Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Establishment of Religion

*sigh* The Washington Post has a story about an Army chaplain who converted from Christianity to Wicca in large part because his inner voice convinced him that he ought to be a universalist and led him in that direction. As someone who has been both Christian and Neopagan, I know how hard it can be to struggle with the feeling that a different path is calling. (Calling? Heh. Sometimes, it felt like the only solid ground for miles seemed to be on that path.)

Feeling deeply convinced that he needed to follow that path, he applied to become the first Wiccan chaplain and was denied. As shown by the recent flap over a grave marker, there are Wiccans and other Neopagans in the armed services, and as of the present moment, they are all pretty much not served by the chaplaincy. His superior in the chaplain corps believes a grave injustice has been done, and I agree.

This is not about converting all soldiers to Wicca. For mercy's sake, it would be one chaplain (and hopefully a few more later) serving soldiers who have not had a chaplain to speak to their concerns. He specifically converted in part because he doesn't believe in the exclusivity of Truth. He jokes about being diagnosed with "Multiple Religions Disorder" (Hmm. I never really saw it as a disorder, but...)

Given that chaplains are expected to serve all soldiers, regardless of religious belief, I would think that another universalist would be a good thing, but then again, I'm not big on clergy, so what do I know?

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Blogger Little Black Car said...

I do not understand what the issue is with having an Wiccan chaplain. No matter what denomination your chaplain, he's not going to "cover" everyone--better a universalist than not. (Of course, I couldn't believe there was any problem at all with establishing a Wiccan gravestone marker, either!)

Why do some people have such a hard time understanding that not all of us are missionary about our beliefs? Just because we're there doesn't mean we're trying to take over the world.

* * * * *

"Multiple Religion Disorder"! Ha ha! I don't think it's a disorder, either, but it's funny.

2/22/2007 12:28 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

I fairly obviously don't "get" the problem, either. If Christian chaplains are qualified to minister to Wiccans, the other way ought to be true as well, no?

2/23/2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger Rae Trigg said...

"Multiple Religious Disorder" -- I love that phrase! (I agree it's not a 'disorder', but it's funny, none-the-less.)

2/23/2007 10:38 AM  

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