This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← High ranking chaplain leaves out ‘so help me god’

High ranking chaplain leaves out ‘so help me god’ - Comments

Save me jebuz!'s Avatar Comment 1 by Save me jebuz!

So now we can celebrate the fact that a potential killer on feign shores is one of our very own? Progress? I think not.

Call me back for the party when the armies of the globe are disbanded.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 04:15:02 UTC | #887228

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 2 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 1 by Save me jebuz!

So now we can celebrate the fact that a potential killer on feign shores is one of our very own? Progress? I think not.

Call me back for the party when the armies of the globe are disbanded.

Not this auld crap all over again....."one of our very own"...the cat herd ya mean?

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 04:39:04 UTC | #887235

Martin_C's Avatar Comment 3 by Martin_C

Comment 1 by Save me jebuz! :

So now we can celebrate the fact that a potential killer on feign shores is one of our very own? Progress? I think not. Call me back for the party when the armies of the globe are disbanded.

What fantasy world are you living in?

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 04:57:55 UTC | #887237

Sample's Avatar Comment 4 by Sample

Why is a Chaplain administering an oath of re-enlistment? I presume he is a Colonel first, Chaplain second? I'd like to see the theology clarifying that mental jungle gym.

Mike

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 05:12:12 UTC | #887239

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 5 by Functional Atheist

Comment 4 by Sample :

Why is a Chaplain administering an oath of re-enlistment? I presume he is a Colonel first, Chaplain second? I'd like to see the theology clarifying that mental jungle gym.

Mike

Any commissioned officer may administer an oath of enlistment or re-enlistment, and US Army regulations allow for the phrase "so help me god" to be omitted. (Army Regulation 601-210). The respectful and friendly relationship between Strohm and Griffith is apparently the reason Col. (Chaplain) Strohm administered the oath in this instance.

As to theological dilemmas facing military Chaplains, bear in mind that they are officially noncombatants, and are not allowed to directly participate in hostilities. While the Geneva Conventions are silent regarding whether chaplains may bear arms, US military Chaplains are not permitted to bear arms in combat.

In addition, active duty Chaplains are required to have a "religious endorsement" from their religious organization to serve on active duty, so by definition all active duty US Chaplains have the explicit "endorsement" of their theological authorities.

For much more information, the Wiki article is quite interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_chaplain

I'd like to extend my personal thanks to Chaplain Strohm. Atheist service personnel merit respect, rather than mere toleration, and Chaplain Strohm sets a fine example for his colleagues to emulate.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 06:33:44 UTC | #887246

DonDonDon's Avatar Comment 6 by DonDonDon

Justin is inspiring.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 07:48:51 UTC | #887252

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 7 by Stafford Gordon

Uh!

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 08:08:22 UTC | #887256

Sample's Avatar Comment 8 by Sample

Functional Atheist,

I appreciate your taking up the clarification.

Mike

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 08:52:34 UTC | #887267

Mark Question's Avatar Comment 9 by Mark Question

Trained to kill !!!

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 09:59:12 UTC | #887281

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 10 by drumdaddy

Remarkable resolve, Justin. Love ya', bro.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:06:18 UTC | #887282

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 11 by SomersetJohn

This should remind us that theist are people too, and just like any other group, including atheists, can be nice/nasty, good/bad, smart/stupid; pretty much any mix you can think of.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:45:10 UTC | #887294

mmurray's Avatar Comment 12 by mmurray

Comment 1 by Save me jebuz! :

Call me back for the party when the armies of the globe are disbanded.

You've invented immortality perhaps ?

Michael

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 11:22:51 UTC | #887302

foundationist's Avatar Comment 13 by foundationist

I never thought I´d call any news item involving the enlistment or re-enlistment of a person into the army good news, but as long as people are falling for that military crap at least they should not be discriminated against on the basis of their religion or lack thereof, so, yeah, all in all this is good news.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 12:00:47 UTC | #887310

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 14 by Rich Wiltshir

Apart from when Galtieri's junta sank HMS Sheffield, I've never been inclind to military life (something about being on call for 168 hours a week whilst being salaried for 40).

I do think it's progress that a senior religoon is acknowledging freedom from religoon. Contrary to comment 1, I don't imagine there'll ever be a time when armies can be disbanded but sincerely hope that their function can be more constructive (as disaster relief bodies perhaps) than the current needs.

Let's work toward the elimation of foxholes as well as the buffoons that encourage their need.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 12:08:33 UTC | #887317

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 15 by Rich Wiltshir

Apart from when Galtieri's junta sank HMS Sheffield, I've never been inclind to military life (something about being on call for 168 hours a week whilst being salaried for 40).

I do think it's progress that a senior religoon is acknowledging freedom from religoon. Contrary to comment 1, I don't imagine there'll ever be a time when armies can be disbanded but sincerely hope that their function can be more constructive (as disaster relief bodies perhaps) than the current needs.

Let's work toward the elimation of foxholes as well as the buffoons that encourage their need.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 12:14:52 UTC | #887321

Moderator's Avatar Comment 16 by Moderator

Moderators' message

We had this issue on another recent thread relating to atheists in the military. The simple fact is that there ARE atheists in the military and they are entitled to our support when it comes to their right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their atheism.

Yet every time the subject comes up, there are those who try to turn it into an attack on the concept of a military in the first place. That is a different issue altogether: please do NOT take threads off-topic.

Thank you.

The Mods

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 12:18:21 UTC | #887322

JohnnyO's Avatar Comment 17 by JohnnyO

Well said Mod, especially as the people making the comments have absolutely no concept of what the miltary actually do.

I have personally built schools, hospitals, roads and helped with infrastructure on 3 continents, without the need to fire my weapon at anyone.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 13:00:33 UTC | #887334

some asshole's Avatar Comment 18 by some asshole

Yeah, this is progress. If nothing else, it is a reminder that not all Christians are intolerant, closed-minded idiots.

I have a friend who is a Staff Sergeant in the USMC. Nicest, most generous person I know. Would literally give you the shirt off his back. You'd never know he was a badass!

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 13:35:10 UTC | #887344

jbkaffe's Avatar Comment 19 by jbkaffe

Kudos to Mr. Strohm and to Mr. Griffith.

Back in my army days, religion wasn't an issue. Education was the purpose of our stint, and it helped out a lot of people. No one cares about beliefs when your buddy needs help. :-)

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 14:04:33 UTC | #887348

Sara12's Avatar Comment 20 by Sara12

Well done SGT Griffith.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 14:17:03 UTC | #887354

gr8hands's Avatar Comment 21 by gr8hands

Thank you JohnnyO and Functional Atheist for your insight and facts. They are sorely needed in discussions on this topic.

Now if only there were a clear thinking oasis where reason and science would prevail . . . that would be the ideal place for these two great posts to counter misinformation and prejudice.

Oh, right. Here is such a place. Excellent.

Full Disclosure: I am a military veteran who somehow managed to go my entire military career without killing a single human being. (And in that I am typical, just like the overwhelming majority of people in the modern military.)

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 16:20:23 UTC | #887380

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 22 by Tyler Durden

Comment 21 by gr8hands :

Full Disclosure: I am a military veteran who somehow managed to go my entire military career without killing a single human being. (And in that I am typical, just like the overwhelming majority of people in the modern military.)

Gotta love the Predator UAV :)

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 16:32:18 UTC | #887382

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 23 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 14 by Rich Wiltshir

Apart from when Galtieri's junta sank HMS Sheffield, I've never been inclind to military life (something about being on call for 168 hours a week whilst being salaried for 40).

Well Rich, having been in a green flowery suit at the time it was never gonna be about the wages. It definitely isn't for everyone and given the world we live in, the military is a necessary requirement. Wouldn't we all prefer it to be staffed by Sgt. Griffiths than by a load of Col. Stephen J. Sicinski's?

I do think it's progress that a senior religoon is acknowledging freedom from religoon. Contrary to comment 1, I don't imagine there'll ever be a time when armies can be disbanded but sincerely hope that their function can be more constructive (as disaster relief bodies perhaps) than the current needs.

I can concur....as an ex Royal Engineer we did a lot more construction than destruction and regardless of what folk here might think of us, it's the smile on the disaster victims face when we arrive that makes the job worth more than any amount of pay in the bank at the end of the month.

Let's work toward the elimation of foxholes as well as the buffoons that encourage their need.

Nailed it in one sentence.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:07:09 UTC | #887393

gr8hands's Avatar Comment 24 by gr8hands

Tyler Durden, perhaps it wasn't clear, gauging by your comment 22.

The overwhelming percentage of people in the modern military do not have a job that will ever require them to be in a position of killing someone else. And that was before the use of drones/robots/etc.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:25:31 UTC | #887397

jbkaffe's Avatar Comment 25 by jbkaffe

...Wouldn't we all prefer it to be staffed by Sgt. Griffiths than by a load of Col. Stephen J. Sicinski's?

Hopefully so, unless we're talking crusades or jihad...

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:49:12 UTC | #887400

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 26 by ZenDruid

Retired USAF TSgt here... The 'so help me gawd' phrase was always optional as far as I can remember.

I know I never used it.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:51:36 UTC | #887401

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 27 by Neodarwinian

Progress. One step at a time, comment number 1, and we live in the real world of today, not some imagined world of the future. Deal with it, just as Sgt. Griffith has.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:28:00 UTC | #887427

ridelo's Avatar Comment 28 by ridelo

As a 71 year old Belgian I remember my father taking me as a 4 year old with some flowers in my hand to a resting American soldier to thank him for what he did for us. I remember that soldier as very dirty. Never having seen a black man I couldn't find no other explanation or maybe he was really dirty coming from the battles in the Ardennes. My perception of Americans has always been shifting during my lifetime. Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper were my heroes when I grew older. Then came Vietnam. All of a sudden the American became the ugly American. But there was also the space exploration that I admired so much.

But also that fundamentalism now that I detest and fear so much. The simple gesture made by this chaplain is a hopeful step for progress. The world isn't and was never perfect. But that doesn't mean it can't become a better place.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:56:35 UTC | #887432

78rpm's Avatar Comment 29 by 78rpm

Could it be that the chaplain is one of those who, like other clergy, has ceased to believe and is just playing the game of looking religious? It would explain why he is being so cooperative to an atheist. Just wondering.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 21:41:25 UTC | #887450

A. R's Avatar Comment 30 by A. R

78rpm: That is an interesting thought.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 21:45:41 UTC | #887455