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Monstrous Regiment

The Terry Pratchett quote on my left sidebar ["The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it."] is from his Discworld novel, Monstrous Regiment, which deals with religious whackoes and women in the military.

The novel was relevant to the recent decision by the Joint Chiefs to stop ignoring reality, and admit women serve in combat these days and should receive all of the pay, benefits, and opportunities that come with the risk. It became even more relevant when, as Digby notes, Jerry ‘Bonkers’ Boykin decided to spew some his religion-based misogyny. Boykin gained notoriety by claiming that “My God is bigger than your God” before a church congregation.

People assume that you have to take Boykin seriously because of all of the important posts he has had. I would suggest that people need to do a bit more research to see how effective and successful he has been in those posts. Like any large organization, people are sometimes promoted as the easiest way of getting rid of them without making waves.

I wish Boykin could have met one of the women who was in my police academy class. She would have given him a whole new definition of baton twirling. She would have definitely disabused him of the notion that women cannot be aggressive and effective in combat. Although she was not quite 5′ 4″, she didn’t have a problem firing a 12-gauge shotgun, and was a very good pistol shot.

The title of Sir Terry’s novel is from a tract by John Knox, The first blast of the trumpet against the monstruous regiment of women, complaining about how ‘unnatural’ it was for Scotland and England both being ruled by Queens in the 16th century. Knox was a religious whacko of the Protestant variety, and was really upset by the fact that these women were also Catholics. His little tract was the main reason that when Elizabeth I, a Protestant, ascended the throne in England, he wasn’t invited to visit. Boykin’s ideas and blithering is no different than Knox’s.

People are talking about the rise in sexual assaults in the military. I wonder if anyone has compared the rise of the influence of evangelicals with the rise in assaults. Given the attitude of many evangelicals towards women I wouldn’t be surprised to see a correlation.

10 comments

1 Badtux { 01.26.13 at 1:01 am }

The evangelicals seem to me to be no different from the Taliban in most respects. Both have the same attitude towards women, both have the same attitude towards those who follow other faiths, both believe that their respective nations should be a theocracy where their faith’s teachings are law and imposed by force upon those of other faiths. Oh sure, there are some superficial differences of no real import in the lives of the respective followers of the faith, such as whether some dude was God or just a great prophet, but all in all I can think of only real and significant difference between the two:

Bacon.

That is all.

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

2 jamsodonnell { 01.26.13 at 4:27 am }

I’m just surprised that there aren’t more adherents of Nuggan…such a sensible god! Monstrous Regiment is one of my favourite Discworld books.Certainly one of his darkest

3 Bryan { 01.26.13 at 9:08 am }

Not even bacon separates the Taliban and ultra Orthodox Jews, but they still want to exterminate each other. People who have ‘found’ the truth can’t be trusted not to decide to murder you over a misplaced comma.

Nuggan would be a lot more successful if chocolate wasn’t an ‘Abomination Unto Nuggan’, Jams. It’s like coffee and the Mormons, some things are just deal breakers, Jams.

4 ellroon { 01.26.13 at 1:58 pm }

Bryan, you are on my short list for people to hang with during a zombie apocalypse… even if I have to drive over to Florida from California to do it.

It’s amazing how extremists of any ilk have no perspective on themselves and how they are perceived. They’re just totally right — what’s wrong with you?

5 Bryan { 01.26.13 at 10:41 pm }

My experience is that most people who accept these belief systems do so to avoid thinking. They let someone else make all of the decisions for them, and all too often the people making the decisions are just in it for the power/money not actually believing what they are saying.

One of the lacks I perceive in people who keep saying that this group or that group have to be discriminated against because they ‘don’t measure up’, is that they don’t actually know anybody in the group. I have friends who happen be in one or another of these groups. The thing is that their membership in these groups has nothing to do with being my friends. Some of my friends happen to be women, but that isn’t germane to our friendships. We are friends because we have a good time together, and can offer each other support. They aren’t ‘girlfriends’, they are just friends.

6 Kryten42 { 01.27.13 at 10:29 pm }

You’ve all heard me rant about fundies (all fundies) and extremists, so I won’t do so again (except to say that I killed many *fundie extremists* in Cambodia, and it’s a true crime I can’t continue to do so. And I don’t care an iota about what anyone thinks about that, unless they have seen and had to deal with what I have).

I think you’ve heard me mention Bryan that I worked security (bouncer) before I joined up. I truly wish that moron Boykin had been in the Hillier’s Nightclub on the Esplanade at St. Kilda Beach the night a group of seriously pissed and obviosly steroid abusing *women* cam in to wreak havoc! They had sharpened their fingernails and strengthened them into fine talons, wore sharply pointed strap-on shoes, and carries assorted bladed weapons in their purses! They put several guy’s in Hospital (including two of the toughest bouncers I’ve known) and I ended up needing 13 stitches before I finally had enough and put 3 of them in hospital, and almost killed two!

I do not ever want to encounter female’s like that again! But I sure wish Boykin and others like him would! :twisted:

Ahhh yes, Monstrous Regiment! I really enjoyed that book! But then, I’ve enjoyed all of the Discworld novels! :D I can see his satirical irony of the World we inhabit in every book! :lol: A brilliant observer, and writer. And apparently, whatever gene is responsible has been passed to his daughter! And people say God has no sense of humor! LMAO I think he’s funnier (assuming He does actually exist) than Bill Cosby, Jon Stewart or any other *human* comedian! :twisted:

7 Bryan { 01.28.13 at 10:27 pm }

I failed out of the Christian faith by stating unequivocally that there are some things that cannot be forgiven and should never be forgotten. I won’t ‘turn the other cheek’ either. There are some things that aren’t sins or crimes, they are evil created by the mind of a human being and really require elimination. There are a lot of rules of various and sundry religions that fall into the evil category.

If God created everything, then God is the author of evil – it is that simple.

Hell, Boykin couldn’t handle the cheerleaders at a city basketball game – he would be taken out by half time. I’ve worked security at a few of those and the first thing you do is disarm the cheerleaders. Kevlar is more protection than a badge when dealing with these young women, who generally have more than their share of attitude.

Boykin was complaining about ‘person hygiene’ which is just another way of saying ‘precious bodily fluids’. He is seriously afraid of women.

8 Badtux { 01.29.13 at 11:02 am }

As far as I can tell, about the only reason anybody even knows Boykin’s name is because of his seriously stupid “my God is more powerful than the false Muslim god” statement back in 2003 that got a bunch of U.S. soldiers killed by jihadis, and his involvement in the fiasco in Mogadishu back in 1993 that got a bunch of U.S. soldiers killed or injured for no strategic purpose other than satisfying the personal vanity of U.S. commanders upset that Somali warlords weren’t cow-towing to their power. What exactly Boykin’s involvement was with that fiasco seems to be a matter of dispute, but the fact that he claims he saw “demonic presences” in the sky over Mogadishu is not in dispute, it’s a matter of public record.

In short, the dude is a loon. I see no reason to accord him any more of my listening time than that dude in the fuzzy slippers and bathrobe who is walking around in circles under the underpass pushing a shopping cart while talking to his imaginary friend.

9 Badtux { 01.29.13 at 11:10 am }

Oh yeah, regarding attitude, one thing that drove me nuts from a classroom discipline perspective the year that I taught middle school was dealing with the girls. They were sly and knew how to stir up trouble without themselves doing anything that would get them sent home. The boys… (shrug). I could handle them, it was normal male dominance games, get in their face and let them know what’s what and they would back down and shut up. The girls were a handful. They didn’t know the meaning of backing down if you did confront them about the sh*t they were pulling. Frankly, there’s some of the girls I taught who I would have loved to hand a M-16, point’em at the nearest enemy to shoot, and tell’em to get at it — they would have gotten at it with far more ferocity and creative destructive glee than any of the boys I ever taught.

10 Bryan { 01.29.13 at 11:42 pm }

Boykin was also on the failed Iran hostage rescue mission, a war on drugs mission in South America that failed to capture a major drug lord because of a failure to vet the people working at the headquarters of the task, and a minor role in the Branch Davidian raid. Everything he is involved in seems to fail, but he kept getting promoted.

Some people need a group to look down on so they don’t have to admit what losers they actually are. They need someone to feel superior to, so they stereotype a group to claim they are better than ‘those people’. They would be pathetic if they didn’t have power.