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.