The Christian Science Monitor did an interesting series on the impact and importance of Chaplains in the US military, as written by an embedded reporter in Afghanistan.
Merry Christmas…can we say that?
Both religious and secular news sources have repeatedly reported on the perceived “war on Christmas,” in which organizations (primarily retailers) have chosen to say (or not say) Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, or some other variation on the theme. For retailers, it is a business decision, whether good or bad, in which they attempt to appease one group of consumers or another. What they do probably has an impact on their sales figures, but influences little else.
Another question revolves around what is permissible for government officials. Lawsuits and controversy have erupted over Christmas (or “holiday”) displays (like in Wisconsin). Even President Bush has been taken to task for the White House Christmas Cards that don’t mention Christmas, but do contain Old Testament Bible verses that reference the Messianic prophecy. Military Christians, then, have a confusing cornucopia of examples to look at when trying to decide what is appropriate during the Christmas season.
Is there a right answer? What can military Christians do or say? Read more
As reported in the local paper, Clemson University (a state run school) is in “correspondence” with the ACLU over head football Coach Tommy Bowden’s annual “Church Day,” in which the team visits a church every year. The ACLU contends that Bowden was violating the separation of church and state by his actions, stating he had
abused his authority as Clemson University’s head football coach by imposing his strong personal religious beliefs upon student-athletes under his charge.
The University investigated and determined that the function would be allowed to continue, as it is on a voluntary basis.
Why should a military Christian care? The ACLU Read more
The Indianapolis Colts and their Coach Tony Dungy–who made waves this year as the first African American and outspoken Christian to win the Super Bowl–have received the American Spirit Award. According to the Air Force press release,
The American Spirit Award is the Air Force’s highest form of recognition given to civilian organizations for longstanding commitment and support to Air Force recruiting efforts.
Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength (review), was also a bestseller this year. (Photo Credit: USAF)
Michael Yon regularly writes personal experience articles for FoxNews, and did so recently when he saw an Iraqi Catholic service–attended by Iraqi Muslims and American soldiers–in which the Americans were thanked for their sacrifices.
Notably, Yon reports that local Muslim Iraqis specifically asked the American military to come and provide protection for the local Christian population. Read his full article on Dispatches From Iraq: Come Home.
It is regrettable that some will undoubtedly seize upon this positive story (and the presence of American soldiers in a Christian service in Iraq) as evidence for the rest of the world of our “crusade” in the Middle East.
Some Americans believe that an “evangelical coup” is being mounted by Christians in the United States’ military. The concept is absurd to mainstream America, which is why the constant tide of press releases by organizations trumpeting such a conspiracy is most often ignored.
Many Christians agree that those who accuse them of attempting to establish an American theocracy are fringe. While downplaying their conspiracy theories is wise, Christians cannot simply dismiss or ignore them. Every now and then such accusationas erupt into “scandal,” as occurred at the Air Force Academy several years ago. There are people in the United States today who honestly believe that Christians (especially those in the military) are a threat to freedom, democracy, and national security–and those people and organizations are part of the growing movement to impact Christians in the government and military today.
On a recent internet comment regarding “The Evangelical Christian Takeover of the Military,” one such person opined that Read more
What started out as Armistice Day nearly 90 years ago continues to be a day in the US that acknowledges the sacrifices of American military veterans.
The Washington Times reports that the VA is asking veterans to wear their medals this Veterans’ Day to
show the world the unity of our support for U.S. armed forces [and] teach the meaning and the value of military service to the children of America.
According to the article, while many have poor opinions of the Global War on Terror, 71% still have a favorably opinion of the US military, with another poll indicating 81% of Americans consider a military career “prestigious.”
This is the second in a series of articles on military Christians and life priorities. The first addressed the necessity of the priority of God in a Christian’s life, and looked into the potential responses that others may have to that priority. The second priority that a military Christian must consider is that of his family.
The Family Priority
A military Christian’s second priority should be family. The Air Force has generally been regarded as the more “family friendly” of the services, and it continues to recognize that a military member’s family life directly influences the performance of his duties. (Incidentally, November is National Military Family Month, as noted by the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force’s recent Enlisted Perspective.) Still, the nature of the military environment virtually ensures that there will be conflict between the military profession and a service member’s family. Read more