Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hitchens: Get Rid of Military Chaplains

In today's issue of Slate, Christopher Hitchens writes that the US military should no longer have chaplains:

Madison also thought that such appointments would lead to majority tyranny, as indeed they mostly have. He could not believe that even a Catholic chaplain could ever hope for preferment in the U.S. armed forces. But it may not be long now before we hear demands that Muslim chaplains be allowed to conduct separate (and perhaps sexually segregated) ceremonies in the ranks, and what I want to know is: What will our Christian, godly campaigners say then? Defense of the Constitution and of Madisonian principles, if invoked at that too-late point, will be portrayed by Muslims as discrimination. The evangelicals have already prepared the way for such a stupid outcome, with all the litigation and time-wasting in Congress that it will require. Their activity is a clear and present danger to the national defense, and ought to be regarded and treated as such.


Anonymous said...

I .. uh .. object.

Brett said...

I agree with Mitch.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone still read Slate anyway? That is too 90's, give us an onion story anyday!

Dan Trabue said...

What are you objecting to?

He raises a valid point, seems to me. Shall we employ wiccan chaplains and allow them to pray their specific prayers/conduct their specific ceremonies?

Keith McIlwain said...

The gospel is aboslutely a threat to every nation's security. I suspect the writer and I come from very different perspectives, but I essentially agree.

Anonymous said...

Dan - I am a military chaplain, so I guess I object first of all to losing my job! Selfish of me, I know.

After doing this job for 16 years, however, I've had a chance to experience its challenges in a multitude of settings. After a decade and a half of living it and thinking about it, I don't believe that the military chaplaincy is unconstitutional, unChristian or unwise.

And yes, free exercise of religion is for all, even Wiccans.

The nature of prayers at military ceremonies (like changes of command, retirement ceremonies, etc.) has been something of a public controversey lately.

Hitchens makes some valid points in the Slate article, but overall I don't think he really understands the military chaplaincy.

That's enough for a comment.

Keith Taylor said...

My layman's thoughts.

If you agree with this idea, then I have a question? Are the souls of our solders expendable simply because they are employed by the government of the United States? We have to quit worrying about the wiccans, or any other infadel group.

If a wiccan chaplain (?) is wins souls to their cause, who wins? The Enemy. If we have no chaplains at all and the Christian Church is not able to make itself available to some lost soldier who might otherwise have been saved? Who wins? The enemy.

Now, if a wiccan priest chaplain draws 100 infadel converts, but a Christian Chaplain wins one soul to Christ, who wins? Christ does!

You have to maintain a spiritual thought and realize that as Christians, we are chiefly citizens of a higher Kingdom. I guess in the last judgement, as I Christian I sure wouldn't want to stand before Christ and have to explain to him how I was a good Christian by tossing his Chaplains out of the U.S. military and possibly preventing innumerable souls from hearing the Gospel message.

John said...

I like your math, Keith. It makes a lot of sense.