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  1. #11
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    In regards to the idea of being a "go-to" person for a religion...A Christian chaplain isn't really a go to person for anyone that isn't a Christian so I don't see how a Humanist would be any different.
    I didn't mention Christian per se, but it seems you assumed the same thing I did. So could just anybody call themselves a chaplain? Shouldn't there be some type of qualification? Like maybe believing in what you preach (only using that word because I don't know what any other religions call it)? Otherwise, they are just a person in the uniform that can't be depended on because nobody will trust them or know what they believe.
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  2. #12
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    I don't really care.

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  3. #13
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Well, what is the point of a chaplain? I always thought it was basically being a preacher for some military unit. I am really confused about what an atheist preacher would do. But then, I don't really understand what preachers do either.

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  4. #14
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Don't they have to try to facilitate soldiers of all faiths, regardless of what their own happens to be? If so, I don't see why believing in no deity would be worse than believing in a different deity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    Aside from persons who were concerned with specific theological questions or who needed special ceremony (Catholics), I'd assume that the whole idea is to have another human nearby to provide you with solace and care in a time of doubt or pain and it doesn't particularly matter what faith they are.
    This was my understanding in the military, namely that a given chaplain may be primarily responsible for the everyday spiritual needs of those sharing his/her own faith, but must be prepared to serve as a spiritual and counseling resource for anyone in need. This is especially necessary in-theater and on deployments where there might not be many chaplains on hand, and no chance to consult one of your own faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I find it odd that the military would be averse to something that could be a strong incentive and encouragement to servicemen and -women that are enlisted or considering enlisting. People that feel supported and understood are happier and more productive... I think this is a sound statement. I also understand that the military lags significantly behind the civilian population in policy and societal attitudes.
    Actually, the military often leads, though with mixed success. The military was racially integrated before many other institutions, and combat exclusions aside, women have long had access to greater responsibility and better training in the military than elsewhere. Benefits offered to civilian employees of the military have generally been ahead of their time relative to civilian jobs. Handling of gays is a significant exception, though the recent Supreme Court decision about DOMA gives military members important benefits still not offered in many civilian settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    As I mentioned in another thread, I don't believe in/understand religion, but if someone doesn't believe in God then how could they be a "go-to" person in matters of God? (I am intentionally ignoring the military aspect of it.)
    If I recall correctly, military chaplains must learn about all faiths represented in the military, or at least their base/unit, precisely so they have some frame of reference in dealing with people of other faiths. An atheist helping a believer, then, doesn't seem that much harder than a Baptist helping a Wiccan. If your personal faith prevents you from doing this, you are not cut out to be a military chaplain. Whoever wrote "they help the believer meet their own needs", in other words, serving more as a facilitator, was on the right track. The point about chaplains being the only source of confidential counseling was also important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    I didn't mention Christian per se, but it seems you assumed the same thing I did. So could just anybody call themselves a chaplain? Shouldn't there be some type of qualification? Like maybe believing in what you preach (only using that word because I don't know what any other religions call it)? Otherwise, they are just a person in the uniform that can't be depended on because nobody will trust them or know what they believe.
    It is my understanding that a chaplain must be ordained clergy in whatever faith/denomination he/she wants to represent. So, to be a Jewish chaplain, you must meet whatever requirements any other rabbi must meet. I wonder, then, if there are Buddhist chaplains, since in my albeit limited understanding, Buddhists don't exactly believe in God.
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  5. #15
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    If I recall correctly, military chaplains must learn about all faiths represented in the military, or at least their base/unit, precisely so they have some frame of reference in dealing with people of other faiths. An atheist helping a believer, then, doesn't seem that much harder than a Baptist helping a Wiccan. If your personal faith prevents you from doing this, you are not cut out to be a military chaplain. Whoever wrote "they help the believer meet their own needs", in other words, serving more as a facilitator, was on the right track.
    99% of any advice I've ever given came from the person seeking advice. I was just an ear to listen to their problems which sounds like the above. Could I be a chaplain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The point about chaplains being the only source of confidential counseling was also important..
    I'm not sure how much trust/faith I could give someone who believed so differently.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Chiharu's Avatar
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    Don't Christian chaplains often serve soldiers of other faiths? How would this be any different?
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  7. #17
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    It's no different than a chaplain of a different faith. I'm sure if you have an issue that's related to your faith, they'd just refer you to another chaplain. That's kind of how things are normally done...
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  8. #18
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    99% of any advice I've ever given came from the person seeking advice. I was just an ear to listen to their problems which sounds like the above. Could I be a chaplain?
    As I wrote above, a chaplain must be ordained in the religion he/she wants to represent. If you feel counseling and advising is your calling, you could pursue this route. Otherwise, you could serve much the same informal purpose as a commander/NCO or even just a good buddy, though without the confidentiality. The institutional authority of a chaplain also allows him/her to intercede with commanders regarding conflicts between duties and religious obligations, or with Post/Base facilities people to arrange for meetings or ceremonies, etc. even for people of different faiths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    I'm not sure how much trust/faith I could give someone who believed so differently.
    You are probably not alone in this sentiment, which is why the military tries to have chaplains available for many faiths, especially those represented in the local unit or post. When there are not official chaplains available, most posts/bases will keep a referral list of civilian clergy who have volunteered to work with the military population. At least this works stateside.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #19
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    You are probably not alone in this sentiment, which is why the military tries to have chaplains available for many faiths, especially those represented in the local unit or post. When there are not official chaplains available, most posts/bases will keep a referral list of civilian clergy who have volunteered to work with the military population. At least this works stateside.
    Oh yeah, that's true. I suppose I should have mentioned that my main experience, hence my thought process, was based on my time in the Navy. While we did spend much time in port on base, I was mainly thinking of shipboard life where we had one chaplain for the ship. There was something like 440 people on board. I imagine larger ships (carriers) would have much more services available. Apologies if I seemed short-sighted, I was just going off my experience.
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  10. #20
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    Oh yeah, that's true. I suppose I should have mentioned that my main experience, hence my thought process, was based on my time in the Navy. While we did spend much time in port on base, I was mainly thinking of shipboard life where we had one chaplain for the ship. There was something like 440 people on board. I imagine larger ships (carriers) would have much more services available. Apologies if I seemed short-sighted, I was just going off my experience.
    No worries. In theory, your ship's chaplain should have had a basic familiarity with at least all religions represented on the ship, so he could respond with sensitivity to anyone in need. I don't know how well this is done in practice, though, or anything about the experience of non-mainstream believers with military chaplains. I am non-mainstream myself, but never consulted a chaplain while on active duty.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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