In a move which leaves even the most jaded and stoic among us aghast, Trump’s “Chief Strategist” Steve Bannon is now backing a military plan involving Eric Prince and Stephen Feinberg with the goal of privatizing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. The attempt to impose Christian fundamentalism on military operations by wresting control from the Pentagon and putting it in the hands of infamous Blackwater operatives is nothing less than another despicable play by the swarming fundamentalist Christian Dominionists who are rapidly filling seats of power across the full spectrum of the United States government in Washington.
Government backed religious anything is already hugely problematic and inherently dangerous. A government backed, religiously biased and motivated military run by private contractors with a clear fundamentalist evangelical agenda is even more problematic, with massive implications on Constitutionally-guaranteed religious freedom. A government backed military operated by a clearly fundamentalist “Crusader” Christian private contractor who is as frighteningly radical as Blackwater’s “Echo Papa” Eric Prince is a horrific step backwards into McCarthy style sentiment.
Folks, why all the concern, you may ask? Because we are talking about nothing less than unrestricted, weaponized, fundamentalist Christian, religious extremism being inextricably intertwined into the very fabric of our United States armed forces.
Indeed, this twisted reality is the direction laid out by the radical Christians who wish to impose Christian Dominionism on not just the U.S., but the world. Eric Prince is a long time contributor to fellow “Christian Warrior” Mike Pence, who is arguably “the most powerful Christian Supremacist in American History.”
To understand the depths of Prince’s ties to radical Christian Supremacism, one need look no further than his own family. His father, Edgar Prince, helped found the Family Research Council, and funneled millions of dollars over his lifetime into deceptively named radically religious hate groups such as the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and The National Day of Prayer Task Force – all organizations bent on imposing Christian evangelical fundamentalism on the American People.
As Prince rises to even greater heights of power with his attempts to privatize the American military and fund it with taxpayer dollars, his sister, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, strives to privatize the American education system and fund it with taxpayer dollars. DeVos has clearly defined her efforts as a plan to use America’s schools to “build God’s Kingdom.” To top it off, DeVos's husband completes the family with his profoundly Christian Conservative financial machine, Amway, with which DeVos was able to handily create a voter bloc and donor base that dominated Michigan politics and reached far into the national stage.
Now, with Betsy Devos at the helm of Christianizing American education and Eric Prince poised to do the same to Middle Eastern military operations, the final piece of the puzzle is present in Stephen Feinberg. Reportedly considered for the role of director of national intelligence or chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine service, Feinberg is the billionaire owner of another major government contracting company DynCorp – and, like Prince, is poised to get rich off of war.
With DynCorp at his back, Prince has unparalleled power to preach fundamentalist, Dominionist Christian narratives to U.S. military members far more easily than he can nefariously accomplish in the private sector. With Pence, Feinberg, and DeVos in Washington, there is solid backing for this unprecedented move to fundamentally Christianize the country by force abroad and through the minds of impressionable children at home.
Thankfully, although Mr. Bannon sought out Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon to try to get a hearing for their Christian supremacist ideas, “Mr. Mattis listened politely but declined to include the outside strategies in a review of Afghanistan policy that he is leading along with Trump's National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.”
Such actions can only put our own brave servicemen and women at risk by encouraging a truly deadly fundamentalist Christian Crusader mentality in theater, alienating our allies at home and abroad.
As Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), I will continue to identify, target and fight back with all we’ve got against the unconstitutional evil trying to viciously radicalize our military.
We must ALL battle this toxic, weaponized Christianity whether it comes from despicable individuals/unconstitutional criminals inside the U.S. armed forces, or from outside influences such as this vile attempt to privatize U.S. military operations with a blatantly Christianized fighting force.