Archive: November 8, 2009 - November 14, 2009
Some of us are working for the day when the divided loyalties under scrutiny will not be whether to defend one's nation or to kill a co-religionist, but whether to kill or not kill another human being at all. In the meantime, barring people from the military on religious grounds is not the answer. Intelligence and vigilance that surface terrorism, extremism and psychological instability are.
By Katharine Henderson | November 13, 2009; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (1)
Muslim citizens have been and are loyal members of this nation. They have served capably in the past and will do so in the future. Sadly, just as was the case with secularists during the Cold War, they will have to endure increased scrutiny since a substantial minority of their fellows has turned against American values.
By John Mark Reynolds | November 13, 2009; 3:12 PM ET | Comments (38)
You have to go back to Abraham Lincoln to understand where President Obama is trying to take the country in relationship to understanding the changes we need to make about the conduct of the war in Afghanistan. War, in this President's view, is not bloodless (and mindless) triumph, but a bloody and costly sacrifice. This is what profound change looks like.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | November 13, 2009; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (2)
Hasan's alleged actions have made it loud and clear to me that the Muslim American community needs to stand up and take responsibility for extremist views within its midst. Even if individuals like Hasan represent a fringe minority, we need credible religious scholars to unequivocally denounce such acts and demonstrate how and why such acts are a violation of God's law.
By Hadia Mubarak | November 13, 2009; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (193)
Patheos.com is sponsoring a Faith on Campus video contest.
By Sally Quinn | November 12, 2009; 6:10 PM ET | Comments (0)
My husband and I married each other despite our differences, which, in today's world are not very great at all. Where is the place to glorify the love that transcends difference, without demanding allegiance to one tribe or another?
By Lisa Miller | November 12, 2009; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (4)
Religious belief and military service are part and parcel of the societies of most countries. Generally, they have been able to find compatibility. There have been times of antagonism and difficulty in the U.S. in this regards, but for the most part, members of the American military services have found ways to live the religious values they hold while serving, and we have all benefited as a result.
By Ramdas Lamb | November 12, 2009; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (1)
If end of life care means treating people like people, and investing into them, then it should be part of health reform. The point is, human connection and interaction should never be secondary. It gives hope for the soul, and proves the invisible love of God is real.
By Matt Maher | November 12, 2009; 8:51 AM ET | Comments (0)
If wisdom is so seminal to meaningful living then why don't we spend more time as adults pursuing it?
By Erica Brown | November 11, 2009; 5:36 PM ET | Comments (1)
The military cannot accommodate any belief system that undermines those commitments. No nation can accommodate those who would turn themselves into terrorists against their own neighbors, citizens, and fellow soldiers.
By R. Albert Mohler Jr. | November 11, 2009; 5:32 PM ET | Comments (4)
Few would disagree on the importance of a soldier's mental health and stability. And the spiritual component is vital to anyone who looks to and needs God's help. It may not be a universal panacea to all religious-based intolerance and violence, but the collective efforts of chaplains both in war and peacetime stand as a testament to the value and effectiveness of spiritual counseling and prayer.
By Phil Davis | November 11, 2009; 3:31 PM ET | Comments (1)
When ministering turns to proselytizing and privileging one faith over another, and when the tens of thousands of Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists proudly serving their country are rendered the "other," highly imperative troop cohesion and morale is compromised.
By Aseem Shukla | November 11, 2009; 12:33 PM ET | Comments (7)
That being said, I don't think religion ought to be a factor in whether or not one is in the military. On the battlefield, I doubt it makes anyone much difference if his or her battle buddy is a pro-life Catholic or a Bible-thumping Evangelical. I think, on the battlefield, differences dissipate because everyone is working for a common good, and nobody wants anybody to be felled by the enemy.
By Susan K. Smith | November 11, 2009; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (4)
The Torah teaches that "ordinary" life-concerns of a soldier, as well as what we might call issues of religion and conscience, stand paramount in an army's relationship to its troops.
By Arthur Waskow | November 11, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (1)
No major faith, including the five major world religions I have studied and taught, threatens the safety and security of the U.S. or its citizens. Religious extremists of any faith are a threat but they should be treated as any other extremists, religious or non-religious.
By John Esposito | November 11, 2009; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (7)
Hasan's 2007 distorted presentation on Islam clearly was a calculated attempt to get himself out of the Army.
By Pamela K. Taylor | November 11, 2009; 9:04 AM ET | Comments (63)
Without question, all of the men and women who give their lives to military service should be allowed to practice their faith or choose to practice no faith without fear of prejudice or retribution. There is no place in the military for proselytization among military personnel or by military personnel in relation to citizens at home or abroad.
By Welton Gaddy | November 10, 2009; 5:35 PM ET | Comments (0)
God should be welcomed into the army, whether as Adonai, Lord Jesus, Allah, or any of the other names by which God is known. So should the presence of those who believe that God does not exist. And all should play by the same rules.
By Brad Hirschfield | November 10, 2009; 1:04 PM ET | Comments (2)
Religion should only disqualify someone from active military service if the religious beliefs and practices would substantially impair the performance of one's duties in the military.
By J. Brent Walker | November 10, 2009; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (1)
Demonization of American Muslims is under way among conservative American Christians who think wrongly that President Obama is showing his true colors as a Muslim and Muslims shouldn't be in the military. But this is not the first time that anxiety within right-wing Christianity has objected to government service based on faith. Stopping the phobia from spreading from the fringes of faith into the mainstream demands that faith leaders speak up now.
By Robert Parham | November 10, 2009; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (2)
It is up to the chaplains to cultivate a climate of respect for each religion in the services. The increasing religious diversity in the military makes this a crucial job. It is a challenging job for chaplains, but chaplains must agree to respect all religions--that's why they cannot evangelize or proselytize. There is an ever more demanding task of gaining greater knowledge and depth of understanding of the many religions represented in the unit.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | November 9, 2009; 6:03 PM ET | Comments (5)
Military officers are representatives of the U.S. government, and should not tell subordinates that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. Nor should I, as a math professor at a state institution, tell my students that all gods are make believe.
By Herb Silverman | November 9, 2009; 5:59 PM ET | Comments (9)
The particular nature of this man's religious belief, not his general "religious affiliation," is the issue. When someone shouts "Allahu Akbar" before taking aim at a roomful of people, I'd say that's a sign that religious fanaticism -- specifically, a brand of Islamic religious fanaticism -- had something to do with his state of mind.
By Susan Jacoby | November 9, 2009; 1:51 PM ET | Comments (201)