Religion News Service — the non-profit media group that famously took a grant from atheists aimed at providing favorable news coverage — provided a balanced look at the US Army’s research into the previously-discussed virtual chaplain training, otherwise known as “spiritual triage.”
Trailing the [computer animated] combat medics, the uniformed military chaplain kneels and performs “spiritual triage,” assessing who is dead, who is soon to die, and who is likely to survive.
For the dead, there is silent prayer; for the gravely wounded and those in pain, there are words of comfort…At each point in the action, a prompt asks users what they think is the appropriate response, and then offers them feedback on their choices.
The article notes that “nothing short of the real thing” can fully prepare someone, but training is valuable — something even one of the chaplains who helped the development process says:
“We shouldn’t confuse simulation trainers as replacements for chaplains or care providers,” he said. “Trauma care and counseling need to be provided in person. There is no substitute for human contact in training.”
Still, the chaplains cited seem to support the concept:
Navy Chaplain Josh Sherwin, 31, a rabbi who has deployed three times to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, agrees.
“There is no way a classroom environment can prepare you,” he said. “But a simulation that puts you through realistic situations can be highly valuable.”
Chaplain Sherwin was previously part of a US military “Rabbinical surge” in Afghanistan. The chaplains’ comments stand in stark contrast to Michael Weinstein’s — who threatened a lawsuit to stop the training and claimed it was a super-secret “Trojan horse” to help Christians take over the world.
The Rabbi seemed to disagree.