The Military is Where Our Ruling Class Gets to Experiment

The Military is Where Our Ruling Class Gets to Experiment April 21, 2015

…on its social engineering theories and do what it (so far) lacks a free hand to do with civilians–punish them for ungoodthink as it is punishing this Navy SEAL chaplain for believing what Christianity teaches.

In Canada, the “Tolerance is not enough. You MUST approve” mentality is a bit further along with punishing Christian civilians for having a conscience. But we’ll get there.

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  • Dave G.

    But we’ll get there. I’m sure we will. Sooner than we probably think.

  • HornOrSilk

    So we are once again removing the rule of conscience, which is a long established rule, so that people can once again be told to do evil.

  • So a Canadian physician could be subject to discipline for refusing to be complicit in an abortion, which he considers to be infanticide.

    By that reasoning a physician could be subject to discipline for refusing to participate in torture or in an execution.

    • HornOrSilk

      Exactly. Of course, this mentality has been fought with before in the US, when people who signed up to be soldiers were told, once they became a soldier, they don’t have a right to object to particular wars (see Bush years). The mentality is just being expanded in today’s world that is saying people must leave behind their morals if they want to work in public. Very dangerous mentality we have developed, and both sides of the political spectrum have helped create it. May they repent before they experience the pox on both parties!

      • I don’t see general repentance any time soon. That’s where we are and where we’re headed.

        • HornOrSilk

          I agree. Which is why things are going to be very bad for sometime.

    • Vision_From_Afar

      Do you get dizzy from that much spin?

      The doctors are not to be forced to do anything unless it is a medical emergency with life or health at stake. Otherwise, a referral to elsewhere is all that they have to do. What’s to stop a Jehovah’s Witness doctor from refusing to perform certain surgeries because they would require blood transfusions, or some other religiously ridiculous problem?
      They need to give the patient a referral and get over themselves.

      • if I consider abortion to be infanticide, asking me to refer someone to an abortionist is asking me to be an accomplice to a murder.

        Please avoid uncouth personal remarks about dizziness etc, or I will delete any reply from you on sight.

        • Vision_From_Afar

          A comment from me about how I feel you’re distorting an issue with an argument ad absurdum (“spin”), and you’re threatening me with a banhammer?

          • (in Christianity and
            other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and
            source of all moral authority; the supreme being.synonyms:the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, the Maker, the Godhead; Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh;
            (God) the Father, (God) the Son, the Holy Ghost/Spirit, the Holy Trinity;
            the Great Spirit, Gitchi Manitou;
            humorousthe Man Upstairs
            “a gift from God”

            • Vision_From_Afar

              A valid use, to be sure.

          • Alma Peregrina

            So you “feel” Pavel is distorting an issue.

            • Vision_From_Afar

              And somehow my opinions are less than theirs? We’re arguing in the comboxes, for crying out loud.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        When the application of basic logic is categorized as spin…

      • Alma Peregrina

        Do you get dizzy from that much spin?

        • Vision_From_Afar

          Occasionally unwinding someone’s argument does induce vertigo, yes.

          • Alma Peregrina

            Nah. Unwinding other people’s poorly made arguments has been one of my main activities for some years and I never got vertigo from that.

            Maybe you’re confusing that with delusion of having made a point, when the point actually just flew over your head?

            Either way, good luck with that vertigo thing. When you’re cured, maybe we can have a nice chat. But I have this weird tradition of only establishing conversation with un-dizzy people.

            • Vision_From_Afar

              Catch you around, then.

  • kenofken

    As is usual with these stories, there is the conservative culture war spin and then the reality of the story, which run at parallel tracks but never intersect.

    The spin version, put out by Modder and his culture war group lawyer, have him just minding his own business being the World’s Best Chappy when he was ambushed out of nowhere by a (literally) militant queer with an agenda to get him kicked out for nothing else than having Biblical views about homosexuality. Let’s have a look at some of the actual allegations contained within the detachment for cause letter from Navy Capt. Jon Fahs, NNPTC commander.

    According to that, Modder:

    Told a female that she was “shaming herself in the eyes of god” for having premarital sex.

    Told another student that homosexuality was wrong and that “the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus.”

    Suggested to a student that he, Modder, had the ability to “save” gay people.

    “Berated” a student for becoming pregnant while not married.

    “Your inability to comfort and counsel in a manner that was respectful of the counselee while maintaining dignity and professionalism … led to you being relieved of your duties,” Capt. Fahs wrote.

    Modder’s behavior, as alleged, was not about him being candid about his relgion’s beliefs when asked. They were about him being an unprofessional ass and using sailors for his own personal culture war harangues when he was supposed to be helping them through real-world issues. Chaplains are not paid to proselytize, and the military has no obligation to maintain some sort of First Amendment free fire zone at the expense of the young men and women in uniform.

    • Stu

      All too often in today’s Navy, leaders simply don’t want to lead. They avoid actually attempting to guide a young Sailor in doing the right thing out of fear of “imposing my morals on them” or being accused of “proselytizing”. And to the contrary, most young Sailors are actually looking for that kind of leadership from their mentors. I certainly never had any problems providing such leadership and I was pretty blunt and straightforward.

      Neither of us know the exact specifics here, but during my career I never saw or heard of a Chaplain going too far in helping others. It only seems to be a recent phenomena.

    • SteveP

      You’re on the public dime too and you’re a proselytizing jerk. What’s the problem?

      • kenofken

        I’ll cop to the latter, but I assure you I’m on no public dime.

    • LFM

      Your view of the role of chaplains is excessively narrow. Wikipedia (a lowest common denominator kind of source) says this of it: “Although the term chaplain originally had Christian roots, it is generally used today in military organizations to describe all professionals specially trained to serve any spiritual need, regardless of religious affiliation. In addition to offering pastoral care to individuals, and supporting their religious rights and needs, military chaplains may also advise the executive on issues of religion, and ethics, morale and morals as affected by religion. They may also liaise with local religious leaders in an effort to understand the role of religion as both a factor in hostility and war and as a force for reconciliation and peace.” (My emphasis.) See

      Unless the chaplain in question was offering unsolicited advice to the persons in your comment, he was acting within the bounds of his duties as commonly understood in making these remarks to people who approached him.

      There has (according to the Wikipedia article I cited above) been some pressure upon chaplains in the US military to embrace more “Universalist” religious principles in the past, i.e. the kind of non-judgmental pablum that never tells people they are doing anything wrong. It sounds as if this is what is happening in this instance. Of course, there are more and less spiritually nourishing ways of reproaching sinful behaviour, and for all I know the pastor in question was a failure in that sense. But it sounds as if many people had found him to be helpful in the past. Unfortunately, there’s a whole new generation of young people who find any kind of criticism at all unfair and a “trigger”.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        The chaplain position and availability remains a point of disturbing privilege among Christians. Chaplain visits are protected speech, and unable to be written into record that may be used in determining promotion or other considerations. Visiting a doctor or counselor is not.
        And yet Christians maintain a stranglehold on the Chaplaincy corps. There is quite literally no one else to turn to for many of these soldiers. Things can be called “sinful” among the faithful until Kingdom Come, but for those of a different worldview, unless they have questions of legal matters, back off.
        I continue to be baffled at what anyone thinks these kinds of adherence to the letter of the law rather than the intent will actually accomplish. The only thing it seems to be doing is letting the hard-liners uproot themselves, solving the problem.
        Keep up the “good work”, I guess.

      • kenofken

        The facts will have to bear themselves out in an investigation, but it certainly sounds like his advice was unsolicited and unwelcome in many instances. I have a real hard time believing that a single mom went to the chaplain looking for a good dressing down about her situation. I’ve known a lot of single moms over the years, and if I were to ask them what help they need, I’m very confident that hindsight and advice about what they should have done is way down on the list. I also have a hard time believing that gay sailors would have gone to Modder for the purpose of clarifying what Pentecostals really think about their orientation. It sounds like this guy had a pattern of using sailors as a captive audience to preach after he picked up on facts about their lives which may well have been totally unrelated to the reasons they went to talk to him. If that is the case, he deserves to be bounced. It’s a disgusting abuse of a chaplain’s purpose and position.

        • SteveP

          The solution for distressed bakers and florists is “do your job!” Perhaps if these soldiers just did their jobs they would not be distressed and subsequently offended after seeking out a chaplain.
          See? Everybody is equal.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Lay your credentials On the table, Bub, because this Bluejacket thinks you’re talking out of your hat. You obviously don’t have a clue of what sailors expect from a chaplain. If you think the military needs social workers, say so. But lay off the chaplains.

      And tell your Aryan buddies I said “toodles!”

    • What do you think the intromittant organ was meant for? Even in jackasses.

      BTW, God is upper cased in the English language, even for atheists.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        “God is upper cased in the English language, even for atheists.”

        You sure about that?

        4.(often lowercase) a supreme being according to some particular conception:
        the god of mercy.

        • Definition 4. Look up.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            I’m confused. 3 and 4 support the case for lower-case usage, not default-upper, per your statement.

            • You evade my first question.

              Now are you going to continue to be a pain in the dzhupa, or do you want to tell me who you are and what you’re doing in this comment column?

              Why so naive about the presence of religious *chaplains* in the military? Only because of tradition?

              Answer the first question at least or take a hike.

              • Vision_From_Afar

                Which first question? Since you’re enjoying threatening me with your authority, I’ll just carpet-bomb this and answer every one you’ve asked on this article, just to be safe.
                1.Why Chaplains representing various religions?
                I presume various denominations within Christianity demanded official representation when the chaplain corps was formalized. Given the fractured nature of Christianity, I can’t imagine a single denomination being allowed dominance in the corps. This naturally leads to offering positions to Judaism and Islam, being the comfortable monotheist cousins to Christianity that they are. Any others have undoubtedly earned their place in an effort to ensure the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on establishing a state-endorsed religion remains intact (on paper, at least).
                2.Why not psychiatric social workers?
                Again, Tradition. I do not seek to discredit or deride the centuries of efforts on behalf of chaplains to maintain the health and spiritual well-being of soldiers on the battlefield, mind. Social workers are a relatively new thing, fulfilling a role that was, traditionally, held by clergy. In an effort to prevent the kind of fractious events we’re witnessing today, and to prevent deeply religious clergy from having to compromise their beliefs, I honestly feel that secular social workers (who could easily network with local clergy) would be a more fair and helpful presence to all members of the military.
                3. What do you think the intromittant organ was meant for?
                Arguing specific use to a biological appendage is a dangerous road to thoughtcrime. Given where we are, I doubt I could convince you of the logic of, “Whatever someone wants to use it for,” so I’ll just cap this off here.
                4. Now are you going to continue to be a pain in the dzhupa
                Oh, absolutely. I’m a firm believer that Patheos needs dissenting opinions from other religions, otherwise why bother being an interfaith site?
                5. [..] want to tell me who you are and what you’re doing in this comment column?
                Just your friendly neighborhood Liberal Pagan, enjoying discussions with people I would likely never get to discuss heavy issues with in the real world.
                6.Why so naive about the presence of religious *chaplains* in the military?
                While I’m not a veteran, I have followed similar issues for years, so I’d hardly call myself naive, but your opinions are your own.
                7. Only because of tradition?
                I think I answered this in 1 and 2. If not, let me know and I’ll be happy to try and expound.

                • Artevelde

                  The 5. friendly neighborhood liberal pagan is certainly most welcome, especially when he unwittingly engages in a very clear pastoral explanation of ‘intrinsically disordered’ in 3. appendages used for whatever someone wants to use them for.

                  • Vision_From_Afar

                    I yam what I yam.

        • Artevelde

          Irrelevant, since Gott is always uppercased in German, and they do have the larger experience in what joy it is to separate the military from Our Lord and conscience.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            Yeah, we should always follow along with the Germans.

            • Artevelde

              But of course, otherwise we run the risk of no longer being able to function in a pluralistic society.

      • kenofken

        My views on LGBT rights are well known in these parts, but that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of this thread. The point is that this chaplain’s superiors have specific and numerous allegations about harassing and unprofessional behavior.

        • Four line stanzas:

          ON THE WATCH

          She said, take up your post, stay

          Where ever that is Christ is near,

          It was, is now, shall ever be

          The stronghold of the Trinity

          A fastness measured stout and tall

          Saint Michael is the general,

          Reconnaissance by Noah’s dove

          That brings the news of faith and love

          The arsenal is mercy, peace,

          Their potency will not decrease,

          Humility the faultless shield

          That conquers when it takes the

          She, the saint of souls, the rose

          Said watch by day and night with

          And if the fortress seems forsaken

          Call on me and I will hasten

          Then I’ll come with Christ the Son

          Commander of this garrison,

          The soldiers of His great command

          And on the watch we all will stand


          April 21, 2015

  • Vision_From_Afar

    The military is where religious conservatives have been experimenting for years on fermenting religiously motivated war, and attempting to convert the military to a more fundamentalist viewpoint.
    Chaplains are not there to spread the faith. They are not there to proselytize. They are there to support the soldiers, plain and simple.

    • Why Chaplains representing various religions? Why not psychiatric social workers?

      • Vision_From_Afar

        Tradition is the only reason, I should think.

        • Vision from extremely far.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            The only way to see through the fog of a monoculture tradition. 😀

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          No, you should, I agree, but you aren’t.

          A chaplain’s function Is to provide spiritual guidance to Bluejackets, or Troopers, or what have you. It isn’t to be a psychologist or a social worker. Its one reason so many vets find the idea of the new atheist chaplains so laughable.

          You’ve asked about differing definitions. We work from the historical definition of a chaplain, it’s a long identified thing.

          You apparently consider it a synonym of social worker, or shrink. That a lot of people around you share this definition diminishes not one whit what the actual things is.

          The serious work done, please forgive a personal observation : You comport yourself like a petulant child.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            Oh noes, I has been called a child!
            Bite me.

    • SteveP

      I would suggest you talk with your representative and senators about your plan to replace military chaplains with issued jock straps and pushup bras thus accomplishing your idea of support.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        Oh, my Rep/Sens are quite sick of hearing from me. I’m pretty sure anything with my name on it goes straight to the trash folder.
        What is it with people arguing from different definitions on this post?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          That’s the break up of western discourse. If this comment thread Is the only place you’ve identified the fungible meaning of words, that speaks volumes.

          Personally I blame Roget for it all. People see all these synonyms and think they have the same, not similar, meanings.

  • Na

    uh oh…you might have stumble on the one “other” area where the left might be wrong. Once you figure out they are pushing the same secular humanist/moral relativism agenda onto kids and schools then you are really going freak out. Suddenly compassion won’t be measured by the title and price tag of a piece of legislation, but by intentions, reality and consequences.