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Gerarddm
07-26-2013, 01:04 PM
The infestation of religiosity in the armed services is bad.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-page/marine-corps-religious-discrimination_b_3647235.html

John of Phoenix
07-26-2013, 01:55 PM
In 2011 the Army faced public scrutiny after the exposition of once mandatory "Spiritual Fitness (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/01/fitness-us-army-spirituality-religion-/1#.UfAxt9LVDLI)" testing which assessed the resiliency of soldiers on such qualitative measures as frequency of prayer or attendance of religious services. When a soldier failed this religious test they were denigrated with the following:

Spiritual fitness may be an area of difficulty... You may lack a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. At times, it is hard for you to make sense of what is happening to you and to others around you. You may not feel connected to something larger than yourself. You may question your beliefs, principles and values... Improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal.I find that statement fascinating. When I first went to Vietnam I was an Episcopal. After seeing a few weeks of combat and killing a few dozen people, I became an agnostic simply BECAUSE I found believing in God was just impossible.

Thankfully, both religion and politics were taboo subjects during my career. The original "Don't ask, don't tell."

Nanoose
07-26-2013, 02:02 PM
John (I don't want to sidetrack the thread) - I am curious why you found belief impossible at that point?

John of Phoenix
07-26-2013, 02:18 PM
One main premise of Episcopal belief (I suppose Christians in general) is love and forgiveness. There was nothing loving or forgiving about Vietnam so if I was going do it without total hypocrisy something had to give and what I saw... and did... was ungodly and religion is what gave. I'm still spiritual (in an awe struck kind of way) but have no use whatever for man made religion.

Nanoose
07-26-2013, 02:32 PM
Thanks, John.

Captain Intrepid
07-26-2013, 02:46 PM
The more curious question would be why some feel the need to"find" belief in the first place. Is it parental conditioning and brainwashing, or maybe a neurosis or other mental illness? Sure it may make folks feel more unified with a community but that unity is almost always against someone or something. That's the common theme among religions. One can always hope for a cure.

That's a fun juxtaposition with the OP's link. Methinks your opinions are more like their's than you realise.

Flying Orca
07-26-2013, 02:53 PM
The notion that people without religious beliefs are somehow less stable or moral than others is completely despicable - hate speech, IMNSHO.

wardd
07-26-2013, 03:09 PM
I find that statement fascinating. When I first went to Vietnam I was an Episcopal. After seeing a few weeks of combat and killing a few dozen people, I became an agnostic simply BECAUSE I found believing in God was just impossible.

Thankfully, both religion and politics were taboo subjects during my career. The original "Don't ask, don't tell."

the 6 years i was in in the early 60s religion in the service was a non issue, that may have been because there still was a draft

John of Phoenix
07-26-2013, 03:13 PM
Even in the early 80's when the Army was all volunteer. If anyone had said, "Fall in for religious training" their next stop would have been the IG's office.

wardd
07-26-2013, 03:57 PM
Even in the early 80's when the Army was all volunteer. If anyone had said, "Fall in for religious training" their next stop would have been the IG's office.

maybe it took time for the draft attitude to wear off

Osborne Russell
07-26-2013, 04:03 PM
maybe it took time for the draft attitude to wear off

Mercenaries. One day they will choose our emperor.

"Under this sign, conquer."

Captain Intrepid
07-26-2013, 05:03 PM
I can't say I agree with that. In this day and age there's a paucity of religion in my generation, but if you talk to people more often than not they'll say something about being "spiritual" not "religious" in a vague sort of way, lacking any structure. There's a drive for people to believe in something greater than themselves, even in a nebulous way.

Draketail
07-26-2013, 05:13 PM
There is a great comfort in the belief that there is something out there that is larger than myself. Be it "God", my community, the collective comfort of good friends, family: It's larger than me and a comfort.

John of Phoenix
07-26-2013, 05:14 PM
I'm not into the "greater than themselves" thing myself but I look at something as simple as a tree and I'm moved. I don't know how or why there's a Grand Canyon or moon or Milky Way but they're awe inspiring however they came to be.

Osborne Russell
07-26-2013, 05:18 PM
There is a great comfort in the belief that there is something out there that is larger than myself. Be it "God", my community, the collective comfort of good friends, family: It's larger than me and a comfort.

That there are many things larger than myself out there is self-evident. That that is a comfort, isn't, except in the very attenuated sense that it lets me off the hook for being the biggest thing there is. I'd have a lot to answer for.

As it is, I'd just as soon not come to the attention of these things one way or the other.

Willin'
07-26-2013, 05:30 PM
Then there's always that whole "Thou shalt not kill" thing, which, when broken assures eternal damnation. Is that a conflict of interest or did God give the military a waiver?

htom
07-26-2013, 05:41 PM
The notion that people without religious beliefs are somehow less stable or moral than others is completely despicable - hate speech, IMNSHO.

It doesn't say they are. It says they may be. Especially in the case of those who've recently changed or dropped religious practice, this may, I repeat, MAY be true. It may also be that they have become more stable or more moral (or both.) Something for higher to notice.

I was questioned, gently, by a Chaplin about my intermittent attendance at services in 1968. I described how I'd mostly lost my Christian (Lutheran) faith, and that I found it easier to commune with God in a forest or by the sea or under the sky than with my fellow humans. "Some do find that better, and rare ones are willing stand up and say so. Go in peace." is what he said, and there was never anything else said about it.

Full Tilt
07-26-2013, 06:43 PM
Once again I am blown away by the philosopher-warrior.

You speak from the heart. Thankyou for sharing, John.

Mike

skuthorp
07-26-2013, 06:44 PM
I imagine that those advocating a belief structure as a mandatory requirement in the military eithe see it as a barrier to complete amoral behaviour in a situation where that may lead to atrocities, or they see it as just another disciplinary hook and a group bonding procedure. OTOH they may all be religious nuts. Either is possible.
O the subject of 'default' belief, I think the majority position is some sort of belief, a position reinforced by tens of thousands of years of socialisation and evolution in that in most communities dissidents from the social norm may have been excluded and their genes not passed on.

Flying Orca
07-26-2013, 07:18 PM
It doesn't say they are. It says they may be. Especially in the case of those who've recently changed or dropped religious practice, this may, I repeat, MAY be true.

I'll believe it's that innocent when they list recently acquiring or increasing religious beliefs or behaviour as an exactly equivalent flag. Think they do that?

Nah, me neither.

htom
07-26-2013, 07:32 PM
I'll believe it's that innocent when they list recently acquiring or increasing religious beliefs or behaviour as an exactly equivalent flag. Think they do that?

Nah, me neither.

I'd classify those as "change", but then I was taught to care for my people from a very early age, long before I'd even left high school.

skipper68
07-26-2013, 10:30 PM
First off- there is no reason for the milatary to expect you to have religion.
This is Separation of Religion and Government.
IF they are requiring these soldiers to choose a religion, that is so wrong.

OTOH, when in war-you are doing your job. It's not like a thief murdering an old lady for %20.00.
Our soul is here for a reason.
So aren't theirs.

GOD- Pick your flavor. never wants his souls taken in IT's name.
THAT is a true crime. Those who choose that wrong path will be held to the higher powers judgment, in the end..
War as your job, just ask to be forgiven. Remember this was not your choice and give respect to those involved.
Pretty simple rules, I think.

htom
07-26-2013, 11:53 PM
Then there's always that whole "Thou shalt not kill" thing, which, when broken assures eternal damnation. Is that a conflict of interest or did God give the military a waiver?

It says "Thou shall not murder", not that one shouldn't kill. This is the Old Testament definition of murder, which is to intentionally kill in secret. Some argue that military snipers do such; I don't agree, but that's a discussion for a different thread. This was a God who called for human sacrifice, remember.

John Smith
07-27-2013, 06:22 AM
The more curious question would be why some feel the need to"find" belief in the first place. Is it parental conditioning and brainwashing, or maybe a neurosis or other mental illness? Sure it may make folks feel more unified with a community but that unity is almost always against someone or something. That's the common theme among religions. One can always hope for a cure.

It's my belief (pun intended) that many people cannot accept "I don't know." as an answer for how we got here, and those people are ripe for those who claim to have the answer.

Even the Pope doesn't trust in God and gets back in the bullet proof Pope Mobile.

John Smith
07-27-2013, 06:26 AM
I can't say I agree with that. In this day and age there's a paucity of religion in my generation, but if you talk to people more often than not they'll say something about being "spiritual" not "religious" in a vague sort of way, lacking any structure. There's a drive for people to believe in something greater than themselves, even in a nebulous way.

Over the many years of discussions I've engaged in, the religious people eventually get to the "Everything has to have a beginning" argument. When asked when God began, I am told he was always there, proving everything doesn't have to have a beginning.

I don't know how we started, why we're here, etc. Neither does anyone else. Admitting I don't know is more honest than simply making stuff up to fill in the blanks. I have seen many evil things done by men waving the Bible.

John Smith
07-27-2013, 06:29 AM
I'm not into the "greater than themselves" thing myself but I look at something as simple as a tree and I'm moved. I don't know how or why there's a Grand Canyon or moon or Milky Way but they're awe inspiring however they came to be.

Agreed. Go to any aquarium and the different sizes, shapes, colors of all those sea creatures is quite amazing, and we've not discovered all of them yet.

One can be in awe and accept the fact he does not know how or why all this is.

John Smith
07-27-2013, 06:33 AM
First off- there is no reason for the milatary to expect you to have religion.
This is Separation of Religion and Government.
IF they are requiring these soldiers to choose a religion, that is so wrong.

OTOH, when in war-you are doing your job. It's not like a thief murdering an old lady for %20.00.
Our soul is here for a reason.
So aren't theirs.

GOD- Pick your flavor. never wants his souls taken in IT's name.
THAT is a true crime. Those who choose that wrong path will be held to the higher powers judgment, in the end..
War as your job, just ask to be forgiven. Remember this was not your choice and give respect to those involved.
Pretty simple rules, I think.

Actually, there is a reason. We want our wars to be religious wars.

Willin'
07-27-2013, 06:46 AM
And we want to be sure our warriors are moral enough to burn villages, eat dead bodies and kill, KILL! With apologies to Arlo.

Full Tilt
07-27-2013, 07:19 AM
Agreed. Go to any aquarium and the different sizes, shapes, colors of all those sea creatures is quite amazing, and we've not discovered all of them yet..

Please, don't go to a Seaquarium! Boycott fish prisons.


http://youtu.be/IH3RNUc9NsY

Mike|:(

Flying Orca
07-27-2013, 09:13 AM
I'd classify those as "change", but then I was taught to care for my people from a very early age, long before I'd even left high school.

With all due respect - and I respect you plenty - it's not you I'm worried about, it's the evangelicals who are trying to take over the armed forces.

paulf
07-27-2013, 10:10 AM
When I was in the Marine Corps, 68 Viet Nam, they were the most hedonistic group of men alive. Like John said, a few weeks of combat changes everything for most.
Regardless, It's unconstitutional:

Article VI of our constitution clearly establishes that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

So it looks like CMC will have to change some verbage.