Chaplain Protects Humanity in Military Service
Chaplain (Maj.) Sid A. Taylor is a Baptist Pastor and US Army Chaplain, currently deployed to Iraq. He oversees the “spiritual needs of more than 4,000 Soldiers:”
While not everyone here has the time nor the desire to attend the service of his or her choice, within FOBs Marez and Diamonback [sic], there are six protestant services, five masses, one Latter-Day Saints service, an Islamic Prayer Room and a Jewish meeting held each week.
Chaplain Taylor has an admirable perspective on the concept of the total person in the military, something the US Army is trying to recapture in its Comprehensive Soldier Fitness programs:
One of the biggest tasks before a chaplain is “Ensuring the spiritual and human dimensions of what we do are not lost.”
“The Army understands the importance of values, morals and integrity in everything we do. Soldiers have emotions and Families. They also have a soul that needs to be sustained in order to do what they do.”
Some might say, for example, that the scandal at Abu Ghraib or the apparent unjustified shootings by Soldiers were facilitated by the Army’s overemphasis on teaching its Soldiers how to fight–and its failure to teach them values, morals, and integrity. Teaching moral concepts is extremely important when a young high school graduate is handed a weapon and put in a position to make rapid decisions of life and death. It is of no benefit–in fact, it causes harm–to teach a Soldier to shoot without also teaching the morality of using that lethal force.
As Chaplain Taylor demonstrates, the US military supports the religious requirements of a wide variety of spiritual needs. But he also shows that Chaplains can be an excellent tool for reinvigorating the concepts of morality and values upon which all else must be founded.
Chaplain Taylor is married to another Army Chaplain who is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Via the Army Chaplaincy Blog.