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Should the Department of Defense limit expressions of religious faith by military commanders to their subordinates?

Yes. Sanctioned religious expression in the military puts undue pressure on personnel.
13% (318 votes)
Somewhat. Proselytizing should be forbidden, but military personnel should have the availability of voluntary spiritual guidance
14% (345 votes)
Yes. But only because it is impossible to provide chaplaincy services and spiritual guidance for the wide variety of beliefs.
1% (37 votes)
No. This is not even a problem, just an attempt to impose one definition of political correctness on our troops.
51% (1288 votes)
No. Because religious faith is essential to successful military performance.
21% (528 votes)
Total votes: 2516

 

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David Lucier

May 2, 2013 - 2:35pm

Your commander is a devout Muslim and he starts to preach to the troops about Islam as the one true religion.

How do you think that will go over? What would that do for unit cohesion?

Sounds like a bit more than Political Correctness.

TxnSarge

May 3, 2013 - 2:54am

It doesn't happen.

MilitaryVeteran

June 4, 2014 - 1:27pm

TxnSarge - Agreed. Since the early 1960s, senior Army officers preaching religion in their units (not chapel venue) get counselled and strongly encouraged to leave it to the chaplain. This seems to work for believers and non-believers. Seeing the commander in chapel is just fine - and strengthens his or her credibility as a leader. No one's rights are negatively impacted.

Jim B

May 2, 2013 - 3:26pm

What do you expect from a Commander in Chief who couldn't lead a bunch of cub scouts, big joke, what will be next!!

Bruce33315

May 2, 2013 - 3:52pm

It was, to me, laughable when that Army officer stood up in his church, in uniform, and claimed that his God was more powerful than that of the Muslims.
It was also a dismal comment on the education of Americans about other religions. Most Christians don't know that Islam and Judaism and, hence, Christianity, all have the same roots going all the way back to the Sacrifice of Abraham. Few Christians would know that the Quran mentions the name of Jesus more than any other person, or that Islam regards Jesus as a prophet, or even, perhaps, that Jesus was a Jew and called "Rabbi" by his followers. We all speak Hebrew when praying and saying "Amen" - a Hebrew word.
We have far more in common than in differences, were we educated.

As for military superior officers making much of their religious views, the Bible has something most pertinent to say, in Matthew 6:6, where Jesus tells us to pray in private instead of parading our piety too publicly, lest we become hypocrites.

Bruce33315

May 2, 2013 - 4:00pm

Any official of government taking official actions related to religion is violating the doctrine of separation of church and state and, hence, in violation of the First Amendment.

While individuals are free both to speak whatever they want to as well as to practice their religion freely, the government, including officials of the government, is not free either to speak freely or to express religious beliefs in their role of government officials.

Were a military officer to speak as an individual, in private, with acquaintances and not as a military officer in any way, then the individual is free to do so.

Military officers receive training, that should be adequate, in their conduct as military officers. If that training is not sufficiently clear or effective, as noted by events, then the military chain of command should take whatever steps are needed to refresh and to clarify the training.

Any officer's superior officer can note conduct not becoming an officer in performance and fitness reports.

Much has been noted about issues of religious freedom but few mention the other side of the First Amendment that is the separation of church and state.

TxnSarge

May 3, 2013 - 2:53am

Read the constitution and tell me your reference for separation of church and state. Its not mentioned once in the constitution.

Bob95490

May 5, 2013 - 9:48am

Thank-you, you are correct, it is not written anywhere in the Constitution. The current fad to claim the Constitution says what it does not say is a result of improper or complete lack of Civics as a subject.

The current politically correct interpretation is a result of a temporary interpretation of the Constitution by the politically appointed members of the Supreme Court. All Supreme Court decisions are temporary and can be thrown out by the Supreme Court at any time the Court chooses. This would be apparent to most, had the educational system continued to provide a proper course in government (Civics).

The problem has arisen because of the deliberate political, rather than legal, litmus test all current U.S. Supreme Court nominees are subjected to by the agenda driven politicians in power at the time of the replacement of a retiring Justice. It is because of this that American citizens now get political rulings rather than legal rulings based upon what is actually written in the Constitution rather than what is politically correct at the moment. This isn’t a current problem, even if the recent rulings are a result of the Fad of the moment. As one, that cared to look, could discover this politically motivated interpretation of the Constitution dates, at least to the replacement of The U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring the return of property (slaves) to its original owner.

The Court being used to front a political party’s agenda position that would be politically untenable in an election/reelection has been part and parcel of this nation for far too long. Lazy politicians, rather than working to change laws that they find abhorrent, but their constituents are satisfied with, wait for an opportunity to replace Supreme Court Justices with those that will promote their political agenda despite what the majority desire. Once enough replacements are made the Court gets the blame and the Statist politicians of the moment get to pretend the results aren’t their fault.

In truth, it really wasn’t their fault as much as it was the fault of a citizenry that had become so involved in keeping food on the table and a roof over the family’s heads they didn’t have the time to spend minding those they elected despite being educated in Civics at school. Today the process has accelerated due to Civics being relegated to the ash heap of education. This lack of proper education in government has resulted in a population that cannot tell the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, let alone understand the Constitution or how the Founders envisioned the appointment of Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. This failure of proper education has resulted in the Balkanization of our nation and is currently being used to produce current politically correct results in the military regardless of what is actually written in the Constitution.

MilitaryVeteran

June 4, 2014 - 1:42pm

Bob95490 - Exactly so and I salute you! If your wisdom and erudite discussion could only be presented to all school boards, town/city councils, and legislatures across America - perhaps we would see some sense of accountability to the Constitution and the Nation! Instead, we see the elector grabbing at the latest fad - usually with a socialist bent - and not awareness of the Constitution.

As for Constitutional interpretation from the Federal Bench:

"Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind."

Hugo Black

MilitaryVeteran

June 4, 2014 - 1:32pm

TxnSarge - Well done! Most Presidents attend official events that include a pray - including Inauguration Day. The House and Senate open their respective sessions . . . with a prayer. Bruce is confused. Our Founding Fathers understood the difference between a state-sponsored religion and the freedom to worship. Unfortunately, many Americans don't understand that point and consider the concept of church and state separation as ABSOLUTE. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps our public schools have some responsibility for this confusion?

loron hansen

May 2, 2013 - 5:46pm

whether a person is protestant, catholic,Muslim,Sihk,or chooses to reject all religion, our duty as military members is to preserve and protect the constitution and rights of all Americans, whatever their personal beliefs may be. In the words of one of our founding fathers,Patrick Henry,"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I previously served in the military for 12 years. During that time I saw action in over 50 countries. I put my life in the hands of my fellow military members many times and never asked what religion they were. We all had a common goal - the security and freedom of our great nation. We are not a religious nation, we are a nation of relious freedom. To interject any type of religion whatsoever into the performance of our military duties violates the very reason that we founded this great nation.

ArmyVet1126

May 2, 2013 - 6:23pm

Not only NO..but Hell NO. Have these politicians ever read the Constitution?

bobbiemallard

May 2, 2013 - 9:54pm

as a Roman Catholic I am tired of the majority of extreme right wing christians trying to push their agenta on me. A a christian we are all different and have the right to pratice as such. for one group to take hold of the leadership and use their infulence to promotte their idealogy is wrong. We have chaplins, we do not need the commanders doing what we do not allow other in a free society to do and that is push one releigion over the other. I have seen this happening as more of the small far right wing religions get their personnel in positions of leadership and then work together to get more of their members in the leadership also, forming a relligious bias in the command structure.
My family nor I have to follow their strict concepts and should not be punished or put aside by their groups in control using their religious bais and control methods.
We have religious leaders and they are chaplians, not the job for the commander. As a field grade officer I have seen this to much, this needs to be cleaned up and stop as it puts immoral pressure on the troops, and is just plain wrong. I have lost a lot of respect for some of my fellow officers because of this. each person has the right to pratice and believe his own religion, and should not have to face the power and proding some leaders attempt to use over the troops to forward their extreme agenta.

TxnSarge

May 3, 2013 - 2:56am

I think you are over dramatizing your position.

MilitaryVeteran

June 4, 2014 - 1:54pm

Perhaps it is time to take one step back, bobbiemallard. Having just attended the 20th Anniversary Service by the Archdiocese for the Military Services (USA) at the National Basilica in DC, I'm concerned about the challenges to our military chaplains everywhere. Look at the growing restrictions on our Christian military chaplains in all of the Armed Forces. Just google and the stories of command restrictions on chaplains' expression of religion are amazing and disturbing. It is getting really wild out there too. Last year, one of the chapels at Hickam AFB had to suffer a scheduled Wicca service. And meanwhile, political correctness is limiting Christian military chaplains in preaching. I don't think the problem is with commanders preaching - other than political correctness.

TxnSarge

May 3, 2013 - 2:45am

Its time to ship the liberals to France and be done with it. Anyone who denies that Christians are under assault in this country is just lieing. In 20 years, I never had a commander preach at me. I never had any soldier corner me and shove the Bible down my throat. Had that happened, I would have told him to back off; that not working, you report him. But to say you can't talk about your religion at all? Unsatisfactory. If two of us want to talk amongst ourselves and you don't like it, walk away. And as for those that want to whine 'separation of church and state', there is no such thing in the constitution. It states that CONGRESS SHALL PASS NO LAW ESTABLISHING SUPPORT FOR A RELIGION. I am spiritual, not religious; you want your religion, keep it, that's cool. If I tell you I'm not interested, walk away. Otherwise, pray away! In english! LOL

Oh and those of you complaining about 'right winger evangelical christian sociopaths' and the such; you need to quit lieing just to make your point.

TxnSarge

May 3, 2013 - 2:50am

Moss Parker , you are whacked out. The only people that get freaked out about somebody's religious texts are those that are searching for something to cause trouble about. Liberals always want everyone to be tolerant, until you don't see things their way. How do you know the person in your example isn't doing research? The presence of the book makes no statement about the person whatsoever. More assumptions and no facts.

Bob95490

May 5, 2013 - 10:24am

I, too, find Liberals demand tolerance but are completely intolerant of anyone that does not share their point of view. Apparently to these people tolerance means something far different than the dictionary definition of the word.

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