What would an atheist chaplain do? *UPDATED*

Atheists aren’t limiting their attacks in religion in the military to demonizing Christians.  It turns out they’re also agitating for their own chaplains.  I find this amusing.  I can just imagine the atheist chaplain in different military scenarios.

Atheist military chaplain on the eve of battle:

“You’re going into battle tomorrow.  No one is watching over you; no one is at your side; and you’re not cradled in anyone’s divine love. Have fun and be careful.”

Atheist military chaplain in a fox hole:

“We’re going to die!  We’re going to die!  And after that . . . nothing!!!”

Atheist military chaplain at a dying soldier’s side:

“Please, my son, ignore the fact that your life had no meaning, your death will have been equally meaningless and, when you die, you’ll rot and turn to dust.  Don’t worry.  Be happy.”

Atheist military chaplain when soldier confesses that he has the urge to rape the enemy’s women:

“Well, I think that’s a very bad idea.”

My parodies are stupid, right?  It’s not just that I’m a bad parodist (which I am).  It’s that life in Obama’s America has moved beyond parody.

UPDATE:  There’s a meme going on here.  Check it out.

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  • Spartacus

    Is the Left becoming a victim of its own success?
     
    I remember seeing an interview with Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, who left the group once he felt they had become too loopy.  They’d achieved all of their initial goals, and were moving on to things that didn’t make any sense at all.  About the time Moore left, they were talking about a ban on chlorine; his response was a dry, “I dunno guys… it’s in the periodic table…”
     
    So what do you do after you’ve achieved all of your wildest policy dreams?  Atheist chaplains?  Why not?

  • Ron19

    Atheist military chaplain when soldier confesses that he has the urge to rape the enemy’s women:
    “Well, I think that’s a very bad idea.”
     
    Horny soldier:
    “By what authority is that a bad idea, rather than just a regional social convention?”

  • lee

    My former boss said there are two types of people involved in (fill in the blank): The normal people who want to moderate the way (blank) is done/used/etc., and the wack-o crazies who want the human race to disappear/nothing to ever be built again/etc. The whole LEED thing falls into this, as well as THAT (above.) The standards getting more and more difficult to achieve. The early participants were people who wanted ALL buildings to be “greener.” Now there are a lot of people who just want NO MORE TO BE BUILT.

  • Danny Lemieux

    RON19 – Perfect! 
    “For if there’s no everlasting God, there’s no such thing as virtue, and there’s no need of it.”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in The Brothers Karamazov
     
     

  • Danny Lemieux

    Actually, come to think of it: there is already a class of atheist chaplains.
     
    Most go by the title of “psychiatrist” or “psychologist”.

  • Charles Martel

    It is interesting that a group that insists religion is a terrible thing wants religious trappings–the chaplaincy. More interesting, though, is the motivation. Book’s parodies pretty much show up the stupidity of the whole enterprise.
     
    That is unless the real goal is really to have a permanent corps (that’s pronounced “core,” Barry) of self-righteous snarksters demonstrating their superiority to us superstitionists.
     
    As usual under NBOTUS’s regime, the opposition will be government funded.

  • http://vinnysrants.blogspot.com vinny

    An atheist chaplan could marry you to your bunk mate…just saying.

  • Libby

    The cynic in me thinks they want their own chaplains so that they can better monitor/police the other chaplains.
    Atheist military chaplain at a dying soldier’s side:
    “Do not be sad. Your carbon footprint is about to become zero, which means the planet will be better off without you.”
     

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    Hubs and I watched a lot of WWII movies over Memorial Day weekend.  I think it was The Battle of the Bulge where a Lutheran chaplain is holding a prayer service.  He mentions that, as part of the Chaplaincy Group, he has been called upon to pray with and give services for all denominations:  Lutheran, Catholic, and even Jewish.
     
    Would an atheist chaplain be able to preach to all choirs, in spite of his personal beliefs?  Would s/he give a blessing to a group of soldiers if asked? 
    And what type of insignia would s/he wear on his/her collar to identify that s/he was a chaplain and not a regular soldier?  (IIRC, Christian chaplains have a cross pinned on their collar; Rabbis would have a Star of David.)  Hmmm… we could have some fun with that!

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  • Ron19

    March Hare #9:
     
    And what type of insignia would s/he wear on his/her collar to identify that s/he was a chaplain and not a regular soldier?
     
    How about an empty hole in the collar, larger than a button hole?

  • Libby

    March Hare – They would wear a Darwin fish, of course. Libs have been slapping these on their cars for years.

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    March Hare – the word is “they” not the leftist PC “s/he” crap. (Courtesy of Atheist Grammar Policeman.)
     
    Also, a note before I get started – I will write God with a capital G because of convention and to differentiate the Judeo-Christian deity from other gods. “God” does not have an asterisk as in G*d. God is not a name, it is a condition of being – that of supreme omnipotence.
     
    Like it or not, there were plenty of Atheists in every war and at the Normandy beach heads and in many foxholes thereafter and they were just as afraid and brave as any fable believer. What does one say to a dying Atheist soldier? “You’re not alone. I’m here with you.” 
     
    As for an Atheist’s carbon footprint: it’s the same size as anyone else’s CF and it doesn’t go away just because they’re dead. The body decomposes, releasing the stored carbon into the environment. And, Vinny, marriage officiants can be anyone recognized by the state, religious, or tribal authorities. I attended a wedding officiated by a hippie who literally got his license from a matchbook cover and it was totally legal. A couple can legally marry by simply writing the names in a family bible. In over 200 yrs of American jurisprudence, the practice has never been successfully challenged in a court of law.   
     
    Torcaso v. Watkins, 1961, the US Supreme Court ruled secular humanism is a religion. Religion, the Supreme’s claim, does not necessarily require the belief in God, gods, or any supreme beings (presumably that does not include Supreme Court beings.) One should applaud the American concept that all beliefs and lack thereof are equally acceptable so long as those beliefs do not impinge upon the civil rights of others or offend the sensibilities of the average persons of the community, such as animal or human sacrifice.
     
    In Kaufman, James v. McCaughtry, Gary, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, held that for purposes of the 1st Amendment, Atheism is a religion because it takes a philosophical position of the existence a deity or deities – they don’t exist. This does not negate any belief in a righteous life and a life lived according to moral and ethical codes indistinguishable from religious doctrine.
     
    There are many recognized historical religions without supernatural deities. Would anyone here deny a dying Buddhist soldier whatever death and dying rites they wish? Buddhism is a godless religion. How about Reconstructionist Jews? These are Jews sans a god entity and they have prayers without mention of God. In a survey of Israeli Jews, only 48% believed in an actual God. Are they to be denied their preferred death rites. There are Taoists, Confucianists who are also godless. There are Jains, who live in the Holy Land with Jews, Muslims, and Christian believers, but themselves do not worship any higher spiritual beings like gods, nor do they worship or pay homage to any idols. Jains believe that the universe has always existed and will always exist, so there is no need for any sort of creator god. 
     
    And not all Christians are supreme subscribers, either. There is the Unitarian Church in which 18% are Atheists. There is Catholic Atheism in which the culture, traditions, rituals, and norms of Catholicism are accepted, but the idea of the existence of God is rejected. Similarly, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and several other smaller denominations 1 in 6 clergy are either agnostic or atheist. They describe God as a word for experience, or human experience, and some doubt that Jesus ever existed just as I’ve heard Catholic priests and Methodist ministers say they don’t know if Jesus was a real person.
     
    In a sense, all of you are Atheists. You reject the existence of the thousands of Hindu gods, right? Many of you reject the Muslim god, Allah, the one true god because you have your own one true God and obviously there can’t be two one true gods. We all rejected the Shinto god, the Emperor of Japan, in World War II and we all reject the many animist gods of tribalists around the world now. We  also reject the gods of the ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and the Norse, except the Marvel Comics versions. Who is to say in all certainty that any or all of those gods are not the true god or gods? Oh, of course, you are! And that’s cherry picking of deities, not to mention arrogant. Atheist reject them all, which is also arrogant.
     
    But how can Atheists live by a code of ethics when no such code exists. Atheism is a single answer to the general question, “Do you believe in a God, god, or gods?” For Atheists, the answer is no. For theists the answer is yes. Apart from a position on the concept of God, there are no tenets, dogma, creed, or code associated with atheism. Obviously then, Atheists are devil worshipers. Hell, no. That’s just stupid from the get go because that would be placing the devil on the level of a god and that’s antithetical to Atheism. Then Atheists are all amoral criminal types. Just as stupid as the previous proposition. Atheists follow laws, rules, regulations just as often as any deity believer, except an Atheist does so because it’s the right thing to do rather than fear of smiting and everlasting damnation.
     
    I am an Atheist and I’ve written so many times here on this forum. Without my confession, all of you, every single one who has ever posted here and read my comments, would be hard pressed to differentiate my beliefs from any of your own. What does one say to a dying Atheist? You’re not alone in the hour of your death; I am with you. What do you say to an Atheist warrior returning from the battlefield? Welcome home. Thank you for your service.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Indigo Red,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.  It still leaves me with a question for you:  Where does a chaplain fit into the atheist scheme? 

    By definition, chaplains are religious servants or mediators or anointed ones.  They are man’s intermediary with God or someone who interprets God or something else that’s always allied with God. 

    Having spent most of my life as an atheist and having now headed into sort of non-denominational theist territory, I don’t have a bone to pick with atheists.  I just don’t see where a chaplain — someone whose sole purpose is to be representative of a God-based faith system — fits in with a world view that denies that there is a God.

    Certainly, anyone who is in a foxhole with a comrade would say “You are not alone.  You’re here with me.”  The question, though, is what difference the atheist chaplain would make.  Would he or she offer anything different from what I would offer?  Looked at another way, the difference between me and a priest is that he would offer the last rites while, unlike me, a chaplain or rabbi would offer prayers that are tied to faith-based belief systems about survival and death. 

    My point is not that I’m at war with atheists or with atheists who serve.  Instead, it’s that I think an atheist chaplain is an oxymoron and, therefore, a silly idea dredged up to make a point, rather than to offer something of value to America’s troops.

  • Charles Martel

    There are atheists and then there are atheists, just as there are homosexual persons and then there are militant gays. I appreciate Indigo Red’s thoughtful–and informed–comments and accept that I can’t say much (not that I’d want to) to talk him into theism.
     
    But Indigo doesn’t belong to that irritating, tedious coterie of professional atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, who remind me of the nerds we used to laugh at in junior high school who had suddenly discovered Ayn Rand or Bertrand Russell and suddenly seen the (non-divine) light. They were so appallingly illogical that we just wound up shaking our heads and returning to our childish game of “Let’s Burn the Witch.”
     
    So I agree with Book that the call for atheist chaplains is just silly. Or should I say, it’s silly to any conservative who sees through the hostile and contemptuous intent of such a push.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Almost all other religions believe in a higher power. Whether they call that Divine or God, doesn’t matter.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Left plans to use these chaplans for a Gramscian march through the institutions. One guess what the targeted institution is.
     
    This isn’t about the issue. The issue is always about the revolution.

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    BW, 
    Thank you for the questions. You’ve provided a partial answer by saying, “By definition, chaplains are religious servants or mediators or anointed ones.” The “or” is very important here. Originally, a chaplain was a cleric (clerk) who took care of a chapel. After some time, a chaplain also became a bishop’s assistant. A chaplain was, at one time, solely a representative of the Christian, specifically Roman Catholic, faith. Now chaplains represent many faiths.
     
    In the military, chaplains are practitioners of multi-faiths. There are bucket loads of philosophical differences between Judaism and Christianity, and even more when Islam is thrown in. Yet, one military chaplain is now expected to cover all three. There are so many differences between the Christianity of Catholicism and Protestantism that wars were fought over which is right; the question is not totally settled in N. Ireland even now, but a Christian chaplain must minister to both in all the various denominations.
     
    Many lay persons today have been and are being professionally trained as chaplains – generic, multi-faith chaplains – without following the ecclesiastical path of seminary training. The role of chaplain is once again changing just as the role has changed in the past. Today’s chaplain may end up being a counselor of philosophy rather than a minister of religious faith and many argue that religion is but philosophy with a supernatural element. It certainly seems headed that way. By the evidence of today’s practicing chaplains, military or civilian, are no longer strictly “religious servants” in the mold of days past. They are indeed “mediators” not strictly between man and God (which was the role of priests until Gutenberg came along with a Bible that any literate person could read sans priest), but also between man, the unknown, and the very difficult. And, as I pointed out, Atheism has been recognized as a religion because it contains all the elements of a religion including a doctrine on the existence of a deity. It all smacks of the question of whether or not Data is a sentient being, is Data alive. If a mediator, a counselor, does all the things that a religious philosophy clerk does, are they not also philosophy clerks in similar vein?
     
    In the Christian Church, we have come to think of “church” as the House of God, the place where like minded people praise Jehovah, and play bingo. However, the New Testament used the Greek word “ekklesia” which meant a Greek city-state in which the citizens participated in the governance. In the two passages of Matthew in which church is mentioned, there is no architectural building involved. The church was the people who came together in the spirit of oneness; to paraphrase Matthew, where two or three gather in my name, there I am among them. Sounds a lot like Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath.
     
    When Atheists gather to ponder the wonders of the universe from quarks to galaxies, share their common beliefs, celebrate important milestones, memorialize those who’ve died – that is no different from the traditional religious gathering. Except, there is no deity involved. That’s it. And afterwards there’s coffee and cookies and on Friday night there’s bingo to raise funds to send to Moore, OK.
     
    But then, what happens to an Atheist when they die? Einstein observed, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another.” He even wrote a famous equation that has yet to be proved false – E= something, something and without a lot of physics, there’s a giant leap of faith. So how is that different from the idea that people die and go to heaven as angels which is itself a religious myth within the modern religious teachings as the Christian biblical teaching is that man is man, angels are angels, and the two will never be the same and no dead human has ever entered Heaven; that will only happen in the end time, that’s what the Rapture is for – all the righteous souls will rise into Heaven. Okay, so Atheists will molder in the grave like everyone else and eventually all those freed-up molecules will make their way to the outer rings of the magnetosphere, get mixed with a bunch of other molecules to make something else or remain floating around. Or, perhaps as Michael Martin Murphy sings, the dead will fertilize a flower that a horse will eat and be expelled out the other end as a big meadow muffin suggesting that people don’t change much.
     
    All of this is no longer so far afield. Just last week, no less than the Pope himself said that even Atheists are welcomed in heaven by the just God of Christianity. At least until his advisers announced that Pope Francis was mistaken and Atheists are still remanded to hell and inadvertently declaring – oops – that the infallible Pope is indeed fallible. If it is at this moment with “hostile and contemptuous intent” that a “Gramscian march through institutions” for purposes of “revolution,” that change is taking place, then it is a one that should take place and should not alter the way anyone practices their faith, with or without a deity. It’s not a Right/Left thing, nor a Conservative/Liberal thing. There are many Left-wing Liberal God believers. There many people just like me who are Right-wing Conservative, but also non-deists. We just don’t talk so loud as the Richard Dawkins’ and Sam Harris’ who often freely admit they have a beef with God rather than an honest, straight-forward non-belief. How can a real Atheist have a beef with something that doesn’t exist?
     
    The Pentagon has released statistics showing military personnel are committing suicide at twice the rate of the civilian population. Other figures show that about 9,400 of the 1.4 million active-duty military personnel self-identify as Atheists, Agnostics, or Humanists making them a larger subpopulation than Jews, Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists. That is to say, non-theists are the second largest demographic in the military. How can the military chaplaincy treat a suicider if the only tool in their toolbox is God’s hell fire damnation for a warrior who doesn’t believe that tool exists?
     
    The military relies upon chaplains for front line counseling, coaching, belief accommodation, and comfort to all personnel, religious or otherwise. Currently, chaplains have neither the training nor members representing nontheistic beliefs, thus are unable to offer any of the counseling and coaching the preferred religionists receive. Nontheists are out there dealing with combat stress, family separation, and are at home recovering from physical, emotional, and moral injuries. As Atheist heroes serve and recover, how are their values and beliefs about the world, people, and ethics to be tended during their care when no one is suitably trained for nontheist belief structures? It doesn’t really matter whether Atheism is or isn’t a religion; Atheism doesn’t have to replace religion. The chaplains – as counselors, coaches, mediators – need to include the tools of deontology, virtue ethics, consequentialism, and utilitarianism to create a foundation for ethical action in any situation to better serve the nontheist military members. It will necessarily spill out into the general population that is increasingly self-identifying as non-religious, or at least, non-traditional religious. American religion has seen a several great religious reformations or revolutions since the Pilgrims first arrived – about one every century – and survived. The last was the abrupt change from the hell fire and brimstone God of the 19th century as witnessed in “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”  to the warm and fuzzy personal friend God of the 20th century illustrated in “You’ve got a friend in Jesus”. Things change. So do beliefs and the way we tend to those beliefs.
     
     

  • lee

    Chaplains in a few professional settings have professional groups that provide accreditation. Including military chaplains (thought there is some affiliation with the DoD.) The ones I know most about have to do with healthcare chaplaincy.
     
    In healthcare chaplaincy, there are a few professional organizations. Most of them require that you complete some sort of Clinical Pastoral Care program, and most of THOSE require that you have a degree from a seminary. (many of which have to be “approved” seminaries.) But theoretically, someone who was “ordained” from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (and they do use the word “ordained”) or perhaps a degree from the Humanistic Institute. (BTW, one of the leaders of the NY Society for Ethical Culture was the first “atheist chaplain” at Adelphi University.) Or possibly even from the Unitarian Universalist institute. Then go into one of the several professional chaplaincy programs, and come out a chaplain. (Some of the programs are specifically Christian oriented, and require Christian beleif, some require being graduates of approved seminaries. Some, maybe any seminary works. I haven’t exactly done an in-dpeth study of it.)  I think most of the Clinical Pastoral Care programs provide more training in psychology and counseling than many seminaries provide.
     
    BTW, I am not sure how much comfort I would get from someone who didn’t believe in God, if I am ever in a crisis situation. I think Christian chaplains and Jewish chaplains draw on the common Hebrew Bible for provided for people of the other faith. I have no idea how they would handle a Wiccan in a foxhole.
     
    JTS didn’t use to offer much in the way of pastoral care/counseling, but they now seem to have a program in pastoral care. (Fifteen years ago, when I talke to the JTS rabbinical students I knew about the role of a rabbi as pastor, they looked at me like I was from another planet. At that time, there was only ONE class available on congregational counseling, it focused on the effect of catstrophe on the congregation as a whole.) RIETS didn’t used to have anything, but what they’ve added looks like they are essentially sending them down to JTS to take classes. The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism has one course on “Philosophic counseling and Guidance” as a requirement towards “ordination.” BTW, here is the syllabus: http://iishj.org/pdf/ps-430-counseling-syllabus-2010.pdf
     
    Speaking of which…
     
    Indigo Red–
     
    Perhaps you mean Humanistic Judaism? Reconstructionist Judaism does beleive in God and the prayers are very similar to the traditioanl prayers. The view of God in Reconstructionist Judaism (or at least those that follow Kaplan’s view) is that of one of a sort of cosmic power. They might be considered deists, in a sense. Humanistic Judaism, according to their website, “offers a nontheistic alternative in contemporary Jewish life.” The Reconstructionist Judaism website has a lot about God on it. Their FAQ pages states: “Reconstructionism [...] sees God as a power or process working through nature and human beings. It is therefore incumbent upon us to bring divinity into the world through our actions, thereby increasing God’s presence in our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual lives, as individuals and as faith-based communities.” The Humanistic Judiasm one states that it “Each Jew has the right to create a meaningful Jewish lifestyle free from supernatural authority and imposed tradition.” God is a “supernatural authority.”
     
    For example, the “blessing” for lighting the candles of the Channukia for Humanistic Jews consists of: “Radiant is the light of the world; Radiant is the light of humanity; Radiant is the light of Chanukah.” No mention of God. The Reconstructionist blessings are the tradtional ones that all begin, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe…” and so on.
     
    Also, just FYI, “papal infallibility” –only applies when a Pope speaks “ex cathedra.” Or more correctly, (as a quick trip to the infallible Wikipedia tells me), “For a teaching by a pope or ecumenical council to be recognized as infallible, the teaching must be a decision of the supreme teaching authority of the Church (pope or College of Bishops); it must concern a doctrine of faith or morals; it must bind the universal Church; and it must be proposed as something to be held firmly and immutably.”

  • Jose

    The cross-utilization of military chaplains to provide services to those of other faiths is already problematic.  As a non-denomination Christian, I would be reluctant to seek spiritual guidance from a Catholic, or Mormon chaplain.  A Muslim or Buddhist chaplain could offer an interesting chance to learn about other beliefs, but no spiritual comfort.
     
     
    Since chaplains are expected to pinch hit for each other, how would an atheist conduct a mass?  Could an atheist bless those about to enter battle?  Pray with and for the wounded?  What a farce!  This is already a problem with the variety of those who are theists.
     
     
    I believe the military chaplain program serves little purpose to a decreasing number of soldiers.  Atheist chaplains simply hasten it’s demise.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Hasan of Ft. Hood was also a counselor, of sorts.
     
    “How can the military chaplaincy treat a suicider if the only tool in their toolbox is God’s hell fire damnation for a warrior who doesn’t believe that tool exists?”
     
    That’s a rather narrow and prejudiced viewpoint. One that is ignorant of the fact that Christianity’s antithesis to suicide goes all the way back to Carthage and child sacrifices to Bhaal. To put it another way, life given by God can only be taken away by God. This is considered divine justice, rather than divine or human comedy. The brimstone lines of theology came afterwards, when medieval Europe considered life cheap and had to find a better reason to control human behavior than the concept of “life being valuable in and of itself”.
    The military has always and will always have higher suicide rates than the civilian population. Just as the Japanese samurai had higher rates of hara kiri than Americans or Japanese civilians and non-warriors. It’s a warrior culture thing, one that not even American civil strife can damp down. It’s also about the societal barriers in the military and how it causes social and mental stress, which if not relieved, goes up in flames. Usually, though, the flames are only self immolating, not Ft. Hood type expressions.
    The concept that atheists and other people have of Christianity is often devalued to utilitarian principles: Heaven is good, Hell is bad, this is the reward for belief. Except that’s not even the point. Neither Heaven nor Hell is in the New Testament. The Old Testament was more worried about temporal punishments than anything else. Going to Heaven wasn’t a problem so long as you stayed sane after the Hell on Earth that might come about if you went against the Divine Law.
     
    Whether the military caters to Islamic counselors in the US shooting up unarmed officers, women, men, and anybody else around. Or whether they cater to Leftist, homo savant like groups of atheist New Religion priests, doesn’t really matter. These decisions came down from a higher mount than Sinah or Olympus. Nothing people on the Bottom can say or do about it will matter in the strategic level.
     
     

  • lee

    My only personal experience with a chaplain is with a hospice chaplain when my father was dying. The chaplain was NOT the same faith as  my dad. But he did bring great comfort to my father, as well as to the rest of us. I do not know what he and my father talked about in private, but our conversations were never about religion, God, or faith. Or the after life. It was about providing comfort.

  • lee

    Jose–
    For Catholics, only an ordained Catholic priest can conduct mass. What is done if there is no priest, is that consecrated euchrists are delivered, usually by a Catholic. A non-Catholic chaplain may choose to help make the experience a little more “mass-like” by including some additional prayers, maybe a gospel reading and a homily. Some hymns. But it is not a mass.

  • lee

    This is an interesting peice written by a woman who worked as a student hospice chaplain while in divinity school:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/28/my-faith-what-people-talk-about-before-they-die/

  • Jose

    Thanks Lee.  Appreciate your claification.

  • Ron19

    Indigo Red #18:
     
    Congratulations on having created your own version of Christianity.  I wouldn’t believe in that version, either.
     
     

  • lee

    BTW, the stats on suicide:
     
    The rate for the military is at twice the rate of the general population. Right. To start off with, the general population goes from zero to… oh, a hundred and five. The upper and lower ages don’t have a lot of suicides. How does the military suicide rate compare to the US popuplation between the ages of 18 and, let’s say 30? And specifically the male population? (Even though there is a sizable female presence in the military, the number of men is MUCH higher.)
    Here is an interesting article from Forbes on it:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/02/02/but-there-isnt-an-epidemic-of-suicide-in-the-us-military/
     
    Like thr Forbes articel says, any number is too high. But the reality is that it is not really higher among the military than among the rest of the population.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The successful rate is a lot higher because they are trained in how to kill. Killing themselves painlessly and effectively is not that hard to get done. Even though some still bungle it.
     
     
    Human emotions are easy to control. Those who feel strong emotions about any particular topic, should always take care to do a doublethink recheck of their brain’s cpu processes to be sure no spyware or malware was installed without their conscious awareness.

  • Ron19

    from
     
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-tells-hostile-crowd-at-gay-marriage-debate-my-secretary-was-killed-b?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=3f4c4ba172-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_05_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-3f4c4ba172-326236334 
     
    Borghesius > Hi_Steve_it’s_Acartia 
     
    Only because you had shifted the argument from “Catholic Views” to Catholic persons. You thereby forfeit the logic high ground.
    The Catholic Church is an organization with a hierarchy and a belief system that is defined. It is available to all in an official catechism. When someone offers themselves for communion, they are affirming with their action that they are part of the “club”, and accept the rules. It’s a vow. Just like if someone vows to be married, to love, honor, and cherish, forsaking all others till death do us part is VOLUNTARILY accepting those conditions.
    Speculative theologians may raise such questions with other theologians, hoping to bring about a further “development of doctrine”, but until that is affirmed by the magisterium, the official teaching does not change.
    A Christian can certainly commit an act of evil, and many do, because they are sinners. They do this in SPITE of their Christianity, not because of it. However, if they then decide that evil is good and good evil, and say christianity is whatever they want, then they have left and have made their own church. No one is forced to stay Christian or Catholic, it is a choice. You can leave at any time. Tyranny doesn’t let you leave.
     
    Nicholas > Hi_Steve_it’s_Acartia  
    Sin and obstinate heresy are different things. If one commits a sin, they are in some small way (or large way, depending on the gravity) denying their faith. When ones’ will is focused toward an evil, yes they are denying an aspect of faith. But heresy is the obstinate denial of a tenet of faith: thus it is equal to a ‘Christian’ who persists in a sin without repentance. There is a reason why we renew our baptismal promises, because we continuous reject some aspects of them.