Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club
"What would God do?"


Why does the United States recruit and commission chaplains for the Armed Forces? While it is true that there are Jewish and Moslem chaplains the majority are Christian. There is a Buddhist and a Hindu organization on the list of sponsors but I do not know if they have any active duty chaplains. It would not surprise me if the administration agreed with Christopher Hitchens and sought to remove the chaplains over time. My prediction is that this will be done in a multi-staged campaign. First push to broaden the recruitment criteria to increase opportunities for Moslem, Wiccan and other under represented communities of faith. Second seek out and promote stories of people who feel pressured by those of the traditional faith while in uniform or of any inappropriate conduct by any chaplains or service-members tied to a Jewish or Christian identity. Third for efficiency and uniformity and to save money merge the services chaplain corps, as well as other staff units, and keep them in central locations. Finally remove them from the uniformed status.

Many years ago as the only Jewish officer aboard my ship I was appointed the Jewish lay leader. The position came with a bottle of wine. That briefly made me popular but when I made it clear that the bottle would remain unopened the interest in religion on the part of the crew ended. The collateral duty came with another collateral duty attached. In a breathtaking expression of institutional discrimination the command decided that as a Jew I would have to know something about retailing and therefor they put me in charge of selling the cruise book, which was like a high school yearbook for the deployment. The ship's chaplain was a character, a full Commander and a Lutheran he had personality. One day we were chatting and I knew a little about theology and church history from my undergraduate studies. The next day the chaplain told me that he had read some of Luther after talking to me and said he hadn't actually looked at it about 20 years. "Amazing stuff isn't it?" My fondest memory was when the fundamentalist chaplain assigned to the Marine Rifle Company for the Battalion Landing Team brought his entire flock up to the ship's foc'sle to meet me. It took some delicacy to respond to the earnest private from someplace so far back in the hills that they had to pump in sunlight when he asked me, "But Sir, why did you kill him?"

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Mad Fiddler,
(who laid out the core theory of the Left in 5 steps)
(1) The only way people can be rich is that they stole wealth that belonged to someone else;
(3) If anything goes wrong, it HAS to be someone’s fault;
(4) The person responsible for something that goes wrong can always be identified;
+2 more.

There is a name for the priests of this modern Cargo Cult. They are called Lawyers.

Sep 1, 2009 - 9:17 am

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RCM,
(who suggested I get a job with the administration)
As anyone who knows me even from my presence on this blog would be aware the issue is not my opinion of non-rated deck seamen or straight leg infantry privates. If I was not concerned about being tossed into moderation and if this was my house I would simply give the gentleman's reply suggesting that you attempt a ballistically improbable form of self gratification. Your slap at me does bring up an issue that is covered in a following thread, that of PC control of speech. My objection to your reply is that it was not really directed at me. It was more an effort to subvert a genuine witticism with an ad hominem before an audience. That is to say it was a form of preening to establish control over a narrative. In doing so it was no different on your part then are the acts of those on the Left that I know, from your comments here, you do not wish to be associated with. My point is that I know that you are better than that.

What would have been a more effective response? After all I am capable of giving offense and making an error in fact, judgement or taste. You could have directed a response directly and not displayed to the audience an effort to lower my standing by associating me with the administration. You could have said "As a Marine )or the son nephew or uncle of one), or as a person from Appalachia, I found your reference hurtful or misdirected." The only reply I could give to that would be "My regrets, no offense was intended."

My hope would be that you and others would find in my story an opening for your own tales of encounters with "The Other" or memories of equally clueless, or equally of surprisingly sophisticated, junior officers and country enlistees.

Sep 1, 2009 - 12:26 pm

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