How to Prevent Soldier Suicides? Christianity, Says Military

Just read the first paragraph of this article and you’ll see yet another problem with the U.S. military:

A recent edition of the U.S. Army’s suicide prevention manual advises military chaplains to promote “religiosity,” specifically Christianity, as a way to deter distraught soldiers from committing suicide, which in recent months, according to one veterans advocacy group, has reached epidemic proportions.

You can see the official Suicide Awareness for Soldiers 2008 (PPT) presentation at the U.S. Army center’s website.

Here’s what the presentation notes say:

Chaplain may want to state the following: Spiritual faith looks outside of oneself for meaning and provides resiliency for failures in life experiences. Religious belief adds the dimension of a supportive community to help one deal with crises. Both can be expressions of a relationship with God, or a higher power, that is everlasting. The bottom line is that Soldiers should not base their reason for living in the success of a relationship with another human being!

Soldiers need to take care of each other and rid any thoughts of survival of the fittest. Almost all religions adhere to some form of Christianity’s Golden Rule, or the Categorical Imperative of Immanuel Kant.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has battled the “rampant proselytizing” in the military for years now. They say that this presentation “is not only an unconstitutional promotion of Christianity for the soldiers who are mandated to attend it, but for the behavioral health providers and non-Christian chaplains who must present it.”

The military is emphasizing the wrong ideas, anyway. The soldiers don’t need God. They need closer relationships with other people; they need to talk to someone who can comfort them and listen to what they have to say; they need medicine.

Or they should just not be sent to fight in unnecessary wars…

(Thanks to Sandra for the link!)

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