In a training and command order issued by the US Marine Corps, several risk factors were identified as likely to lead to loss of life or diminished functioning. And guess what. "Lack or loss of spiritual faith" is listed as one of those factors, along with mental health issues, prior suicide attempts, and legal problems, to name but a few.
Fortunately, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation plans on suing the Marine Corps in what is an obvious violation of the First Amendment. Apparently, if you don't 'loves you some jesus' you are considered a threat to the integrity of the fighting unit you are assigned to. And, in the document listing this nonsense, it states that this was one of several "scientifically" determined risk factors. I suspect the science came from the local alchemist, astrologer, or necromancer.
And, for the actual training and command order, go here. The "Guidance and Moral Compass Issues" start on page 13..
Why do I smell a reaction to the move for non-theist chaplains in the military? Anyone? Further, I'd like to see a study of suicides in the military, broken down by belief system ... or am I being too rational in wanting facts to substantiate this policy?
That sounds like a rational response to me.
I could see the process of losing faith as increasing risk for feeling lost or purposelessness. Way back when, I felt that way. The thing for me is, I would rather be rational and live in a world without religious "purpose", than be deluded. Purpose comes in other ways.
This seems to somewhat go along with Matthew Greenberg's post on creationism in PA schools. Let's force religious propaganda down everyone's throat, irrespective of actual science, facts, rationality, or logic; whether in schools or the barracks. Reminds me of the oxymoron "Military Intelligence."
I've heard people whining from both sides... like this chick who bashed some Christian pastor for saying that gay people were not all that bad... Someone turned her in and her superiors knocked her down a rank for it. So of course Christians are whining about 'religious intolerance'...
I'd say the military is so big it doesn't really have a collective opinion about the value of religion. They mostly just want you to shut up, get along with your fellow soldiers, and follow orders when given... one of those orders being don't post political or religious crap to facebook that can blow back on them. Same goes for cops...
''Lack or loss of spiritual faith." would refer to a religious person who looses his/her faith in the conduct of military service. It might also refer to Atheists. The Order may be poorly drafted.
As an Officer responsible for troops I would agree that a religious person might be a risk factor in the above example but I would not interpret the Order as a reference to Atheists.
Thing is, it's a "lack" of something which their own mechanisms of evaluation deem to be essential for proper character. We touched on this in a blog of mine some time ago, particularly where James Kz noted the wall he ran into in his military career, owing to the fact that his faith at the time was not recognized by the Navy.
The armed services may be catching up as regards GLBT people in their services, but they badly need a wake-up call as regards atheism and fitness for duty and promotion.
it's sad that our military has become a battleground for religiosity. i'm reminded of a story i read a few months ago about a group called "Club Beyond" who are nefariously proselytizing young soldiers. for anyone who is interested here is the link:
Fair enough -- I'd be okay with it if they just changed that to be "Loss of faith" but not "lack of faith", as long as there are plenty of other things on that list. I mean, if you just now mentally dislodged a lifelong religion, then yeah, you might be distracted and drive a truck off the road... But you're no more of a risk than some guy who just got dumped by his girlfriend or lost a close family member. Soldiers commit suicide because they're just people, and people of all kinds, soldiers or not, sometimes commit suicide.