Christian Fighter Pilot to Lead US Marine Corps

A variety of news sources are reporting that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will submit the name of current Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps.  Interestingly, Amos’ appointment would break Marine Corps tradition because he is a fighter pilot (much like the appointment of General Norton Schwartz — a cargo pilot — broke the Air Force tradition of fighter and bomber pilots).

General James Amos is also a Christian.

In 2009, Gen Amos was one of several speakers at the Capitol Hill celebration of the National Day of Prayer.  In his remarks he was unequivocal about his faith and the power of prayer in his military life: 

I was saved many years ago as a Lieutenant going through flight school.  We raised our children in a Christian family, and so I know church on Sunday morning, I know Sunday School, I know church on Sunday night, I know church on Wednesday night and I know Bible studies.  That was part of our family life…

But when you’re poised on the border with 70,000 Marines and another 130,000 Soldiers, and you’re about to cross into a land that you’ve prepared well for but that is still a great uncertainty, prayer has a way of tightening up in your life…

To hear it in his own words, take a listen (5:48 total):

http://christianfighterpilot.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/amos2.mp3

43 replies to “Christian Fighter Pilot to Lead US Marine Corps

  1. Pingback: God and Country » General Amos Chosen for Views on DADT?

  2. B Barrow

    I’m truly grateful that this nation has men of this caliber at its highest ranks. As a former Marine infantryman, I always knew we were well-lead by quality men – good to see this long-standing, high tradition maintained.

  3. Kritz

    Amos has proven himself to be a whack job of the first order. I fear for the future of our country when nuts like Amos are in positions of leadership. One’s religious beliefs should be a strictly personal matter and not a cornerstone of policy, strategy, or tactics. Amos needs to be fired.

  4. Diana Powe

    As a Christian and sister of three veterans, I feel impelled to note that it is often argued that the early church would not allow soldiers to be Christians. Certainly, there is nothing in Jesus’ life to suggest that he would be a champion for the armed services of any nation.

  5. Steve L

    I am a strong believer too. Let’s drop all our weapons and just pray. If God is going to save us, why work so hard?

  6. Brad Morgan

    @Diana Powe
    I second that. A misguided and incomplete understanding of Jesus’ teaching has brought us many woes in the past. Let’s put this guy in a position where he can cause less harm.

  7. JD

    What harm has been caused that needs to be “less”?

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion on Christianity and the military, but recognize there are well argued positions on the opposite opinion as well.

    Finally, to suggest governmental action against a person based purely on his religious beliefs, whether they be Christianity or something else, is inconsistent with the US Constitution.

    There’s an irony in your unilateral judgment someone else doesn’t understand Jesus’ teaching correctly and should therefore have action taken against them by the state.

  8. Iverson Bell

    @B Barrow
    Marines (and soldiers in general) are part of the military. The military carries out the policy of the political leaders and not the other way around). He is entitled to his feelings about Christianity, but all not all Marines are Christians or necessarily believe in God. He is wrong if he believes that soldiers will be so immature as to be distracted by homosexuals or soldiers of the opposite sex as to be unable to respond appropriately to orders or defend themselves and their country.
    Iverson Bell LTC USAR (ret)

  9. irishdave3

    @B Barrow
    …apparently you were home-schooled since the correct spelling is “led” not “well-lead”…no wait, a GOP (God’s Own Party) candidate (Vern Ravenscroft) for Governor ran a print ad making the same error. Of course that was in Idaho, birthplace of Amos and The Half-Baked Alaskan.

  10. Kritz

    The proposed action (removing Amos from his post) has nothing to do with the content of his beliefs or that he hold beliefs of any sort, and everything to do with his application of those beliefs in inappropriate contexts. Such as Congressional hearings, to name one. It’s his behavior that renders him unfit for command, not his beliefs.

    @JD

  11. Dealer

    Iverson,

    It is a mark of a good leader to call attention to issues that are applicable to military readiness but are politically challenging. You are wrong to think that servicemembers of different genders working together is the same as members of the same gender. While I think women should be in the military, it is naive to think that there won’t be issues. Every time a commander has to sort out a sexual assault and/or harassment claim, that is time that could be devoted to other demands. It’s been 30+ years since women have been in the military and we while we are making progress, we aren’t yet where we should be.

    The results of the DADT survey show underlying concerns in the what would happen when the policy is removed. This transition will be a distraction, but I can only hope that we can learn from the past and make the changes smoother than the integration of women.

  12. JD

    Kritz,

    What specific behavior do you find unacceptable on General Amos’ part, and how do you know it is a function only of his faith, and not of his military leadership experience?

  13. Mike Brown

    Why is it that narrow-minded conservatives are still a strong voice on such matters? They have a wretched track record on anything relating to progress in America. They fought to protect slavery and every effort for civil rights legislation. They fought against progressive reform of the early 1900′s including women’s suffrage and child labor. They formed the core of the pre-WW II isolationists and the opposition to the League of Nations. They actively opposed FDR’s social reforms, rural electrification, flood control, and other conservation measures. They called social security, the CCC, and WPA socialism. From their ranks came witch-hunters like Joe McCarthy and the House on UnAmerican Activities Committee forcing patriotic Americans to testify against themselves and their colleagues. They were opposed to Blacks in combat before the Korean Conflict because they assumed they were inferior soldiers and forced Japanese Americans to form separate units. And, they’re still in there fighting, but their targets have changed some. Now they include immigrants who’ve been in the country since their childhood and would like to use military service or college educations to achieve a path to citizenship. They opposed gays in the military. They reject climate change and global warming. They’re against any form of national health care reform, comprehensive immigration policy and are even opposing the current Nuclear Arms Treaty with Russia. Many of them oppose the existence of the EPA and every effort to improve the environment. Yet, in spite of all their opposition to progress in the U.S., they’re the first to fly the flag from their automobiles, champion extremists and IQ-challenged conservative heroes like Palin, Bush, Bachman, and Beck and rave on about how the great our country is. But, it is those very progessive achievements, opposed by conservatives of the past and present, that make the country something of which we can all be proud.

  14. Dealer

    Mike,

    I understand your outrage at some of the past moral failings: slavery, racism, sexism. Your more recent offenses are half-truths.

    The US probably had the longest recovery from the Great Depression (I don’t know the exact details, but I’d bet money that we had the absolute longest recovery). I know that the government spend a lot of money paying people for the sake of giving people money. The CCC did some wonderful projects that I’ve enjoyed, but that wasn’t why they were created. Tell me, if taking money from someone working and giving it to someone who wasn’t working isn’t socialist, then what is? Some compassion is good, but have the guts to call things as they are.

    There are plenty of legal immigrants in the military and I’m honored to serve with them. If you are referring your outrage to the opposition to the DREAM act, then maybe those immigrants should play by the rules first, rather than have us change the rules for their benefit.

    I reject claims of climate change based on the history of climatologists forecasting a global cool-down, and now forecasting a global heat wave. That’s not to say that mankind doesn’t change the environment, but the EPA is a bureaucracy that is no better than the Mining and Mineral Agency (or whatever the name of the agency that was supposed to overwatch oil drilling). The drilling ban is bad for the economy and is an extreme overreaction.

    I think the mandate to have health insurance is unconstitutional. It’s not the same as the mandate for car insurance. Driving is a privilege–if you want to drive, be insured. Living is a right. The reform parts of the reform bill were actually great, too bad they put in too much other stuff.

    You say that conservative figures have lower IQ. I don’t know and I don’t care about their IQ: I care about their character. Pres Bush (the younger) was once described as the most honest president this reporter interviewed (can’t remember the reporter but it was yahoo or AP reporting). That is a quality I prefer over raw IQ every day of the week.

    My patriotic sense of America celebrates the ingenuity and the independence of our country’s first citizens. They wanted freedom and liberty–a government that empowered the people to make their own choices in life. That requires a level of responsibility that Americans are loosing. The new American dream is victimhood: the government will take care of you and if you make a mistake, then it’s someone else’s fault.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in hard-work and persistence. “Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.” Robert E Lee, or better yet “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” JFK.

  15. derple

    their legs will give out after marathon gay dancing sessions at gay clubs to gay house music and will have to be gay amputated

    doi!

  16. end

    @Kritz

    Are you really suggesting that military people who opposed the repeal will not be able change and follow orders?

    What I read in the article you posted is that since he voiced his opinion and it turned out not to be in line with the way that politics went, he can’t possibly be an effective leader. You know that means that his marine training will have no affect in his ability to be the leader the marines trained him to be. If Marine training failed him so much that he cannot obey an order to allow homosexuals after so much time in the marine corp, it makes me really wonder how many other people it failed. Has his training failed him so much that he will have no ability to deal with the situation and maintain order? If Marines cannot manage to follow orders and do things that go against their personal beliefs, and it was the marines in the survey that would have the most problems accepting open homosexuals, then perhaps repealing dadt wasn’t the smartest thing to do.

    Also, it starts the argument that no one who has any problem with homosexuality should have any amount of power in the military. I wonder how many people would be lost in the military if all these people were all kicked out (since one of the larger arguments to repeal dadt was a numbers game). It also opens the argument that a gay soldier could sue over not getting a promotion on the grounds that their superior doesn’t like gays. It starts a whole new dadt, but the question is no longer “are you gay?” it’s “what do you think of homosexuality?”

  17. Kritz

    @JD

    Where to start with Guardino’s repulsive screed?

    With the creepy arrogance of a tinpot commentator who starts off sniveling that the blogosphere (even conservatives!) has ignored his previous effusions?

    Or his truly sad opinion that calling a bigot a bigot is somehow warped?

    How about psychosocial grand master Guardino going on to state as incontrovertible fact that “homosexual dynamics within small-scale military units are inherently problematical and disruptive,” an assertion he makes with no authority whatsoever, issuing the diktat ex cathedra from the same part of his body that no doubt tightens up whenever he thinks of what gays do with each other in bed.

    Guardino’s right on one thing, though: “leftists” are generally intolerant when they see their fellow human beings denied justice solely because of what they are, as if one’s inborn nature was something the majority gets to penalize you for. One thing WF Buckley didn’t say when he complained about liberals’ amazement that there are other points of view is that it’s not amazement at all: it’s humanity. It’s a bit more than an intellectual disagreement when someone’s “point of view” is that a whole segment of society is to be scorned, and shunned, and punished.

    The “prevailing left-wing orthodoxy” (by which I presume Guardino means the view that gays are people too, and deserve fair treatment) does have a certain in-your-face element to it. Yes, if you’re that kind of a bigot, keep it to yourself. Kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” for peckersniffs.

    With regard to the substance of Guardino’s post, it’s full of red herrings, red flags, and red meat. In other words, poppycock. It is not the military’s job to “endorse sexual orientation” of any sort, whether that be heterosexual, homosexual, or nonsexual. The notion that extending the same unconcern to licit homosexual unions that it extends to licit heterosexual unions constitutes an existential hazard to military effectiveness is not only shrill, self-important nonsense, but is also unsupported in fact by military organizations around the world that already “allow” gays to serve unremarked.

    I could go on. However, I’d like to end with one area where I agree with Guardino: this is the beginning of a zero-tolerance policy toward anyone who disapproves of homosexuality. It joins zero-tolerance policies toward anyone who disapproves of black people, of women, or of those who don’t share the same religion.

    And about time.

  18. Kritz

    @end

    While I can’t pretend to have followed Amos’ career closely prior to the onset of his current notoriety, what he’s demonstrated recently is both a rigidity and lack of balance in his decisionmaking that I find unsettling.

    He has publicly and adamantly stated that one portion of his command’s very existence is hazardous to the rest. In the same breath, he has tarred the other part of his command with presumptions of unprofessionalism, incapacity, lack of control and even self-interest – apparently unable to do their jobs because they might be standing next to a homosexual comrade.

    Any professional needs to be able to play it as it lays, and the Marines more than most. DADT didn’t stop people being gay, and it didn’t stop a fraction of those people wanting to be Marines. It just forced them to live a lie (and how did THAT affect unit cohesion and effectiveness?) and to risk their careers at every turn.

    Amos has sold the members of his command short. And that makes him unfit for command, regardless of any other factor.

  19. Terry Maznio

    The only wack job is you I’m afraid to think that any person can simply flip a switch and disconnect from their intrenched beliefs. Check your history be it military or this countries beginnings and you will see that religion or rather ones strong belief in Jesus Christ and the bible are totally wrapped up in every aspect of their life. As a retired navy seal I can assure you, who I assume have never served in the military that a military person who doesn’t have some sort of hold on a relationship with God is suspect…let me guess you are a atheist and Christmas is nothing more than a huge shopping trip.

  20. Kritz

    @Terry Maznio

    You’ve made a lot of assumptions about me, completely unsupported by fact, a tendency I “assume” extends into the rest of your life (unlike yours, my assumption is based on evidence, however).

    On a genuinely factual basis, it is true that Christianity has had a significant influence on the shaping of America – as have deism, animism, Hinduism, Islam, and atheism. Not to mention capitalism, mercantilism, and baseball.

    Influence doesn’t equal primacy, however much you might want it to. Sorry, bub, but if you’re a commander of US forces, you don’t have the right to “suspect” someone who doesn’t have “a relationship with God,” because in a professional military context it’s irrelevant, highly personal, and none of your business…

    [Deleted by Admin]…

    Amos needs to go.

  21. JD

    Kritz,

    You stated Amos [...]. Please provide evidence to that effect.

    A statement, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that makes a false claim may be legally actionable defamation. You have three choices:

    - Provide evidence to support your statement of fact.
    - Request your post be edited to clarify the accusation against Amos is your opinion.
    - Do nothing.

    Should you choose option 3, your comment will be deleted.

    Your second statement isn’t exactly true, but displays an understandable misconception. Amos “would,” if permitted, enforce the (now rescinded) law giving all Marines the same choice: They can be Marines, or they can be gay. He “won’t,” though, because he has expressly stated he will see that the changes in law and policy are implemented as directed.

  22. Kritz

    @JD

    [Deleted by Admin]…

    And while I’m relieved that Amos has decided not to disobey the orders of his superiors, that does not relieve him of the responsibility (as I’ve discussed before) of having stated publicly that not only is one fraction of his command a danger to the other, but implying that the larger fraction is a danger to the smaller! This disrespect of his command’s ability to behave professionally is both unbecoming and unwise, and among the reasons he should be dismissed.

  23. Kritz

    @JD

    Cute. I did precisely what you asked for — provided evidence to support my statement of fact — and you deleted the comment.

    To quote Jack Nicholson, “you can’t handle the truth.” Which is what the DADT argument was about all along, I guess.

    I rest my case.

  24. Kevin

    Wow. Just…wow.

    I am a Marine Officer (combat arms) and a Christian currently serving in Afghanistan – General Amos visited us yesterday, on Christmas. To hear anyone suggest that he is at all incapable or unqualified to serve as Commandant displays such a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the Marine Corps that it boggles my mind. He was nominated by fellow Marines – who better to suggest who should lead us? Keep in mind our motto “Semper Fidelis” – it means always faithful, because there has never been a mutiny in the Marine Corps. Marines follow orders. Period. Regardless of our personal feelings, once the order has been issued, whether it be to take an objective or allow homosexuals to serve openly, we will carry it out. How do you think the Marine Corps became the most successful fighting organization in the history of the world? It certainly wasn’t by worrying about what an unqualified Washington Post hack thought!

    Please continue to sit in heated comfort back in the U.S. and get fatter on McDonald’s (I could go for a couple cheeseburgers right now, though!), complaining about matters you know nothing about. My Marines and I will be over here, doing what Marines have been doing for 235 years.

  25. Kritz

    @Kevin

    Your fidelity to the Corps is admirable. Too bad Amos doesn’t extend the same to you.

    I’m guessing you’re not gay, so you’re one of his command that can’t do your job if you’re standing in the vicinity of a known homosexual — according to Amos. The man has called you an incompetent nervous nellie. And that’s what you call “qualified” and “capable?” Hmm. Those words must have changed meaning since the last time I used ‘em.

  26. Dave

    Kritz,
    You obviously want more than your allotted 15 minutes of fame. And while it is true that you have no clue about the Marine Corps and the leadership, you are still allowed to make a fool of yourself in front of those that do.

  27. Dave

    Brown,
    The first thing you do is call a group of people names. Why is it when someone disagrees with you; when this person takes on a believe ideology that specifically condemns some behavior traits of the human kind, you call them narrow minded? It sounds to me like you are the one who is narrow minded as well as being intolerant. Oops, there is that word that the enlightened love to use — “intolerant” but by their own definition exhibit it themselves in ignorant bliss. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Dang!!!

  28. Charilyn Damigo

    I was privileged to hear Commandant Amos’ speech tonight in San Francisco. I would like to hear the audio of his speech on the National Day of Prayer, but the link appears to be broken.

  29. Thomas T. Myers

    God bless the commandant, our commanders, and troops. They are truly blessed, for they defend the weak, oppressed, and down trodden. They are true christian pilgrims and patriots. Spreading freedom and democracy world wide. So, I say, that to my knowledge we are still a christian nation, even though from time to time we choose to side with non christian ideologies, theory, and curiosities. We, soon, as a nation, realize our gigantic mistakes, and make a massive effort to clean up the gigantic mess brought on by alien non christian thinking. So, to all you doubting colonist, God did bless his marines, and they will be standing post until the bitter end. Get used to it. Semper Fi.

  30. Donalbain

    Are the Hindu troops also “true Christian pilgrims”? Are the Jewish troops “true Christian pilgrims”? Are the atheists, the Muslims… you get my point.

  31. watchtower

    Donalbain– Thomas T. Myers said it himself, “the Marines will defend the weak, oppressed, and down trodden.” This includes defending Hindu, Jewish, Atheists, and Muslim AMERICAN troops BECAUSE they swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Get used to it Thomas. Semper Fi yourself!

  32. CopperKing

    IF Gen Amos is a Christian why did promote and quickly change the homosexual policy of the Marine Corps? The scriptures are clear that Sodom and Gorrah were destroyed for the sins of homosexuals primarily. Again in the book of Romans it teaches that it is impossible to gain, keep, or inherit eternal life if you or anyone is a homosexual. Romans chapter 1 describes the lowest form of depravity is the life of the homosexual. IF Gen Amos claims to be a Christian how did he come up with a repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to now allowing Homosexual values? Where in the Bible did he get his theological teaching?

  33. CopperKing

    I appologize I typed Gorrah and it was supposed to be Gomorrah, one of the two cities destroyed by God.

  34. JD

    @CopperKing
    To be fair, Gen Amos didn’t change the Marine Corps policy; Congress and the President did. Once they did so, Gen Amos was obligated to follow the policies they created. That does not necessarily equate to his particular religious beliefs. That which a military member can do after such a policy change is limited.

  35. Richard

    Any command begun under bigotry is doomed to ultimate failure. Gen. Amos cannot change or forget past prejudices. Therefore his command is in jeopardy from the git go.

    There is simply too much diversity in today’s armed forces for one so rigidly immersed in his faith. Especially when his background includes racial and religious as well as sexual discrimination.

    Gen. Amos is lost to the Marine Corps and America as he is a long time violator of his oath to uphold and defend the constitution. His attitude and actions towards Gays already disqualify him from command.

    You can bet that just as other high ranking military Christians before him, that Gen. Amos will first consider taking orders from his God rather than his superiors.

  36. JD

    @Richard
    A “long time violator of his oath?” You’re playing loose with your accusations again. Merely being a Christian does not make one a traitor in the United States.

  37. Richard

    @JD
    JD,

    Gen. Amos’s brand of Christianity is certainly the antithesis of constitutional law. For too long has he and other high ranking officers been allowed to command through archaic Christian doctrine to the detriment of good order and discipline.

    Time for his ilk to be sidelined and retired to a monastery in Italy.

    America is a vital young country with outstanding technological, mechanical and cerebral talent to advance us in the 21st century. Gen. Amos and his ilk would confine us to dark ages C hristianity and all that it represents.

  38. Richard

    Strangely, I have saved many good military men and women and I am not God. As an Air Force Rescue Pilot, serving two combat tours in Vietnam, I actually “saved” well over 400 young armed forces men and women, not to mention a whole bunch of civilians including children, which were my favorite to save. I did not expect them to follow me or my beliefs. I only wanted them to stay alive long enough to get to the forward aid station.

    When I hear about folks such as Gen. Amos who was “saved” at an early age, I question those who “saved” him. I can assure you “saving” a person as we did in Vietnam, was a lot harder than waving a magic wand and saying….”You’re Saved!”

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