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Political Correctness in America's Military Chaplains

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posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 09:04 PM
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Political Correctness in America's Military Chaplains is a subject in which I would like to address. They are told that since they serve a wide variety of 'subjects' that they can not express there faith in the manner in which I think is their right.

Example : A chaplain can not say by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to a gathered group. They must tone it down and say God.

Reason? It would offend Muslims and Jews.

So the question I have is why then serve in that capacity when you have to water down your beliefs?

I have an uncle that was in the Air Force and he is now retired but he was a Missouri Synod Lutheran. He in one way or another agreed that this was required and this was 15 - years ago.

Well the Wisconsin Synod, will not allow a Pastor to be in a uniform as to not force a Pastor to follow orders contradictory to the Bible and its teachings. Oh they send pastors to the troops but at their own costs and the military has no say over how they teach or minister.

I can see both sides of this, but not everyone can be a Father Mochey (M.A.S.H.)

It even goes higher, the PONTUS even has said something PC ,




In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson, Bush said he believes that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

"I think we do. We have different routes of getting to the Almighty," Bush said. "But I want you to understand, I want your listeners to understand, I don't get to get decide who goes to heaven. The Almighty God decides who goes to heaven and I am on my personal walk," he said.


LINK to ATS thread

Even Muslims will admit that they can not be the same God for God can not deny himself now can he?


So the brunt of my question is should the military dictate to chaplains how they teach and what they teach? Sure it is not the job of a chaplain to minister to a Muslim under most circumstances, but to force them to deny the Christ would be just plain wrong.....



Mat 10:32 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.



But in all honesty, the same can be said for the Muslim or Jew, it is not right to make him teach something against his belief.

Is this a sign of where we are heading?




posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger
Reason? It would offend Muslims and Jews.


Do you recall several months back when I believe it was the Air Force Acadamy that was experiencing unrivaled complaints of actual jew bashing and intimidation to convert?

It was covered here though I can't seem to find the originating thread just yet.

One minister in particular was simply doing the standard fire & brimstone wrapped in a flag that's become so popular of late (seemingly as I recall right on the heels of Mel Gibson's passion play fiasco) and the impressionable young minds were taking it just as seriously as intended I'm sure and way too far.

It had to stop. The military isn't the Klan. And it's not the place to play these "every other religion is wrong" games either. It's fine (I suppose) if you want to select a church for your family that tells you liberals, catholics, muslims, jews and homosexuals are the enemy and deserve death. But that doesn't work when you bunk next to one.



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 11:27 PM
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It's not just Muslims and Jews, Ed. There are a surprising number of Pagans (mostly Asatru and Wiccans) in the service and a few Wiccan chaplains running around as well. There's even some out-of-the-closet Satanists.

I see no problem in involking a generic blessing. The alternative is to ask each to pray silently to whatever deity they believe in.

Imagine your own self, having to listen to the Politically Incorrect prayer to the Goddess at every service. Would you find that tiresome? I think so.

I think it does no harm to make things more generic for everyone.



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 11:55 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
few Wiccan chaplains running around as well.

I see no problem in involking a generic blessing.

I think it does no harm to make things more generic for everyone.


First Wiccan chaplains? Wow never would have guessed that.

Second , I can understand what you are saying but it is not what Christian nor Muslim chaplains are supposed to do. They are denying what they supposedly believe in for the sake of political correctness.

I no more think a Jewish chaplain should have to praise Jesus than I think Christian one should deny Jesus as the Messiah, which is what that person would have to d to not offend a Muslim trooper.

What I am saying is that in an era of PC, that the whole purpose of chaplains has been compromised and is ineffective.

A true Christian would not deny his Lord, just as a true Muslim would not accept the Son.

It wrong in my opinion. If the chaplain is Christian, then he gives a Christian message, if Muslim a Muslim one, and if Jew a Jewish one. Mixing them is not a good idea.

A warmer over political message given under this pretext is a false one.


So who is their boss? the General or their God?


It has become a conflict of interest.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 07:12 AM
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Second , I can understand what you are saying but it is not what Christian nor Muslim chaplains are supposed to do. They are denying what they supposedly believe in for the sake of political correctness.


It has nothing to do with the fabled "political correctness". What it does have to do with is following the Constitution of the United States which they are sworn to uphold.

There are many, many different beliefs in our military. The military is a portrait of our great nation. There have been many problems recently especially at the Air Force Academy of attempts to force evangelical beliefs upon our future leaders. Several fine cadets have left the academy due to those circumstances. One must learn to put the shoe on the other foot unless one's foot is the same as the other.

There is nothing wrong with generic prayer toward GOD. What is wrong is when a certain belief is crammed down the throats of people who don't want to hear it, and have the right not to. Most aren't there at the academy for "their GOD". They are there for our country.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by edsinger
So who is their boss? the General or their God?


Catholic Chaplains have first as their boss, God. The military is second.
If at any time the military asks them to do something that is against
their beliefs, they can resign. They are not 'locked in' to a commitment
like enlisted are.

I have no idea about the protestant chaplains as to whom they
answer to first. However, they also can resign if they are asked
to do something against their religion.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by edsinger
Example : A chaplain can not say by the Grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ to a gathered group. They must tone it down and say God.
.... this was required and this was 15 - years ago.


I was a Chaplain's Assistant in the Army. I left the military in 1987 -
18 years ago. At that time you definately COULD say the name of
Jesus Christ - at least in the Army. The Chaplains I worked for said
it all the time during prayers at gatherings.

Also, while I was in, we had a QUAKER Chaplain. Yep. One. At
Fort Hood Texas back in 1983. I thought that was interesting.
Wonder how many Quakers are in the military??



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger
Bush said he believes that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Why is this PC? Its an expression of faith.

Even Muslims will admit that they can not be the same God for God can not deny himself now can he?

Some muslims probably say this, and other muslims would say that everyone worships the same god, the god of abraham. There's no official position that one must agree with to be a muslim, or a christian.

So the brunt of my question is should the military dictate to chaplains how they teach and what they teach?

Yes. Why not? They are there for all the soldiers, as members of the military, not just a particular subset of christians. Anyone that can't minister to everyone shouldn't be a military chaplain. This isn't PC, its common sense.

but to force them to deny the Christ would be just plain wrong.....

Since this isn't happen, its not really something to worry about.

Is this a sign of where we are heading?

If you are a chaplain for all the members of the armed forces, then you obviously shouldn't be ramming jesus down the throats of hindus and jews, anymore than you should be insisting that soldiers pray to allah, deny the divinity of christ, and follow the sayings of the poobah.

Is this a sign of where we are heading?

No one's denied anything here. As the inter-faith chaplian, you're going to have to make inter-faith pronouncements, that means talking to everyone, and that means being inspecific. It has nothing to do with PC or with denying jesus.

So who is their boss? the General or their God?

The general, as with everyone in the military.

flyersfan
At that time you definately COULD say the name of
Jesus Christ - at least in the Army

For what its worth it doesn't look like anyone is being told not to say 'jesus'. I'd have to say tho that if you are leading a group in prayer and there are muslims and jews in that group, along with christians, that you'd better talk about god in general to include them in on it.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Second , I can understand what you are saying but it is not what Christian nor Muslim chaplains are supposed to do. They are denying what they supposedly believe in for the sake of political correctness.


Do you mean to imply that God, Buddha, Krishna, the Goddess, Jesus, and or the Great Pooba cannot see what you believe in your heart, versus the service you are attending??? Perhaps you aren't giving your diety of choice enough credit?
They are denying nothing, they are trying to comfort God/Allah's/Yahweh's whatever children.... That is their sworn duty, is it not?



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 01:33 AM
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I respectfully disagree....when a Christiam ( not one in name only is asked about Jesus and whether He was and IS God, they are not allowed to speak that way in groups for fear of offending someone. So he is told to deny what he believes as truth for this sake?

Remember:



Mat 10:32 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.




So my point is, the Chaplain or Jew or Mulsim can not share his faith in a offical capacity, so what is the point?



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 12:25 PM
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So my point is, the Chaplain or Jew or Mulsim can not share his faith in a offical capacity, so what is the point?


The point is that chaplains in the military are there for ALL.

Perhaps you would like a muslim tank crew heading one way, a jewish another, and a Christian crew headed in another direction? What would happen?

It is an all volunteer army. If the chaplain doesn't like it he has the right to leave. You need to read up on this Ed. You also need to clear your mind that not all think like yourself. Do not do as Jesus asks not to.

No Chaplain in a private conversation with a soldier is going to go against one's faith. No matter what faith that may be.

Have you ever been in the military?



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 12:33 PM
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Good topic Ed!

My opinion is that chaplains should not be forced or required to be in a position where they are talking to the masses.

I come from the ELCA or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, another synod. On 911 at my workplace the managers asked everyone to gather for a prayer. This was bad in my opinion. My fater being a Lutheran pastor and I myself should welcome this but something felt strange.

When and in any circumstance authority determines the need for prayer or blessing, who's choice is it to which creed everyone should bow to? This questions is a complex one when dealing with a society and or military that is comprised of different creeds.

My opinion, have chaplains for the 3 major faiths on hand for circumstances of preperation for battle and death in battle. Organization of this could seem a little pansy as who is going to say ok, Jews over there, Muslims over there and Christians over here. I don't know the answer, but the point is, there in my opinion should not be any decision made by any commander, regardless of their faith to groop the troops for blessing or prayer by one chaplain of any creed.

If the chaplain was muslim and the commander was muslim, and a battalion of 90% Christians, who could stand their comfortable while listening to Allah Ahkbar?



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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This is so hilarious, since when we have a "GOD" that favors just one particular religion?

When people is going to learn that is just humans the ones that make all the fuss and ado when it comes to religious and what is "Politically correct" way to worship.

I can not stop laughing at the "Religious Dilemma"


I spend 22 years as a military wife and I never heard any complains by anybody about their believes been tramped or step over.

Why is such a big deal now and an Issue?

I tell you what because is the "Few" that has to make it an issue.



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by edsinger
I respectfully disagree....when a Christiam ( not one in name only is asked about Jesus and whether He was and IS God, they are not allowed to speak that way in groups for fear of offending someone. So he is told to deny what he believes as truth for this sake?


Guess what happens to Wiccans... and what HAS happened to Wiccans for the past 30 years? It was only 10 years ago or so that a Wiccan priestess finally got permission to lead a prayer to open a City Council session. No Wiccan, Buddhist, Pagan, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Santarian, or members of the other world religions have been able to offer opening prayers at any religion function. The list of "acceptable people to pray over the public" has been limited to Christians -- and most usually Protestant Christians.

Now the rest of us would like the same privelege.


So my point is, the Chaplain or Jew or Mulsim can not share his faith in a offical capacity, so what is the point?

I think that you may be misunderstanding the military situation. I grew up as an Army brat, my son was in the Navy, my brother still IS in the Army, and I have a number of other military family members. No minister of any faith is banned from sharing their faith WITH MEMBERS OF THEIR OWN FAITH AND WITH QUESTIONERS.

What they DO ban is prosteletizing.



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 12:25 PM
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Marg, you made more sense in 6 sentences than most people do in 6 pages.


You have voted marg6043 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043


I spend 22 years as a military wife and I never heard any complains by anybody about their believes been tramped or step over.

Why is such a big deal now and an Issue?

I tell you what because is the "Few" that has to make it an issue.




Seems that the 'few' ARE the ones making it an issue. have you ever asked a chaplain about it? Do you know how they are directed to preach? YOu are so quick to see it as you want to, but personally I think it is wrong to tell a pastor you can preach but only what the Government says it is ok to preach, that is of course unless its Islam right?

To a Christian pastor to not be able to say "By our Lord Jesus Christ", basically guts his whole message.

So marge, when is the last time you talked with a chaplain about this?



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 08:27 PM
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Actually last week we have a few retired chaplins that are preachers now, the next time I talk to one of them I will definitely ask.

Or what you think that I don't have any friends in the Church business?

Or that church and church people is just limited to the faithful and believer.

I am starting to wonder about your motives with this thread ed.


By the way depending of the size of the military installations you can find churches of all denominations.

If the people wants Jesus they will have Jesus, if the people wants alah they will accomodate to their needs.

I don't see your point here unless you are just making one on your own.



[edit on 14-9-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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I always thought that the role, the "standing order" as it were for a military chaplain was to serve the spiritual needs of the troops assigned to him/her; not to proselytize amoung the soldiers. As such, a chaplain's personally held beliefs should play no role in his/her ministry other than to inform and inspire said ministry.

I can understand how one might feel this could be seen as hampering a chaplain,s full expression of personal belief; I can even understand how one might argue that such official constrictions might be seen as an infringement on the chaplain's right to freedom of (religious) expression. However, in choosing to serve in the military one , as I understand it, agrees to surrender certain rights; amoung them, to a certain degree, the right to freedom of expression - free speech.

Is it not true that a soldier may not publically criticize a superior officer?

Is it not true that a soldier may not, even if asked, not reveal any information regarding his/her sexual orientation? In fact, as I understand it, Gay and Lesbian members of the US military are officially proscribed from expressing thier orientation in any form while in service, correct?

Somehow, I find that requiring a military chaplain to refrain from overt proselytization of his/her particular faith for the good of those in service is much less an infringement upon personal rights than requiring a soldier, willing to risk life and limb, to supress an intrinsict part of if his/her being!

Jokes regarding circumcision aside, we cannot seriously argue that a particular religious catechism is more innate and "within the very nature of the being" in terms of physiology, than sexuality...can we?



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Actually last week we have a few retired chaplins that are preachers now, the next time I talk to one of them I will definitely ask.

I don't see your point here unless you are just making one on your own.



My Point is that if a chaplain has to preach the government approved religion then whats the point of being a chaplain, be that chaplain a Christian or Muslim or Jew.

They are NOT compatable at all, sure a Jewish rabbi can give comfort to a Muslim. No problem with that, but if a man is lying dying and a 'last rites' is required , can a Muslim chapalin tell a dying Christian that he will soon be in paradise or something.

Am I the only one that can see the problem with this?

The reason that I brought it up is I asked why the Wisconsin Synod does not have pastors that serve the troops, and the reply was that they do but they are not US Army issue because of this very real conflict of interest.

When you compromise your belief, what the point of belief in the first place.

[edit on 14-9-2005 by edsinger]



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 07:24 AM
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Am I the only one that can see the problem with this?


No, not the only one Ed. Just one that somehow does not understand that GOD is there for all. The chaplains know what they are there for when they enter the military. Just as the guy maning the 50 caliber on top of a tank knows what he is there for.

You need to wake up a tad Ed. You are not putting much faith in GOD when apparently you think he can't figure out what is what.


My Point is that if a chaplain has to preach the government approved religion then whats the point of being a chaplain, be that chaplain a Christian or Muslim or Jew.


There is no "government approved" religion. That is the whole point. Let us hope there never is one. I would hate to have the same thinking as those that commit suicide bombings.




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