Has God become nonessential to the United States Military? Apparently, the Obama administration thinks so. We have learned that as a result of the government shutdown, the U.S. military has furloughed as many as 50 Catholic chaplains, banning them from celebrating weekend Mass.
According to Fox News, at least one chaplain was told that if he engaged in any ministry activity, he would be subjected to disciplinary action. Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told Fox, “In very practical terms it means Sunday Mass won’t be offered. If someone has a baptism scheduled, it won’t be celebrated. They (chaplains) were told they cannot function because those are contracted services and since there’s no funding they can’t do it – even if they volunteer.”
John Schlageter, general counsel for the archdiocese, also explained, “Any furloughed priests volunteering their services could face big trouble. During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”
As Todd Starnes said, “A well-placed source told me that a furloughed Air Force chaplain was threatened after he offered to forgo pay. The chaplain was told he could not go on base or enter his chapel offices. He was also barred from engaging in any ministry activity.”
But, no worries– military golf courses are still open. In fact, the course on Andrews Air Force Base remains open during the government shutdown. Who knew that golf was more essential than our Almighty Lord?
Yet, these shutdown orders come from the same Commander-in-chief whose administration has also had its hand in:
- Censoring prayers during funeral services at Houston National Cemetery by banning the names “God” and “Jesus”.
- Cancelling a nuclear missile-training course (in August, 2011) at a base in California taught for more than 20 years by military chaplains because the course included Christian religious content and other Biblical passages and principles.
- Issuing a memorandum in the Air Force titled, “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion” in which states commanders cannot notify airmen of religious programs provided by chaplains.
- Attempting to ban religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials, or religious artifacts) from being given away at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
- Issuing an apology for promoting and withdrew its support for Operation Christmas Child because it is run by a Christian organization and gifts handed out through the program contain religious messages.
- Continuing to attack those of Biblical faith while spending $80,000 to construct a “small Stonehedge-like circle of boulders” as an outdoor worship center for “earth-based” religious—pagans, wiccans, druids, and witches.
- Having the Air Force remove the Latin phrase “Opus Dei” which means “Work of God” from the patch of the Rapid Capabilities Office.
- Ordering Catholic Chaplains not to read a letter at Catholic masses that their Archbishop instructed them to read from the pulpit.
- Repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy within the military branches, despite the overwhelming evidence that this action would severely damage the cohesiveness of the military.
- Having created an atmosphere of intimidation within the military, forcing Christian service men and women to “out” themselves, knowing that in today’s military, showing any kind of opposition to gay marriage is severely punished.
While many believe that furloughing military chaplains is reprehensible, we can see that the “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” have already been trying to furlough God from the military long before the government shutdown actually began.
How easily we forget that God is still mightier than Earth’s mightiest king– including the “mighty” king in the Oval Office. No one can furlough God from what belongs to Him. But, I suppose He allows us (even kings) to fool ourselves for a while– in order to fulfill His perfect plan.
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