Though there has been little official confirmation, multiple media outlets have reported that the Soldier who opened fire in a pre-deployment facility at Fort Hood, Texas, was Major Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist most recently stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.
An undercurrent of religious association has already started, despite the fact that there is not yet any indication that Hasan acted for ideological reasons. To this point, his story is one of contradiction. Some news sources are reporting on his devout Islamic background, though others note his dog tags listed “No Religious Preference.” He apparently hired a lawyer to try to get out of the Army, citing harassment for his religious faith, though he entered the Army Read more
A unique and positive article by Alison Buckholtz covers the hardships associated with a US Navy pilot and the separation he must face from his family as he deploys overseas. As is the case for many servicemembers, he is an aviator but is deploying to a ground job in support of the Army.
Interestingly titled “Onward Jewish Soldiers,” it celebrates the role of the Jewish faith, and Jewish servicemembers, in the US armed forces. It also highlights the Read more
Gen. James C. Nixon, the deputy commanding general of operations for Multi-National Division – North, recently spoke at the final Task Force Lightning Prayer Luncheon. The event was held at Contingency Operating Base Speicher in Iraq. According to the hosting Chaplains, General Nixon was able to “share his faith and tell people, ‘This is what God is doing for me. Consider these things as you live your life’.”
The prayer events have been part of the unit’s emphasis on spiritual fitness.
“Prayer luncheons are a good thing for many reasons Read more
As a civilian pastor I can’t go to your office to check up on you, but as an Army chaplain, everywhere you go, that’s where I am.
With that, Chaplain (Maj) Michael J. King succinctly describes one of the benefits to the armed services of having military Chaplains. The Chaplain also explained the “perform or provide” role of the military Chaplain: Read more
General George W. Casey, Army Chief of Staff, recently spoke about making resiliency training, which is currently used in varying forms across the service, an Army-wide program.
Despite incorrect prior accusations, the proposed resiliency program is not a religiously-based effort. The article specifically mentions the maligned Fort Hood Resiliency Campus, Read more
Military members are free to participate in the religious acts that they choose. At times, the military even encourages its servicemembers to learn more about religion. Such experiences may include observing or even participating in religious events.
In India recently, US soldiers engaged in a joint exercise took the opportunity to participate in yoga. Far from the more fitness-oriented experience in America, yoga is commonly associated with eastern religions practiced in India (where it is believed to have originated).
The benefits of cultural tolerance and understanding is Read more
As previously discussed, a civilian author recently criticized a military Chaplain for “expressing contempt” for the Constitution when he made “derogatory remarks about Islam:”
When a uniformed officer of the US military makes derogatory remarks about Islam, he’s violating [his] oath and expressing contempt of the First Amendment.
The comment was made by Jeff Sharlet, posting under the moniker Ishmael, on the Daily Kos website. Sharlet is also the author of The Family, a book that purports to be an expose on a secretive and conspiratorial religious organization (the “Christian Mafia”) attempting to influence the US government.
The comment was in defense of Chris Rodda, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation researcher, when she criticized Camp David Chaplain (LtCdr) Carey Cash for his religious views. Sharlet’s use of the word “derogatory” notwithstanding, is he right? Can a religious leader of one faith in the military say nothing negative about another–even if such statements are consistent with the tenets of their faith?
The core question: Can a Chaplain (or any other military officer) espouse specific, even exclusive, religious ideology?
The shortest, most accurate answer: Read more
Recently, a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event was held at a local Florida high school under seemingly innocent and legal circumstances. The initial news report simply described the event, in which hundreds of students gathered in the school’s bleachers in the evening to “celebrate their faith.”
However, the event has now been criticized by some who have said they were “uncomfortable” with it, despite the fact that it appears to have met all necessary restrictions and followed all rules concerning legality and Constitutionality.
Rabbi James H. Perman of the local Naples, Florida, community was a former Air Force Chaplain in Vietnam Read more