Rumsfield is a closet Muslim, everybody knows that. Rove too!
I served, and There was one time, when a brand new chaplain maid the rounds, and I (being an atheist) joked about being a wiccan, I was willing to make such a silly statement cuz at the time (it was a VERY brief period of time) I was a bit of a golden boy, and I SWEAR TO GOD! (if there is one) This young, asian baptist 2lou chaplain arrived at my dorm (yeah, It's not that bad a life) and asked if wanted to talk, at which point he handed me his FRIGGEN PHONE! and there was a friggen dude claiming to be a wiccan on the phone.
I immediately hung up and appologized to the chaplain, and then he sat down, had a beer and we talked.
Chaplains are servicemembers just like others, they chose to not prosceletize (spelling?) their faith, ONLY so they can serve the needs of the men and women who serve their nation. Like I mentioned, I'm not a believe, but it is JUST as noble, and altruistic on the parts of chaplains to NOT force those they counsel into a particular faith, in fact, they tend to go out of their way to connect their "flock," though it is not the same flock they envision, with their shepherd.
and, unlike all other officer Corps, it is the chaplins who are at their best at their earliest.
Stopped right there..Flat out wrong if not a outright falsehood
The old adage that there are no atheists in foxholes does not appear to apply as much as it used to. It turns out that the active duty troops in the American armed forces are somewhat less religious than the population as a whole.
Americans over all are 78 percent Christian, 1.3 percent Jewish, .5 percent Moslem, .4 percent Hindu, 13 percent unknown or none and the rest various other sects and faiths. But the troops are 55 percent Christian, .3 percent Moslem, .27 percent Jewish, .04 percent Hindu, .24 percent Buddhist and 34 percent unknown or no preference.
Part of this may be a generational thing, as the troops are younger than the population as a whole. People become more religious as they get older. Another factor is probably education, as the high education standards for recruits means those in uniform have several years more formal education than their civilian peers. More literate too, as people in uniform read at a level a full year ahead of civilians. As people become more educated, they tend to be less religious.
The function of the chaplain is to guard the First Amendment Rights of the soldier. This has not been done. Chaplains who buck the lione officers are not supported by the chief of chaplains.
Is theism among the ranks necessary for a lean mean principled killing machine? I ask, you decide. The smart answer is that the answer is complex and opaque and depends on a lot of other factors. Just a little hint at the right road on this one. :)
This is an excellent article that recognizes that the rules until recently imposed on military chaplains and military Christians amounted to the creation of a new religion....an establishment, if you will.
That is the reason the Air Force and the DoD backed off. If they had felt they were on solid legal ground, they would have stubbornly stuck to their guns.
As with any "establishers," they intended to control the speech of those outside the official church. They told them HOW they could pray. Huge legal mistake.
There is no way that any military leader would invite an expert from any other field and then tell him what he was permitted to say. It would be foolish to ask for the professional input of an expert in nerve gas, but command him ahead of time that he couldn't mention that it is deadly.