This story I am about to talk on hits so very close to home. I personal served honorably in the United States Navy, and found on a few occasions that I needed the guidance of chaplains to help me through the day. If you haven’t been in the military before, it is nearly impossible to imagine the stress every service member feels, the loneliness you can have at times, the disconnect you feel from the world, the hate that is thrown at you by groups like Westboro Baptist church.
So when I say that this news article is a completely unacceptable example of the government stopping the free exercise of religion to those who possibly need it most, FOR THOSE WHO RISK THEIR LIVES TO KEEP YOURS SAFE AND COMFORTABLE, then understand I speak from the heart and from experience.
Our Commander In Chief has deemed it inappropriate for the military to be ministered to during the government shut down, even to the point of threatening the incarceration of priests who have volunteered to serve for free, FOR FREE. This story reminds me of the shenanigans that was the panda cam story, but holds so much more importance because this is a blatant disregard for the 1st amendment. It is not so simple for my brother in arms to go off base in the middle of a war zone and find a christian church to seek guidance at. Those lucky enough to have shore duty can also attest to the difficulty of having the ability to leave base and speak to a practitioner of their faith, as many of them work 12 hours a day 7 days a week, for what basically turns out to be minimum wage in earnings. So having some one come on base and preach to them to preach FOR THEM, to be available for counsel while their friends die every day, is a Godsend, and Obama has forbidden it, an act that I pray enrages you all to action, let your voice be heard, let our soldiers be protected, and allotted every freedom, every service they were promised when they enlisted.
Even if you are not a christian, or do not believe in a God, surely you understand the importance of letting your voice be heard, of receiving counsel through difficult times. Many will think if life is that hard see a psychologist, well, that is an option, unfortunately most of them don’t work weekends, and you have to schedule appointments in advance to see them as they are part of the healthcare system provided to our military. I myself had to wait 3 weeks once to see a psychologist to get assessed for a sleep disorder that was causing me great struggle, and though in that instance a chaplain probably would not have helped, I know that if it was an issue of depression I faced, it is likely i would have had to wait that long to see the psychologist still, while I could walk in to a chaplains office and if he was not already with some body I could be seen then. Chaplains and on base clergy that are outsourced provide a service that many need immediately, not in 5 days, or the next time they have shore leave, or come back to the states. Obama has denied this service, and threatened criminal action against those who dare provide it for free.
Here is the story in full.