There is a fight going on in the military of which civilians may be unaware. WaPo had a good article on it last August which I recommend for the background and for details relating to what occured this week. Suffice to say here is the conflict…..
Much of the conflict is in two areas that, until now, have been nearly invisible to civilians: how the military hires its ministers and how they word their public prayers. Evangelical chaplains — who are rising in numbers and clout amid a decline in Catholic priests and mainline Protestant ministers — are challenging the status quo on both questions, causing even some evangelical commanders to worry about the impact on morale.
One chaplain at the center of it has been Navy Chaplain Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt and he declared a Victory in the conflict a few days ago. It started in March when his commanding officer had “recommended against extending his tour in the Navy, writing that he has ‘demonstrated recurring confusion concerning a chaplain’s role within a military organization’.” Klingenschmitt then accused the Navy of religious discrimination. He “managed to enlist more than 70 members of Congress and a who’s who of conservative Christian leaders to pressure the White House on his behalf.” 18 days ago as his termination date drew close he went on a hunger strike in front of the White House. He wanted to wear his uniform but was told regulations forbade “wearing of a uniform during political protests.” Then the Navy caved on his termination…….
On Dec. 22, two days after he stopped eating, the Navy notified Klingenschmitt that he could stay on “indefinitely” in the chaplain corps. But Klingenschmitt vowed that he would not eat “until the president gives me back my uniform and let’s me pray in the name of Jesus.”
Jesus Christ on a Big Mac he was going to push this even further to attain the holy grail of evangelicals being able to evangelicize (sic) as they wish. Whether out of reality that he was not going to get the grail this time or just plain hunger the Lt. ended his hunger strike and declared Victory on Saturday when the Navy said he could wear his uniform if he was conducting a ‘bona fide worship service’ in front of the White House.
Marks, the Navy spokesman, said “nothing has changed” in Navy policy. He said chaplains are free to pray as they wish in any military chapel or worship service. But in other settings that are essentially secular in nature, such as a retirement or memorial ceremony attended by personnel of many faiths, “we ask — ask — that they be inclusive” and offer nonsectarian prayers, he said. “If a chaplain can’t do that, he doesn’t have to. We won’t force him to,” Marks said.
That said it appears nothing has been resolved here and get ready for the next round of whining for Christ.
The head of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board stated “I don’t know whether it’s an overflow of what’s happening in society. But this sort of thing is so detrimental to what we are trying to do in the chaplaincy.”
Still so what?
“Could there possibly be a worse time for this fundamentalist Christianity to be pushed in our military, when we’re in a war and the people we are fighting are recruiting their members by saying we’re Christian crusaders?” asked Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 Air Force Academy graduate and former Reagan White House official.
Evangelicals love to claim victimhood. The war is being waged against them. (say Christmas) But is is a false claim. It is they who wage this war in government, schools, business and even the military. It is tearing this country up. When will the rest of the country wake up?