A former Afghan prime minister has called for an inquiry after Al Jazeera broadcast footage showing Christian US soldiers appearing to be preparing to try and convert Muslims in Afghanistan.Unlike PZ, I understand why we have taxpayer funded chaplains in the military. Men and women sent halfway 'round the world to do high stress jobs should not be deprived of spiritual support, if they so choose.* * *
In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him".
'The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down,' he says.
'Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business.'
That being said, my understanding of military chaplains is that they are, regardless of their particular woo variant, sort of Swiss Army Holy Men, helping out soldiers of all faiths (or, indeed, none). They certainly shouldn't be preaching to the guys with guns about how to "hunt people for Jesus," particularly in the middle of a non-Christian nation! Jeez, even Duhbya seemed to grasp that "crusade" was not the right word for what we were doing there.
Regardless of what else we're doing over there, we shouldn't be selling Jesus at the point of a gun.