The Military and God

The U.S. military has a problem with atheists . . . .

U.S. Marines pray before heading out on patrol in Kajaki, Afghanistan, in 2010.

or so says the following article.  I was surfing the net and ran across this gem of “news”.  Does our military, specific to this article, the US Marine Corps, feel that a religious soldier is a better soldier?

“Apparently, the Marine Corps thinks a “lack or loss of spiritual faith” could be dangerous”.  The Marine Corp decided to give an active-duty Marine a Marine Corps training document describing “potential risk indicators” commanders should look for to prevent loss of life among service members, he found one checkbox that didn’t seem to fit. Among warning signs like substance abuse and prior suicide attempts was “lack or loss of spiritual faith.”

“Concerned that this was a discriminatory policy, the Marine notified the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a nonprofit dedicated to keeping religion separate from the U.S. military. The organization, which told me that it plans to sue the U.S. Marines unless the government backs off this policy, says this is the military’s latest effort to discriminate against service members who don’t believe in God.”

Now I’m not going to post the whole article but I will provide the link and encourage you all to read it as it brings up some interesting (and some foolish in my opinion) points.  This statement in particular I find odd . . .

“This country was founded on a very critical principle — the founding framers looked at the horrors that occurred throughout history by mixing religion and war, and they said, we’re going to separate church and state. And that means they cannot test for religion in the military.”

I don’t believe this is what the founding framers thought at all.  What do you think?

7 thoughts on “The Military and God

  1. FC,

    The founders were adamant in their view that you could not maintain a free society without morality, and you could not have morality without religion.

    What people have difficulty understanding today is the founders’ actual argument. They did not want the Govt. to be the head of the Church, nor did they want the Church to run the government, but they never said they wanted faith out of government. In fact, they were clear that the system of oaths written into the U.S. Constitution and State Constitutions rested on a belief in a Creator, and that without such a system based on the fear of divine judgment, our govt. would eventually be taken over by amoral and immoral men who would seek to pervert the power of govt. to their own designs.

    SO I would agree with you: they never intended for the modern notion of separation. That might be why we do not find it in anything dealing with the Constitution, and the letter from which the phrase is taken was actually arguing the exact opposite of what it has come to mean today.

  2. The night before the ground war started in Desert Storm, we loaded 5,000 body bags onto 2 5-tonn trucks. Around 1700 local, against a crayola crayon black sky with a blood red sun starting to set in the distance behind him, The scene was surreal: straight out of Revelation.

    Our Battalion Chaplain held a service for those who wanted to attend. There were about 880 Marines in our battalion, and about 800 of them were at this service. Of those who were not there, most would have been — had they not had to stand watch.

    The Chaplain started the service by telling us to all lay down our arms and kneel before the Lord, and we did — to a man. At that moment, I was struck by something that has never left me. We were 800 heavily armed Marines — scared of nothing on this planet. Made all the more confident by knowing we were part of a 20,000 man Division with additional assets on the other end of our radios. And yet, here we were, laying our weapons down, kneeling and bowing our heads. As I said, nothing on this planet could have made us do that.

    Now, as the years have passed and I’ve grown a bit wiser, I have come to realize something even more important. The military of a free nation MUST have that same fear of something higher than themselves. It is the only thing that restrains them. If the military does not fear God, then the nation needs to fear their military because — sooner or later — it WILL turn on them. As you watch our military secularized by the current Administration, you remember that, because history is very clear that this is what will happen to us as it has to everyone who allowed this to happen in their military.

  3. You know what? I’m leaving this one alone!
    Except to say that guy was wrong, our Founders were just as bloodthirsty as any armed force that came before it.
    The slaughter at Jericho was done in God’s name. Slaughter every man, woman, and child, steal the land, all in the name of the Lord.
    Then you have the Rape of Nanking (Emperor worship), and the atheistic Russian army burning its way through East Germany.
    I don’t blame religion, it is just an excuse; we are a vicious animal, period.
    Ok, that’s it.

  4. So (playing the devil’s advocate here) a patriotic belief in fighting for one’s country and the rights we hold dear to us is not enough, our soldiers need to believe in a higher power to be the most effective? Isn’t that kinda like saying the individual that joins the military for the educational opportunities or even simply for the “paycheck” is not as effective as that devil dog semi-maniac natural-born patriotic killer with blood in his eye?

    By the way, Joe, I like both of your responses. The founding framers simply said there would be no “national” or “government” church, i.e. the Church of England. ” . . . the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion. . .” and was then applied to the States as well.

    • FC,

      I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to connect faith with being effective. I was trying to explain that those armies that do not believe in a higher power/authority tend to become a threat to their nations because they have no internal control over what they do. If you do not believe in the Creator, then why not turn on the hand that created you to protect it? What’s to stop you? Or why not rape, pillage and plunder your vanquished enemies? What’s to stop you?

      It’s the same reason our founders said we needed faith to sustain a free society: because the Law can never stop amoral and immoral behavior, only an internal control born from the fear of God’s judgment does that.

      I hope I said it better this time :*)

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