I saw this story in Weasel Zippers this morning.
It is the same old story about how the Clinton/Obama administration is anti-christian and that makes it harder for Christian Chaplains to serve.
When the fecal matter hits the fan and the pucker factor sets in, there are no atheists in foxholes.
That may have been true back in WW2, but it isn’t even close to true today. There are indeed atheists in the foxholes. But far more common are the men and women who simply don’t care one way or another about anything religious.
The Bible says that at man cannot serve two masters, yet the military chaplain corps has been doing that for a very long time. Even in the best of times, from Chaplains perspectives, the military chaplain is not an agent of Christianity, but of the state. His or her duties are more in line with being a marital counselor, family life counselor, and shoulder to cry on. They are the US Govt Approved Copy of what they think goes on in a civilian church to include children’s programs and retreats. It is not just a lot of selfless servants out ministering to the troops. It is also a mini Vatican at the Pentagon, complete with it’s own bloated bureaucracy of chaplains and a 2-Star General as “pope”.
The solution is simple: Eliminate the Military Chaplain Corps.
In this particular case, there definitely needs to be a separation between church and state because there is no denying that in the case of military chaplains, the church IS the state and the State is the church. The state decides for the church what the doctrines and practices will be and the church/state employees toe the party line or don’t get promoted.
I would propose establishing a cooperative arrangement instead of an in-house arrangement that exists today.
- Chaplains will be granted unrestricted access to the troops on military bases and overseas.
- Chaplains will be trained, and supported entirely by their sending and sponsoring private religious organizations. No government money.
- Chaplains won’t wear military uniforms or military rank. They will wear the uniforms of their sponsoring denomination, whatever that may be.
The results will be freedom. Freedom for the troops to pick chaplains that are genuinely of their own choosing and not one assigned to them because he/she is “close enough”.* It will mean freedom for the Chaplains to follow their faith, faithfully, guided by their own consciences and the demands of their own denomination hierarchy. It will mean freedom for the government from constant abuse of their Chaplain structure by fringe groups that want to destroy it through a thousand cuts. For instance, demanding an atheist chaplain be appointed. Demanding Gay weddings. And other such things that a real Christian clergyman should consider heretical. Freedom for the taxpayers from having to support all those military chaplains who provide zero contribution to national defense, but are paid very well through the defense budget.
Typical stuff the Chaplains’ Office does today:
*In Kaiserslautern Germany, the Protestant Chaplain was a Mormon. “Close enough”.