Waited to weigh in on this topic until the dust somewhat settled...Battling Blogers...To gin up the conservatives"...blogger Todd Starnes wrote...".To gin up the
liberals"...a Huffington Post blog..."Then we
hear from "...Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research
Council...".Tony was the one who said it would be very difficult
for him to vote for a Mormon candidate...Now we learn that..."...a Heritage Foundation audience...", has joined the
debate...Not to be outdone, we hear from..."... a
candidate for the chaplaincy, who wrote under a pseudonym in American Thinker
for fear of hurting his chances to become a military chaplain...".Slippery Slope?What would todd starnes, tony perkins, the heritage
foundation, and our pseudonymic Chaplain Candidate say if it was a Westboro
Baptist Church trained/influenced Chaplain who was pushing his evangelical
agenda onto our troops?
@FT --"serious doubts that anybody is forcing religion on
anybody..."The military has strict regulations against
fraternization between the ranks. It isn't because anybody is especially
afraid of outright rape -- physical force. No, it's because higher ranking
soldiers may have an undue influence on lower ranks -- be able to coerce WITHOUT
physical force.That's the same problem we see with
proselytizing/evangelization.When higher ranking officers
proselytize to lower ranks, they are in a position of power over them. They
don't have to use physical force to have an undue influence. In
2010, an Air Force Academy survey of over 2000 cadets found that **41** percent
of cadets identifying as non-Christian (that means other religions as well as
well as agnostics and atheists), and **19** percent of ALL cadets, were
subjected to unwanted proselytizing at least once or twice in the previous year.
" more than half of there shipmates are athiest"The Federal Reference Bureau issued a report finding that 21% of service
members identified as Atheists or having no religion, 35% identified as
Protestants, 22% as Catholic/Orthodox, and 11% as "other" Christian.
Under .5% identified as Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu.
I have serious doubts that anybody is forcing religion on anybody in the
military. It's obvious reading comments here that most of the poster's
don't have a clue what goes on in the military. What's obvious, is we
have liberal's and progressives forcing there own agenda of seperating
Christians from the military. During my career in the Navy of about 8 commands,
never was religion forced on anybody. Just casual talk among shipmates towards
religion, during a boring watch or duty day. I've heard from
Christian's on active duty that more than half of there shipmates are
athiest, and lack moral values. That would be the direction the country is
heading. One young Christian was uncomfortable to serve. There are times when I
don't think I could serve in today's Navy, and perhaps the country is
not worth serving for. Sometimes I feel that way. But, when I gaze at my ward
members I feel more positive about serving.
No one has ever come across a "Radicalized Christian" in the military?
Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols carried the OK City bombing.This
blogger cites no specific examples of anyone, ZERO examples of someone facing
discharge for "Being Christian". Military personnel are
free to proselytize, just don't do it as a chaplain on military tax payer
time. Would anyone want a Hindu, LDS, Muslim, Bhuddist, Lutheran, agenda pushed
on them in the military. Would you want your son or daughter to be harassed by
a person in power due to religion?Would any of my fellow LDS want
their son or daughter to have a taxpayer funded military chaplain who is
________ Christian denomination to tell them they are sinners, cult members,
false doctrine believers, Joseph Smith was a fraud? This policy is intended to
stop that kind of behavior and other harassment.
If any of you bothered to come out of your media bubble you would find that
Michael Weinstein actually stopped an atheist from displaying anti-Christian
bumper sticker. Freedom of religion also means from from religion. The UCMJ
spells it out clearly. This story is based on a blog that was parroted by a TV
show host with zero cases. This also keep chaplains of others faiths not
Christian from doing the same harassment.
@KJB --"I have never come across "radicalized"
evangelical Christian"Here's just four small examples. I
don't have time to look up more this morning -- but there are many more of
these examples out there if you'll just open your eyes.1. The
Officer's Christian Fellowship wants to bring Christianity to the entire
armed forces and has a stated mission of "reclaiming territory for Christ in
the military."2. As commandant at the Air Force Academy, Major
General Johnny Weida made its National Day of Prayer services exclusively
Christian. One *mandatory* assembly featured three evangelicals who proclaimed
that the only cure for terrorism was to "kill Islam".3.
Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp, the Army chief of engineers, declared
that the baptisms of 700 soldiers under his command to be evidence of "the
Lord's plan" to "raise up a godly army."4. During
at least one military action in the mideast, soldiers painted "Jesus Killed
Mohammed" on their vehicles in Arabic before they went into action.The fact that you have never *noticed* such things in your military career may
possibly reflect more on your own religious background than on anything else.
Re: Bill McGeeIn 20 years, I have met and worked with Soldiers and
Officers at almost all levels of the U.S. Military and I have never come across
"radicalized" evangelical Christian. I don't believe they exist as
you describe. Further, I can't imagine how any American could compare our
own servicemen to the Taliban. Rather, I believe are a few
influential atheist voices outside of the military who have created a phantom
menace within - delivered thru national media - in order to further their own
political aims. I can see from the many comments on this article that they are
making some headway in this ancient battle of ideas. They, if anyone, are the
ones who need to be stopped!
I understand those who see this as an infringement on our rights, and that this
is just another example of overt secularism overtaking the government. But the
truth is different. This started in the Air Force for a reason. The environment
in Colorado Springs, home of the Air Force Academy, had become highly toxic due
to the level of influence and power controlled by members of an extreme fringe
of evangelical Christians. The last thing we need are radicalized young recruits
with the sense that their law is the Bible, and not the Constitution, and that
their mission is to accelerate the start of the apocalyptic end times to usher
in Christ's return, and not to preserve the liberty and freedom of
Americans. The potential to create a Taliban-like radicalized movement among
extremist Christian soldiers and officers was all too real. This radical wing of
Christianity had wound its way through all levels of the US military, and it had
I have just read several sources on this matter. It appears that the story
lacks facts because it os a puffed up much ado about nothing. The UCMJ (Uniform
Code of Military Justice) clearly states what is and is not allowed. This has
been the case BEFORE President Obama. These policies PROTECT Christians as
well as other faiths from harassment. Translation for my fellow LDS, THIS
POLICY ALSO PROTECTS LDS FROM BEING HARASSED by other CHristian denominations
that would harass them.Watch Fox news all you like but my goodness,
check other news sources. There are actually some that are non partisan and
full of facts non demagoguery. Watch Fox News and be stuck in the conservative
echo chamber that had people believing Mitt was going to win in a landslide.
@ Hutterite: You have such strong feelings. Have you ever served in the armed
Stop wishing for bad luck and stop knocking on wood.
I served in the military, but I am so ashamed of what our military has become of
late. I used to recommend to just about anyone I liked that he or she join the
military. Now I strongly discourage it. I wouldn't want my friends and
family to become victims of the totally and completely inefficient, politically
correct, mediocre-favoring, debacle that has become our military in so short of
a time. Blame the civilian leadership. That's all I can say.
The issue seemed to come up at the Air Force Academy where some inappropriate
Proselytizing was going on. It was coming from commissioned officers and being
directed at the cadets. I'm sure there have been other cases, but this was
the most egregious. I don't believe anyone in DoD or the administration is
trying to stop soldiers from discussing their personal beliefs in a casual
situation. They are trying to prevent commanders from ordering their troops to
attend a certain service. As has been stated here multiple times, the majority
of all chaplains are good people and follow the rules to the letter. I
don't think the problem has ever been chaplains. But when you have a
community that includes here type of belief in the world, care must be taken to
respect each person's belief structure. That is some times hard for
evangelical Christians to do. They sincerely believe that they attend the one
true church and that all others are not true. It is hard to respect others when
you believe you are better then them. BTW I never in 20 years had a chaplain
try to convert me.
What our government wants through the processes of the Congress, President and
of course the Courts of law from the District, Appeals, to the Supreme Court is
the gospel of anti-Christ in the land. We just need to have Korihor come back
and see if he finds the same results as before. Truth is truth and
only the facts change. Integrity as defined by our founding fathers in the
Constitution of the United States of America through that process of honor, even
with some disagreements, concluded with a document that has withstood 200 years.
That is about long enough for those figuring out how to get rid of religion
that brought law and order in the military and our country. However, we
haven't had peace and tranquility for 200 years. Some want blood and
horror everyday of their life until the rest of us are as happy as they are.The chaplaincy has it's problems in the military but that is
important for men and women putting their life on the line at the behest of the
Commander-in-Chief. It is hard to see that power of the CIC used
the way it was in Benghazi, 9/11.
Religion is way to insidious in the military. And that's dangerous because
religion excuses and enables behaviour that would otherwise be unacceptable.
Time to build a wall, physically if necessary, between church and state.
Re: Elaine Douglass:In my 20 years of active duty, I have never
encountered this "oppressive Christian fundamentalism" that you are
referring to. I have observed officer careers succeed or fail on each
individual's accomplishments and merits, never on their religion. So far,
the military has always been accommodating to my religious beliefs
@Ultrabob --"“Service members can share their faith
(evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others
of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization).The
line between evangelize and proselytize is very hard for me to see, and
evangelizing is exactly what should not be done in the military."Personally, I have no trouble with evangelism between soldiers of the same
rank. Where I get very uneasy is with higher ranking soldiers who evangelize
and/or proselytize to those below them in rank.We don't allow
fraternization between ranks, precisely because of concerns about undue
influence and coercion from higher rank to lower. Why would we treat evangelism
any differently? The concerns are the same.
Chris Degn.I have trouble with the DoD statement:
“Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force
unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to
one's beliefs (proselytization).The line between evangelize and
proselytize is very hard for me to see, and evangelizing is exactly what should
not be done in the military.
Some of the comments are focusing on the chaplains, but from what I read it
isn't the chaplains who are doing the proselytizing. It's the
Thanks for this great and informative article. When I was in the army it was not
unusual for us to talk about our different religious views along with political
views, sports opinions, food, ecology, science and a lot of other things. If the
topic was religion, I never found that my evangelical friends were pushy or
in-my-face. It wasn't uncommon for people to ask me about my Mormon
beliefs. We had a lot of good, friendly discussions. One of my friends even
joined the LDS church. Under the new rules, would this kind of religious
discussion be against the rules? I'm very concerned that healthy, friendly
conversation will now be monitored by a government watchdog.
My experience with both Protestant and Catholic chaplains in the USAF has
revealed them to be kind, decent honorable men and women who spend a lot of time
counseling newly inducted service men and women how to deal with, for many,
their first exposure to a regimented, class structured society. I can see that
evangelizing service members is one thing but preaching sermons from the Bible
and or other church doctrine, to members of their own congregations should not
be restricted. I think I read where congress shall make no law regarding
freedom of speech and religion. The proud and profane do not like it when they
are held up to ridicule and called to repent - it musses up their long hair and
pricks their dormant consciences.
We are now here at the point of no return for our 1st Amend. rights. Now, I am
a chaplain, not in the military but if I were: the point would be for me to aid
a warrior in his spiritual needs and as a Christian, I would share the freedom
and love and salvation of Jesus. Now it appears that DOD, Hagel????, Obama now
want to stop all sharing . What then is the purpose of a chaplain? Well, it
seems as if these liberal progressive fanatics want to stop all discussion of
our Judeo-Christian ethos that has been a foundation of our heritage, history
and values. This is simply tyranny. People of faith should overwhelm
Congressional reps, the WH, DOD with petitions and letters of complaint. Then
groups should go to court, SCOTUS if necessary, to challenge this un-American
I am LDS and am active duty military. The men and women I have served with for
nearly 20 years have been the most honest in heart people I know. My
evangelical friends are among the most faithful protectors of our Constitution,
and the "nonbelievers" I know also have strong American values.
I'm not afraid of policies that attempt to limit religious conversations-I
am confident they will continue to take place because friends talk about things
that are important to them. The fear I have is recruiting - if Christians stop
joining the military in large numbers I believe there will be troubles.
After having witnessed first hand the stridently anti-Mormon chaplains in the
military, while in Germany, during the 70s, I too, have a hard time feeling
sorry for those people who were partially supported by my tax money.
@Tim Behrend:"A bit of a lopsided article here, not just in quoting
detractors of Michael Weinstein, but in failing to quote Weinstein
himself."Click on the link to his blog provided in the article
and you'll see he is calling Christians monsters. Those are his words.
He's a bigoy and the US military should not be validating him by talking to
him.@TA1:"A significant reason that this has come to the
point where it is at is simply because those charged to be the keepers of the
religious values failed to do so." I haven't seen very many people who
tell others to be tolerant of diversity, actually being tolerant of diversity
themselves. I believe that we can benefit from being exposed to different
cultures, but I am trying to think of a new term for it because the term
'diversity' has been perverted so much by political dogmatists.
DoD official statement (cont from prev post)...The Department of
Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the Military Services to
observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects (and supports by
its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the
right to hold no beliefs. The Department does not endorse any one religion or
religious organization, and providesfree access of religion for all
members of the military services. We work to ensure that all service
members are free to exercise their Constitutional right to practice their
religion -- in a manner that is respectful of other individuals' rights to
follow their own belief systems; and in ways that are conducive to good order
and discipline; and that do not detract from accomplishing the military
The real problem isn't that chaplains are muzzled. The problem is that
they often have a captive audience who don't have a different church or
chaplain to see for guidance. Would the people here who are so upset feel the
same about Muslim chaplains (and we do have them in our military)eagerly seeking
out converts and pressuring soldiers to convert? How about if a Catholic
chaplain decides to push the Baptist, Methodist and Mormon soldiers in his units
to convert? A young Private or PFC may not feel comfortable saying no to a
Major or Lt. Colonel who wants him to share his beliefs. Traditionally,
military chaplains have not actively sought converts. Rather, they minister to
the needs of every soldier. It's not a level playing field like we have in
This statement released today is the DoD official response..."The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a
particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes
reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious
diversity of our service members. Service members can share their faith
(evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others
of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization).If
a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex,
religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action
based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment
complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the
occurrence on a case by case basis." - see next post for rest of DoD
@lost in DCThat absolutely is what it means. That's why we ban
school-led prayer but individual prayers are still allowed as long as they
aren't disrupting class of course (how else would students get their last
minute studying in before an exam without that silent prayer?).
If you get proselytized in the military, just ignore the proselytizer.....unless
he happens to be your CO.
alt134,no, that is NOT what it means. what a ridiculous stretch. and
nowhere is that term ensconced in the constitution or our law. It is just a
hateful catchphrase coined by bigots.
@Tators"as long as it doesn't impede on the rights of
others"That's exactly what freedom from religion means.
From the Air Force Chief of Staff letter... "Leaders at all levels
must balance Constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise
of religion or other personal beliefs and its prohibition against governmental
establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent
use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their
subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or
supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their
impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the
unit’s morale, good order, and discipline."So... those of
you arguing against this... you want commanders to be able to be biased when it
comes to religion promotion?
Fascinating how the fervent religious folks often see issues like this in some
grand eternal sense (the cosmic battle of good vs. evil!) while others simply
see this as a matter of constitutional law and common sense. The
“purge of religion within the ranks” line is hilarious and
indicative of the sort of hyperbole used by the Religious Right. The assertion
that a military should not be allowed to proselytize to the troops is just
common sense. And anyone in the situation would know the difference between a
casual or comforting comment and the “hard sell” of a proselytizer.
And the fact that Chaplains are officers engaging a mostly enlisted
audience complicates this even further. Can a Sergeant tell a proselytizing
Chaplain to “buzz off” without risking a charge of
insubordination?As far as the Constitution goes, we have already
conceded a great deal on this issue to religion. No less than James Madison (the
father of said document) thought that paid Chaplains in the military was a
violation of the Constitution.
I opened my very first public prayer as a chaplain with, "Almighty
God..." & closed with "...in Your holy name we pray, amen." An
officer's wife came up to me & thanked me saying, "That is the
first time a chaplain has ever included me (a Jew) in their prayer." While
downrange a couple years later, her Catholic husband & I lit Hannukah
candles in her honor everynight for her. I once encouraged one of my Soldiers,
a Wiccan, in his bid to reclassify from Mechanic to Chaplain Assistant because
of his passion to support religious freedom. I got licensed as a mental health
counselor so that when I counsel, I come first from the perspective of a friend,
a Soldier, a clinician - only if they request that I put on my pastor's hat
do I become pastoral with them in my counseling. When I can't perform
what's needed spiritually, clinically, socially for someone, I refer them
to someone who can. Religious pluralism, ecumenism, collegiality, and freedom
are alive and well in the US Armed Services - if you look for it and encourage
it. It's all in your attitude.
I am an LDS Army Chaplain from SLC, UT who has served on active duty in the US
Army for 12 years now. I have never experienced any serious opposition in my
service. I fully recognize my responsibilities & limitations in my duty to
"provide or perform" Title 10 worship opportunities & to "advise
the Command & Staff on matters of religious support, morale, &
ethics". The most important lesson I learned about proselytizing came in
the Chaplain Officer Basic Course from my instructor, who said to me in an exit
interview, "Remember this and you'll do well...you are not here to make
more Mormons. You are here to make Baptists better Baptists, Catholics better
Catholics, Jews better Jews, Muslims betters Muslims, and so on." It has
served me well.
@raybies --"IMO, one cannot be free to believe if one cannot
discuss those beliefs."And how are you going to feel about
Mormon PFC Joe Smith being badgered by a Muslim chaplain? Or PFC Joe being
forced to attend a Catholic Mass? Two thirds of all military
chaplains are evangelical. Would it be fair for one of them to follow a Jewish
soldier around camp?"openly and freely discuss our
consciences"Members of the military are NOT free. That's
the point. They can NOT freely disagree with, or ignore orders from, their
superior officers. That includes both military chaplains and "regular"
officers who have strong religious beliefs. The grunts are captive audiences.I'm all for soldiers discussing religion as much as they want --
amongst themselves. But when you put government-paid chaplains in positions of
authority over soldiers -- and, by virtue of rank, they ARE in positions of
authority -- then those chaplains have power over those soldiers. And that can
very easily lead to religious coercion.And yes, coercion does happen
all the time. There are many examples of religious coercion in the military.
Unfortunately, we only get 200 words per post!
rabies: No one is stopped from proslytizing out in the streets. Mormon
missionaries aren't stopped from going door to door, where people can then
choose if they want to hear their words or not. What this is about is being
forced listening to a certain belief system.With that said, I agree
that there should be a forum where people can discuss their beliefs, and
disbeliefs, all in a civil manner. But the DN won't even allow civil
discussion and is bent toward the right, and does not allow one to retort.
Example: One poster was allowed to call President Obama a socialist, Muslim
foreigner, which is lie to everyone except a few holdouts. However, they denied
a post that said Romney was a polygamist and a couple references to his wealth,
which is also a lie. I guess my point is: It goes both ways; the
religious are silenced and so are those with differing opinions!
For those of you concerned about your "religious freedom", Ever consider
rules and laws that forbid soliciting? There are times and places for
soliciting. At work, at school, and in military service are not places or times
for soliciting. We don't allow any old salesman to come into a military
unit and sell their stuff, so why should we give privileged access to religions
to sell their stories to the captive audience of military service persons? The more radical religious folks push for their "religious
freedom", the more common sense folks will push for "freedom FROM
It's a sad day when proselyting is viewed as hate speech. IMO, one cannot
be free to believe if one cannot discuss those beliefs. It really isn't
that hard to allow for open discussions of any who want to discuss their
beliefs, all it takes is an understanding we can respect each other despite our
differences.We will never have peace on earth if we can't come
to a point where we can openly and freely discuss our consciences without
resorting to banning groups or individuals.
And I'm tired of the phrase, This country was founded on Christian
principles. "Manifest destiny" is not a Christian principle, but
that's exactly how this country came to be!
JWB: This nation didn't start out using the term "In God We
Trust." How about looking up when that came to fruition.
Good grief, why are there tax supported military chaplains at all!? Surely
anyone who can read the Constitution realizes that the practice of the
government paying for chaplains is unconstitutional on its face.Let
people be free to worship or not worship as they will, let their congregations
pay for and provide the opportunity to worship. Keep the tax payers out of the
process.Anyone who works in government knows they are not allowed to
preach to their co-workers, it is simply part of the first day orientation.
JohnJacobJingle... falls victim to the fallacy that many other people often
misunderstand. He states that the Constitution guarantees "freedom from
religion". Absolutely false. It actually guarantees freedom from government
sponsored religion. There's a big difference. That difference is one of the
most commonly misunderstood tenets of the Constitution. That misunderstanding
can actually impede the religious freedoms that our country's founders
tried so carefully to protect when writing the Constitution.When
understood and applied correctly, we are actually given more freedom of
religion... to worship as we see fit, as long as it doesn't impede on the
rights of others. Very few religions advocate teachings that do.
@UltraBob --"I accept the need for spiritual help to be
available for individuals in the military but not the use of taxpayer money to
support the promotion of religion.....Government should not be used to promote a
religion or even religion in general."IMHO this is a very
important point.Military chaplains are paid BY THE GOVERNMENT. They
are not some independently-operating, noble volunteers. Therefore, any
proselytizing they do is being done under the aegis of governmental authority
and approval.And THAT means that their proselytizing can and should
be strictly limited. If a regular soldier wants to try proselytizing
his fellow soldiers, have at it -- and see how far he gets before the guy next
to him tells him to buzz off. When military chaplains try the same
thing, they do so from positions of authority -- and that is neither fair, nor
in accordance with the right to freedom of religion for that "captive"
soldier. Thanks to rank and the chain of command, the soldier literally
CAN'T tell his chaplain to buzz off. And that, my dear DN friends, is
government-sponsored religious oppression.
This type of process happens periodically within the military ranks. However,
in the past 5 years it has been very tenuous for all involved in the nation that
uses "In God We Trust." The term God has been undermined by people that
don't know the definition of "is". Politically correct
doesn't mean it is God correct. This animosity that has happened in the
past 5 years is coming from the minions of the President's side that
propose that our country was not founded on correct principles of law and order.
He stirs up hatred against our country when he goes around the world not only
throwing out what our country has done for the right and good of the world. He
throws money around as if it is going out of style for vacations that would make
even a rich person into problems. He has money to spare for separate vacations
and all the Secret Service agents to cover it with all the planning from the
military and state department. As a chaplain's assistant for
awhile, we need chaplains of the various faiths to help our men and women in
their great tasks, living and dying for us.
As one who believes that freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, I
object to the proselytizing activities of religious groups imposed on a captive
audience such as the military. I accept the need for spiritual help
to be available for individuals in the military but not the use of taxpayer
money to support the promotion of religion. There are other needs
and wants that soldiers and sailors might need and want, but the salesmen of
those private organizations are not given uniforms and military pay to promote
their product. Government should not be used to promote a religion
or even religion in general.
"Let's see... Curtail religious freedom, Ban guns, Fill the military
with anti-religious policies, then sentiment, then members, Call religious
teaching "hate speech."Yup, nothing to fear here..."Ooh, I'm terrified. I must have missed that law being talked about
that would restrict you from meeting at the church of your choice and talking
about whatever it is you talk about. Ditto for the law "banning
guns."Extreme reactionaries on both sides love to oversimplify
complex issues by making nonsense statements like Civil did above. So many of
you seem keen adopt this rigid "I know what's right and what's
wrong for everyone" stance, crowding out any room for nuance. Try
considering the lives, opinions, feelings, situations, etc of other people
before resorting to the "the sky is falling" rhetoric.The
one thing Civil implied I agree with is that we're getting too quick to
label everything "hate speech."
It isn't "Christianity" that is under attack, it is those advocates
of Christianity that are on the attack. It is the same as when the Christians
were killing the Saints in Rome, they reported that it was, "Christians
being tortured and slaughtered. But in accordance with the revealed word if God,
we know the turth now. Nephi said:"And the angel said unto me;
behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other
churches; which slayeth the saints of God; yea, and tortureth them and bringeth
them down and yoketh them with a yoke of iron; and bringeth them down into
captivity."(1 Nephi 13:5)If we don't heed the revealed word
of God, we will engage ourselves in useless wars, which have nothing to do with
us. This is a result of us not knowing who we really are."Now
therefore ye are no more foreigners and strangers, but fellowcitizens with the
saints, and of the household of God." (Ephesians 2:19)
During my active duty time, many were the times we were ordered to go to the
chapel for religious services or we were forced to do some hard labor if we
refused. Is this right? Members of minority religions were grossly under
represented in the chaplain's corps, religions like Christian Science,
Scientology, LDS, Muslim and many others. Practitioners of these faiths often
had to sit through the Protestant or Catholic service and then could go to their
own services off post. As a member of a minority religion, I was pretty much
not allowed to talk about my belief structure. This is a move in the right
direction and it has taken far too long to happen. Most military chaplains are
alright, some are wonderful and a few are hard liners who will stop at nothing
when trying to convert service members. The latter are the ones that need to be
JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt is correct. We need facts, not blogger spouting.
The fact is that officer corps of the US military is pervaded by an oppressive
Christian fundamentalism--"Dominionism." If you don't actively
adhere to it you can kiss your military career goodby. THAT is what is behind
this news story. LDS not welcome, BTW.
Unfortunately I can see a day in the future where Organized religion will be
outlawed. the world is changing and the religions of the world are on the losing
side it looks like. the next 50 years are gonna be a bit bumpy I think.
Political correctness is an interesting term. If something furthers the
"Progressive Agenda" then it is politically correct. If something
impedes that agenda then it is politically incorrect.Progressives
have long looked for a way to change the military from being largely
conservative to largely leftist. Banning religious expression is one way of
doing this.The most effective means of driving all Christians out of
the military is to go to war against Israel and allow all who oppose that move
to leave the military. I can see this President doing that.
Proselytizing, as in sharing religious views with friends, is one thing.
Getting in someone's face all the time on military time and space is
another. Mr. Weinstein isn't trying to shut churches down, he's
asking that they play by reasonable rules. How would you feel if you were
trying to walk across college campus between classes and every day someone from
some evangelical group was basically pouncing on you? That's what's
been happening, particularly at the Air Force Academy.
I was rather fortunate in my military experience to not face being given the
"hard sell" on religion. Any discourse I had was civil, enlightened,
and begun from a genuine curiosity.That being said, since my time in the
army (22-25 years ago), friends I have still in the military tell me there is a
growing aggression among those seeking to spread the gospel. I have been told
on more than one occasion their efforts are going over the limits as set down in
both regulations of the military and those which would be deemed polite and
proper.The problem from my perspective is unfortunately rooted in
the evangelical tradition. More and more evangelical fundamentalists are crying
fowl, citing what they believe to be the intent of the founding fathers and God,
whenever they do not get what they want. In the military, the regulations
don't always make sense, but they are there for a reason. In this case
they are there to protect anyone who chooses to not practice a religion from
those who might discriminate against others based upon that decision.
A significant reason that this has come to the point where it is at is simply
because those charged to be the keepers of the religious values failed to do so.
The talked the talk but did not walk the walk and now instead of being willing
to sacrifice their time and means to bring the dialogue back to center - they
are panicking and blaming the anti-religious factions - no folks - your lack of
living the principles you hold dear is the problem and unless you are willing to
make significant sacrifices – and change your behavior you are the problem
- not the anti-religious factions.
A bit of a lopsided article here, not just in quoting detractors of Michael
Weinstein, but in failing to quote Weinstein himself. Also missed any reference
to the widely publicised problems with "forced fundamentalism" at the
Air Force Academy and not even a distant allusion to power and hierarchy in the
military and how complicates issues of religion just as it does issues of sexual
behaviour. Partisan coverage of an issue doesn't have to be meat headed.
Let's see...Curtail religious freedomBan gunsFill
the military with anti-religious policies, then sentiment, then membersCall religious teaching "hate speech."Yup, nothing to fear
The story is long on rhetoric but short on facts. I do not feel more informed
about this topic at all. Our country was founded on the principle of freedom of
religion and freedom from religion. There will always be a balancing act. In
terms of chaplains, they are under the employment of federal taxpayers and their
roles should be specifically defined.This story is short on facts
but is full of innuendo that that drives distrust on both sides. Give me facts
instead of blogger spouting please.
Thanks for the startling information! I used the petition link to show my
concerns for this grievous effort to stymie religious expression in the
Probably the reason this is an issue is evengelicals. They can be very annoying
and given the way they act many in the military are getting tired of being
The Service men women fight for our freedom. Is there any way we as civilians
can fight for their freedom? To show our thanks for what they do for us.
When a shark smells blood in the water, it goes for the kill. The anti-religion
faction within this country is smelling a lot of blood. So they're going
for the kill. The government is, of course, completely on their side. Higher
education is almost hands down on their side. The press is largely on their
side. I'm not totally convinced that even those who are on the other side
(the vocal advocates for religion) are frequently positioned to line their
pockets. While this is a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values, those values
seem like a broken down car in the rear view of a speeding race car. They do not
appear to be capable of withstanding the onslaught of the vocal and aggressive
minority that is driven to destroying organized religion. And the attack is on
multiple fronts. I don't personally see a way to stop it, but I do foresee
a day when the battle lines will be fully established and each individual will
have to decide what side they're on and what they stand for. I guess in
that sense Joshua was right. Somethings never do change.