The Chaplaincy Shortage and the Great Crock of BS

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Chaplains In order to become a chaplain there are a few requirements one must fulfill. And with the recent "controversy" surrounding these Chaplains being placed on leave without pay and whatnot I thought there needed to be some clarification. Some of the more right-wing disengenuous folks are trying to push this narrative that Chaplains are being forced out of the military and leaving service members without any 'spiritual support'. What I find interesting is that the same people bitching … [Read more...]

When Religion and Politics mix…When the media fails to report…When we don’t understand why…

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Media Coverage I suppose the first thing to cover is the fact that no national American media source is willing to cover what is going on in today's political arena with the audacity that, say, Walter Cronkite would be able to do. If you click the link you'll find the story about how a single reporter changed the American perception (or at least the middle class' perception) of the Vietnam War. It probably wasn't a popular thing to do, but he had integrity and stuck with the truth. I'm sure … [Read more...]

Unfair and Unbalanced..

If Fox News, self-purported to be “fair and balanced” while not being either fair or balanced, didn’t have such a large viewership/readership, I’d give their journalistic efforts no credibility and lump them in with World Net Daily and the other nutty news sources infesting the internet and radio waves.  However, they do have viewers, listeners, and readers, which means there is an unfortunately large number of Americans who believe this network actually produces real news  and … [Read more...]

the fallacy of martyrdom at Fort Hood Texas..

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At about 1:55 pm today (August 28th, 2013), the long nightmare that Fort Hood (and the nation) has endured finally got closure.  It's a death sentence for MAJ Nidal Hassan and a victory for the so many decent, innocent people who suffered such grievious harm at his hands. I was in the court room for the prosecution's masterful closing arguments and was there when the verdict was read.  Hasan never took his eyes off the panel president as she read the verdict and once read, he slightly … [Read more...]

Here we go again…

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Well, here we are again, on the brink of war, even before we have fully extracted ourselves from our last long national nightmare.  My life-affirming values as atheist/humanist combined with my military experience as a veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are telling me that it would be wrong to start down this path again. What’s happening in Syria involving the use of chemical weapons is absolutely horrifying and it is natural and logical that compassionate people would … [Read more...]

Did a Police Officer Attempt to Imprison a Decorated Combat Veteran merely because he was an Atheist?

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Road Trip! Adam, a friend of mine who served in the Army, is currently making a cross-country road trip. He's a pretty outspoken atheist, a combat veteran who was highly decorated in Iraq, and a pretty cool guy to boot! He was in the Army, which isn't as cool as the Marines, but I forgive him for that every time he buys me a beer. :) This year he made his way through Arizona driving to Vegas en route to TAM 2013. For those of you unfamiliar with TAM - it is The Amazing Meeting put on by the … [Read more...]

On The Way to Thor’s Hammer….

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An interesting thing happened at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in July (2013), to little fanfare and even less media coverage; the VA approved the addition of the "Hammer of Thor" to their list of symbols allowed to be placed on the tombstones at the grave sites of veterans who are buried in veteran cemeteries.  The newly approved symbol is intended for the practitioners of a form of paganism that worships the Norse pantheon, including Thor, and looks like … [Read more...]

Secular Chaplains And A Tale of Two Service Members

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion... A few days ago, the House of Representatives of the United States set aside work on real problems so that they could pass a ban, sponsored by Rep. John Fleming, to prohibit the armed forces from appointing atheists or secular humanists to the chaplaincy.  Rep. Fleming had this to say: "The notion of an atheist chaplain is nonsensical; it's an oxymoron. It is absurd to argue that someone with no spiritual inclination should … [Read more...]

Dear John Letters….

 Dear John To whomever you are. There may be some confusion on what it's like to be an atheist in the military. Don't worry! That is okay. I understand. I was a bigoted Christian when I joined the military, too. Fortunately, I've learned what it's like to not judge people based upon some false notion of truth. I'm willing to extend an invitation to you in helping understand that bigotry is wrong. So is lying and intentionally misleading people. Although, I understand mistakes can be … [Read more...]

Military Discrimination Against Christians??

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Fox News columnist Todd Starnes is at it again. Determined to see an anti-Christian bias in the military where none exists, he published this in a post from July 8th, 2013: There is a clear and present danger to religious liberty within the military, says a coalition of groups who believe the Obama Administration is pushing a secular, anti-religious culture on the nation's armed forces."Christians who choose to live out their faith find themselves incompatible with the secular view of … [Read more...]