“Religious Freedom”

To: President “Mikey” Weinstein

After reading a certain article, I felt compelled to write this
and state how I feel after all you are always stating how you feel.
What do you think you are doing? Nobody forces anyone to attend
services or seek out a chaplain – they do it on their own. You on
the other hand is forcing your beliefs on others. You are doing
exactly what you claim christians are doing, except they are not
forcing their beliefs on anyone. It’s their choice-with you there
is no choice. Last I heard we have a choice in this country, it
can’t just be your choice!

Thank you- (name withheld)

Dear Blake,
First I would like to thank you for replying to my e-mail. I didn’t
think I would hear back.
I am sorry about your experience, religion should not be forced on
anyone. It should be freely chosen. Instead of removing chaplains etc.,
from the service, why don’t you try to change things. Try to stop
the forcing of religion on anyone who does not wish to receive it.
I am sure there are service people that are happy to have chaplains
on base, why deny them the opportunity to speak to someone or to attend
services. Don’t you find that you are trying to do the same thing
to someone else that was done to you?
Again, thank you for your time and consideration.

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

You’re quite welcome. We aren’t trying to remove chaplains from the service, and I am trying quite hard to change things. While I was a cadet I helped organized a bible study for a group of my subordinates after they had requested assistance in doing so. I have directed subordinates to chaplain resources on several occasions after they came to me with a need for them. I would not want a military without chaplains. Their role is vital. I would however like very much to see so many leaders stop assuming that all members of the military are or aught to be Christian. I am also an advocate for a representative chaplaincy. As of now, the chaplaincy is almost exclusively Christian, which is far from the demographic construction of our armed forces. Why? Because the needs of minority religions are not considered important in an organization governed by the “good-ole’-boy” system. I have met with chaplains face to face and been told that there is bigotry within the highest echelons of the chaplaincy. That they have received directives to ignore the spiritual needs of minorities and put their mission of being “ambassadors for Christ” ahead of their oath of allegiance. I would never deny someone their right to practice their religion, unless that religion required the harassment and disrespect of others.


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