... Not in the sense of "do most of its members describe themselves as Christian?", but rather is it a Christian institution? It doesn't declare itself as such (because that would probably be unlawful) but consider the evidence: * The Army is loyal to the Queen who is the head of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith. * The Army is controlled by Parliament, in the Upper House of which sit the 26 Bishops of the CofE. * The Values and Standards of the Army appear tightly entwined with Christian values (not that Christianity can claim them as "all their own work"). However, the Padre always delivers the MATT lecture! * Many military ceremonies and traditions have a significant Christian religious element eg Remembrance. I reckon that makes the British Army a Christian institution but is it a good thing or a bad thing? A few things make me think "bad thing": * We find ourselves involved in two conflicts where the opponent claims to fight for Islam. If we (and the Americans) are characterised as Christian armies, the opponent can claim it is a war between religions and mobilise support from Muslims who wouldn't otherwise have cared less. * The religious element dominates military ceremony. The prime example is the Act of Remembrance. It's supposed to be about honouring the sacrifice made by our war dead but instead you're forced to go to Church and spend nearly all the Service enduring hymns, prayers and Scripture that only honour God, not the war dead. Acts of Memorial are another example. The default setting is a church service led by the Padre. What have hymns got to do with remembering and honouring a fallen comrade? * It makes the Army a weird and irritating place if you happen not to be a Christian! For example, how many of you in training were marched to Church on Sunday and told that you could either attend or spend the time on the drill square? Personally I attended - never one to the miss the opportunity to knock some zzz's out! I'm not bashing personal faith or the right to practise it. I'm not knocking the invaluable pastoral care that Army Padres provide. I just find it bizarre that an organisation that is otherwise so earthly bound is entwined with something so irrational as a particular brand of faith. In my view it should be a secular Army. PS I nicked this idea off RichardDawkins.net so credit to Charlie Big Potato. Given the low response though it seems that not many arrsers have found their way there yet! PPS Let's try not to go down the "there are no atheists in foxholes" path because there are.