Tag Archives: christopher hitchens

Marine Captain Calls for End to Chaplaincy

Captain Tim Riemann recently attended Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School, a basic officer course for communications and leadership skills — somewhat like a  9-month version of Air Force Squadron Officer School.  He wrote an article while there entitled “Replace the Clergy” that was published in the unofficial Marine Corps Gazette:

It [is] clear that the Chaplain Corps is expensive and provides a redundant religious capability, and its members are routinely employed beyond their capabilities. Therefore, the Department of the Navy (DoN) should begin phasing out active duty chaplains, replace them with licensed professional counselors (LPCs), and utilize the Reserve Chaplain Corps for duty exclusively in combat-designated areas.

While an interesting topic, the article was clearly an academic exercise and reads like little more than a school project. At about 1,600 words, Riemann has little time to articulate his argument on a substantial topic and fails to Read more

Atheist Chaplains and Independent Ideology, or Lack Thereof

Christianity Today re-covered the prior discussion on “atheist Chaplains,” asking the same question others had previously:

All religious groups make absolutist claims of one kind or another. But how can a belief system — or is it a lack of belief system? — championed by figures like Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens support Christian soldiers in any meaningful sense? When considering chaplains who support Hitchens’s rather broad contention that “religion poisons everything,” how can such leaders “provide the means for others to observe their own faith”? If Christians are indeed suffering from a “God delusion,” as Dawkins has suggested, how can a chaplain who promotes Dawkins’s ideas offer belief-respecting encouragement to a Christian soldier?

The author acknowledges a similar accusation can be made against exclusive religions, but there is a positive response in the Christian faith and historical precedent (something Chaplains are already doing):

One might counter by suggesting that Christians themselves Read more

Franklin Graham and Military Religious Freedom, Continued

It is now common knowledge that Franklin Graham’s invitation to speak at the prayer day hosted by the Pentagon Chaplaincy was “rescinded.”

Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins confirmed today, that at the Army’s request, the Pentagon Chaplain’s Office had contacted Graham to withdraw the invitation extended to him to be the main speaker at the Pentagon’s observance of the National Day of Prayer.

As a result, the National Day of Prayer Task Force is also not participating in the Pentagon event.  Graham responded:

I regret that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind their invitation to the National Day of Prayer Task Force to participate in the Pentagon’s special prayer service. I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops. I will continue to pray that God will give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country.

(Some have claimed the NDoP itself is unConstitutional, consistent with Read more

“Conservative Christians Dominate the US Military”

Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and co-author of Is Christianity Good for the World with Pastor Douglas Wilson, takes on religion in the US military in his latest article in Vanity Fair, for which is he a contributing writer.

The lead-in to the article demonstrates a set of false assumptions which are never substantiated within the article:

It’s no secret that conservative Christians dominate the US military, but when higher-ups start talking about conversion missions, it’s time to worry.

Hitchens never provides evidence that any ideological belief, never mind conservative Christianity, “dominates” the US military.  He also misrepresents Read more