I often find myself fascinated by how mainstream Christians are so enamored with the military. Every Veterans Day they proudly display their uniformed converts in church and pray for our soldiers overseas, in their battle against Islamic extremists. They have a habit of adorning their place of worship with American flags, preaching the supposed pro-government virtues of Romans 13, and supporting just about any war that involves the Middle East regardless of the morality of these conflicts.
I don’t want to lump all Christians together, but this is just my observation. It’s kind of ridiculous though, when you realize how sterile and politically correct our government has become; and frankly, how hostile our military has become for those of the Christian faith. So why do they continue to throw their weight behind these institutions?
They seem to be unable to grasp the fact that the US military has been a very unchristian place for some time now, despite many of their members being faithful adherents of Christ. And by all accounts, this unwelcome atmosphere is causing some Christians to leave the military altogether.
There is an exodus of Christians from the military because of a “hostile work environment” that does not allow them to express their beliefs openly while others are discouraged from joining in the first place, say religious freedom advocates.
They point to a number of recent high-profile cases of military chaplains facing punishment for private religious counseling sessions, and say such cases could cause some with strong faith to reconsider joining the military.
“People of faith are going to stay away from the military,” Michael Berry, senior counsel at the Liberty Institute, a Texas-based legal organization dedicated to defending religious liberty in America, told The Washington Times.
In December, a chaplain for a Ranger training battalion was sent an administrative letter of concern after a soldier complained that he had promoted Christianity and used a Bible during a mandatory suicide-prevention training session.
Last month, a Navy chaplain was removed from his job and may lose his career after complaints about his private counseling during which he discouraged homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.
Even if you disagree with those particular aspects of Christianity, you have to admit that this is very unethical. Isn’t everyone entitled to their beliefs, even in the military?
In reality, the military has never been an advocate for personal convictions. It’s always been an institution that is dedicated to molding human beings into weapons of war, and making sure that they will always follow orders. That by itself makes the military incompatible with Christianity, or any faith for that matter. You can’t serve two masters, and military life demands that you place the state before God. The orders of the commander-in-chief will always trump your personal beliefs.
So it’s kind of bizarre that Christianity has survived as long as it has in the military. For a religion that places an emphasis on redemption, peace, and charity, it’s hard to imagine them finding a place in America’s global war machine.
But why hasn’t religion run into obstacles like this before in the military? I suspect that it’s because for most of American history, religion was used as a tool of propaganda for America’s wars. They would cherry pick any part of the bible that might convince Christians to fight for Uncle Sam, and since America used to be almost exclusively Christian, they were never short on recruits.
Christians also made perfect soldiers, because they had faith in something greater than themselves. The state loves that attitude. They just need to find a way to turn that faith in God, into faith in the state and their wars, and you’ll have a zealous fighter for life.
That’s not to say faith is a bad thing. I personally have faith that there is a God, and I think it’s a wonderful way to live. However, when you apply faith rather than logic to earthly matters, you’re setting yourself up for exploitation at the hands power-hungry sociopaths. They will hijack your convictions and use them to turn you into fodder for their never-ending wars.
But now that Christianity is waning in America, they don’t need it anymore. They’re moving on to other methods of propaganda, and are hoping to gain recruits with promises of paychecks and adventure.
In a way, I guess it’s kind of a good thing that the military is slowly abandoning religion. Maybe now we can all stop kidding ourselves and recognize that our government and the wars they fight, is a godless enterprise that is dedicated to attaining power and its own self-preservation, at the expense of everyone else. Perhaps this will convince the various followers of Christ to actually start following Christ, instead of grovelling to the state and sending their kids off to fight and die in their wars.