At the name of Jesus,

#1
Military chaplains told to shy from Jesus
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published December 21, 2005

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To pray -- or not to pray -- in Jesus' name is the question plaguing an increasing number of U.S. military chaplains, one of whom began a multiday hunger strike outside the White House yesterday.
"I am a Navy chaplain being fired because I pray in Jesus' name," said Navy Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who will be holding 6 p.m. prayer vigils daily in Lafayette Park.
The hunger strike is intended to persuade President Bush to issue an executive order allowing military chaplains to pray according to their individual faith traditions. The American Center for Law and Justice has gathered 173,000 signatures on a petition seeking an executive order.
Seventy-three members of Congress have joined the request, saying in an Oct. 25 letter to the president, "In all branches of the military, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian chaplains to use the name of Jesus when praying."
About 80 percent of U.S. troops are Christian, the legislators wrote, adding that military "censorship" of chaplains' prayers disenfranchises "hundreds of thousands of Christian soldiers in the military who look to their chaplains for comfort, inspiration and support."
Official military policy allows any sort of prayer, but Lt. Klingenschmitt says that in reality, evangelical Protestant prayers are censored. He cites his training at the Navy Chaplains School in Newport, R.I., where "they have clipboards and evaluators who evaluate your prayers, and they praise you if you pray just to God," he said. "But if you pray in Jesus' name, they counsel you."
Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic chaplains are likewise told not to pray in the name of Allah, in Hebrew or in the name of the Trinity, he added.
But the Rev. Billy Baugham, executive director of the Greenville, S.C.-based International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, says restrictions on other religious expressions have "yet to be tested."
"No Islamic chaplain has been refused to pray in the name of Allah, as far as we know. Neither has a rabbi been rebuked for making references to Hanukkah, and no Catholic priest has been rebuked for referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary."
The Navy allows chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Allah or any other deity during chapel services, spokeswoman Lt. Erin Bailey said.
At other public events, "Navy chaplains are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of all those present," she said, "and may decline an invitation to pray if not able to do so for conscience reasons."
Lt. Klingenschmitt has not been formally punished, she added, and there are no plans to take him off active duty.
However, the lieutenant contends that he may lose his job next month and be evicted from military housing. He says he got in hot water during the summer of 2004 while aboard the USS Anzio for preaching an evangelistic sermon at the funeral of a Catholic sailor in a base chapel. The lieutenant said he was reprimanded by two senior chaplains and, in March, sent ashore to Norfolk.
Lt. Klingenschmitt also has fought at other times for the religious rights of non-Christians, having backed a Jewish sailor's bid to get kosher meals and sought to include a Muslim seaman in the rotation of sailors offering the ship's nightly closing prayer.
The lieutenant is not alone in fighting to pray to Jesus. The Navy is facing two lawsuits, filed in 1999 and 2000, by 50 Christian chaplains, saying the Navy discriminates against evangelical and Pentecostal clerics.
Mr. Baugham said the 350 chaplains he oversees are concerned about a new set of guidelines issued in August after complaints about Christian evangelism at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Air Force guidelines allow "a brief, nonsectarian prayer" during military ceremonies "to add a heightened sense of seriousness or solemnity, not to advance specific religious beliefs."
"So, to what deity do you address your prayer to?" Mr. Baugham asked. "No one knows. And who gets to write the prayers? Once the government becomes the approving authority, the poor chaplain is forced to be an agent of the state."
Mr. Baugham said he had "just got a call from an Army chaplain in Iraq who says he'd be hammered if he used Jesus' name. Chaplains are scared to death. They must clear their prayers with their commanders, they can mention Jesus' name at chapel services, but not outside that context."
I can quite see that Padre's etc need to keep a low profile in certain countries to avoid upsetting the locals, but is this not a case of PC gone mad?

I can see the Church service (sorry, non-denominational religious gathering) on Sunday:
"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here together to celebrate the birth of "Him-who-must-not-be-named". They're filming it for the the next edition of Harry Potter.

Or maybe it will just be Xmas from now on.

Failing that it was a command from on high - not that high, GW - who heard that:
At the Name of Jesus
every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him
King of glory now;
and remembered that the US was supposed to be a republic.

Wait out on PC-UK's response.
 
#2
PassingBells said:
He says he got in hot water during the summer of 2004 while aboard the USS Anzio for preaching an evangelistic sermon at the funeral of a Catholic sailor in a base chapel. The lieutenant said he was reprimanded by two senior chaplains and, in March, sent ashore to Norfolk.
I suspect this has far more to do with it. I´m a Catholic and if my experience of "evangelistic" people preaching at me is anything to go by his sermon was probably something along the lines of "you´re all going to burn in hell unless you stop following the devil incarnate known as the Pope and accept Jesus as your personal saviour like I have". I can see that going down rather badly at the funeral of a Catholic sailor...
 
#3
Let's not use the expression Christmas, Winter Festival will do very nicely for God's sake...ooh bugger! I mean for intelligent designer's sake...erm..not to indicate that evolution is in any way wrong...oh sod it - I'm a university educated, Christian, Tory, heterosexual ex-soldier who lives in the countryside, owns guns, runs a small business, is a home-owner, is married - to a woman - with two children and I own a dog (who is NOT a "companion animal"). If you have a problem with any of the above, then I suggest you seek counselling but do not bring your whiny shoite into my in-tray. You can ram political correctness. What was wrong with "good manners"? They seemed to cope with most eventualities when I was a youngster.
 
#4
pdf27 said:
PassingBells said:
He says he got in hot water during the summer of 2004 while aboard the USS Anzio for preaching an evangelistic sermon at the funeral of a Catholic sailor in a base chapel. The lieutenant said he was reprimanded by two senior chaplains and, in March, sent ashore to Norfolk.
I suspect this has far more to do with it. I´m a Catholic and if my experience of "evangelistic" people preaching at me is anything to go by his sermon was probably something along the lines of "you´re all going to burn in hell unless you stop following the devil incarnate known as the Pope and accept Jesus as your personal saviour like I have". I can see that going down rather badly at the funeral of a Catholic sailor...
I would agree. I think that this particular Padre has been reprimanded for his style of sermon rather than the use of the name Jesus. Evangelist ministers, particularly those of the septic variety, are quite full on, with lots of happy clapping, hallelujahs and people falling on the floor. It doesn't sit too well with Catholicism or the higher Protestant church.
 
#5
Private_Pike said:
I would agree. I think that this particular Padre has been reprimanded for his style of sermon rather than the use of the name Jesus. Evangelist ministers, particularly those of the septic variety, are quite full on, with lots of happy clapping, hallelujahs and people falling on the floor. It doesn't sit too well with Catholicism or the higher Protestant church.
Not knowing what the content of his sermon was, that's what I sort of suspect as well. I'd love to find out what he actually said...must poke around.

I've been to a couple of funerals where, in confusion and grief, the bereaved's family did not discuss material beforehand with the available clergy, and the attendees ended up hearing a revival-style sermon about how the deceased was probably roasting in Hell at that very moment for not mending his godless ways (usually involving Holiness Baptist religion). Define "awkward." At one such cockup, a member of a rival Christian faction actually clocked the Reverend's brother in the jaw at the funeral party...We Spams take this kind of thing seriously.

Discussion beforehand is not some fluffy PC thing but an old recommended standard of etiquette that protects the bereaved at a time when they are at their most emotionally fragile. I doubt there is such flexibility for discussing and veto-ing sermons, or clergy, in the American Navy, so it seems like anyone who's going to be handling such duties would be mindful of the responsibilities.

I consider myself a Christian as well...but if some cut-rate Pat Robertson decides to use my funeral as a pulpit for converting my heathen loved ones to "come ta Jeezis" or burn in the flames of perdition, I'll come back to life and kick his a$$.
 
#6
If he does get kicked out of the USN, there's a job for Lt Klingenschmitt (good Protestant name!) in Belfast town centre of a Saturday.
 

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