21 August 2010

Pro deo et patria

Recently, 80 soldiers were punished for not attending a Christian concert. This is pretty typical. A more subtle form of this proselytizing occurs when Christian chaplains take part in military events and everyone is forced to remain in formation for the reading of some long prayer. It makes me wonder if there's anywhere in the services where these prayers are Buddhist or Islamic (In the latter case, the whole congregation could then be told to turn to Mecca while the prayer was uttered). Or for that matter, why aren't there athiest or humanist sorts of ministers? There's an organization devoted to religious freedom in the military (http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/) and a documentary called Chaplains Under Fire that apparently provides a fairly even-handed treatment featuring people on both sides of the issue.

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