Discussion in 'The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, May 18, 2010.
Looks more like Reddit being Reddit than anything.
Reddit... I don't get it.
To be fair, do massively lavish symbols like this accurately portray the modesty of the most devout christians?
Sorry, but that was a cheap shot I just couldn't pass up.
It shows me that someone has a terribly laid out website...
I just thought it was funny that, while trying to do a good thing, they came off like *******.
If they had just consulted their Bibles (the part about giving money in private) they could have avoided this embarrassing moment in reddit history.
Of course, they just as easily could've concluded that they should stone everyone doing anything on a Saturday.
That hasn't been practiced for millenia.
Oh right, my mistake, I forgot Luke 100:2 "And the LORD said 'Ignore thee the mentioning of things you do not follow. For he who believes in me shall forever get to apply the hypocritical standards of double.'"
Were you one of those kids that had a hard time understanding when it was ok to tattle?
I'm actually probably more inclined to agree with ramza on the overall point here, but the Sabbath thing was as much of cheap shot as anything else. For what it's worth, the apostles did have several long discussions in the New Testament where they specifically cite God as stating they are not bound by the Old Testament laws. Given that's exactly how said laws are justified in the first place (important prophet speaking directly to God, who authorized them) it's not really hypocrisy.
I would comment more on the current situation, but I can't even tell what that "reddit" thing was supposed to show. I just saw a bunch of assorted links about atheism with no apparent connection between them.
Some interesting stuff I've been reading about how atheists are treated in the military, particularly as it relates to defining a religious stance, and the way that they treat "No Religious Preference".
It's getting a bit more attention after a blog talked about someone having trouble getting atheist listed in place of a religion, and was instead assigned "no rel pref". The initial blog is here.
This led to more response here, and also the following story of just why it matters to be listed as "atheist" instead of "no rel pref". A woman discusses here how when her partner was killed in Afghanistan, because he'd been listed as "no rel pref", she had to deal with being told to pray when told about his death by a chaplain, meaning that she had to explain her beliefs while dealing with her grief, both when she was initially told, and at the funeral.
Really, I'd say the problem is less that they don't have an atheism choice and more that they assume "No Preference" is equivalent to "nondenominational Christian."
Well, when you state no preference.... that implies you're open to anything. If I state I have no preference, that implies I'm ok with whatever I get in that category. In this case, though, that's not a valid description.
FWIW, I've been in nearly nine years now; I'm a light-infantryman and we're pretty different culturally from the rest of the Army, but I've met plenty of pretty open atheists who've never had problems. The girl in question just sounds like she has a crap-ass chaplain who doesn't understand his job; the ideal chaplain is less priest and more psychologist. Part of their job is religious services, but he or she is supposed to also know a thing a two about the soldiers in their unit.
Except I also think the blog author is also mixing her emotions with being uninformed of the process. First off, there's no "papers" per se that anyone would have easy access to. Even if her partner in question had "atheist" listed in their personnel file, it's very unlikely the Chaplain would ever have seen it. The chaplain might have been provided with a general list, which leads to the second issue. This is what the blog author posted:
"He had no religious preference on his papers. The army sent a chaplain to tell me and pray with my sons. I was forced in what was already a horrible experience to politely demand that the chaplain be made to stand quietly as we did not share his beliefs. They also sent a chaplain to his service."
The chaplain didn't "tell her to pray" as a specific response to anything. The chaplain seems to be part of the death notification team. (or depending on available manpower, the chaplain could have been the only person who conducts notifications for that unit.) Death notification teams are trained as such, so even if her partner had "atheist" listed in his religious category, and the chaplain had access to his personnel records, there's a real possibility that the chaplain would have been sent anyway.
I think the issue here is that the civilian partner of a deceased military member reacted to the mere presence of a chaplain without fully understanding what they do. Typically, there would be no reason to "demand" that a chaplain do anything, because chaplains take their cue from the families anyway. I could envision that the chaplain showed up, made the notification, and then asked how her and her sons wanted to handle the grief, including prayer. But the mere presence of a chaplain shouldn't illicit a negative response either. Military chaplains do conduct religious services (and many times conduct multi-denominations based on the make-up of those in their unit), but they also act as de facto counselors and and wellness professionals. They're officers, but informal and basically sit outside of the chain of command.
Chaplain? What chaplain? There was no chaplain.
There was no body either... Nothing happened, really. Move along, move along!
Curious: Why does the military still use a chaplain at all as a therapist or even a notifier of death or some such? Wouldn't it be best to use people without religious titles or is the military that behind the times?
Fills a dual role that's weighted more towards psychology than religion, while still providing religious services for those who want them? I mean, why hire just one guy when you could potentially hire one for each flavor of Christianity?
Why not just change the position to Counselor or Therapist, then?
Because there's no reason to do so?
I presume that these people will have had proper training in psychology and therapy in order to help people through their loss and not just rely on the Lord to get them through grief, correct? If they have been properly trained, which I should damn well hope they have, then why give them religious labels/titles?
See my last two replies. No reason to split the job.
Chaplains really are more shrinks than priests today anyway, mostly because most soldiers are not actively religious. Their role within a unit is more as an individual you know you can trust to not judge you for your issues, as well as providing religious services to those soldiers who want them. Shrinks of course do exist in the military, but typically they're not around if you're not on a major base overseas because they are civilians, not soldiers. Chaplains OTOH are always around, and more importantly, known. A DoD shrink isn't going to be someone you've met before and know you can trust; the battalion chaplain is someone you almost certainly both know and know can be trusted.
Because they also deal with soldiers' spiritual concerns. I don't see why it would be counted as anything but positive that the military tries to acknowledge and cater to this part of their employees lives.
The problem here is not that chaplains exist. It is, as Lowbacca and ramza originally suggested, that there is resistance to documenting people as atheists. This leads to unfortunate incidents like the one described. After all, granting that the chaplain had no malicious intent, I doubt that he would have said anything about praying if he'd known beforehand that the person he was speaking to was atheist.
Which is just beyond bizarre, in my experience. I'll have been in the army nine years this next January, and the number of genuinely regilious soldiers I've known I can count on the fingers of one hand.