As frequently noted, US military Chaplains serve as far more than mere spiritual advisors. They are counselors, marriage consultants, morale officers, and representatives to their command on issues of culture and religion that affect the mission. They’re also sometimes just a voice of reassurance.
A Chaplain currently stationed in Iraq recounts a story of how his faith helped a soldier at Fort Benning, where paratroopers at the Airborne School learn to jump out of airplanes: Read more
Chaplain (Maj.) Bradley West, a US Army Chaplain, was presented with the Gen. Methodej Kuban Medal by Chaplain Mirek Jordanek, Chaplain for the Czech unit stationed at Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan.
The award was named for a Czechoslovakian Catholic chaplain killed in Auschwitz in World War II, who encouraged believers of all denominations to worship together.
As has been noted many times before, there is a shortage of Catholic Chaplains in the Armed Forces. Chaplain West, a Protestant, was fulfilling his duties to see to the spiritual needs of all of his troops when he Read more
The blog of Operation Reveille, which says it is “Helping Service Personnel with Cross-Cultural Ministry,” has some interesting advice regarding how to handle potentially controversial situations in the current combat theatre.
For example: Can I give a Bible when asked? Read more
The integration of Chaplains in US military operations is so seamless that it is actually difficult to read a story about ongoing combat operations without hearing about the role of the military’s spiritual advisors. In a recent piece at the LA Times about the commander’s changing tactics in Afghanistan, the reporter happens to describe a Chaplain riding in an MRAP with soldiers: Read more
The US military has been accused of allowing its members to illegally use its official government email system to distribute messages with religious content (see background here). These actions have been called “unConstitutional” and “a violation of military regulations.”
This e-mail distribution has violated the separation of church and state [and] violates well established [military regulations].
In one specific incident, a base Chaplain asked the staff to forward a Bible study announcement. Did that message violate regulations, or any other policy or standard?
The shortest, most accurate answer: Read more
As noted previously, a letter to the editor of the Stars and Stripes touched a nerve, with another contributor scolding a Chaplain about relying on the Bible.
The publication sparked a surprisingly blunt tit-for-tat, demonstrating that feelings about culture and religion present in American society are, indeed, also prevalent in the military.
A Captain stationed in Iraq decried the letter writer’s suggestion that modern Americans should rely on the Bible and its “Bronze Age morality.” Another Read more
This week’s question is a summary of a frequent critique that takes many forms. In varying degrees, the US military has been accused of illegal activity for allowing personnel to use their official government email system for the distribution of email with religious content.
To narrow the controversy, one specific example occurred at Creech Air Force Base, as noted by Jason Leopold, a journalist with a colored history who often advocates for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In the incident, Read more
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He recently wrote an article entitled “Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel – And Why So Many Christians Think It Is.” The article describes how many Christians have lost touch with the heart of the Gospel by replacing it with pragmatic words to live by. While Dr. Mohler intended his words for a broad audience, it has some specific applicability here. Read more