Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Priests and pastors as civilian contractors in our military

The United States Senate, under pressure from religious groups and true believers, has authorized a bill to allow military chaplains to work during the government shutdown.

Isn't this amazing?  We've got millions of families struggling to put food on the table, and these clowns worry about religious services being held in military units.  Let people starve, but don't keep our soldiers and sailors and flyboys from bowing to their particular gods!

Not only so, but did you know that the military also hires clergy as civilian contractors to serve the troops?

In direct violation of our Constitution, our military pays civilian religious types - priests and pastors - to do their thing with our military personnel.  We've long had chaplains who have served as military officers after being vetted by their religious group and the military, but since when did we hire Catholic priests and/or Protestant ministers as civilian contractors?

Actually, to create a Chaplain's Corps made up of commissioned officers in any military service is unconstitutional.  It cracks wide open the wall of separation of church and state.  (Worse yet, these days the military has become an arm of fundamentalist Christianity!  Check out the work of Mickey Weinstein here.)  Why should taxpayers fund religion in the military? 

Chaplains are unnecessary in any branch of the military service.  Military personnel can worship in any church anywhere in the world (there must be a gadzillion churches, temples, mosques available).  If personnel need to talk to a counselor, train regular officers in psychology or psychiatry or family counseling, or whatever.  Many military units (if not all) already have some sort of "morale" officer.

I was not aware that the military hired priests and pastors as civilian contractors to serve a particular military unit or station.  What a total waste of taxpayer's money!  And now one of them, a priest named Ray Leonard, has sued the government in order to provide Catholic services to people working at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.  Ft. Leonard was furloughed by the shutdown and he's not happy about that.  Why, he'd even volunteer his time but was told if he tried to provide masses he would be arrested.

Kings Bay, Georgia is located along Georgia's southeast coast - just north of Florida.  If it's like other places in Georgia, there must be 10,000 churches of various stripes within a 30-minute drive of the base.

So, two questions:  Why do they need a civilian contractor priest or any other clergy?  Let the personnel find a church to their liking in the area and worship to their heart's content.  Secondly, why does the base not have a regular chaplain present?  Military chaplains are supposed to be able to minister to ALL the personnel not just those of their own denomination.

Finally, remember, you and I pay for this nonsense!

[Read more about Army chaplains here).

1 comment:

Bob Poris said...

For those that have served in the military, the pressure from Chaplains has always been a problem for non Christians. I believe it is better than it was during WW2 but it has not been totally solved. I do believe that racial affairs have also been improved tremendously. There are other problems but they are being worked on.

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