Friday, October 22, 2010

Evangelical Christian Dominionists Reject The Traditional Role of The Chaplaincy in The US Military

Christine O'Donnell Fails Test on The US Constitution and First Amendment clarifying The Separation Of Church and State in USA

In the clip below Evangelical Chaplains argue they are the ones being oppressed . They claim that there are those who insist they stop proselytizing to non-Evangelical Christian soldiers or those of other faiths or no faith.
The issue is that when they are preaching to Evangelical Christian soldiers they can say what they want. But when speaking before a diverse group of soldiers, a multi-faith group the chaplains whether Christian , Jewish, Muslim or Hindu etc. are required not to proselytize.

Proselytizing in the military to other military personnel is strictly forbidden Part of the reason for this is that soldiers are a trapped audience. So if military personnel wish to attend services for Christians where the personnel come from different sects of Christianity they are required to tailor their services accordingly. Chaplains traditionally in the US military are supposed to be trained to offer advice and guidance to those who are of different faiths. So if a soldier who is not a christian goes to a chaplain for advice and spiritual counseling the Chaplain must keep in mind the individual's faith and not demean or be dismissive or hostile towards that individual's faith . But some Christian Evangelical Fundamentalist and Dominionists basically want to re-interpret or redefine the role of the military chaplaincy. They see it as just another means to an end which is to evangelize and proselytize. They forget that their role is at times quite different and much more complex than that of an ordinary civilian minister.

PBS on Military Chaplains
JohnBaptistHenry | September 08, 2009

Chaplains have been a part of the US Military since this nation's inception.

To deny chaplains the right to pray, practice their faith and conduct services according to their faith is unconstitutional and un-American!

Chaplain Klingenschmitt fights the regulation that in public prayers to military personnel of different Christian sects and those of non-Christian faiths. In order to fight the military Klingenschmitt went on a hunger strike arguing he and other Christian Chaplains and military personnel who are Christian are being discriminated against. This is rather odd since what he and other Christian evangelicals are fighting for is dominance over the military chaplaincy.

Others who are critical of Evangelical Christian chaplains is that large numbers of the newer chaplains who are evangelical have rather dubious or questionable theological training -they can basically do a degree online in theology from some Evangelical school which may not be certified properly to hand out such degrees.

Once again the offenders and purists argue that they are the ones being discriminated against when in fact the problem is that a large portion of these Evangelical Christian Dominionists are the ones who are coercing and bullying non-Evangelical Christians and those of other faiths. Their Chaplains encourage the members of their flocks who are "true Believers" and who are the "Real Christians" to break with military regulations and to engage in aggressive and militant proselytizing But as we have seen in previous posts concerning this issue and Mikey Weinstein's Military Religious Freedom Foundation that this goes beyond a sort of off hand friendly type of evangelizing but rather soon escalates into the harassing or shunning and even engaging in verbal assaults which sometimes escalate into physical and or psychological assaults against those those who refuse to become "Born Again Evangelical Fundamentalist" (aka The Pod People ).

In turn the Chaplaincy having become predominately evangelical Christian is using its powerful position in authority to repress or just ignore complaints made by military personnel about these activities of the Evangelical Chaplains. They also take on the issue by attacking those who complain as anti-Christian or trouble makers or as not being team players. Their idea or ideal for Military cohesiveness is to make the US military as exclusively Evangelical Christian Dominionist as possible.

Unfortunately the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Regime ignore these issues and in fact sided with the Evangelical Christian Dominionists. President Obama given his reluctance to confrontation has done nothing to resolve these issues of Religious Freedom and the Separation of Church and State as these issues apply to the US Military or The Pentagon or other branches of government where these Christian Dominionists are active either overtly or covertly who may use Stealth-like tactics like those proposed in the early 1990s by the likes of Gary Bauer, Gary North, Ralph Reed . As Reed points out this is a war a cultural war but nonetheless a war and Christians in order to gain ground and to slowly ware down their enemies IE Non-Evangelical Christians and non-Christians and people of other faiths along-with secularists, liberals, humanists, atheists and multiculturalists by taking part in Guerrilla Warfare.

These Evangelical Christian Fundamentalists and Dominionists have been working in a simpleminded patient fashion ( though at times not so patient and at times being internally fractious) for over three decades to re-make America into a wholly Christian dominated Nation whose laws are a reflection of a narrow, literalistic, inerrant, interpretation of the Holy Bible .

The one thing that can be said about the Religious Right is that they are determined and persistent and that just when some in the media or academia announces their "death-knell" they soon enough rise once again. These intervals between fervent activity are merely a problem with a few set backs and merely an intermission as it were as they regather their forces and re-define their movements best strategies and tactics for moving forward.

Given as we have seen the ignorance of many American citizens and those in political positions and those running in current political campaign in the US it is no surprise that there is some confusion about the role of the Chaplaincy and the Separation of Church and State. Every day in the US media and in thousands of churches their is an ongoing attack on those who are not Christian Evangelical Dominionists. This insistence on religious discrimination is the bread and butter of people like Glenn Beck, O'Reilly, Fox News and the Tea Bagger Nation and the GOP including individuals such as Christine O'Donnell , Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Brownback etc.

The uploader of this video clip is clearly on the side of the Christian Evangelicals but misses the whole point of Religious Freedom and the notion of Freedom From Religion and the Separation of Church and state as found in the US Constitution.
Of course those on the side of Evangelical Christians argue that there is no such animal as the Separation of Church and State. They are also unable to grasp the basic role of Chaplains in the military. They are not there to spread the word of Jesus or Buddha or Allah or Yahweh or KRSNA. They are there to give comfort , spiritual guidance to military personnel whatever their faith.

US Navy Chaplin Gordon Klingenschmitt

JohnBaptistHenry | September 08, 2009

A U.S. Navy chaplain who prayed "in Jesus' name" as his conscience dictated was ejected from the military service "in retaliation" for his victorious battle to change Navy policy that required religious rites be "non-sectarian," and for praying in "Jesus' name."

The purpose of Chaplains in the US Military is to care for those of particular religious beliefs. It is unconstitutional to forbid the purpose the Chaplaincy was instituted to begin with.

and so it goes,

No comments: