"The Wondering Jew"
Oct. 22, 2005 - 18:39 MDT
Sometimes it is hard for me to say what I am thinking, and get it across to others. They hear or read my words, but I know not if they put the same definition on the words I am putting forth.
There is a big upsurge of opinions at the Air Force Academy about religion.
One thing under discussion is proselyting by evangelicals.
Let me see, Proselytize = To induce some one to convert to one's faith. Evangelize = 1. - Preach the Gospel - - - 2. - Convert to Christianity.
Somehow it seems from what I read, it is not just the chaplains but many of the leaders of the professorial pack who are going that route.
Seems to me from what I have read a military chaplain often ministers to those of all faiths, or have I misunderstood what I have read ?
Quoting from an article in today's Rocky Mountain News by Dick Foster of that paper:
"An Air Force report in June found "perceptions" of pro-Christian bias at the academy but no "overt religious discrimination."
"The report addressed incidents in which members of minority faiths were insulted and freshman cadets were warned by a minister to be "born again " or burn in the fires of hell."
"Weinstein filed suit after the Air Force refused to disavow a June statement by the Air Force deputy chief of chaplains Brig. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson, who said "we will not proselytize, be we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched."
So what he is saying it appears that they will not "induce some one to convert to one's faith," but 1. - "Preach the Gospel and 2. - Convert to Christianity."
I wonder, is there a test that one has to pass that will demonstrate if a person is "unchurched" ? How do they figure that and still do their other duties ? Or are there some religious definitions of the words that don't say that if you are evangelizing your are not proselytizing ?
The military is a closed cell more or less, and the enlistees and cadets are a captive audience and realize that they must comply, on the face of it, to the thoughts and convictions of those leading and teaching them. They have no room to voice dissent, say they don't go that route, believe differently or just wish to be left alone with their own beliefs.
Quite a bit different from civilian life where one can refuse to accept a tract, tell an evangelizer to leave them alone and go elswhere. I have been waylaid on the street, in bars and other places by evangelizers. I respect their convictions and beliefs, and in most ways believe as they do - - with the exception of what the Baptists I used to belong to referred to as Witnessing -- laymen evangelizing laymen. My idea of witnessing is to be a living example of a Christian and counsel with someone seeking my advice. Tract pushers or Witnessers have always raised my hackles if they push it past the point of my polite refusal to listen.
Aside from personal preferences, seems to me that the military's main purpose is to soldier, be soldiers, do battle if necessary, take training along those lines and teach it when that level of expertise is achieved.
Yes a man or woman's spiritual welfare is important to each of them, their morale is important to the organization too. But arm twisting captive audiences is not the way to go I think.
Also seems to me that the Brass is playing the same game as Clinton did -- different words and language to essentailly say the same thing while denying you are saying or not saying it. A bit misty, am I not ? I think they are smokescreening a lot.
It would seem that America is in danger of not being The Melting Pot where people are accepted regardless of their thoughts or religion. When the great migration to the United States began it was a time the routine was that an employee worked 16 hours or more a day, went to the owner's church and in all other ways had to do as he was told in regard to his private life.
From what I have read, each ethnic group that migrated pretty well stayed with that group until such a time as they were able to take part in the society around them. Some families the parents never did learn to speak English but they darn well saw that their kids were perfect in it.
I think unions also played a part in blending everyone into being American, people working the same place, doing the same job, suffering the inequalities as everyone else, banding together and seeing that changes were made. That is the way it looks to me.
But I have always had the prerogative of turning a deaf ear on folks trying to "convert" me to anything. My conversions come to me privately and pretty well stay that way. That is, until my fingers strike the keys on my key board.
Okay buddy, "Semanticize This . . . . ."
Nowadays it appears the military is mastering the art of language, the abuse and MISUSE OF . . . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far