I don’t know much about Soviet Russian history, but I’ve seen more than one purported historic movie that shows the Soviet army with a special class of “political officers.” The idea was that the Soviet troops were patriotic for Russia but they had a basic sense of right and wrong that could be a danger to the ruling regime. So, among the regular officers the Soviet politburo would always assign a “political officer” who would be the eyes and ears of the KGB and enforce obedience and submission to the ideology and orders of the Communist Party.
I assume that, if the Russian military really had “political officers,” they don’t anymore.
But we do, it seems. They are called “equal opportunity officers.”
From the Fox website:
Two weeks ago, a routine meeting was held at the Mississippi base with various leaders of the 158th Infantry Brigade. During the meeting, they discussed an upcoming Christmas football tournament. The equal opportunity officer immediately objected to the usage of the word “Christmas.”
“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me. “Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated. The equal opportunity rep told our commander that not everyone celebrates Christmas and we couldn’t say Christmas celebration. It had to be holiday celebration.”
The soldier said there was a brief, but heated discussion about political correctness. At one point, the equal opportunity representative tried to deflect the criticism by pointing out it was the Army’s rules – not hers.
“She said an individual can say Christmas, but as an organization in the Army you can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me.
So what does the Army have to say about the DEOMI officer’s edict?
“There is no policy at the 158th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East or First Army that forbids using the word ‘Christmas’,” Public Affairs Chief Amanda Glenn told me.
She confirmed that there was a discussion in the meeting about the football tournament. She said it was meant to be a team building event and it had no tie to a specific religious event or holiday celebration.
“The Equal Opportunity advisor simply stated that it would be more appropriate to call it a holiday football event,” she said.
But Attorney Berry tells me that it was made very clear to the soldiers in the room that the name change was not merely a suggestion.
“She stated that the word Christmas had to be replaced with the word holiday,” Berry said.
The soldier who contacted me said it was just another instance of the military trying to curtail public expressions of the Christian faith.
“Between the Air Force and the Army – it’s like they don’t like Christian values, they don’t like the word Christ or Christmas,” the soldier said. “They don’t like you talking about it.”
And, as if on cue, the very next day, on Christmas, we see another version of the same ideological intervention in American institutions.
On Monday morning the boys and girls were planning on hand delivering the cards to the wounded veterans. Chapman called the hospital to make final arrangements and that’s when she learned there was a problem.
“I told him my students made cards, we’d like to bring them down for the veterans,” Chapman told the television station. “And he said, ‘That’s great. We’re thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.'”
A VA official quoted the policy which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook:
“In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.”
There’s no need to pretend anything right or good is going on here. Our military personnel are captive to hostile secular forces. Atheists and other non-Christian servicemen don’t want to censor Christian culture. This is the work of an intolerant, totalitarian secular regime. The only reason this is happening in the military and not everywhere is because the regime does not yet have total control over people everywhere.
But it has control of the military and it is showing us, in how it treats them, what it wants for the rest of us.