HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » An oldie but a goodie on ...

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 02:52 PM

An oldie but a goodie on why militaries should or should not allow religious services

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk/3948329.stm

The British Armed Forces has officially recognised its first registered Satanist, a newspaper reports.

...

Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe said she was "utterly shocked" by the Royal Navy's decision.

"Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere, including the armed forces, are their own affair but I hope it doesn't spread."

She added: "The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships.


Just something to think about when pondering religious services for deployed personnel.



20 replies, 1407 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply An oldie but a goodie on why militaries should or should not allow religious services (Original post)
Pope George Ringo II Nov 2018 OP
Pope George Ringo II Nov 2018 #1
MineralMan Nov 2018 #2
Pope George Ringo II Nov 2018 #5
MineralMan Nov 2018 #6
Pope George Ringo II Nov 2018 #10
TomSlick Nov 2018 #15
MineralMan Nov 2018 #20
TomSlick Nov 2018 #3
Dale Neiburg Nov 2018 #4
TomSlick Nov 2018 #8
Pope George Ringo II Nov 2018 #7
TomSlick Nov 2018 #11
MineralMan Nov 2018 #9
TomSlick Nov 2018 #12
MineralMan Nov 2018 #13
TomSlick Nov 2018 #14
MineralMan Nov 2018 #16
TomSlick Nov 2018 #17
MineralMan Nov 2018 #18
TomSlick Nov 2018 #19

Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 02:55 PM

1. And a follow up a few years later:

https://www.forces.net/news/tri-service/satanism-royal-navy

In 2004, it emerged that 24-year-old Naval Technician Chris Cranmer, 24, had been allowed to register by the captain of the now-decommissioned HMS Cumberland - and even to perform Satanic rituals on board.

But being a practising Satanist apparently proved to be no barrier to Mr Cranmer's career prospects.

In 2008, the Daily Record reported that he had been promoted to a job at the Ministry of Defence.

Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth said at the time that Satanists would not be accepted into the Army - but the MoD said individuals of different "religions" are treated on a case-by-case basis.


Apparently the reports of cannibalism in the Royal Navy actually are exaggerated. It does seem to continue to be a problem in the Army, though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:01 PM

2. When will there be a Pastafarian chaplain?

or a Wiccan? Equal representation of all religions, I say!

See, all religions have a beneficial effect on society. That's what I read here, anyhow...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:12 PM

5. Except secular humanists. They're not allowed chaplains.

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/03/26/no-atheistchaplains-lawmakers-tell-navy/

Lawmakers are applauding a decision by Navy officials to reject the application of a secular humanist — called an atheist by many — to be a Navy chaplain.

It’s the second time the sea service has declined to accept Jason Heap, who calls himself a “humanist” and and a “non-theist,” into the chaplain corps.

The latest denial of Heap’s application is at the center of a debate on whether or not one who doesn’t believe in a deity can serve as a military chaplain.

Despite the swirling debate around Heap’s beliefs, or lack thereof, no one is denying his qualifications. Heap holds a master’s degree in divinity from Texas Christian University as well as a theological history degree from Oxford.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:19 PM

6. No God; No Chaplain's Insignia

That appears to be the rule. "You gots to have a god, see. Get a god and we'll suit you up."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:23 PM

10. He should have claimed to represent the entire Norse pantheon.

That would give him the biggest insignia in the service.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 04:39 PM

15. Not quite true - I think.

There are a very few Buddhist chaplains. My admittedly scant understanding of Buddhism is that it does not include a god.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 07:02 PM

20. Ah, that's true. Major religion, though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pope George Ringo II (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:04 PM

3. As a retired Army JAG, my opinion about chaplains is nuanced.

I have seen the good that chaplains do for soldiers who are away from home, or are hurting, or just need to talk to someone. On the other hand, the US military must remain neutral on religion. The result is that if there are military people of sufficient numbers of any religion, there ought to me chaplains of that religion. If there aren't chaplains, military folks must be allowed to practice their religion as best they can.

I recall a long conversation with a commanding general about why he had to accommodate a request for a place for Wiccan services. He just couldn't quit saying "witches." It took awhile, but I finally made him understand not only that he had to accommodate the request but that he should.

An image like this one helped.


[link:|




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:10 PM

4. I knew Abe and his wife Rosemary

Abe was the first to get the Wiccan pentagram on his marker. It took a long fight, including a demo in Lafayette Square, but in the end we won.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dale Neiburg (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:21 PM

8. Thank you for the fight!

It was thanks to you and Private Kooiman that I won that argument and the CG did the right thing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:20 PM

7. I don't particularly have a problem with military chaplains.

If there had never been any and the question was starting their inclusion, I'd probably be against that. But there's such a long history of their function at this point that it's really hard to make a powerful argument for terminating the existing service.

And I'm not going to pick a fight with somebody who wants the military to drop them altogether and avoid the military getting involved in that mess. It's not the road I'd choose at this point and I might actually argue it's a mistake, but it's an honest position. And it does have some objections to raise about the military picking which religions do and don't get chaplains.

However, there is a group which wants chaplains only from the "acceptable" sources. I find that somewhat less defensible than either extreme. Every religion has just as much right to their religious services as the holy rollers do to theirs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:28 PM

11. I think I agree.

There are no "acceptable" religions.

I am very nearly an absolutist on separation of church and state - but chaplains are essential. When I taught Law of War classes as a young JAG, I always told soldiers that if they thought bad stuff was going on, one of their choices was to tell a chaplain. Chaplains - like JAGs - answer to two authorities (no I don't mean God). Both Chaplains and JAGs have "technical chains" outside the chain-of-command up which they can (and must) report bad stuff going on.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:22 PM

9. It's complicated, isn't it? Most military chaplains will

try their best to meet the needs of troops, regardless of their specific beliefs. Not all, but most.

Here's my story about that:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1218&pid=296477

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:35 PM

12. Great story!

I'm so proud of that Chaplain! He did the right thing when no one would have cared if he didn't. That's what heroes do.

The only thing that would have made the story better is if there had been a JAG involved. Then again, I'm betting some JAG O-3 wrote a legal opinion saying the Chaplain was right.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 03:48 PM

13. At the time, I really had no idea how that got done.

Later during my enlistment, I learned more about how things functioned. From time to time, I guess I was a thorn in the side of a few people.

It always ended up working in my favor though. In my fourth year in the USAF, I was no longer interested in military service. I had nine months left to go. Just then, as an E-4, I got confronted with the whole United Way 100% unit participation thing. Since pay for an E-4 at the time was $256 per month, I was not eager to contribute, and declined.

Over a couple of weeks, the pressure grew for me to change my mind. I remained firm. Finally, I found myself in my Class A uniform standing at attention in a General's office at Ft. George Meade in Maryland. I had reached the top level of pressure, apparently. I continued to refuse, and cited regulations by number. "Get out of here, Sergeant!"

So, I left after following the usual protocols for exiting from a General's office. Two days later, I was discharged. Apparently they found an early release program they could use, so I left with an Honorable Discharge, nine months short of my end of enlistment date. I got in my old Volvo, and started off for California and a new life. The unit finally had 100% United Way participation, and I had my freedom.

The folks I worked with at the big building on that base with no windows were not happy that I was leaving. I had a particular special talent that was very useful to them. Useful enough that they offered me a GS-14 position if I would stick around. I declined that, too.

Oh, well. Sometimes sticking to your guns has unexpected benefits. I never thought about going through legal channels. Hmm...It all worked out just right, though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 04:16 PM

14. You were a pain in the ass, weren't you?

I had to fight that battle a couple of times for soldiers without your ability to cite regulations. My recollection is it always involved some over-eager Captain company commander. The GOs always seemed to get it.

What was a AF-type doing at Ft. Meade - or is the windowless office a clue?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 06:14 PM

16. They sent me to an intensive Russian language school.

I did well. After 15 months in Turkey, I ended up in the NSA building, doing stuff I was good at.

Yes, I was a pain in the ass. I got all involved in the anti-war movement in DC. I showed up at some protests in uniform, and even got arrested once. I showed my security badge to the cop and he turned me loose. I was done with military service.

The United Way thing was my last stand. Because of my unique talent, I had some cover, I guess. So they just faded me out. It was funny to me at that point. They gave up, I think. Once I was out, I never heard any more. I used up my GI Bill benefits, and went on with my life.

There are many stories from the USAF days. Most can't be told. It was an interesting time. I pushed, but didn't exceed, lots of limits, and came out unscathed. I even met Richard Nixon at one point, although I only said, "Good morning, Mr. President."

Fun times! I wish I could write a book about those three years and three months, but I can't. That would take it past the limits.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 06:20 PM

17. In my concerned legal opinion, that book should go unwritten.

Although, you probably could get the appropriate clearances under a different administration. However, it would be a unique pain - probably a lot of edits and re-writes after "review" by the spooks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TomSlick (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 06:28 PM

18. Nope. Not even 50 years later.

Not even posthumously. I'm not going to do it, funny and fascinating as it would be. I agreed not to disclose stuff, and I'm good for my word.

It's all just memories that remain untold. Nothing horrible or too bizarre, but weird all the same.

Oh well...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 3, 2018, 06:43 PM

19. Nevertheless.

Thank you for your service - even if it was in the Air Force - and you didn't have a good time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread