In WWII, four chaplains gave up their lifejackets and went down with the USS Dorchester. They sacrificed their lives for other soldiers. Two Protestant ministers, one Catholic priest and on Jewish rabbi locked arms, prayed together and sang hymns as the torpedoed ship slipped below the waves. Four U.S. Army chaplains died for God and Country.
This Veteran’s Day I hesitated about what to write. I like reminding folks about Confederate veterans and personalizing any paean to American military service – especially about America’s Army. I thought a lot about the winding down of two campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, scheduled strategic retreats for political purposes, and the impending hollowing out of the U.S. Army – again. Then, recent conversations about how the Army leadership is dealing with open homosexuality and atheists wanting to be chaplains brought me to God and Country.
It matters whose God the Chaplains serve. Whose God matters deeply and profoundly to determine what Country to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serve.
The God of the Christians and Jews is NOT the God of Islam. No matter how much Muslims claim to worship the God of Abraham. God of the Holy Bible is not the God(s) of Hinduism and Buddhism.
The god of Self of Human Secularists is not the Higher Power equivalent of the one, true, living God of Christians and Jews.
When military chaplains stop serving the God of the Christians and Jews, then they start serving a different Country.
In the crucible of our American Revolution the 13 newly independent and united states were about 98% Protestant. Because 40 % of the soldiers were Scot-Irish, a British officer called ours a “Presbyterian” revolution. Yet, importantly, the tiny Catholic and Jewish populations produced soldiers for independence. They paid the blood tax.
Serving God and Country came easily for American soldiers. Even when brother fought brother in the Recent Unpleasantness of 1861-65. Sir Winston Churchill surmised the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was the most devoutly Christian Army that ever marched – living their faith. Increasing immigration of Jews, Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers meant more Americans of different Judeo-Christian religions paid the blood tax in full.
Today, atheists, neo-pagans, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus – and open homosexuals – pay the blood tax now. Yet, their common sacrifice won’t have the same results. Their individual service is no less than others. Their band of brothers may call them blood brothers indeed. But, exalting their gods means diminishing the God of the Founders and all the following generations of veterans with politically-correct limits on religious speech and destroying the military’s moral-ethical values.
Ordering Christian chaplains NOT to pray in the name of Jesus is just a symptom of moral rot.
When the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) names sodomy as crime, while the military services stop dismissing open homosexuality, the disconnect is clear. The moral-ethical basis for the U.S. Armed Services as institutions is changing.
When sodomy is legal – and approved by the civilian oversight and highest echelons of uniformed officers – what is the moral-ethical basis to keep adultery a crime?
Will Muslim chaplains be encouraged or discouraged from telling their troops that they should change American civil law into Sharia law? Will they preach it is okay to lie to infidels – as the Koran teaches?
The list of conflicts and potential conflicts goes on and on. Whose God do the Armed Forces serve when they serve their Country? The answers: All and None – are wrong for America.
These chaplains were not confused Whose God and Country they served.
This Veteran’s Day 2011, I ask fellow veterans to help the politicians, generals and admirals – as well as troops of every rank – chose Whose God and Country they serve.