Marine General’s Faith at Issue

Websites belittling Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos are increasingly referring to his religion — some in an “off-hand” manner, others directly, as if it has something to do with current issues.

Interestingly, the “source” for General Amos’ faith is listed as this site.  The June 2010 article on his nomination for Commandant noted his speech at the 2009 National Day of Prayer.  Since then, that article has been cited in a variety of sources, including the ever reliable Wikipedia, as proof Amos is “born again.”  In fact, a web search for Amos’ faith reveals only two sources: this site, and a more recent derogatory citation by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Chris Rodda, with an uncredited copy of a personal photograph of the same event she likely learned about through this site.

Ultimately, however, Amos’ faith is irrelevant.  It would be folly to assert a person is uninformed by their faith or the other ideologies that have made up their life.  By the same token, it is foolish to imply they are driven solely by one, particularly for a man who has had a successful multi-decade career and risen to the rank of General in the US Marine Corps. 

General Amos has never once cited his faith in regard to recent controversies.  He has never even implied his recommendations to the civilian leadership of the military have been influenced any more by his faith than by any other part of his character, leadership, or professional military experience.

At present, it appears General Amos is being held to a different standard than his fellow Joint Chiefs.  While Amos’ views were the most strongly expressed, he was not the only General to oppose the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  There is no evidence Amos’ Christianity was any more or less influential in his military advice than was Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz’s Judaism to him (Schwartz also opposed repeal).  (Despite the presumptive stereotype, not all military Chaplains who expressed reservations about repeal were Christian.)

Maybe next critics will point out Amos is the only service chief whose first and last names appear as books in the Bible.  The book of James is probably the most cited Biblical book on applied Christian living.

Amos, on the other hand, was an Old Testament figure who prophesied on God’s coming judgment on a nation that had abandoned God’s laws.

With reference to the Army Chaplaincy Blog.


  • Actually, the source of the information that Gen. Amos is a born again Christian came from Gen. Amos himself in his keynote speech at a prayer breakfast at Quantico in 2007.

    And, although I know you like to take credit as being a source for MRFF’s research, I’m sorry to inform you that MRFF watches all military participation in NDP Task Force events every year, and hasn’t yet needed to use your blog as a resource.

  • Your comment should more accurately read “Actually, a source of the information…,” and then you should list the actual source, rather than merely mention his presence at an event. Of the public articles discussing General Amos’ faith, more than one has referenced this site, and none have said anything about the 2007 Quantico Interfaith Prayer Breakfast. Notably, you did not link to your source either for your characterization of his faith or to give credit to the owner of the photograph you publicized.

    Given your claim of eagle-eyed interest, its telling that you waited more than 18 months to make an unsupported accusation that the General violated military regulations, timing just coincidentally after this site noted his participation in that same event…

  • JD, MRFF has had a file going on Gen. Amos for several years now, which I started for reasons that have nothing to do with recent events, as well as a file on NDP Task Force events for each year since I started working for MRFF, so, of course I knew that Amos had been the speaker at Shirley Dobson’s 2009 NDP Task Force event. The coincidence that you had just written about Amos speaking at the NDP Task Force event was just that — a coincidence. Amos, an officer who seems unconcerned about violating regulations, was in the news because of his opposition to DADT, so it was just a natural example to use in an article about another officer opposed to repealing DADT saying he would violate regulations over his own opposition to. You really need to get your ego under control if you seriously think you actually influence what I write. I’m sure you must know of some good Bible verses about being egotistical that might help you get over this problem.