US Marine Corps leaders concerned about increasing suicides in their ranks have come under fire from atheists after publishing a training document citing loss of spiritual faith as one of the reasons for the disturbing trend. Billy Hallowell of The Blaze writes an interesting article about the matter this week that bears note. See the entire Blaze article here.
Hallowell, in his lead, captures the problem perfectly when he writes: Atheists and church-state separatists aren’t happy about a Marine Corps training document that insinuates potential risk factors for suicide among soldiers include a “lack or loss of spiritual faith.”
Critics are calling the language a discriminatory inclusion that targets non-believers, however others see it as a legitimate item worth considering, especially in light of the U.S. military’s monumental suicide problem.
Those “others” Billy is talking about is none other than Mickey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and founder of Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Weinstein has been in the forefront on a campaign to wipe out all religion from the military, including chaplains and religious services, citing the often-misguided non-constitutional phrase “separation of church and state”.
The bottom line is this; the Marines and indeed all the services have a monumental problem with suicide and conscientious leaders are doing what they can to prevent more. Atheists meanwhile, supersensitive about anything involving religion or the mention of God in government documents continue their crusade to stifle all mention of a deity.
It is absolutely true, and horrific, that more servicemembers have died in recent months in all of the services than have been killed in combat. In their efforts to fight this trend and save their Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines, military commanders commissioned a report to try to ascertain why this is happening so they can prevent it. Well-meaning authors of the report, being candid in their assessment, have nailed one of the chief reasons for suicide on the head, and the atheists, don’t like it.
They’ve tried for years to erase all mention of religion from the public sphere, even rewriting American history to do so. They say, “the founders wanted separation of religion from government” which of course isn’t the case and can clearly be seen when one reads the founding documents or The Federalist Papers.
The fundamental problem is that if a lack or loss of faith leads to suicide amongst our servicemembers, shouldn’t our military leaders know that reason and address it honestly to try to reduce and eliminate those loses? Should an outside entity be able to file suit, simply for being insulted by the contents of an internal government memo?
If it were me, I would tell Mickey and people like him to take a long walk off a short peer. Leaders on the battlefield need to know the truth, whether it concerns the enemy situation or a silent enemy that is destroying troop morale from the inside. Leaders should have the freedom to address problems without the interference of the PC crowd.
Suicide is not the only disturbing and unacceptable trends plaguing the military these days. Sexual assault of female soldiers is skyrocketing in all branches of the service and has been a silent enigma in the US military ever since women have been allowed in uniform.
I recently attended my annual training for the Army Reserves this last July and August and my battalion went through a painful (though insightful) training session where are leaders talked about this disturbing trend. Our commander made us watch portions of a movie made on the subject of sexual assault in which service women and experts talked about the topic. Many of the interviewees in the movie were themselves victims of sexual assault and harassment. We watched the video then we discussed the vignettes.
I wonder what would happen if someone like Mickey (who has a name like that as an adult anyway? Really?) was allowed to be a fly on the wall in the midst of our discussion? Would he be offended by our conversation, or by our inclusion of a chaplain? Would he cry foul? Would feminists object if a military memo listed as a reason for increased sexual assault as “a lack or loss of faith on the part of male perpatrators”?
Women in the military have done a phenomenal job, working side by side with the men. I’ve had the pleasure of working worth many of them, both officers and enlisted. One of my bosses was a female full-bird colonel. My senior non-commissioned officer working for me right now is a Master Sergeant! I would be lost without her in dealing with issues involving the men and women under my command. I was pleased to write her a walks-on-water evaluation this past year. Our sisters in arms have the right to pursue their career goals in the military, taking their careers as far as they can go, without the negative and abusive attacks on their persons by predatory men. (Such men who perform such attacks on their peers belong in a jail cell, not in a military unit!)
The truth is that our women in uniform find themselves under attack often times by Neanderthal men who for what ever reason have not been properly inculcated in our Army or Military values and are predators in our midst who destroy the lives and careers of our sisters in arms. It is a failure of leadership that we have not addressed this problem earlier. The leadership is concerned about this trend, and suicide, and our servicemembers are subjected to quarterly training to inculcate our members in the Military values and stop the trends that divide us.
Chaplains and chaplain assistants have been a great asset in providing a moral compass for our servicemembers from the very first day our country and our military was founded. I can’t imagine serving in a military without them. Today our chaplains, especially Christian chaplains, are under assault by those who want to destroy religion.
I think the battle over religion is an essential in our society and in our military. What do you believe, that man is an animal, no better or worse than any other, or is man imbued with a spirit, of more worth than any animal, and ultimately morally culpable for is actions to the Higher Power who created him?
The outlook on how wars are conducted reflects our religious and moral beliefs. A Christian is reluctant to go to war, but will go and fight if the cause is justified. A Muslim is constantly at war against what they view as the “Infidel” or unbeliever. The Amish never go to war, period. The atheists and agnostics state, without the benefit of historical truth, that without religion there would be no war, conveniently glossing over the fact that millions of people have been slaughtered by faithless communist and socialist regimes in the 20th Century.
I’m deeply offended by people like Mickey (get a real name and put on your big boy pants you jerk) who are so offended by religion that they want to force their own lack of morality and spirituality on the rest of us who do claim to be spiritual. The fact is that this nation was founded as a Christian Nation, despite what Mickey would have you believe. Our laws prevent the interference of the government on our religious practices, or lack thereof, they don’t prevent the talk of religious or spiritual matters in public.
Mickey and people of his ilk are misguided and often disrespectful of the beliefs of the majority. I don’t fault Mickey for his beliefs. We have freedom of religion after all and he can do as he likes. But his actions towards the rest of us who have some sort of faith are so offensive that I have no problem calling him out. You brother Mickey, are a big jerk! You can use your freedom of speech to criticize the government, but you have the sensitivity of a nat.
Our military is great, perhaps the greatest on earth, but there are some serious problems underlying, undermining, that need to be addressed. Our military leaders need the freedom to address those issues with candor and truthfulness to come to the source of the problem and irradiate the infection. They don’t need you to muck things up. These issues are too important for that. The lives and well-being of our uniformed servicemembers is at stake.