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2nd MLG celebrates religious diversity during holiday season
Marine Corps News ^ | Dec 28, 2005 | Lance Cpl. Wayne Edmiston

Posted on 12/28/2005 5:23:34 PM PST by SandRat

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq (Dec. 28, 2005) -- December is a month of celebration for multiple faiths, making the holiday season an extra busy time for chaplains in Iraq.

Between Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Islamic Hajj, Navy Capt. Vince Arnold, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) group chaplain, knows the importance of providing for all service members, regardless of religious preferences.

“This time of a year the three main religious groups being Judaism, Christianity and Islam, trace back their genealogy to one person: Abraham,” The Newport, N.C. native said. “It’s interesting that we are in Iraq during this season because this is the land of Abraham.”

Historically, Abraham is revered as the patriarch and founder of both the Hebrew and Arab people by way of his sons Isaac and Ishmael respectively. Arnold explained that the purpose of the Navy Chaplain Corps is to provide spiritual guidance for all service members of any faith.

Even when the chaplain’s staff does not have anyone to conduct a specific religious service or ceremony, a service member following that faith can be appointed by the chaplain to lead worship and is provided with the necessary materials, Arnold said.

“We get chaplains from multiple faiths to come as often as possible,” he said. “This doesn’t always happen, however, we are still willing to facilitate everyone.”

Being busy during this time of year doesn’t effect the chaplain’s staff one bit, he explained.

“We aren’t busy just for the sake of being busy during this time of year,” Arnold admitted. “Taking care of a ‘whole’ person makes for better warriors by providing religious services across the spectrum.”

All the religious services on base combined, form a community of camaraderie that all service member’s can benefit from, he explained.

“This establishes a circle of care for everyone by sharing their religions,” Arnold said.

Arnold also suggested on how Marines and Sailors could benefit from the services offered at the chapel.

“We have special holiday services, bible studies and fellowship times, as well as tables with free literature,” he said. “We always have programs and services that everyone can take advantage of.”

Service members can rest assure knowing the chapel is open to everyone regardless of faith or beliefs during this holiday season,

Arnold concluded, “If we currently don’t provide services for anyone’s specific religion, we will do everything in our power to try and provide it.”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2nd; celebrates; chaplain; christmas; christmasiniraq; diversity; during; hajj; hanukkah; holiday; iraq; kwanzaa; mlg; religious; season

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq (Dec. 28, 2005) – A Marine worships at a Hanukkah service here Dec. 27. December brings a month of celebration, with the New Year right around the corner, multiple faiths celebrate a holy time during this time of year, and this makes it an extra busy time of year for the chaplain and his staff. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Wayne Edmiston

1 posted on 12/28/2005 5:23:35 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Celebrating the High Holy Days USMC Style.

2 posted on 12/28/2005 5:24:08 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat
Between Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Islamic Hajj.....regardless of religious preferences

Excuse me but when did Kwanzaa become a religious holiday?

3 posted on 12/28/2005 5:27:45 PM PST by Ben Mugged
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To: SandRat

Just don't mention Jesus or fitreps will suffer.

4 posted on 12/28/2005 5:28:03 PM PST by neodad (Rule Number 1: Be Armed)
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To: Ben Mugged
It's my understanding that Kwanzaa never has been a religious holiday. Furthermore, it should be celebrated some other time, and not be tacked on to Christmas, which with its religious significance, history, music, advent calendars, special foods, Christmas trees, makes it suffer by comparison.
5 posted on 12/28/2005 6:12:00 PM PST by Jane Austen
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To: SandRat

If the PC crowd were even-handed, they would refer to the Menorah as a "Holiday Candelabrum." Good story...

6 posted on 12/28/2005 6:24:23 PM PST by Always A Marine
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To: SandRat


7 posted on 12/29/2005 3:11:29 AM PST by E.G.C.
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