When I made my trip a few months ago to Fort Sam Houston to minister to our Wounded Warriors, our group spent a lovely morning with two Army chaplains. They held an honest and frank discussion with us regarding their faith and serving in the military.
They lamented the fact that they were being asked to compromise their faith and their values for "political correctness". With the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", they are now required to counsel gay service members, without being able to state their religious beliefs. It is not the counseling that they protest, it is the inability to express their faith. In addition, Christian values are being suppressed in favor of promoting Muslim ideology. Christian symbols are being taken down from chapels because the Military doesn't want to "offend" anyone. These faithful and devoted men of God know that their time in the military is short. There will soon come a day when they must stand for their faith and can compromise no longer.
And lately there is more evidence. Several dozen Republican House members have sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta accusing the Air Force of creating a “culture that is hostile toward religion.” Among the incidents cited in the letter: a decision to change a Latin office motto to remove reference to God; no longer requiring staff to check for Bibles in Air Force Inn rooms; and suspending an ethics course because the material included Bible passages.
The Air Force's response? “Airmen 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.'" Unfortunately, there are far too many outside groups that are eager to claim that the mere presence of a Cross in a Chapel is not "respectful" to another religion. And it seems pretty plain to me that military personnel are to exhibit "respect" to all religions, except Christianity.
Furthermore, the White House has made strong objections to H.R. 4310, which would protect military chaplains who refuse to perform same-sex marriages because it violates their religious beliefs. Apparently, everyone else is allowed to follow their belief systems, except Christians. Whether you agree with same-sex marriage or not, no chaplain should be forced to perform any ceremony against his beliefs, regardless of his faith.
Then there is the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRRF) which calls military-themed Bibles a "threat to national security." While claiming to advocate "diversity" for all religions in the military, the group seems only to have targeted Christian applications in the armed forces. Under "Accomplishments" on their website, the atheist group cites the removal of the "Crusader" cross from an Army Hospital's emblem; the removal of Christian inscriptions from Trijicon rifle scopes; the removal of "Left Behind" video games from active-duty recreation areas; raising awareness and criticism of Billy Graham-sponsored "Rock the Fort" Christian concerts on various Army posts; and numerous Nobel Peace prize nominations (that should tell you something).
Other groups, such as the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) should give you a pretty good idea that Christianity in our military is under assault. It seems to me that rather than making a move to create a non-discriminatory environment, the Military is going out of their way to bow to the demands of these atheist groups.
I shudder to think of our Armed Forces devoid of God. His "Divine Protection" has been a force in our military since the first ragamuffin patriots took the field at Bunker Hill. I guess those groups who think He is "offensive" have forgotten that age-old truth .... There are no atheists in foxholes.
Numbers 10:9 "When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies."
Thank you for your essay on military chaplains. I have enjoyed reading your writings for several months. Your Christian testimony is a delight to witness. I also have just recently learned to can and did so with several buffalo roasts rescued from the freezer! This essay struck a very personal chord with me.ReplyDelete
My father was a career Navy chaplain. I worshipped as a dependent in chapels from Brunswick, Maine to Coronado, California. He retired in 1976 after 26 years of dedicated service. His sermons (and personal faith) were definitely evangelical and Bible based. Even then, in my opinion, he was in the minority in the Naval chaplain’s corp. I believe he was passed over for captain because of a Godly and unpopular (not politically correct) stance that he took.
I asked him on several occasions why the Navy allowed “non-believing” protestant chaplains to serve. He would basically respond by saying he couldn’t control the whole Navy, just his own service. Many Sundays I helped his yeoman set up the chapel for service. Often the chapel doubled as the mess hall or theater, especially aboard ship or on small bases.
Dad served three tours in Vietnam, two aboard hospital ships and one in Saigon. He loved the Navy and was definitely a “war chaplain” serving during both Korea and Vietnam. He led me directly to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and was responsible for helping many sailors, marines, and soldiers with their salvation journey. I thank God often for the ministry of military chaplains, and especially for my dad.
May God richly bless you and your family.
Navy Brat (emphasis on the brat)
What a wonderful testimony of your father's service to our Lord and our military! And I fear without godly men such as he, our current military is sliding into secularism and political correctness, both of which do not please God. You are so kind to compliment me, but I assure you I am just a normal person seeking to know my God better and grow in my faith. For some reason, He wants me to share my thoughts, and if anything I have to say causes just one person to seek Him, too, then I will have glorified my Creator. It's people like your father, who reach so many, that deserve the praise. THANK YOU for sharing his story!Delete