The USS New York was recently commissioned for sea service in its namesake state. It is famous for the fact that seven and a half tons of steel from the World Trade Center were used in its bow.
According to a United Methodist news source, the ship’s Navy Chaplain, Chaplain (LtCdr) Laura Bender, requested that a few more pounds of that steel be used to create a Christian cross, Jewish Star of David, and Islamic crescent to be used in the ship’s chapel. The symbols were a gift from the World Trade Center Tribute Center.
Kudos to the Chaplain for coming up with a unique way to help her Sailors and Marines integrate the faith of their soul with the soul of their ship, regardless of their religion.
First noted by Mitch Lewis.
The attack at Fort Hood has inspired almost visceral reactions around the world, potentially leading some to say things that are illogical at their core.
The New York Times has said the attack “complicated” the service of Muslims in the military. Bryan Fischer, who lists his title as the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, posted a blog on the AFA website entitled “No More Muslims in the US Military,” suggesting that Muslims be banned until they can “prove” they are not “jihadis” and threats to national security.
Fischer’s assertions are absurd, and they contravene the protections of the US Constitution and the heart of Christianity. In addition, the AFA is Read more
Following the violent attack on Soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, there has been an outpouring of support from the local community, with churches calling for prayers and military Chaplains asking for prayer for the alleged assailant. Former President Bush quietly visited Fort Hood victims last Friday, and President Obama plans to attend a memorial on Tuesday.
The actions of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected gunman, have been roundly criticized by a variety of organizations representing the American Muslim community.
Though a footnote to the story has been Hasan’s apparent allegations of mistreatment for his faith, a local leader in the Islamic community, Osman Danquah, apparently saw more to the story. He “sensed” that Hasan was “troubled,” and even went so far as to deny Hasan’s request to be a lay Islamic leader at Fort Hood:
He was disturbed by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s persistent questioning and recommended the mosque reject Hasan’s request to become a lay Muslim leader at the sprawling Army post.
Indeed, some of Hasan’s former classmates indicated that he was the instigator of controversial rhetoric.
Another American Islamic leader who spoke on the attack was 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