Military Chaplains and prayer.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Bullypulpit, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) slipped a little provision into a recent defense appropriation bill that went, largely, unnoticed. In short, it allows military chaplains “... in each of the military services would have the prerogative to pray according to the dictates of their own conscience...”.

    According to one of the measures co-sponsors, Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC), this measure is needed because, "What is happening is a move toward more political correctness, towards more secularism in the military, I cannot believe that the majority of Americans would be offended that a person prayed to his God.”

    It's all well and good for military chaplains to offer up prayers during sectarian services, but it has been a long tradition of military chaplains to offer up non-denominational prayers at public events and mandatory formations. This is done to promote and support unit cohesion which the military is so dependent on.

    It should come as no surprise that House Republicans and their groups on the far right fringe of the Christian evangelical movement are enthusiastically supporting the measure. It seems to me, however, that once you start evangelizing the troops, you're going to see an erosion of unit cohesion. You have Jews, Muslims, Evangelical Christians, Non-denominational Christians atheists, and others making up any given unit.

    <center><a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/washington/19chaplains.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print>Proposal on Military Chaplains and Prayer Holds Up Bill</a></center>
     
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  2. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    It obviously was not "unnoticed" thus the controversy and the hold up.
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    This has all come about because the Department of the Navy has been banning the use of secretarian/denominational prayers during services. Navy chaplains have, quite literally, been banned from praying in Jesus' name during non-mandatory Sunday morning services. This particular provision would allow chaplains to do their jobs, i.e. pray to the God which he/she believes in, by name, without fear of reprecussion.
     

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