Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Borrowed from www.sodahead.com

Were these soldiers really victims? Having grown up in the evangelical south I would have been offended as a Catholic if I were in the army and a Protestant chaplain used a barbecue to proselytize me. What do you think?

Seems to me Pope Francis is right about not proselytizing!

This is from this morning's Augusta Chronicle. Fort Gordon is in Augusta:

Group says BBQ aimed to convert

Troop complaints sent to Fort Gordon leaders

A religious freedom organization is calling on post leadership at Fort Gordon to take action after some soldiers reported they were forced to undergo fundamentalist Christian proselytizing by an Army chaplain during a Saturday “spiritual” barbecue. A post official said attendance was voluntary.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which advocates for a sharp separation of church and state, is acting on behalf of 43 soldiers, the majority of them young, but has not taken legal action, said Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of MRFF.

Weinstein said the soldiers were marched to a Fort Gordon chapel Saturday under belief the event was mandatory. At the chapel, loud Christian rock music played and an Army chaplain tried “his level best to get them to accept and surrender to his version of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Weinstein said.

Weinstein was unable to provide documentation, but said MRFF’s clients gave their “confirmed word” of what happened. He said the event “divided people and hurt people” as several companies, and possibly an entire battalion representing a variety of religions and atheism, were ordered to participate.

Weinstein said his organization typically works with company or battalion leadership on complaints, but, in this instance, went straight to Maj. Gen. John Morrison, Fort Gordon’s commanding general and highest ranking official, and asked the general to investigate and actively punish those responsible.

Fort Gordon Acting Public Affairs Officer Geralyn Smith Noah said the post is aware of Weinstein’s concern and will investigate whether there was “undue command influence” resulting in attendance by approximately 500 soldiers at the Fall Spiritual Fitness Cookout.

“While the event was clearly advertised as a voluntary activity only, we will conduct an inquiry to ensure there was no undue command influence to attend,” she said.


John Nolan said...

Reminds me of church parade, back in the days of National Service, as narrated by one who was there.

Sgt. 'Jews and Roman Candles, fall out!'
Recruit. 'May I fall out, Sergeant?'
Sgt. 'Is you a Jew or a Roman Candle?'
Recruit. 'No Sergeant, I'm an atheist.'
Sgt. 'If you is not a Jew or a Roman Candle, then you is Church of England. Stay fell in!'

Anonymous said...

Yeah I would have hated to be there. In boot camp you are pretty much forced to go to a religious service so your company can get their first parade banner. There had to be a high percentage of your company to be there. Catholic or Protestant, your choice. I went to both. Honestly the Protestant one was better. It was more relaxed and like a get away from the tense boot camp. The Catholic one was so strict and unpleasant, if that was a non-Catholics first experience, it would have been a real turn off.

rcg said...

At our session the Catholic chaplain explained that same sex attraction was normal because even animals experience it. I asked him how normal that was if you were trying to breed your herd. He just smiled and walked out with this expression of accomplishment.

Daniel said...

A government organization -- and let's face it, that's what the military is -- should not be using mandatory attendance by a captive audience to proselytize. That's exactly why we have a First Amendment. It doesn't matter if they were Southern Baptists or Catholics or Hindus or Church of Satan. I'm totally fine with them seeking converts on their own time, on Main Street, at the mall, anywhere in public, in a place where people aren't compelled to take part.