Carson hasn’t attempted to hide he’s a Christian. It’s the redoubt within which he couches his ignorance, like too many right-wingers — and while I don’t care that he’s a Christian, he’s a near constant reminder of my wish that the gulf between “Christian” and “gullible tool/militant theocrat” were wider than it is.
And as proof, I offer Carson’s foreign policy adviser.
Foreign Policy magazine has an interesting piece about Carson’s foreign policy adviser, Robert Dees, and it’s not flattering, but it’s what we’d expect from someone like Carson. In particular, it turns out that Dees wants to use the military to evangelize to the world and ‘indoctrinate’ American citizens.
Because the Crusades worked so well the first (fifteen-some) time(s).
Evangelizing at gunpoint
Carson, like most right-wingers, dislikes professional politicians and legislators; they make him look bad.
However, there’s one area where the right-wing will accept nothing less than the utmost professionalism when it comes to politics, and that’s the military. It’s hard to be a bully when nobody takes you seriously. This invariably means bringing aboard retired generals and other COs, so they can try to “out-military” one another.
Carson has done just that, bringing aboard retired two-star General Robert Dees as a foreign policy adviser. Of course, there’s another reason Dees was brought aboard: like Carson, he’s Christian, and like Carson, he’s a militant theocrat:
It’s impossible to know the precise content of Dees’s advice to Carson. But Dees’s professional background doesn’t provide much reassurance. In 2013, he told a gathering at Wildfire Weekend, an all-male religious retreat, “My greatest pleasure has been being a private in the Lord’s army.” He also recounted being introduced to Jesus Christ by a math instructor at West Point not long after he enrolled there as a student in 1968. “Then I went off in the military,” he said, “as an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dees is a militant Christian, who has exhibited anti-Muslim bigotry and advocated for national security based on Christian evangelism. He served as the executive director of Military Ministry, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ, or Cru, which is a Christian evangelical organization with a budget of nearly a half billion dollars.
His ministry used the military to fish for Christian converts, and he oriented the organization around “six pillars” (one wonders if the parallel with Islam was intentional), the first of which was: “Evangelize and disciple enlisted U.S. military members throughout their military careers.”
He also wants to use the military to evangelize to the American public:
Dees has also described the military as a vehicle to eventually “indoctrinate” the American public at large to evangelical Christianity. “We must pursue our particular means for transforming the nation — through the military,” he noted in a 2005 newsletter published by Military Ministry. “And the military may well be the most influential way to affect that spiritual superstructure. Militaries exercise, generally speaking, the most intensive and purposeful indoctrination program of citizens.”
And he has international ambitions:
Dees also had troubling international ambitions for Military Ministry, in line with the organization’s “sixth pillar” to “change continents for Christ.” In the 2007 YouTube video, Dees described his group’s goal of converting foreign countries to Christianity by evangelizing their militaries. “We seek to transform the nations of the world through the militaries of the world,” he said. “And we’re in twenty different countries around the world, recognizing that if you could possibly impact the military, you can possibly impact that whole nation for Jesus Christ and for democracy and for proper morality and values-based institutions.”
This is Ben Caron’s foreign policy adviser. If you live in a country that’s not the United States, you better pray to whatever deity you believe in that Carson doesn’t win. Otherwise, America, the nation with the most expensive and powerful military in the world, might just come knocking on your door to introduce you to Jesus — at gunpoint.
Feature image via Flickr