U.S. Army training course blames Bible for sexism

by Karen L. Willoughby |

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker)Chaplain Lt. Jason Gregory reads bible verses on the weather deck aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) as it plies the Pacific Ocean on March 26, 2010. Bunker Hill was supporting Southern Seas 2010, a U.S. Southern Command-directed operation that provides U.S. and international forces the opportunity to operate in a multi-national environment.

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Christian Examiner) – An online training course developed for military and civilian personnel blames the Bible, U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence for sexism in America.

The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute is the Department of Defense joint services school which offers the one-hour online curriculum.

Under "Historical Influences" that "allow sexism to continue," the DoD E-Learning course names the Bible as containing quotes that "can be misinterpreted as having a sexist influence when brought out of context and not fully understood"; cites the U.S. Constitution for originally including only "white men; slaves and women were not included until later in history"; and, highlights the Declaration of Independence for declaring in 1776 "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...."

No specific examples are given to document how these founding documents actually contributed to sexism in America, and there is no context for the excerpts that are provided, leaving the participant to accept on face value the negative statements about each as truths.

Likewise, no mention is made about how these documents combat sexism through the principles they contain.

But a military spokesperson claims the material is appropriate for stimulating conversation.

"The content of the lesson is provided to generate academic discussion concerning how these historical documents have been included in discussions about the topic of sexism," Lt. Commander Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, told The Daily Caller.

However, public discussion about the content apparently has caused higher authorities to rethink the substance of the module.

A note on the DEOMI listing for Course 320 on Sexism, which is labeled as open to the public, states "This course is currently offline and under revision."

Two other potentially controversial courses, on Racism and Prejudice & Discrimination, both also open to the public, likewise are not available at this time.

DEOMI opened in 1971 as the Defense Race Relations Institute in response to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, according to www.deomi.org.