Monday, May 01, 2006

In the Hands of God

The Washington Post reports on chaplains in the military here:
Chaplains can come from any faith group that has established a relationship with the Department of Defense. But statistics from the Defense Manpower Data Center indicate that while Christian fundamentalist and evangelical service members make up less than 20 percent of the military, more than a third of military chaplains come from such denominations. As a result, for every Southern Baptist chaplain, there are only 40 Southern Baptist service members. By comparison, Roman Catholics, who constitute the military's single biggest religious group, make do with one priest for every 800 Catholic service members.
. . .
Chaplains don't do this work alone. Though they're military officers, the Geneva Conventions classify chaplains as noncombatants, which means they aren't allowed to carry weapons. So each chaplain is accompanied by an enlisted service member who acts as both assistant and bodyguard.

Interesting reading.