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Unholy Orders: The Army Maneuvers Its Way Around Religious Liberty [View All]

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-20-07 04:25 PM
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Unholy Orders: The Army Maneuvers Its Way Around Religious Liberty
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The U.S. military continues to have problems understanding the concept of religious liberty.

About two years ago, Americans United exposed examples of preference toward evangelical Christianity at the U.S. Air Force Academy. More recently, AU attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Wiccans who want their symbol recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Now The Washington Post has reported that a former Army officer who left a Christian denomination to become a Wiccan has been stripped of his status as a chaplain.

Don Larsens story makes for difficult reading because its so obviously a case of religious discrimination. Larsen was serving as a chaplain in Iraq, representing a Pentecostal denomination, until about a year ago. Various events led him to reevaluate his faith and embrace Wicca. But when Larsen applied for recognition as a Wiccan chaplain, he was not only denied, he was shipped out of Iraq and summarily dismissed from the chaplains corps despite his flawless service record.

<snip>

Converting people to a particular faith is not the job of a military chaplain. Chaplains are expected to accommodate a broad variety of faiths. If a chaplain does not feel comfortable with a soldiers religious choice, he helps meet that soldiers needs in other ways.

It would seem that Larsen was expected by his denomination to proselytize and win converts to his version of Christianity on the taxpayers dime. He never got in trouble for that, but switching denominations led to his removal from the chaplaincy.

More:
http://blog.au.org/2007/02/20/unholy-orders-the-army-maneuvers-its-way-around-religious-liberty/
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