Update: The House passed the Appropriations bill along with the amendment referenced below requiring chaplains to have endorsers — effectively prohibiting non-theistic chaplains (along with any new endorsers). Rep Doug Collins (R-Ga) accused atheist activists of having the real goal of covertly undermining the entire institution of the military chaplaincy.
The Obama Administration has threatened to veto the 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, saying it is too generous with military pay and too stingy with civilian pay.
As a point of clarification, the Defense Appropriations Act is a distinct entity from the Defense Authorization Act (or NDAA), which has been the point of focus for the past few months. The Authorization Act describes how the US DoD is “authorized” to organize and operate; the Appropriations Act “appropriates” the money to accomplish that end.
The appropriations bills were actually already passed by each house of Congress, but have yet to come out of conference committee.
Additionally, the recent push for atheist chaplains has now generated an official Congressional response — twice. First, US Rep Jared Polis (D-Co) offered an amendment (#295) to the authorization act that would have permitted Read more
An Air Force pilot blogging at PickYourBattles.net recently suggested ending the military chaplaincy would be a “win” for both recent budget issues and the Constitution:
With all the talk of cutting warfighters yet again, and remarks about being creative in solving the budget issues, I find it interesting that there has been no discussion of cutting the chaplain corps in its entirety.
He gives four reasons for his suggestion:
First, their existence is a violation of our Constitution [specifically] Article VI (the same article that requires military officers to swear to support the Constitution)…
Second, the nation has become more secular Read more
The US Army has been celebrating the 237th Anniversary of the Army Chaplaincy, as defined by July 29, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized (or authorized pay for, to be more accurate) chaplains in the Continental Army, whose Commander in Chief was General George Washington.
The celebrations have taken many forms, including a mass parachute jump of chaplains and senior leaders at Fort Bragg to a cake-cutting at Redstone Arsenal.
Some military atheist will probably stamp his feet in “me, too” fashion and threaten to sue over the fact his religion wasn’t included on the cake. Icing demands “equality” and is a “limited public forum,” you know.
From Faith and the Law [formatting original]:
On March 14, 1778, George Washington, then Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, approved the sentencing of LT Enslin on attempted sodomy of another soldier. General Washington called it an infamous crime Read more
An interesting website over at GeneralWashington.net sponsors a sort of ‘living history’ of George Washington’s life. The “blog” on the site follows the dates of Washington’s actual correspondence on those dates more than 200 years ago.
A couple of weeks ago, it noted his order from 7 February 1776:
The Continental Congress having been pleased to order, and direct, that there shall be one Chaplain to two Regiments, and that the pay of each Chaplain shall be Thirty-three dollars and one third, pr Kalendar Month–The Revd. Abiel Leonard is appointed Chaplain to the Regiment of Artillery, under the command of Col Knox, and to the 20th. Regiment, at present commanded by Lt. Col Durkee.
Via the Army Chaplaincy blog.
Or, as the case may be, Have Koran, or Vedas…
An Army news article notes the necessary travels of military Chaplains as they travel throughout the combat area in Afghanistan serving the religious and morale needs of those in their care. There have been a variety of other articles on “fob-hopping,” but this one included an interesting summary of the US military Chaplaincy:
The Chaplain’s Corps has been around since 1775. Following the creation of the infantry as a branch of the Army, the Read more
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued his annual holiday message this past week. As is often tradition when mentioning the military and this “holiday season,” he cited George Washington’s Christmas crossing of the Delaware in 1776:
On Christmas Night, December 25, 1776, General George Washington and his band of 2,400 men crossed the icy Delaware River, won victories against British and German troops, and stirred new hope into the struggle for freedom and liberty… Read more
Chaplain (1Lt) William Parsons serves a “two-fold” mission in the US Army:
Parsons still wears a cross on his Army Combat Uniform, but the American flag on his right shoulder also symbolizes his mission, not only for God, but for country.
Parsons seems to understand what is often forgotten in the modern culture: character and well-being spring from within, and one ignores them at their peril: Read more