National Guard’s new religious ads: “(only some of) you are needed here”

Zachary Sneddon, a U.S. Navy Avionics Technician sent in this screen capture of a new National Guard online advertising campaign.

youtube advertisement via screen capture

Sneddon explains:

“I took this screen capture while browsing; draw your attention to the banner ad to the right of the media window in this picture. It’s a recruitment ad for the Army National Guard. The picture is of the torso of a man wearing fatigues with captain’s bars and carrying a bible in his hand, one of the ubiquitous Christian “HOLY BIBLE” generic editions. The ad copy reads, “YOU ARE NEEDED HERE.” The torso in the ad carries no visible insignia of the chaplain’s corps. This advertisement seems to be saying that the United States Army National Guard needs Christian soldiers. What about Jews? Muslims? Buddhists? Atheists? I am a natural-born American citizen and a patriot; I serve our nation proudly as an avionics technician in the United States Navy. I am also disturbed by the implications of this advertisement, which suggests an endorsement of Christianity over other forms of religion, which is expressly prohibited by both the Constitution of the United States and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

Exactly.

National Guard - You are needed here, Christians.I’d also like to thank Zachary for being unafraid to call out an unethical situation like this – by name. He said emphatically that he is a proud citizen and and patriot. The more people who refuse to remain silent and turn a blind eye, the more likely we are to have these situations fixed. I hope more service members confident enough to stand up and eloquently express their disapproval like Zachary.

Keep an eye out for this trend. This must be brand new. Frankly I was hoping it was ‘just’ an unauthorized and unaffiliated scam of some sort. However, these advertisements do click through to the National Guard website. Has anybody else been seeing these advertisements?

Zachary was grooving to an old cover an older Brian Eno song when that sectarian advertisement popped up. Since we are mixing early Brian Eno and Christian concepts, I can’t help but throw Eno’s “Needle in the Camel’s Eye” from 1973′s Here Come the Warm Jets.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

The title is a spin on a reference to Matthew 19:24

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Except instead of being a reference to the piety of the poor, I guess the re-tooled title is more about poking a camel’s eyeballs with a syringe. Well, it’s a good song anyway. Thanks for the head’s up Zachary, and for the trip down memory lane. Good to know I’m not the only one who likes early Eno. :)

About Justin Griffith
  • Dennis

    Perhaps they are advertising for Christian Chaplains? Just a thought.

    • Justin Griffith

      From Zachary’s original observation

      The torso in the ad carries no visible insignia of the chaplain’s corps. This advertisement seems to be saying that the United States Army National Guard needs Christian soldiers. What about Jews? Muslims? Buddhists? Atheists?”

      I’d think they would make it clearer if this was the case. Perhaps we can get a retraction and/or a more concise advertisement.

  • Tony

    Yes, they are recruiting Chaplains. Catholic Chaplains in particular are hard to find these days. The ad is a mistake in that it left off the other colar device which would be a cross.

    • Justin Griffith

      How do you know this is what they were recruiting? This (admittedly through some algorithm) is popping up on a BAUHAUS song. In case you are unfamiliar, they are like indie-legends of goth scene before that was such a thing. Not my personal taste (though I do like Eno, decidedly not goth haha).

      So this algorithm is clearly looking for people who listen to music, and might be open minded enough to join the military on a clickable-whim [there are more ads that also pop up, none featuring religion]. This is clearly a general-recruitment strategy. If this ad had popped up on a christian music video, it’s still a little troublesome (being so non-specific towards supposedly recruiting chaplains, and where are the jewish ads and the muslim ads and the atheist ads?)

      If it was on a seminary-type video, it’s MUCH less of a problem, just needing a slight modification for clarity. “CATHOLIC CHAPLAINS ARE NEEDED HERE”

  • Don

    The same logic applied to Rock The Fort should be applied here.

    Apply for a Witch Doctor position – no different than a Chaplain. And when they laugh and try to brush it off, threaten a discriminatory religious lawsuit.

    Between the radical Muslims and the ignorant Christians, we ARE going to have a “holy war” unless intelligent, rational individuals put a stop to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Humans-On-Planet-Earth-HOPE/190401714340498 Vince Lauria

    These little skirmishes when won will patch holes in the dike, but to stop the flood we need to confront the main source, the onslaught of Sunday morning propaganda delivered too often emotionally in a way that short circuits our rational “bull crap” compass. Humans have a need for tribal contact, for extended family. When humanists and free thinkers work to provide for that, with an alternative, that’s when change will happen. Without this we are isolated and powerless. Visit my site.

  • Nate Hays

    It’s fishy if they left off any insignias of Chaplaincy in the ad, but maybe they’ll argue that the bible is an adequate sign to represent Chaplains. Definitely a call for Christians to serve their country. I’m not sure if they’re saying “we need Christians,” or “God’s on our side,” but either way, it just doesn’t jive with me. I’m interested in how they justify the ad. I think they’ll find a creative way to make it legal.


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