Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Mr. President: Let My People Pray (In Jesus’ Name)!

Mr. President:  Let My People Pray (In Jesus’ Name)!

For God’s sake, Mr. President!  It’s a no-brainer!  

Does a Christian Navy chaplain have to STARVE himself to death before some semblance of religious freedom is restored to our military (both chaplains and troops)?  Please sign an executive order stating that American military chaplains may pray according to their conscience!  

In one of the most asinine moves in recent years, Pentagon officials – no doubt following the advice of LAWYERS (wanting to avoid inconvenient ACLU lawsuits) rather than theologians who have a clue – have moved to restrict both Air Force and Navy chaplains from praying in Jesus’ Name (outside of their own homes or outside the four walls of military chapel during an official Christian worship service).

This policy is wrong on so many counts, it is hard to know where to begin:

  • The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and religion.  (Duh!  That is WHY we have chaplains in the military in the first place – and that is how the military has defended the chaplaincy in the past from lawsuits challenging the legality of the military chaplaincy.)

  • It is not the Pentagon’s place to instruct chaplains how to pray any more than it is a chaplain’s place to determine the content of Navy pilot training classes.

  • There is a 200-plus year tradition of chaplains praying in Jesus’ Name (if they want to – though no chaplains are required to)

  • Many of our troops are Christians and they WANT (indeed are entitled to) hear their chaplains pray in Jesus’ Name.

  • This entire policy smacks of the most pungent tasting “politically correct” thinking imaginable.

  • The policy subtly sets up a “civic god” as the preferred deity (which is idolatry).

  • The policy slaps God in the face: We are in a war.  We want to win.  We seek His help.  It makes no sense to “dis” His Son.  (Okay: This argument is only true from a Christian’s perspective, but last time I checked, Christianity is single most followed religion in the ranks of the US military.)

  • While the assertion never fails to elicit howls of protest, it cannot be gainsaid that America “is a Christian country” in the same way that Israel is a Jewish country, Malaysia is a Muslim country, and India is a Hindu country.  None of these countries is 100% any religion, yet no one can challenge which religion is the most influential in each case, and in America’s it is Christianity.

Please call the White House using the contact information shown below and express your support for Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt and appeal to President Bush to sign immediately an executive order granting military chaplains the freedom to pray according to their consciences!

Contacting the White House
Mailing Address The White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500
Phone Numbers Comments:   202-456-1111Switchboard: 202-456-1414 FAX:             202-456-2461
TTY/TDD Comments:      202-456-6213Visitors Office: 202-456-2121
Please send your comments to comments@whitehouse.gov. Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message. For further up-to-date information on Presidential initiatives, current events, and topics of interest to you, please continue to use the White House website. Vice President Richard Cheney: vice_president@whitehouse.gov

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