Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Military chaplains

Get Religion calls our attention to this story about military chaplains and the free exercise of religion.

The temptation is to regard military and legislative chaplaincy as somehow equivalent, but they’re not. The latter can readily be assimilated under the somewhat problematical rubric of "ceremonial deism." The former is essential to provide for the free exercise of religion for soldiers who serve their country in places where they don’t readily have access to their own churches. Calling for purely "sectarian" prayer is a harder (but not impossible) case to make in the first instance. In the second, while a chaplain signs on to minister to people of all faiths, he or she also plays a traditional pastoral and ministerial role. Praying in Jesus’ name is part and parcel of that for those who feel called to do so. Prohibiting or discouraging that limits their free exercise of religion. Accommodating it doesn’t amount to an establishment by any reasonable definition.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Non-secterian prayer has got to be one of the biggest jokes in the world. It is like saying "they say" instead of "he said". Non-secterian prayer offends me. It is a slap in the face to all thinking people, atheist and religious alike.

Before every convoy SPC O’Hara leads my section in prayer, he is catholic and prays accordingly, those who wish take part. Then we roll out.

On the other hand Chaplain’s haven’t convinced me they are necessary. But the Army has its own ways and workings.

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