simply, Christian

the day the Just War tradition died

generations of ethical thought overthrown with a single tweet

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Traditionally, the United States has followed (or at least aimed to follow) the principles of the Just War tradition. We have used these guiding principles to bring focus and restraint to our warfighting through the years. Of course, there are specific instances of when we have failed to follow them--firebombing German cities, dropping . . .

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January 07, 2020

Luther on war as God's work

and whether or not Christian's may serve

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What men write about war, saying that it is a great plague, is all true. But they should also consider how great the plague is that war prevents. If people were good and wanted to keep peace, war would be the greatest plague on earth. But what are you going to do about the fact that people will not keep the peace, but rob, . . .

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August 30, 2019

the war prayer

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NOTE: Being asked to give the invocation for our wing’s 100th anniversary later this summer and thinking about the dissonance between many Christian chaplains’ prayers and the teachings of Scripture led me back to this classic by Mr. Twain. It is pointed, sarcastic, and wonderfully still as relevant today as when it was penned.

. . .

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June 01, 2017

on chaplains and their prayers

what are we praying for and why?

Silvrback blog image One of the most memorable scenes in the move Patton is when General Patton summons his chaplain, Fr. James O'Neill, and orders him to write a prayer for good weather just before the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. Chaplain O'Neill wrote the following, now-famous, words:

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly . . .

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April 28, 2017

why nude Marines shouldn't shock us

offensive and immoral? yes. surprising? no.

While many people were shocked last week at the revelation of a widely-popular nude photo sharing Facebook group run by Marines, I can't say that this news surprised me even a little bit. General Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps, is rightly upset. I have no doubt there will be investigations performed and punishment doled out, but . . .

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March 14, 2017

messenger of death, messenger of hope

thoughts on the Galveston Apache helicopter crash

The Secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deep regret that your husband was killed today in a routine training accident. The Secretary extends his deepest sympathy to you and your family in your tragic loss.

Same script as usual, except today I’m supporting my brethren in the Army, so there’s a one word . . .

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Posted in: chaplaincy

December 29, 2016

the origins of the chaplaincy

on Veteran's Day and the feast of St. Martin

This post is copied from and is presented here in its entirety. I claim no credit for this work.

Wednesday the 11th of November is the feast of St Martin de Tours, the first chaplain! Below is an extract from Fr David O’Malley’s book ‘School Ethos and Chaplaincy’, available from Don Bosco Publications and on . . .

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Posted in: chaplaincy

November 11, 2015


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