Original Email



It's not the destination, but the journey.


I am honored to do this!

ACLU has filed a suit to end prayer from the military completely. They're making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus' name in prayer thanks to theACLU and others.


I'm not breaking this one. 



If I get it a 1000 times, I'll forward it a 1000 times!

Let us pray... 


Prayer chain for our Military... Don't break it! 


Please send this on after a short prayer. Pray for our soldiers Don't break it! 





'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands Protect them as they protect us Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. In Jesus’ name,Amen.' 

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world. 

There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.






My reply was as follows (sent to all copied on the one I received)


Many people who haven't served do not know this, but the only right that soldier retains once they enlist is their right to practice their religion.  There is no Free Speech, Right to Bear Arms (or not to), or any other right that most people take for granted.  You relinquish an incredible amount of control to the organization above you, and you have virtually NO say in what happens.
That being said, in the military the Chaplain is the closest thing to a psychologist or a counsellor, confidant, or mentor you will get when you are in combat.  Their primary mission is the welfare of the soldiers, spiritually and mentally, and they hold the rank of officer~ this means that every enlisted soldier, no matter if they are a Private or a First Sergeant, is under their command.  The problem isn't that the Chaplain is a religious person~ the problem is that the soldiers under their command may not be.  How would someone who devoutly believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ feel if their superior led them in a muslim prayer to Allah, or to Jehovah, or to Satan?  That would likely create conflict amongst those who do not share those particular religious views.  Or what if a soldier needs relationship counseling (the Chaplain would be where to go) but finds out that instead of getting advice they are told they are an abomination because they are gay [leviticus 20:13 says they should be put to death] ?  The movement to remove prayer isn't to discriminate against those who are Christian (which is almost always how its framed) but to protect those who aren't  Christian~ surely those soldiers should have the same rights and same level of support during their service that their Christian brothers have; the only way to ensure that equality is to remove the sectarian nature of the prayer to begin with.  Surely the men and women who fight to protect this Nation of Freedoms (of which I am one) should be afforded, universally and unilaterally, at least one of those freedoms they are dying to protect.
Spc Park P Bierbower III, United States Army, 12R10






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Replies to This Discussion

Great response.  I know how hard it is to openly speak out about something like this when you are in the military.  Religion was pushed very hard when I was in and it is amazing the kind of things officers will do in the name of their personal religous beliefs.

to clarify something. Although they are commisioned officers, Chaplains don't actually have command authority over anyone, even other chaplains except for MG Carver's aides and staff. More to the point, UCMJ authority is command authority. They are commissioned officers partly so that their role as advisor to a commander is within normal military protocol for critical staff personnel. Any chaplain who acts otherwise is wrong. Most chaplains act through a commander who is of like mind rather than put themselves out there. Especially with how blunt MG Carver has been lately about chaplains openly proselytizing after the bible incident in Afghanistan and the repeal of DADT.

I don't agree with chaplains on the payroll in the first place or tax dollars spen on chapels but they are not officers with command authority,they are officers with a special trust endowed by the President, or so it goes. Thus, they are commissioned to fulfill a "sacred duty" without the conflicts of being enlisted or a civilain.

Indeed Dennis, thanks for clarifying the command authority issue.  Chaplains don't make any decisions regarding command or the mission - except say a token prayer from time to time, during which I never bow my head, look around and find the other atheists (who are generally closeted as "No Religious Preference").


The DADT repeal brings up an interesting point regarding chaplains in the military - they will still be able to preach what is in accordance with their religion from the pulpit on Sunday morning, but then are supposed to offer counseling and support to all Soldiers during the week.  Can you smell a conflict of interest coming?  Inevitably, a chaplain will make anti-homosexual remarks in a sermon, in a unit with openly homosexual personnel.  I'm hoping this leads to further reforms regarding religion in the military (read: NO RELIGION).

Interesting thread.

Having never served in the U.S. Military but having served with them (as I continue to do to this day) I would like to add my 'humble' contribution to this discussion. I was working as a PSD contractor operating from a small COP in Southern Afghanistan. There were +/- 350 American military personnel operating from the base and it was a pleasure working with them. There were half a dozen South African AMK9 blokes working the K9 side of things.

I remember there was a nondenominational service held one evening in the MWR. Now what gets me, or perhaps warms my heart is that there were only half a dozen U.S. Military personnel taking part (FYI - 5 out of 6 South Africans took part). I know the attendance because while the guitar strumming and singing was in full swing I happened by to check my emails.

Why I mention this is that for me as a Scandinavian non-theist interested in a secular life and enjoying one even as I type; I had been lead to believe that practicably 50% of my fellow primates in the New World were devout believers in JC and the rest of the Trinity fantasy.

Absolutely great to see that at least there – it was only a tiny minority.

Regards and respect,

Spec Bierbower, thank you for your service!  You have just bravely and personally upheld the oath you took to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.  I salute you.

I always like to remind my family that prayer means nothing. You can not shower for a week and pray to be clean and I guarentee you will still be smelly after that prayer, but when you take action... like shower, you become clean. People that pray for troops should try and become troops. If they support us so much with our dying in iraq and such and such (yay end of iraq... the one good thing bush did was sign that law into motion in 07) why not take action and become one?


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