Is There Hostility Toward Christianity in the Military?

There is a very aggressive effort to get religion out of taxpayer funded parts of the military.  While military personnel are free to believe what they like, they are not free to use the confined military life as a recruiting ground for the Christian faith.

Christian news outlets say there is actually discrimination against Christianity.  A Southern Baptist website was blocked from military personnel late last week.  The military said it was some kind of mistake and was trying to clear up the matter.

That Christian indoctrination has continued in the military so many decades after prayer in public schools was banned is a mystery.  It would seem obvious they are one and the same, public money is not to  be used for promotion of a religion.

This move to secularize military service is a far cry from the experience of previous generations.  During  the Vietnam War, there were stories of religious soldiers who bragged of “killing a Communist for Christ”.

Apparently, one of the practices now being banned to putting religious symbols, like the cross, on military issues property.  This would be on rifles, airplane and barrack property.

This policy is seen as discrimination.  It would not be discrimination is the same policy applied to all religions and political views.

I’m sure there are those who say limiting religious expression will be bad for military moral.  The moral argument was used against allowing gays to serve.

The moral of nonreligious soldiers probably will improve.

 

 

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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53 Responses to Is There Hostility Toward Christianity in the Military?

  1. Henry says:

    When I was in, one could walk down to the post chapel, and a very nice LCMS (my first exposure) pastor providing pulpit supply would provide a service.

    From listening to a someone recently back from Basic Training in Fort Lost in the Woods, you now get to pick your on-post chapel of choice from Moslem, pagan (I think), to Lutheran. Hostile to Christianity? Not sure. It will probably be like the new public school holiday program where Kvanza, Jewish, Hindu, and Moslem religious songs are now sung along with Frosty the Snowman, but no Christmas songs. They tend to over-reach. I would expect this may play out in the military as well.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 1:43 Certainly there are chaplins for many faiths. The controversy is about superiors who pray and talk up Christianity and troops who evangelize on government property.

      • Henry says:

        Jon, yeah I know. Everything went to pot after Bill Klinton termed out. When Bill was CIC, we didn’t have all the bullshot. During Bush Jr.’s presidency all this PC crap came into play equalizing the captive monopoly of Christianity on military bases. Now, you and the atheist cronies still aren’t happy with that. This should be a lesson. Give an atheist what they want, and they will wake up the next morning and want more.

        • VC D says:

          Henry 3:27 – I’m afraid that’s not accurate, at least in my experience… while I was in the Army, beginning during Clinton’s first term, the preferential treatment of Christianity was very evident, from the choice in Basic between scrubbing latrines or going to Church on Sunday, to the prayers in the mess hall at at formation by COs, to being allowed to leave your duty station during assigned hours to attend bible study.

          Bush’s tenure surely accelerated the problem, but it was already boiling away nicely before he got there.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            VC D 9:57 Thanks for the first time comment. Your expereience with Christianity sounds typical. I’ve heard and read of exactly the same experience by many. This preferential treatment would be lost on Henry, who would have seen latrine scrubbing and going to church as fair and nondiscrimitory alternatives.

          • entech says:

            That was not fare, they should have been forced to go to Church, damned atheists always get the best jobs. :lol: :twisted:

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 12:12 Crazy thing is, there were probably those who choose to scrub the latrines.

          • entech says:

            Nothing crazy about it, who in their right mind would not seek to avoid indoctrination. A bit of scrubbing would be a cheap fare to pay.

          • Henry says:

            VC D:“I’m afraid that’s not accurate”

            VC D, I’m afraid we are on the same page, yet you are trying to disagree. If you re-read, you will find that I acknowledged that ” Everything went to pot after Bill Klinton termed out.” It was indeed one of the the haydays of Christianity in the military.

            Let’s work on agreeing if possible, rather than looking to disagree out of the first-time commenter box.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: ” This preferential treatment would be lost on Henry, who would have seen latrine scrubbing and going to church as fair and nondiscrimitory alternatives.”

            Jon, you wouldn’t know. The reality is that typically the same core group of guys that went to chapel while the black Moslems (I didn’t meet an atheist) were supposedly scrubbing away, were the same core group of guys staying up after “lights out” cleaning in the dark along with the fire guards while the Moslems were huddled around on the floor around their bunks talking shot. It wasn’t worth it to try and persuade them to contribute to the scrubbing efforts, and they were happy to enjoy the fruits of other’s labors. It was easier to just do the work and meet the expectation required of the group.

  2. Kevin says:

    so tell me. I disagree with you for the most part, I still want to believe in a God. I had this conversation the other nite with a co worker. But what you are saying also makes so much sense. I feel that almost all wars are fought because of God. I really feel that NO GOD WOULD EVER WANT TO HARM PEOPLE. But yet, jihad, or whatever, kill people. I read your posts. I so disagree with you, but I also say, you make so much sense. I would hate to go to hell, just cause I didnt believe. I do believe. But yet I so often question. I watch history channel. and well I am left handed so I think outside the box. So if you go to heaven, you go up….so if you go up, where is that? So watch history channel, and aliens started the human race. so do you go to another planet? there are many more out there…..i so question death….so everyone believes. so if you believe, you are going to have perfect life, if you dont, you are just going to die and your body will turn to dust…..I dont believe there is a hell. I just dont. I dont believe if there is a God that he would subject you to that pain. I still question if there is a God why he would subject anyone on earth with that same hell. Could hell really be worse? I keep looking forward to the days where I have no more pain, where I no longer have to pay bills where I no longer have to scratch cause I itch so bad. I have health issues, and I really dont feel any God would subject me thru this pain. If he would……….WHY?????????????? I really feel I am a great christian man. I feel I do what God would want. I am against wars, I dont feel God would really want that. I can also tell you, that I can not wait to die. My life on earth, is not good. I can not even shower anymore. the pain is to great. I am mr shower, love showering, typical 2 a day……..love that water on me………I cant even shower once a week anymore. Ya i hear, dam you stink you need to shower…….I hear it often.

  3. Michael Ross says:

    ” While military personnel are free to believe what they like, they are not free to use the confined military life as a recruiting ground for the Christian faith.”

    Not to worry Jon, I spent four years on active duty in the Marine Corps and I found it the most godless environment imaginable.

    Here are five reasons to join the military from a slightly different perspective:

    1. To kill people. Young men have been killing people by the thousands for years in their video games. I guess that is why the military uses these games as recruiting tools. The aphorism “Join the Army, travel the world, meet interesting people, and kill them” has never been truer. Just ask the hundreds of thousand of dead Iraqis and Afghans.

    2. To build your ego. You can wear your uniform in an airport and be thanked for your service by throngs of people you have never seen before. You can wear your uniform to church the Sunday before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Veterans Day and be asked to stand while someone asks God to bless the troops. And when you leave the military, just telling people you are a veteran will bring forth shouts of glory, laud, and honor.

    3. To be part of the president’s personal attack force. Since World War II, the U.S. military has been exclusively used by the president for purposes other than the actual defense of the country. Soldiers that went to Iraq and Afghanistan, like those that went to Korea, Vietnam, and all the other countries where the U.S. military had no business going, go as part of the president’s personal army. And if they join for financial reasons – as recommended by Marco O’Brien – then they are simply mercenaries like the British hired to fight Americans during the Revolutionary War.

    4. To commit random acts of depravity and violence. Want to urinate on dead bodies? Want to bomb wedding parties? Want to kill civilians for sport? Want to rape foreign women? Want to take body parts as trophies? Want to destroy a town and its entire infrastructure? Want to pose for photos with murdered civilians? Want to torture and humiliate prisoners? Then the military is the place for you.

    5. To pervert the purpose of the military. Invading countries, occupying other countries, enforcing UN resolutions, nation building, establishing democracy, changing regimes, training foreign armies, opening markets, supplying peacekeepers, assassinating people, maintaining no-fly zones, providing disaster relief, dispensing humanitarian aid, and fighting foreign wars – that is, anything but actually “defending our freedoms” – perverts the purpose of the military.

    http://lewrockwell.com/vance/vance304.html

    • Michael Ross says:

      P.S. Please don’t say “thank you for your service”. Thank those who refused to go.

      • entech says:

        I don’t usually have much sympathy with the lewrockwell site but that was a good piece.

        You exaggerate when you speak of mercenaries hired by Britain. It is a complicated story but because William and Mary neglected to leave heirs and successors Britain had the house of Hanover imposed on them. Although there were about 50 people with a better claim they were all Catholic (mostly the Scottish house of Stuart, and one of them had already lost his head) so as the nearest protestant relative German George became George I succeeded by George II, George III was the first one born in England although he held some hereditary claims in Hanover. The mercenaries you speak of were mainly conscripts, petty criminals and debtors some even impressed into service, some were even subjects of George III under the House of Hanover. The revenues went to German Royalty (George’s cousins?)
        This all relates to the fighting between Catholic Spain and France and Protestant Germany and England. As a result while Britain got some (kind of) mercenary soldiers The Colonies got a lot of help from France in the way of troops and armaments.
        The French help proved more decisive than the German and America won their rightful Independence.
        I think it is a war that should never have happened because colonisation is always wrong, there should not have been any American colonies. Further I can see no justification for a hereditary Monarchy, the problem is always exacerbated by a state religion supporting the God given right to rule, so as a good example to the rest of the world keep America a secular state and build up that wall of separation.

        Thank those who refused to go. As I said a day or two ago, sending your young men out to die is bad, sending them out to kill is worse.

    • Henry says:

      Michael:“I found it the most godless environment imaginable.”

      I wasn’t left with the same impression.

  4. entech says:

    That is because you are so tied up in your own little world that nothing makes an impression. Totally blinkered by a weird interpretation of scripture.

  5. Brad says:

    The military is ultimately controlled by the corporate military weapons peddlers, and they have about as much use for “Christianity” as a blind man has for a pair of reading glasses. Unless of course there is some sort of political agenda that calls for paying lip service to Christianity to manipulate Christian voters. That’s what Republicans have done for decades, and after all they are the “military” party.

  6. Avatar of realist realist says:

    My take is that the military in recent years has been anything but hostile to Christians. The fake outrage on the part of Christian news outlets reminds me of the fake “war on Christmas” stuff Fox news does. The military has always been a conservative organization and in the United States as of late when you find conservatives, you find Christians.

  7. Michael Ross says:

    While we honor the men of WWII as the “greatest generation” because the did what they believed they had to do with great courage and sacrifice. The truly greatest generation will be the one that says “hell no, we wont go”.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Re. “hell no, we wont go”; At least you can say that in English, not German.

      • entech says:

        Hölle nein, wir werden nicht gehen

      • Avatar of realist realist says:

        Seriously? You realize that this could have never happened given what we now know about the state of the German army. Your statement is what people say to themselves and each other to make themselves feel better about having engaged in a war. We have done the same with the odd, “fight them over there, so we won’t have to fight them here” sentiments.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          What we know, and what we knew are two different things. The saying that came back with the souldiers was; “They could have won the war, but we had more to waste”. Combine the European theater and the Pacific theatre, it was fortunate we did have that much to waste. I don’t think you were around at the time, nor would you have stopped the holocaust with your idealism.

          • Avatar of realist realist says:

            But what you said was in the “now”, when we know what we didn’t know then. Were you feigning ignorance about what you have learned about WWII? Surely, you don’t really think we could be speaking German now as you might have then. See what I mean?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You are talking in circles. My reply was clear. Yours is not.

        • entech says:

          You don’t have to be German to employ The Nuremberg Defense

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            When you say “we can all thank Tojo,” the Chinese may not agree.

          • entech says:

            But all of us who saved can.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            What in the hell are you talking about?

          • entech says:

            I thought it was perfectly clear as you said to r over your totally and increasingly obscure comments.

            I say that all of us who were saved by the American war effort owe a debt of thanks to Tojo for the personal invitation to join in (actually I think it was Yamamoto).

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I was talking about the atrocities by Japan to the Chinese, in reference to the “rape of Nanking”, of whom Tojo was evidently involved. In connection with “making nice” with the “baddies” all over the world, and asking them to “just be nice, and don’t do bad things”, as R seems to think should have been done. Said nothing of Yamamoto’ s involvement in the Pacific war with the US. Please keep up.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            This site is still screwed up.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 3:50 “This site is still screwed up.”

            It really is. Now, I can get here but I still can’t put the blog up I wrote last night. Didn’t it go down for a day or two a few months back? Maybe tons of spam take a toll some way.

            P.S. Whoops, spoke too soon. Blog is posted. Thanks to you techies whereever, whoever you are.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Good old “Peace in our time” Chamberlain didn’t work out so well as planned. There are those with whom appeasement does not work. No matter if you are a “nice person, or a beautifull person”. Sorry–didn’t mention idealistic. There is a term for that.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          You could even send some of your “better people” along with Neville Chamberlain to tell those “meanies” to play nice. I’m sure that would have been effective. While doing that, you could take a tour of Nanking, and consider the improvements to the infrastructure and culture of the Chinese, and congratulate Tojo for his humanitarian activities. All this “niceness” would surely have given them time to consider the correctness of their activity, which they would have continued with your approval in both theaters.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        The song; “Please Mr. Custer, I don’t want to go”. Custer should have been “siouxed”, and he was.

  8. Michael Ross says:

    “The moral of nonreligious soldiers probably will improve.”

    No such thing. Religious soldiers serve the state. “Non-religious” soldiers serve and worship the state.

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