December 15, 2005

Warrior creed...

I just read a very interesting book, The Faith of the American Soldier, by Stephen Mansfield. Most of us are aware that active Christian faith is common in our military. Mansfield probes the subject, and also the history of faith in the US military. Very interesting stuff.

One odd thing is that, for many of our troops, their faith is improvised, self-taught, and exists in small groups, rather than being part of any denomination or organization. Partly this mirrors developments at home, where new stand-alone churches are drawing people away from older denominations. And also the old main-line denominations, their Christian faith having been mostly replaced by mushy leftism, have no interest (of a positive sort) in our military and no longer contribute many chaplains. (Which is probably good, because many of those frauds are on the other side, and would be as eager to betray the Iraqis and Afghans into tyranny and torture and murder as they were to betray the South Vietnamese into tyranny and torture and murder.)

Partly it is because, as I was shocked to learn, the chaplain corps is severely limited in what they are allowed to do or say. They are not allowed to accompany troops into combat (!) which makes them seem irrelevant to those who come under fire. And, in fact, they are not supposed to do much of anything except personal counseling and conducting ceremonies. Most crucially, they are not allowed to provide a warrior creed for our troops. They can't say that we are fighting a just (or unjust) war! Christianity and American tradition both support just wars, but the secularists have pretty much stopped any official support for these great traditions.

A warrior's creed is what is needed, and it is fascinating to see how our soldiers are cobbling together their own.

Remember how General Boykin was castigated and reproved for saying that the War on Terror was a Christian and moral war, that America is a Christian nation with a Christian President? What you didn't hear is that his words resonated with the troops...

...As one Lieutenant Colonel serving at USCENTCOM at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida said, "I won't say it publicly, and you can't use my name, but I will tell you that I agree with everything Boykin said. Most of us would give anything if the chaplains or our commanders would speak to us in the same terms Boykin did. What he gave us was the spiritual map we needed."

Posted by John Weidner at December 15, 2005 9:17 AM
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