Like Congressman Collins, I had also seen the news about Chaplains and proselytization within the DoD. This morning it spread like wildfire in the Catholic Blogosphere. It’s rather disheartening that it is now possible for a Chaplain to be court marshaled or face NJP (Non judicial punishment, kinda like being grounded but worse) for doing their job.
The last couple of months seem to have been difficult when it comes to religious freedom in the military. First labeling Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians as religious extremists then blocking the Southern Baptist Convention’s website, and now this.
While I’m generally of the opinion that one’s faith is a personal matter and should only be discussed openly under certain circumstances, I find these missteps bothersome.
Some of my friends that have served in various capacities have returned with PTSD in varying degrees. Given the state of the military’s mental health system, many of them were only left with their faith to get them through the demons they brought back from war.
With this issue, there is certainly a constitutional first amendment conversation that should be had. However, it is also an issue that impacts how we treat our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen when they come home.
War is hell. Faith is one way to deal with that reality when the civilians at home can’t/won’t set up the needed mental health care infrastructure for when everyone comes home. Let them at least have the Padre to talk to.