• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Apparently military promotions don't come from the military but from God

Status
Not open for further replies.
Oct 4, 2012
8,257
0
0
I just attended a promotion ceremony for a friend who is becoming captain. Twice during, we were asked to bow our heads and listen to Christian prayers. There was no subtlety; plenty of references to the "heavenly father" and Jesus. The speaker asked god to guide us and help us with, you know, everything. I even learned that "all promotions come from [god.]"

Wasn't a big deal but I had no idea religion was so overtly expressed in official, military-related events like this. I know about military chaplains but those are obviously optional.

I don't see any reason why there should be any prayers involved in a promotion ceremony. Does separation of church and state not apply to the military?
 
I just attended a promotion ceremony for a friend who is becoming captain. Twice during, we were asked to bow our heads and listen to Christian prayers. There was no subtlety; plenty of references to the "heavenly father" and Jesus. The speaker asked god to guide us and help us with, you know, everything. I even learned that "all promotions come from [god.]"

Wasn't a big deal but I had no idea religion was so overtly expressed in official, military-related events like this. I know about military chaplains but those are obviously optional.

I don't see any reason why there should be any prayers involved in a promotion ceremony. Does separation of church and state not apply to the military?
It depends on the people involved with the ceremony. Every ceremony I've been to hasn't had huge God references or anything.
 

Nostremitus

Member
Mar 24, 2012
8,873
2
0
Seoul, ROK
If the person getting promoted wants a chaplain there's no reason to deny their religious freedom.

Also, regardless of faith, a person could have someone pray in their faith. It doesn't have to be a Christian prayer. The U.S. military values freedom of religion, regardless of religion as long as it's a recognized religion (you can't make up your own in order to get out of work, etc.)

We once stopped training so a couple of Wiccans could perform a ritual to the Earth Goddess.
 
Nov 27, 2011
5,908
0
530
I was watching some documentary on Netflix last night where they follow soldiers around in Afghanistan. Some captain was giving his troops a pep talk before going into battle. Every other word was some curse, and they were talking about how they were going to demolish the enemy. At the end of the prep talk he then asked them to bow their heads and started praying to Jesus. The juxtaposition, and sheer ridiculousness of it just baffled me. Religion really is a powerful tool when it comes to people thinking they are in the right in killing another.
 

Somnid

Member
Aug 9, 2006
19,685
0
1,215
My understanding is the US military is heavily Christian even if not officially and that there is a strong expectation of conformity to that.
 

noquarter

Member
Jul 13, 2009
2,429
0
0
I'm assuming this is a Navy Captain right? Otherwise that promotion comes from not fucking up for four years and still being in the service.

I've been to a couple ceremonies where Chaplains are asked to be there and offer a prayer. Not that big of a deal, IMO. If people want to pray with him they can, otherwise just now your head and think about something else.

Now reenlistment ceremonies are a little different. Been to a couple of those where the person reenlisting used his brief time 'out' of the service to give prayers. Those always get me a little upset, get the chaplain to give a prayer if you want that, don't take his job away.
 

rambis

Member
Aug 10, 2014
5,206
30
320
In pretty sure when he thanked god he didn't mean to imply that the military had nothing yo do with promoting him. But yeah from what I seen the military supports all religions. If he had a christian chaplain at his event, then it's likely because he is Christian and requested him/her.
 

Nostremitus

Member
Mar 24, 2012
8,873
2
0
Seoul, ROK
My understanding is the US military is heavily Christian even if not officially and that there is a strong expectation of conformity to that.
No, there just happen to be a higher percentage of Christians in the military. There are chaplains from many faiths. You can have prayers from any religion you choose at your ceremony. If you don't specify, then the default does tend to be Christian simply due to percentages.
 

Nekofrog

Banned
Nov 3, 2007
13,587
1
0
yeah, you just went to a promotion ceremony where a chaplain was asked to do that.

it doesn't always happen.
 

jond76

Banned
Aug 16, 2012
6,548
1
0
www.thechangebegins.com
I was watching some documentary on Netflix last night where they follow soldiers around in Afghanistan. Some captain was giving his troops a pep talk before going into battle. Every other word was some curse, and they were talking about how they were going to demolish the enemy. At the end of the prep talk he then asked them to bow their heads and started praying to Jesus. The juxtaposition, and sheer ridiculousness of it just baffled me. Religion really is a powerful tool when it comes to people thinking they are in the right in killing another.
Why are you giving shit to people about to go into battle? So what if they are looking to take comfort in something in a life and death scenario.

If it puts a soldier at ease that he feels he'll be looked after if he takes a bullet to the face while serving his country, by saying a prayer, what difference does it make to you? It's not like your out there fighting from behind your keyboard.

Also, it's not like they are fighting in behalf of God, they're just looking for some spiritual reassurance going into a scary situation.
 
Oct 4, 2012
8,257
0
0
How cute. You think this problem only applies to the military.
Yeah, you got me. I only think this problem only applies to the military (wtf?)

I'm assuming this is a Navy Captain right? Otherwise that promotion comes from not fucking up for four years and still being in the service.
.
No, Army.

I mean, he wasn't literally promoted BECAUSE of his faith right, he was just giving the credit to it?
No, he was promoted for tenure/job well done (at least I assume).

To be clear, though, he wasn't the one saying the prayer. It was just some other captain.
 
Oct 9, 2013
5,514
0
0
Why are you giving shit to people about to go into battle? So what if they are looking to take comfort in something in a life and death scenario.

If it puts a soldier at ease that he feels he'll be looked after if he takes a bullet to the face while serving his country, by saying a prayer, what difference does it make to you? It's not like your out there fighting from behind your keyboard.

Also, it's not like they are fighting in behalf of God, they're just looking for some spiritual reassurance going into a scary situation.
Sure. If that's how they want to justify themselves, by convincing their minds that the Enemy is the Enemy, that's fine. But I thought we were talking about the seperation of Chritianity and the military becoming smaller. Also women can be soldiers too, just so you know.
 

ElectricMonk

Member
Jan 28, 2014
746
39
470
The American military is pretty Republican and Southern in outlook, they are the heirs to the Cavaliers, and Loyalists, and the Confederates (with brief exceptions re: the draft).

But that's a longer tale. OP, have you not read the hundreds of articles about the missionary fever of some of the officers that invaded Iraq? They really were thinking in Crusader terms, so tis no shock for a promotion to go the way you describe.
 
Oct 4, 2012
8,257
0
0
But that's a longer tale. OP, have you not read the hundreds of articles about the missionary fever of some of the officers that invaded Iraq? They really were thinking in Crusader terms, so tis no shock for a promotion to go the way you describe.
Absolutely I have. I just figured that was because they're thousands of miles away and felt safe that nobody was going to give them shit. Plus, the environment is obviously a lot different and probably easier to excuse proselytizing.

But this was at a ceremony here in Arlington, VA in the Army Readiness Building, which is basically an office building. I didn't expect it to be so overt back here.
 

WillyFive

Member
Sep 17, 2009
28,623
1
0
Does separation of church and state not apply to the military?
The separation of church and state doesn't apply at all. Christianity has become so entrenched into the culture across the last two centuries that what the founding fathers intended doesn't actually work.
 

rambis

Member
Aug 10, 2014
5,206
30
320
The American military is pretty Republican and Southern in outlook, they are the heirs to the Cavaliers, and Loyalists, and the Confederates (with brief exceptions re: the draft).

But that's a longer tale. OP, have you not read the hundreds of articles about the missionary fever of some of the officers that invaded Iraq? They really were thinking in Crusader terms, so tis no shock for a promotion to go the way you describe.
 

injurai

Banned
Oct 18, 2011
35,299
0
0
Milky Way
www.youtube.com
The separation of church and state doesn't apply at all. Christianity has become so entrenched into the culture across the last two centuries that what the founding fathers intended doesn't actually work.
The separation is still there, it doesn't prevent individuals though from operating on behalf of their religious influences.
 

antonz

Member
May 12, 2010
22,354
0
0
God and Military has always been a strong tradition in pretty much every military. As someone said you aren't going to get people willing to die for Walmart.

You can certainly find some Officers who are certainly much more overt about it all but god and country and all of that has always been deeply tied to military service. The only real changes have been to try and diversify the structure instead of the rigid one in place.
 

CornBurrito

Member
Dec 1, 2009
29,556
0
845
My understanding is the US military is heavily Christian even if not officially and that there is a strong expectation of conformity to that.
How funny for a military to be Christian, given that the religion forbids murder and advocates turning the other cheek.
 

XenoRaven

Member
Sep 4, 2009
9,727
0
0
I have been to many military promotions and have never seen this, so I don't think it's a common thing everywhere.

When swearing in you have the option to decline to say "so help me God" at the end.
 

rambis

Member
Aug 10, 2014
5,206
30
320
What is seperation of church and state supposed to mean in this context? Promotion ceremonies are personal events, often invite only for higher ranking individuals. Even though they are sanctioned military events it's the members perojative if they want to invite a chaplain to say a few words. The same as it would be in the civilian world.

Its not a mandatory event, if you don't feel comfortable with someone saying a prayer, don't go.

If you don't want a prayer at your ceremony, don't invite a chaplain.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.