Saturday, November 17, 2012

General Petraeus and 'spiritual fitness'

OK, I wasn't going to say anything about the Petraeus sex scandal. I have zero interest in his sex life, and I'm disgusted with all the attention it's being given.*

This is just the typical 'celebrity news' which seems to be our national obsession. (And it really wouldn't matter which celebrity, since they're all interchangeable.)

But then I read this:
I hate hypocrites. And the first word that came to mind when I heard about David Petraeus's extramarital affair was "hypocrite."

One of the big issues we've been dealing with for several years at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is the military's push to make our troops "spiritually fit." There's the mandatory Army-wide "Spiritual Fitness" test, spiritual fitness concerts, spiritual fitness centers, and lots of other spiritual fitness events and programs to keep our military "spiritual." But while the military insists that "spiritual fitness" does not mean religion, it does. All of this spiritual fitness stuff, which the military spares no expense on, is just a cover to push religion, and particularly evangelical Christianity. The spiritual fitness concerts always have evangelical Christian performers and most of the Army's Strong Bonds events are really just evangelical Christian retreats.

And what's one of the big goals of all this "spiritual fitness" stuff? Strong marriages, of course! And who was a big proponent of this "spiritual fitness" stuff? Yeah, you got it - General David Petraeus. ...

Yeah, General Petraeus, we see how well that "spiritual fitness" stuff is working for you.

There's more there about Petraeus's "eagerness to promote religion." Honestly, you can't believe how tired I am of these religious hypocrites who tell me I can't be moral without a god.

Whether it's Catholic priests raping children (and the church covering it up), or devout Muslims flying passenger planes into buildings, or 'family values' Christians visiting prostitutes, maintaining a 'wide stance' in public bathrooms, or screwing their biographer, they keep defending their "holier than thou" fantasies.

Hell, David Vitter is still in the U.S. Senate, still the darling of the right-wing, and still "defending marriage" from the gay menace. Sure, a hypocrite in the Republican Party is hardly unusual enough to be news, but is there no limit to their hypocrisy?

Now, I'm sure that some atheists cheat on their wives. We're just as imperfect as everyone else. But that's the whole point. All this 'spiritual fitness' crap is crap. Religion does not make you any more moral than anyone else, and might make you less moral. (Try comparing nations with various levels of faith-based thinking.)

I don't need religion to be moral. I don't need religion to be ethical. Indeed, I think I do far better than the average true believer in both respects. So believe whatever you want, but don't tell me how much better that makes you.

And dammit, keep your religion out of my government! You have the right to believe whatever you want, but you don't have the right to push your religion into our military, especially since soldiers have fewer rights than the rest of us and can't tell their commanding officers to go to hell.

* PS. Note that I'm not even talking about the batshit crazy right-wing conspiracy theories, which seem to be inevitable no matter what happens. I mean, like the news of his infidelity was suppressed until after the election (but why would this have had any effect on the election?) or that it's a way to keep Petraeus from testifying to Congress (which it also wouldn't affect at all).

PPS. Oh, and I guess I see that America isn't the only nation with this problem. It seems that Great Britain is seeing a similar scandal right now:
James Bond, a longtime agent with the British Secret Service, has announced his resignation after being implicated in a vast number of sexual affairs. He issued the following statement earlier today:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for coming. I am here to announce that I am stepping down from my position with British Intelligence and handing in my License To Kill, effective immediately. The fact is, I willingly engaged in conduct unbefitting an individual in my profession, as I have engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with approximately 790 different individuals during my tenure with this organization, in a variety of locations around the world including numerous boats, moving vehicles, and areas just outside volcanic villain lairs, often times massively endangering myself, my sexual partner, and my mission in the process. ...

To the public, I know what you're thinking: Why would I consider it acceptable professional conduct to have intercourse with a mistress literally named "Pussy Galore?" To this, I have no sufficient answer, but I guess it's kind of like, you know that quote about "The bigger the lie, the easier it is to get people to believe you"? I guess I figured that if I nailed someone so cartoonishly sexual, and my wife found out about it, it would seem like it never actually happened. Does that make any sense? I mean, I know it's no excuse, but seriously, Pussy Galore?? The frickin' Austin Powers parody was "Alotta Vagina," and that's WAY LESS EXAGGERATED than the original.

Now that's a celebrity! :)

No comments: