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U.S. House says ‘No Catholic Need Apply’ to be next chaplain


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What was at issue with the Speaker and, no doubt, with millions who would side with him that day, was not the chaplain’s being in politics, but rather, his seeming to take a stand that would alienate many. Was the chaplain betraying his calling? He could cite chapter and verse in the Bible, in Catholic social theology, and in the Jesuit tradition for backing. He could also try to show how pursuing the assurance that “benefits” of tax plans would be “balanced and shared” by all citizens was in place. How to assure that is, of course, a complex matter, but his prayer was not laying out a legislative program. That is something legislators on all sides have to deal with.

After a conflict like last week’s, thoughtful citizens look for a better way. Some say “abolish the chaplaincy,” and all will be balanced and shared. Or: “remove religious discourse and contention from the political scene.” Or: “remove religion.” The founders did well by not proposing a neat solution for how to deal with religion or religions, but establishing where religious institutions are subordinated to the political in political doings. Subordinated, yes, though they are “ordinated”—they have their ever-shifting places in our inescapable political order.

Somehow the padre and his fellow Catholic, Speaker Ryan, eventually came to terms such that the delicate discourses and contentions in that political order can continue to make their respective contributions to the common good, potentially even in “shared” and “balanced” ways.

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Chaplains have the un-enviable contract obligation, by virtue of their oath of office, to provide pastoral services as other Chaplains would do, if not available for some reason.

That means that a Catholic Chaplain ( as an example ...)  MUST, when called upon to do so, provide Jewish, Muslim, Methodist, Baptist, Unitarian, Seventh Day Adventist,  and many other religious services and activities, etc.

The same is true for other religious confessions.

A Muslim or Buddhist Chaplain may be called upon to give Catholic services or Sharia Law based counseling, or Trinity based sermons to a Baptist audience.

In the vernacular ... these "Sky Pilots" must be "Switch Hitters", and compromise their theology for the National Interests.

This makes allegiance to the True God a farce .... a paid hobby .... and a deeply established and approved cultural fantasy.

And it does quite blatantly make the point by actual, real life  example.

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