Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chaplain Punished For "Sharing His Faith"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

In the ongoing attempt to silence Christian expression---and in effect "secularize" religion to be nothing more than a philosophical belief, the military has punished an army chaplain for discussing matters of faith in his own personal bout with depression during a suicide prevention session.

The punishment includes a warning to, "Be careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another."

There's more. Much more.

The letter sent to the chaplain is stunning and should be profoundly concerning to every Christian and conservative in America.


Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn has been issued a letter of "concern" which, of course, goes into his personal, professional file, accusing him of "using Christian Scripture and solutions" during a session with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion on the subject of suicide prevention.

His superiors say in the letter, "You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and the biblical approach of handling depression on the other side."

They say the way Chaplain Lawhorn printed the handout "made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information."

The letter directs the chaplain to "be careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another."

This is the "point" of the spear in the war on Christianity---silence Christian expression.

Political correctness is more important than being effective.

It is not only military chaplains who are being told to "believe what you want, but don't advocate or act on that belief---in fact, don't even mention it;" this censorship is reaching into the public square and, as we have learned, into the sermons pastors have preached and communications they have had with parishioners regarding homosexuality and those who push that agenda.

This is a war on conscience rights and freedom of religious expression---particularly Christian expression.

It is also in direct conflict with the Great Commission of Christianity to share our faith---go into all the world and preach the gospel.

I personally believe it is also in direct conflict with the intent of our Founders.

Some would remind us that the military---the government--- is different, we must maintain "separation."

How do chaplains who are ordered to "believe nothing" or at least be silent on moral issues help those contemplating suicide? Who doesn't know that suicide has moral implications as well as physical and mental?

Secularism is certainly not the answer if we are looking for suicide "prevention."

Secularism has given Washington State, Oregon and a growing number of other states, legal physician's assistance in committing suicide.


That secularist approach can hardly be equated with suicide "prevention."

While this incident did not define the chaplain's attempt to help prevent suicide as "proselytizing," it came very close.

This is not about Separation of Church and State, nor is it about "equality."

Other religions, particularly Islam, are given the highest consideration in our military complex.

In fact, it was political correctness and so-called "tolerance" that led superiors to not take any action in regard to the continuing expressions and behavior of Major Nidal Milik Hasan at Fort Hood in 2009 which resulted in the murder of 13 people---acting on his Muslim "faith."

Political correctness caused that tragic incident to be labeled "work place violence" rather than the act of terrorism that it was.

After the fact, everyone aware of him said it was obvious he was very anti-American and very troubled.

Ironically, Hasan was an Army psychiatrist.

The war on Christianity is not only being waged in the military.

Yesterday we were again made aware of the battle for the mind in the classroom.

Professor Charles Angeletti at Metropolitan State University in Denver required his students to recite the following revision of the Pledge of Allegiance:

"I pledge allegiance to and wrap myself in the flag of the United States Against Anything Un-American. And to the Republicans for which it stands, two nations, under Jesus, rich against poor, with curtailed liberty and justice for all except blacks, homosexuals, women who want to get abortions, Communists, welfare queens, tree huggers, feminazis, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants, and you, if you don't watch your step."

Some of the students were outraged and called out the professor, making the incident public.

When cornered, the professor said "it was meant to be a silly icebreaker for the class." He said later it was also meant to be an "alternative perspective of patriotism in America."

And he was not punished or disciplined because of his freedom of expression.

Those in attendance at Chaplin Lawhorn's session on suicide prevention in which he shared his personal story of overcoming depression and anxiety through his faith, all said he was doing nothing more than giving personal testimony to his own struggle and the victory he had experienced.

The chaplain has rights of conscience and rights regarding religious expression. Christian lawyers have taken up his case and will be representing him.

Congressman Doug Collins, a Republican lawmaker from Georgia whose district includes the area where the training session took place, has written letter to the chaplain's superiors.

Collins said in his letter, "I find it counterintuitive to have someone lead a suicide prevention course, but prohibit them from providing personal testimony."

Todd Starnes with Fox said, "I find it both repulsive and heartbreaking to know that we have a military that frowns upon a chaplain using a Bible to save a soldier's life."

The war in our American culture is spiritual, not political. We, as Christian conservatives, must approach every election, every cultural issue with that in mind. And do so prayerfully.

Spiritual restoration will bring about political restoration.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.


11 comments:

  1. The officer knew that any group class he taught could not advocate a particular religion - been like this since the 70's and 80's when i was in the Army, unlikely that has changed.

    He can use religious teachings on groups that have voluntarily sought out the officer in his role as a chaplain or in individual sessions but not in a required class of religiously diverse people. And every officer knows this from their orientation classes, I smell a deliberately provocative act that the officer knew was against policy to get his 15 minutes of 'victim' fame.

    My husband is a minister but he certainly doesn't bring up his religion while teaching classes for the state. Citizens have a right to be free from involuntary religious indoctrination by government representatives

    If the chaplain can't do this he either needs to turn down the request he teach such classes or stop being a government representative and let some other chaplain who can follow the rules take his place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So what prevents a soldier from saying, "This Chaplin gave me a brochure that offered secular Army resources on the one side, and Christian help on the other, and all I wanted was the Christian help. This "forcing" me to receive secular information on the back of what I wanted, is something the Army should correct."?

    So we begin to see the hypocrisy?

    If they don't want a Christian Chaplin to talk about faith in God, or about life in Christ, or about how Jesus can take any burden we are burdened with and take it entirely off our shoulders, as long as it is a burden of sin and guilt, and the other things we are to bear, he is able to make them lighter if they have seemed overbearing to us, and talk about these things in a suicide prevention meeting, the Army should get someone else, and allow services to the soldier to be made known, and the invitation made, even if it is Christian in nature.

    I believe the Army has regulations that permit this.

    When I was in the Army, I knew of no regulations that were contradictory in nature, with one working to destroy another one.

    If we see something that is working that way, my guess is that it isn't supported by Army regulation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can imagine a First Sergeant telling the company that a suicide prevention meeting is scheduled and attendance is mandatory, and that the information they will receive is important, some of it being of secular Army resources and some of it being spiritual in nature, so expect some testimony from the Chaplin, remembering that it is offered to you, and this doesn't mean you must agree with it. It's just some help that is offered to you. Some of you may not care to hear it, but I'm telling you that attendance is mandatory for everyone, and if you don't like that, you can meet with me in my office and we can talk about it, and if you tell me you don't wish to attend, I will respect that, and won't hold that against you in any way. If you think I'm crazy for saying that, that's OK. If you want to complain about this way of doing things, you can talk to someone higher, that's fine with me. I'll take the heat round.

    Suicide prevention is important, and if you never need to make use of the help offered to you, remember your buddy might....I think it's OK to highly encourage attendance without forcing it on anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If a soldier doesn't want the spiritual part, he should still be required to get the secular Army resource information. If he doesn't want to read the back side, he doesn't have to, and it wouldn't hurt if he was told so by his superiors.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Maybe the military should consider printing Army resource information, along with Christian information, along with Muslim information, along with Buddhist information, along with Atheist information, and whatever else, all on one piece of paper, and let the soldier decide for himself where he will go for help.

    I wonder what the Atheist part would say...."There is no help for you from God, so you're on your own."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And then the Christian part should have the verse that says that he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6)

      Delete
  6. Accused of using solutions? Does anybody here know what that is? Suicide can be a problem, can't it? We should go to the Bible for answers concerning the soul and spiritual things, should we not? We should trust that God is able to give us solutions for those things that ail us. God bless those Chaplins who can lead soldiers to find the answer to their problems.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Any soldier is within their !st Amendment rights (which trumps Army regs) to share their testimony with anyone and they in turn are free to disregard it.

    Craig in Lacey

    ReplyDelete
  8. Telling a chaplain to not favor one system of beliefs over another is like telling soldiers on the battlefield that in their fighting they will encounter possible "targets" of varying appearances and from different defensive systems, and that they should be careful not to favor one over the other when they engage with their weapons.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If a chaplain can't even be a soldier, what's the point of being in the Army?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think chaplains should be stripped of their constitutional rights.

    ReplyDelete

Faith & Freedom welcomes your comment posts. Remember, keep it short, keep it on message and relevant, and identify your town.