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Commentary :: Politics
Faith As A Guiding Principle (Pt 1)
08 Feb 2012
When political candidates talk about faith being their guiding principle in their decision making process one has to wonder. We hear all manner of confessions from every candidate currently running be it President Obama or Newt Gingrich. Each candidate could be portrayed as a person adhering to a spiritual faith or as a religious individual in their own right. Also, every candidate has parts of their life, including political decisions they have made and stances they have taken that could be called up as being in opposition to morals derived from any religion they claim to practice.
FAITHASAGUIDINGPRINCIPLE.jpg
Today there are all kinds of policies enacted by the current administration and even more that were enacted by administrations of the past. Some of those policies can be said to be derived from philosophies and teachings religions have spawned and helped spread throughout world history. We have policies meant to help the poor, policies to help those without resources and those that show compassion to our fellow human beings. On the other hand there are policies people could point to and quite rightly claim to have no grounding in any religious or spiritual doctrine whatsoever.

In the complicated world we live in, not all policies can be grounded in faith, as often things like war are frowned upon by religions save, as a last resort etc. If a nation is truly threatened and its people in danger of real attack, then yes it is the duty of leaders to prepare for such an attack regardless of what their church, synagogue, mosque or temple might advise be the best course of action in that circumstance. If there are issues involving the free practice of another religion telling it's followers to worship in a slightly different manner from the one your own church advocates, a politician will need to pass laws protecting the rights of those people, however different their religion or non-religion is from their own.

On certain issues it can appear as though politicians choose more than just being fair or protective over their constituents or countrymen as their guidelines regarding when and how to break with their faith on actions they take as politicians. At certain junctures certain politicians seem to choose to sign off on policies or pieces of legislation that are more about making sure powerful wealthy donors stay happy and content. Other times in order to pander to one party or another, they pass laws or enforce them that really aren't in keeping with true morals derived from any of the great religions or spiritual faiths I have ever heard of.

For instance, in 2002 "two former employees of DynCorp, the government contracting powerhouse, [...] won legal victories after charging that the $2 billion-a-year firm fired them when they complained that co-workers were involved in a Bosnia sex-slave trade." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/29/us-military-contractor-us_n_991...) The employees of the company described things like other employees talking about having purchased 12 year old sex slaves and saying things like, "'My girl's not a day over 12.'

"The man who uttered the statement -- a man in his 60s, by (a whistleblower's) estimate -- was not talking fondly about his granddaughter or daughter or another relative. He was bragging about the preteen he had purchased from a local brothel. (The whistleblower), who'd gone to work as a civilian contractor mechanic for DynCorp Inc. after a six-year stint in the Army, had worked on helicopters for years, and he'd heard a lot of hangar talk. But never anything like this. [...]

"And it wasn't just boasting: (the whistleblower) often saw co-workers out on the streets of Dubrave, the closest town to the base, with the young female consorts that inspired their braggadocio. They'd bring them to company functions, and on one occasion, Johnston says, over to his house for dinner. Occasionally he'd see the young girls riding bikes and playing with other children, with their 'owners' standing by, watching." (http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/06/26/bosnia/index.html)

Yes, repulsive. I don't quote this or write about it to disgust you, just to bring home the reality of what was happening in 2000 and found to be true in 2002 within this defense contractor, DynCorp's, ranks. This was discovered and found to be true under the same president that established The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, formerly the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI).

Again in 2008 under the same president "A contractor died when a DynCorp manager used an employee's armored car to transport prostitutes, according to Barry Halley, a Worldwide Network Services employee working under a DynCorp subcontract."

During congressional testimony Halley stated, "DynCorp's site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was traveling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor's manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.'" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/29/us-military-contractor-us_n_991...) The president that established an agency dedicated to faith kept that defense contractor on the taxpayer payroll.

Unfortunately the story doesn't end there. An "Afghanistan cable (dated June 24, 2009) (discussed) a meeting between Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and US assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli. Prime among Atmar's concerns was a party partially thrown by DynCorp for Afghan police recruits in Kunduz Province.

"Many of DynCorp's employees are ex-Green Berets and veterans of other elite units, and the company was commissioned by the US government to provide training for the Afghani police. According to most reports, over 95 percent of its $2 billion annual revenue comes from US taxpayers.

"And in Kunduz province, according to the leaked cable, that money was flowing to drug dealers and pimps. Pimps of children, to be more precise. […] The State Department has called bacha bazi a 'widespread, culturally accepted form of male rape.' (While it may be culturally accepted, it violates both Sharia law and Afghan civil code.)" (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/12/wikileaks_texas_company_...) The children being pimped for rape through a custom called bacha bazi at the party thrown by DynCorp contractors, may have been as young as six and eight as is the custom in that banned practice in Afghanistan. This happened under the current president that kept the faith based government agency started by former President Bush, and even changed the name to make it his own.

Two presidents that claim to make decisions guided by faith have kept this company on. How is that in adherence to any of the tenets of any of the major religions? My mother is an active church going Christian. I know the things that defense contractor did are absolutely against everything Christianity stands for in all its forms. Yet this powerful contractor that gets "more than 96% of its more than $3 billion in annual revenues from the US federal government" is still contracted by our government with no interference from our leaders. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DynCorp) Where is the decision making derived from religious and spiritual influence in that?

There are times when we need to do things like go after terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden and his organization to protect our country. That is one thing and the kind of thing political leaders need to do, all religious arguments aside. But doing business with people that have a history of using tax dollars we worked for to go towards such things is simply inexcusable. There are plenty of military contractors out there, but rape of children cannot be something people that claim to be of faith can write off as okay to turn a blind eye to. And those kinds of morals aren't only the domain of those that believe in a religion. All people in positions of political leadership should be able to see the inherent wrong in those actions from Christians to atheists.

Whatever our stance on religion and faith we deserve better than that as taxpayers. Our money should not be going towards that kind of depraved indifference to human suffering. Let us all consider the system we have that allows such atrocities to occur by using money that we earn to fund them. Our leaders can do better. They should do better. They claimed they would. Let's try and find ways through what little power we have in this country to make sure they do. We are not that kind of people and those actions do not represent who we are as Americans.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
See also:
http://www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com

This work is in the public domain
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