Just a day after Congress held a hearing on “Religious Accommodations” in the military, during which four Christians talked about how rough they had it, there was a perfect example of how Christians take things too far.
During a suicide prevention training for the 5th Ranger Training Battalion, the battalion chaplain offered everyone explicitly biblical solutions with this handout which states that those who are suicidal should just “Invite Jesus into whatever you’re feeling.”
Jason Torpy, President of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, explained the problem:
Suicide is an epidemic in our military. When the military condones evangelism in mental health training, the epidemic will get worse not better. The document… was used during the training presentation and focused exclusively on Christian solutions to suicide. Make no mistake that this would at best separate humanists and non-Christians from scientific and like-minded solutions and very likely do psychological harm by making them feel even more alienated and depressed.
Nearly the entire audience of 150 military personnel were junior in rank [than] the chaplain and compelled to attend this day-long session of various topics including suicide prevention. The Battalion Commander and senior officers were in attendance and apparently condoned the mandatory sermonizing in this event. Discussion with evening staff duty personnel did not produce an immediate response.
“If evangelicals in Congress want military chaplains to enforce Christianity in their official duties, then they are getting their wish.” said [Torpy]. “But if we all seek religious liberty and the mental health of our military men and women, then there should be swift action against that chaplain, his endorsing agency, and the Battalion Commander who participated in this wanton abuse of their military authority.”
It’s not the first time something like this has happened. But, you know, it’s Christians who are really oppressed here.