The persecution of Christians has begun.
If you have read anything here, you might think I was being sarcastic, but I am not. Fox News reports that an army chaplain’s assistant who posted on her facebook page “calling homosexuality a sin”. The soldier, who asked not to be identified, said her commander ordered her to either remove the Facebook message or face a reduction in rank and pay.
Arrogating to myself the luxury of pacifism, I could go on about “army chaplains”- how can they preach on “Thou shalt not kill”, leave alone “turn the other cheek”. But soldiers are entitled as anyone else to the consolations of religion. The woman stated her understanding of her religion, and a chaplain’s assistant should be free to do that. She should not be free to create a “hostile and antagonistic” environment for gay soldiers: but was she doing that? Vernon Scannell is our witness:
There’s only two men in this mob-
And this you ought to know-
Who can catch pox from toilet seats:
The chaplain and M.O.
Mocking toleration at best is the response I would expect from trained killers to chaplains. The atmosphere of hostile antagonism goes the other way. The “Military law enforcement specialist” deals with Christianity by draining it of love: gay people are like Nazis, he says. Perhaps an atmosphere of hostile antagonism is common in the army, along with the cameraderie. Bertholt Brecht:
I hope, therefore, that the officer disciplining this hapless chaplain’s assistant got it wrong, and that the hostile antagonism was towards her and her ridiculous belief; and that she was incapable of inciting hostility to the gay soldiers. Bullying demands that you think the way I do are only dangerous or oppressive if they might enforce obedience, rather than scorn.
I can shrug off what she says, and hope that my disgust will make her fearful (like the writer in “Free Republic”). Her only response can be to move closer to James Nayler: There is a spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself.
That officer, increasing the hostility towards her, has persecuted the poor chaplain’s assistant- I hope. Thanks to Michele.
What proportion of the population is gay? 1.5% of adults in the UK identified themselves as gay, says the ONS; but 2.7% of 16-24 year olds, as opposed to 0.4% of those over 65. From which you can conclude that we all die young, or not. Less than 1% of those in Northern Ireland said they were gay, as opposed to 2.5% in London: either homosexuality is catching, or persecution in Northern Ireland prevents people from being Out. Only 94% said they were straight: some refused to answer, some gave no response. I think it likely that a high percentage of those were gay, and even some who claimed to be straight.
Added: Here is Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, of the USAF, who says he was transferred for failing to punish a sergeant who had shared his religious views about homosexuality, contrary to air force policy, which bars the use of a position of authority to promote personal religious beliefs. What do you think?