Air Force Chaplain Serves All Airmen, Regardless of Faith
In an interestingly timed piece, the US Air Force highlighted Catholic Chaplain (Capt) Emmanuel Enoh, who hails from Nigeria but was drawn to missionary work — and the US Air Force:
“The patient was suffering from her experiences in the Iraq war,” recalled Enoh. “She just wanted to talk about her experiences, so we spent the whole night talking. I couldn’t relate to her experiences, but by being there and letting her talk, it gave her comfort. That experience drew me to serve as a military chaplain.’”
The article seems to almost painfully go out of its way to qualify the service Chaplain Enoh provides:
[Enoh] understands that while he is still a Catholic priest conducting the services associated with that role, his duties are to serve all Airmen, regardless of faith.
“The person who needs help isn’t necessarily Christian, or Muslim or any religion,” explained Enoh. “They might just need another person to listen, or show them direction. It’s about being there for the Airmen, not necessarily giving them my perspective as a Catholic priest.”
Part of the reason there are so many Christians in the military and government is the Christian value of service. Christians understand and internalize the concept of serving something bigger than themselves. While they serve throughout America and the world, they do not hang signs that say “Christians only”, and they’re perfectly capable of having conversations about engine size and their favorite football team without having to screen for religious views first.
Besides, as a missionary like Chaplain Enoh surely knows, you can’t win people for Christ if you don’t let them near.
Being known as a Christian does not require an asterisk — or an apology — for public service.