Sunday, December 4, 2011

Religious Freedoms - #3465 - Some Soldiers Up in Arms After Officials Remove Cross from U.S. Military Chapel in Afghanistan - The Blaze

Some U.S. servicemen are up in arms after a large cross was removed from outside a chapel on a military base in northern Afghanistan. The base, called Camp Marmal, is German and hosts NATO forces. The chapel in question is an interfaith house of worship that is overseen by the U.S. Army. Soldiers say that they felt comfort as a result of having the cross visible from the outside of the chapel. In an e-mail to Politico, one serviceman said, “Sometimes the Church and the ability to openly express religious views ultimately gets people through the deployments over here.” According to this particular soldier, when he asked a chaplain what had happened to the cross, he was told that it needed to be taken down. The faith leader, however, didn’t share any additional information on the matter. “We are here away from our families, and the chapel is the one place that feels like home,” added another service member. “With the cross on the outside, it is a constant reminder for all of us that Jesus is here for us.” Commander William Speaks, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, confirmed that the cross has been removed, telling Politico that taking it down was a necessity. “The removal was, in fact, in accordance with Army regulations,” he said.  Apparently, the Army chaplain manual prohibits the display of religious symbols. Here’s a portion of the manual that explains these regulations:
Service members who are discontented with the decision believe that it is an attack on their faith. “I really don’t understand why Christians are always attacked. If it was a crescent moon on top of a mosque, it would never be taken down,” one said.  Read more........

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