So, there’s this chaplain with the troops in Iraq…well, just read the letter I’ve just sent off to the commandant of chaplains, the public affairs office for the military chaplains, , my congresscritters, and a host of other people whom I thought may be of some assistance in defrocking and discharging this evangelical idiot. You too may email the officials mentioned by clicking on the links above.
Dear Chaplain (Colonel) Harold D. Roller and the officers and staff of the Chaplain Public Affairs division,
I would like to bring to your attention the following article. (Miami Herald Story)
Specifically, I would like to address the following quote from Army Chaplain Josh Llano of Houston, who seems to believe that the water shortage facing our troops in Iraq is a perfect time to hoard water and only allow his brand of Christians to use it.
Chaplain Llano says, “It’s simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized,”. So, if our soldiers want access to this pool of taxpayer funded water, they must listen to an hour plus sermon, then agree to be baptized in the Southern Baptist traditions.
This, despite the fact that David E. Mullis, who is listed by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. as the Associate for Military Chaplaincy, responded to this story by saying, “…the practice described is totally out of line with normal chaplaincy practice as well as that of Southern Baptist practice. The practice is neither theologically or ethically sound nor is it taught or expected as a practice to follow.”
That some soldiers may choose be baptized before battle, certainly. As the saying goes, there are no atheists in foxholes. But soldiers that choose to affirm, or reaffirm their faith should do it willingly, with thought and reverence; baptism shouldn’t be reduced to an marketing “incentive”.
Chaplain Llano is withholding access to this water from all other sects of Christianity, such as Catholics, Episcopalians, etc., as well as forbidding Jews and Muslims to come near the water provided by American tax dollars to provide succor to all American troops, regardless of creed. Soldiers who follow a different version of the scriptures, or a different holy prophet, shouldn’t be discriminated against because they refuse to bow to this Taliban-esque preacher.
The FM16-1 (5/26/1995) Army Chaplain Field Manual states in Chapter One: “Soldiers in an Army unit come from a multitude of faith groups, some of which are different from the chaplain’s own faith group. Under the Constitution’s provision for the “free exercise of religion,” the MT provides religious support for ALL soldiers in the unit.”
Chaplain Llano is not providing support to all of the soldiers, he is providing support only to the soldiers that meet his very narrow definition of “saved”. This zealotry cannot be allowed to continue. He has proven himself to be calculating and uncaring to anyone who refuses to bow to his specific version of faith. He must be withdrawn from the field, and should never be allowed to minister to the troops again.
Oh, there’s so much more I wanted to add, but I just couldn’t seem to sound rational…mostly because I’m just furious about this. See, it’s guys like that that give Christians a bad name. I mean, you’d think someone who actually studied the faith, and the guy it’s based on, would realize that withholding water in a desert might be bad juju…