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View Diary: Is Religious Proselytizing a Problem in the Military? (15 comments)

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  •  After 18+ years in the Army, (2+ / 0-)
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    JenS, Batya the Toon

    I can say that (as a Jewish veteran) I have never had any problems with Christian fundamentalists. In fact, the few times it has come up at all, most of the identifiable Christians I have served with have been respectful, even encouraging. That said, there has also been (In my opinion) a general trend in modern Christianity to "like" Jews. So a Wiccan or Buddhist or other "non-traditional" might have a different point of view.

    But the Army is the largest service by manpower size, so perhaps we have had to deal with a wider cross-section of American culture. I admit that when I hear about intolerant Christian enforcement in the ranks, I frequently find that the Air Force is at the end of the trail of anecdotal bread crumbs (the Navy seems to be second). I don't know what my Air Force brothers and sisters are dealing with, but it sounds like there's more missionary work going on there than in my "green machine".

    Still, the military is generally a conservative institution, politically and socially, and attracts those folks to service. I see how "normal" displays of Christianity, accepted as part of society, can seem emphasized and "expected" to someone who feels alienated from that.

    America is a strange duck; we have no "official" religion but Sunday is generally considered the "day off" (whereas for Jews it would be Saturday and for Muslims, Friday) and we always have December 25th off and minimal staffing around that time-- while non-Christians have to dip into leave time to take off for events such as Yom Kippur, or Eid al-Fitr, or Samhain (to name a couple examples I can think of). This Christian-ization of the calendar is such a normal part of our social landscape that otherwise tolerant and open-minded Christians don't even realize that it is a social obstacle to those of us who choose not to participate.

    Just a thought.

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Wed May 01, 2013 at 07:23:00 PM PDT

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