British Army: Lack of Faith, Charity - and Hope

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Edward_Jellington, Apr 1, 2010.

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  1. From Faith News CD
    30 March 2010
    Special Report by Cornell N Fisher, Afghanistan

    It's 10:00 on a bright Sunday morning at Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. For most of the relatively small number of US service people based at the British-run camp, the day is already upwards of three hours old. Physical training has been completed, religious ceremonies of one kind or another have been observed and they are now hard at work, making their own individual contributions towards victory in Afghanistan. For most of the Brits they nominally serve alongside, however, it's an entirely different story.

    The group I meet on Bastion's dusty main drag can perhaps be considered representative. They shuffle along the unmetalled road in a loose grouping that owes more to the Bronx than to Fort Hood. There is little attempt at uniformity, their unpressed desert combat fatigues having been bleached into a rainbow of hues. Some sport Unit insignia, others do not. Some have dispensed with badges altogether and have decorated their clothing - I hesitate to say 'uniforms' - with ink pen. The Afghan sun has turned their skins lobster-pink, accentuating their unshaven features and the clumsy tattoos etched onto their lower arms. And they smell. They smell of stale cigarette smoke and last night's beer, obtained from one of Bastion's many quasi-legal shebeens. They pass me with red-rimmed eyes and I watch they disappear into the distance.

    I don't think of them again for a couple of hours. At 12:00, I find myself sat in a makeshift row of pews in the US Forces' Chaplaincy Facility, located behind the D-FAC in a corner of the camp where Brits are a rarity. Despite this being the third service of the day, the chapel is full to capacity, loaded with US service people knelt shoulder-to-shoulder before God in silent contemplation. Their simple, pure faith is moving - as is the uniformity of dress and purpose. After the service comes to an end, I take the opportunity to speak with a few of them and ask their opinions of the people they share a camp with.

    Their thoughts are negative, without exception. Specialist Matthew Hannigan of Colfax, Iowa describes the British as 'basically bums. We come here to fight a serious war, they treat it like gun camp'. PFC Allan Hungry Horse, a Native American from Clear Lake, South Dakota, agrees: 'I don't got any idea if those guys even go to high school. They don't know their Bible, for sure'. And such sentiments aren't confined to the enlisted men. Major Kobi Larburg - the ranking officer present - actually served on attachment to the British army in Bosnia during the 1990s. He tells me that: 'most armies outside of the USA have had shameful episodes in their pasts. It's just that the Brits seem to wear them as a badge of honour rather than shame. Believe me, the spirits of Gin Lane and Badajoz are alive and well, and living in Helmand. In somewhere like Yugoslavia, where the people were - let's not mince words - just as heathen as them, the Brits did OK. But here, in the crucible of the clash of religions, their lack of faith, hope and charity is plain for all to see'.

    When the others have drifted away - back to their desks, turrets or rifles - I chat for a while with the minister, Chaplain Andres Uribe. Originally from LA, he is a pleasant, gentle man and is obviously at pains not to be too judgemental. But one phrase says it all. When I ask him about the British Chaplains, what they are doing to address the immorality of their soldiers and where one might be found, Uribe looks pained and his eyes turn skyward. 'Go to one of the contractor bars on any day of the week', he tells me. 'Go after 17:00 and there you'll find their Chaplain - on about his third beer...'.
  2. Oh mercy!! A God bothering believer in the great sky pixie stumbles across some real soldiers and is offended!!
  3. God will forgive them, he's good like that.
  4. God loves Brits because we pack heaven with freshly despatched souls all the time!!
  5. This has got to be a wind up???
  6. I'm sure we've had the discussion about how actually defeating the enemy counts for more than being neatly shaven and having pressed trousers and lots of badges sewn in the right places in the desert. How the fcuk does he know that the group he saw was representative of British troops anyway?

    Because the knowledge of a 2000-year-old book full of tall stories which repeatedly contradict each other is the gold standard of education. :roll:
  7. I agree.

    I'm not without faith but his sort of evangelism I find nauseating.
  8. SK

    God påske
  9. Knackered uniform - check
    Unshaven having been on some tasking - check
    Booze - really? Not seen that
    Heathen's not getting into the spirit of things - check (spirit - see what i've done there!)
    Don't know my Bible - check

    Sounds like happy clappy bollox to me.
  10. Oh the irony!

    Perhaps we should admit that we aren't worthy and stop sacrificing good English blood and leave them to their pious thoughts and pure practices, they clearly don't want us or respect our presence.

    Either that or find religion and start waterboarding like a good moral Christian should.
  11. What a * :x :x :x
  12. That's got to be the best example of "Boots legionnaire Roman" in action I've ever seen. :p
  13. Maybe not. Most of the Yanks I met in Afghan were top blokes but there were a few who had attitudes exactly like this numpty.
  14. Agreed! As if Afghanistan doesn't have enough religious nutters without pious septics getting stuck in.