Military Chaplains,

Have We Really Thought This Through?

I would like to bring your attention to a letter written by James Madison (writer of the Bill of Rights). In the letter Madison declared his opposition to employing chaplains at public expense. His grounds were that it violated the US Constitution. --See the link below.

First and far most, I want it clear that I believe if our government is going to pay for chaplains, then our government should not tell them how they can pray or what they can or cannot say. With this in mind...

James Madison was a Christian man and he had reason to oppose tax dollars paying for anything considered to be of a religion in nature. James Madison in so many words said (exact quote is below) that a devout spirit in and out of the armies would produce more of that devout spirit, and that then a shortage of voluntary instruction would rarely happen. And he knew that if a devout spirit did not exist in and out of the armies that putting official teachers in, would likely not produce that devout spirit.

Christ Puts Out Ministers, Not The US Government

Chaplains should enter the armed services as anyone else does. And they should be paid like anyone else is paid and for what others are paid for. They should not be paid for being a chaplain. However, churches should be allowed to send in chaplains of their own, a type of missionary work, paid for by the individual churches.

The minute a chaplain gets paid by the U.S. government, he then becomes subject to behaving as the government tells him to behave. Remember, his job is a 'chaplain.' When we work for someone, they get to tell us how to do our job. So, if a person's job is a chaplain, then the boss can tell him how to do his job. And this is where the problem lies.

Those who are in the military should be able to be who they are and what faith-belief they are. If they bow their heads and pray in Jesus' name, that should be allowed. (It should not matter if they are in uniform.) And if on their own time they want to get together with others of their faith and have a gathering in the Lord, that should be allowed as well. If they are not getting paid by the government for being a chaplain, then they cannot be told how to behave as such.

Where I go, my Christianity goes. As Paul was, I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ. And if I worked for my government there would be no pay for that which I am. My pay would be for whatever government job I held. People would know of my Christianity, as clearly as they would know my sex is female. I walk out my faith, by the power of God. And I do not need a government paycheck to do that which Christ has for me to do.

What faith belief are chaplains? 
Do we really want tax dollars paying for any practice of a faith-belief? And just what faith beliefs are chaplains of? Some of these chaplains fill the need for any type of religion or 'religious' need.  

The religion that is being paid for by the US government is the same religion of the ACLU and the UUC. It is a worldly, hug a tree and respect all faiths (except the true faith of true Christianity). This is why we are seeing chaplains being told how to 'pray.' The US government is not supposed to pick one religion over another, hence, when it does, it picks one that is to cover 'all.' (But we know this is not really possible.)

Most true Christians would not want a military chaplain that prays to a 'catch all' god. But what many are not realizing is that some chaplains 'pray' in a false name of Jesus. Just because a chaplain says he is praying in Jesus' name, does not mean he is praying in the real Jesus' name. Fact is, not all chaplains are real Christians. 

Devout vs. Not Devout

As James Madison tried to get across in his letter: We need a devout spirit in the armies. As a result, it will rarely happen that there is a lack of religious instruction and that such would be from a voluntary source (within or without). But, if a devout spirit is not the case of armies, then official services of such an army's teachers are not likely to produce a devout spirit.


If the spirit of armies be devout, the spirit out of the armies will never be Less so; and a failure of religious instruction &, exhortation from a voluntary source within or without, will rarely happen: if such be not the spirit of armies, the official services of their Teachers are not likely to produce it.



~ James Madison


James Madison ("Detached Memoranda")

Copyright 2006 Debra J.M. Smith --October 3, 2006 

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 Debra J.M. Smith