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For those of you who haven't served; you may not realize how often we have chaplains give invocations. Often at any offsite event such as group lunches or dinners; and sometimes at start or close of conferences.
I personally dont have a problem if a chaplain invokes the name of whichever version of god/prophets he chooses to invoke. But I know there is always someone out there ready to take offense. The Navy appears to be taking a formal policy line defined by attire. (that doesn't seem to make sense - a deployed catholic chaplain doing mass to only catholics cn't mention the name Jesus?). But there is a time/place for being blatantly sectarian as well.
I would like to think we could just let the local commanders be in charge of correcting overenthusiastic chaplains, but then we get stuff like the AF academy situation too. So in the end; I guess I have to believe that some kind of guidelines to multi-ecumenical versus sectarian appriopriateness is required.
Navy Chaplain Goes on Hunger Strike Outside White House Over Uniformed Prayer Rules
Thursday, December 22, 2005
.... Lieutenant Klingenschmitt, an Evangelical Episcopal priest, says he won't eat until President Bush signs an executive order allowing military chaplains to pray according to their beliefs.
Klingenschmitt, who began his fast on Tuesday, says Navy admirals have told him that he can't pray publicly in Jesus' name unless he's wearing civilian clothes. .......
More than 70 members of Congress and 170,000 petitioners also are calling on President Bush to let chaplains pray according to their faith instead of being limited to generic invocations
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Destruction/Damage of Military Property (Art. 108) (I believe this applies)
Also, he (and any other commissioned chaplain) can pray according to their beliefs, as long as it does not interfere with the mission.
In this case, the commanding officer has issued a lawful order which must be followed. The proper course would be to follow the order, engage the assitance of the JAG corps, and route it through the chain of command.