Skip to comments.Air Force Rule May Ban Christian Prayer
Posted on 10/21/2005 8:27:41 AM PDT by paltz
If, indeed, "there are no atheists in foxholes, a new Air Force regulation may ensure that there is no Christian prayer there either.
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) is circulating a letter he sent to President George W. Bush, which alleges a new Air Force guideline urging "non-sectarian prayer is "merely a euphemism declaring that prayers will be acceptable so long as they censor Christian beliefs.
The letter requests Bush to sign an executive order withdrawing the new regulation. Thus far, Rep. Jones has only gathered 32 signatures. He says more are to come.
The Air Force regulation was authored by Arnold Ressnicoff, a retired U.S. Navy chaplain, who was hired by the Air Force in June following accusations that evangelical Christians at the Air Force Academy were imposing their faith on other cadets. There were also charges of rampant anti-Semitism and religious harassment.
Air Force spokesperson Jennifer Stephens says the Air Force appreciates Rep. Jones concern. "We sincerely appreciate the interest in the Air Forces guidelines on religious respect, she told NewsMax. "The Air Force believes in equality of all its people, regardless of religious preference.
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Signers of the Jones letter are concerned the regulation impinges on the First Amendment rights of Air Force chaplains.
The letter states, "We are disappointed and gravely concerned to learn that the Christian military chaplains are under direct attack and that their right to pray according to their faith is in jeopardy.
Lawmakers worry the Air Force regulation is the first step in a Pentagon-wide muzzling of chaplains. "If approved, the letter predicts, "those guidelines may well be implemented throughout the entire Department of Defense.
Stephens said the Air Force disputes this charge.
"These guidelines are interim, she claims, "and we are actively seeking comments from numerous sources.
If President Bush does not respond to their request, Rep. Jones says lawmakers are prepared to introduce legislation to repeal the regulation. But, he says it would be better for the president to sign an executive order because the change would be immediate.
The White House has yet to comment on the letter.
It's NewsMas...so, the credibility of this is in doubt.
But geeeeeshhh, are they going to stop handing out the Armed Forces pocket bible now?
My grandfather, USAF Colonel, veteran of three wars, is rolling over in his grave.
Disband the AF and transfer their units back to the Army.
...the USAF don't use foxholes,we made them, big and quickly
Why are we tolerating this?
Yes, WE are to the blame. Don't blame the Courts or the pampered, overpaid, underchallenged prostitutes we elect to office. Its us - we are our own enemy.
If enough Americans poured out a loud enough stream of wrath and anger and directed it at the nincompoops we put in elected positions, even the numbskulls in the Courts would be powerless to oppose us.
That is the lesson of Lexington and Concord.
But Democracy and a Republic only work if the people MAKE it work, or it degenerates into what we have now - an incompetent, autocratic technocracy run by mindless bureaocrats who only have the intellect and vision to follow thier own rules and not plain common sense and the wishes of the American people.
I've always thought it odd that government organizations
had official chaplains, and that it was just a matter of
time before the "separation" activists focused on them,
with one of two likely results:
1. Abolition of the posts, and finding some other way for
the captive audience (e.g. remote-based military) to
practice their religions.
2. Forcing the addition of all comers to the ranks of
chaplains (Druids, Scientologists, Wicans, etc).
The Non-Sectarian Chaplain will now lead the troops in
a silent atheist prayer. Optional participation is
Should we expect anything here? I don't see it happening.
Also, having spent many hours boring holes in the sky I can attest the old saying that 'flying is sheer boredum enticed with moments of stark terror' is true and there is no regulation that will stop me from praying in my choice of faith.
It's sad seeing the AF try to get politically correct...
What the heck is a "non-sectarian" prayer?!
Is God, God or is He not? If He is God, then pray to Him as He taught us. If you want to relate to Him in a non-personal, polytheistic ramble... don't waste your time!
Then, essentially, they are saying don't pray at all.
***"non-sectarian prayer... No such thing.***
Prayer to the "State".
If this is true, its newsmax so I will wait, but if it is its pretty scary. By the same logic inevitably we wont have our religious denomination on our dog-tags, no bibles in combat, no religious symbols on our gravestones and on and on.
What has become of America?
It sounds to me like the USAF has gone completely whacko. Their jihad against any Christian who witnesses is political correctness gone mad. I'm surprised in a lot of ways.
I've never understood why my tax dollars are paying over $100K a year for a House chaplain, when there are plenty of churches around and I'm sure many people will line up to volunteer to give invocations. Besides, there's sectarian bickering whenever they pick a new one.
However, military chaplains are quite necessary. Our fighting men are often off where they can't have their religious needs fulfilled (and to the religious, that impacts morale) and questions answered (lots of people have religious questions about bombing hundreds of people), and military in general often have special needs that civilian ministers might not have experience dealing with. Plus they tend to advise commanders on moral and ethical issues. If you say that's a job for the House chaplain too, then the position needs to be abolished due to gross inefficiency.
As far as Wiccan chaplains, our current chaplains are taught how to accommodate the needs of Wiccans.
The Air Force has lost me on this one after 25 years of active service and 4 years in Civil Service working for them I am totally disgusted by this new policy. At least now as a civilian I can say something about it. During my time I found there are no atheists on a burning or crippled airplane (having been a crew member in this type of situation more than once). The Chaplin Service provides much more than spiritual guidance and are great for the morale of our troops at home station and especially when deployed to some of the third world cesspools I was unlucky enough to visit. My only hope is that someone in the Pentagon can grow a back bone and reverse this policy (at least I can dream).
They have a problem of bending over backwards for political correctness...for years.
Well, in all fairness, if you're in the Air Force and you're in a foxhole, in all probability the situation is already past praying for. ;^)
This is only tangentally related, but if you haven't seen 'Saints and Soldiers', rent or buy it. Great WW2 movie showing faith in the battlefield.
The '77 grad who is suing the Air Force has offered to withdraw his suit if the Air Force will order Chaplains to stop evangelizing! Yeah that will happen!