A friend – and former Navy man – wrote to challenge my post on the Navy Chaplain who is facing a court martial for praying in uniform. He sends along a bunch of additional material related to the case, and takes issue with my original post.
Let’s go back in time and hit some of the relevant articles for this case:
Hopefully this is a sufficiently diverse selection of articles.
Also, regarding the specific charges of the captains mast, here is that info fromThe Washington Post
This wasn’t because he was praying in uniform, it was because he was protesting in uniform while on active duty in the US Navy….that is against regulations (regardless of whether he prays or not).
You can argue the semantics about this, but it’s still ridiculous. The guy was a chaplain, but told he could not invoke the name of Jesus Christ during his official duties. It is insensitive to the people who are not Christian. So that’s fine. Does that mean he can’t say Allah? It’s not clear if that was specifically prohibited or not. Jesus, however, was strictly forbidden.
This incident would not have raised my temperature if the Navy simply said, “You know what, given the whole idea of separating church and state, it’s not appropriate to have a job whose function is religious comfort. We’re doing away with chaplains.” But they didn’t. Instead, they took a position that was meant to minister to troops, and took away it’s authority to say the word Christ.
So the chaplain in question, prayed as a form of protest. He did it in uniform. Now he’s getting fired.
If you want to strip the religion from the military, I’m all about that. I do not believe that god takes sides on a battlefield. This isn’t like a football game where “God was on our side, today.”
If you’re going to have clergy in the service, however, then they should be allowed to practice the religion that they believe and not be forced to subjugate their beliefs to the military’s political correctness. The last time I talked to anyone about military service, the chain of command still flowed from God to country, not the other way around.