A slideshow presentation shown to US Army Reserve recruits classifies Christians, including both evangelicals and Roman Catholics, as religious extremists, placing them in the same category as skinheads, the Ku Klux Klan, Hamas and Al Qaeda.
The presentation also warned that members of the military are prohibited from taking leadership roles in any organization the Pentagon considers ‘extremist,’ and from distributing the organization’s literature, whether on or off a military installation.
The opening slide warns that ‘the rise in hate crimes and extremism outside the military may be an indication of internal issues all [armed] services will have to face.’
Citing a Southern Poverty Law Center report as evidence that extremism is on the rise, the Army Reserve presentation blames ‘the superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories,the changing racial make-up of America and the prospect of 4 more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.’
Later in the slideshow is a list of groups that exemplify ‘religious extremism.’
Included are ‘evangelical Christianity,’ ‘Catholicism,’ ‘Ultra-Orthodox’ Judaism, and ‘Islamophobia.’
Most of the list is populated by more widely accepted examples of religious extremist groups, including Al Qaeda, Sunni Muslims, Hamas, and the Ku Klux Klan.