that the world would not have survived. Fear of MAD is probably the only reason any of us are still here today and not living out some version of "The Road Warrior" instead.

Oh, one other thought on this: GHOST - IF YOU'RE READING THIS THREAD

We've had the debate several times here in the past about the impacts of war and religion. Read that story carefully because this highlights the point I and others have made several times. Whether or not religion in and of itself causes war is irrelevant. What is relevant is how religion can be used to convince people to commit atrocities they otherwise would never agree to. The military did not do this because they are a bunch of Christian zealots who believe Christ is ok with nuclear annihilation. They did it to minimize the number of human beings who would not turn the key and push the button.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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