Catholic sailor saluting an islamic chaplain


#1

As a Navy Officer this is only hypothetical since I have not expereinced this as of yet, but the U.S. Navy does have Chaplains who are followers of the prophet mohamed.

I believe that Mohammed was one of the false prophets Christ warned us about. For me to salute a man who is leading people down a false path seems like I am giving undue respect to this individual. As a Catholic can I honestly not salute a Islamic chaplain based on religious convictions?


#2

Haven’t I heard that one salutes the uniform, not the person wearing it?


#3

You are saluting a commanding officer because they are your commanding officer, not because of his religion, not because you like him, and not even because he’s a decent chap. You don’t even have to know the person to salute them, so this should be a non-issue.


#4

[quote=Ghosty]You are saluting a commanding officer because they are your commanding officer, not because of his religion, not because you like him, and not even because he’s a decent chap. You don’t even have to know the person to salute them, so this should be a non-issue.
[/quote]

Exactly! You salute the person because of his rank, not because of his religious beliefs.


#5

As a former Flight Lieutenant (= US O-3) in the Royal Canadian Air Force, it was made very clear to us that, when we salute or were saluted, the compliment was primarily directed to the Queen, whose commission we held. With the exception of holders of the Victoria Cross, a salute was never given to the person.

I’d be very surprised if there were not a similar understanding of the paying of compliments in the US military. If the man has a commission, and is one’s superior officer, surely that, and only that, is the reason he is to be saluted, and therefore denying the compliment does not seem indicated. This is not, it seems to me, an issue of religion.

Put it this way: If the man were a non-Christian, and a superior commissioned officer, or a holder of the Medal of Honor, would not the salute be given?

Blessings,

Gerry


#6

Cubsfan,

This is surely a non-dilemma. I’m certain that there were probably those who saluted my sister the Air Force colonel (O-6) who would have thought her brief foray as a nun went against their beliefs. They were saluting the eagle, not the ex-Daughter of Charity.

PS: Being a Cubs fan, now THAT’S a dilemma!! :slight_smile:

John


#7

[quote=Cubsfan]As a Catholic can I honestly not salute a Islamic chaplain based on religious convictions?
[/quote]

Of course you can refuse to salute him. OTOH, although I’ve never been in the military, I’d imagine there might be some negative consequences.


#8

I have just performed a world-wide statistical analysis of the situation and have ascertained that of all officers in the world, NONE are fit to be saluted.

Conversely, nearly ALL enlisted should be rendered greater honor than they get due to the fact that a greater percentage of them will find their military carreers cut short by a case of premature death.

Why then, do we salute the wrong half? What did Jesus say about “the first becoming last” and vice versa?

In general, any chaplain, being generally more religious than most officers, will be more equipped to recognize this disparity and thus being more worthy of having honors rendered to them than your typical officer.

But most of the chaplains I have known, regardless of denomination, are not comfortable being saluted or being called “sir.” They generally like to be called “chaplain (name)” or, if you are lucky enough to be Catholic, “Father.” :smiley:


#9

[quote=Gerry Hunter]Put it this way: If the man were a non-Christian, and a superior commissioned officer, or a holder of the Medal of Honor, would not the salute be given?
[/quote]

Most especially if he earned a Medal of Honor.

My advice, as a former NCO: Just salute the officers, and quit worrying about nonsense.

– Mark L. Chance.


#10

I assume you are a member of the U.S. Navy.

I have read within the past month that there are just 6 Muslem Chaplins in the U.S. Army.

Since the Navy is smaller than the Army, I think there are very few Muslem Chaplins.

Your chance of confronting a Muslim Chaplin is very small.

A military salute is a mutual show of respect ( it goes both ways!).

An enlisted man is saluting the RANK, Not the man nor his religion.

I say this as an ex-USAF “old guy”:yup: .


#11

I have recently been made aware of a document from Vatican II named “Nostra Aetate.” (Thanks to the “Quest” series of lectures in my diocese.) I think this paragraph from section 3 presents what the attitude toward Muslims ought to be:

  1. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

And speaking of other religions (named are Buddhism and Hinduism) it says:

The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.

So just because they do not have the fullness of truth, we do not deny dignity to nor denigrate their adherents. A Catholic attitude is always one of respect.

The entire document can be found at:
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html


#12

My suggestion would be to salute him. To not do so is to violate the uniform code of military conduct or whatever you call your rules.

To not salute him will bring disrespect on you and perhaps your church. Some might think that Catholics do not respect Muslims as persons or believe they cannot be allowed to minister to Muslim military personnel.

. We can honourably serve the state and so can Muslims. Were he to be advocating Jihad in the literal and political sense I a sure he would be drummed out by your own service. True pluralism means respecting the other’s belief in a free an open marketplace of ideas.

I could salute and serve under a lesbian wiccan if I had to. Not that I would prefer or possibly like it, but she might be more competent than a particular Catholic and wiccans or Muslims have the right to chaplains if the Pentagon deems there are enough of them out there.

“Render unto Caesar’s salad…”

  • or something like that.

#13

Your chances of saluting a Muslim Chaplin are slim and none.

In all my years in the USAF, I don’;t think I ever saluted a Chaplin of any ilk. There never was an occasion to do that.


#14

I think that if the Pope would bless the ocean (it already has the salt in it), and make it holy water, what chance would a satanist stand??

No comments please on any music accompanyment… like “From See (vatican) to shinning sea”


#15

n.b. in fact, you could console yourself that he is not a Muslim.

that is right, I forgot to mention it in my prior note and it is no theory of mine. He is* not* a muslim.

Here is why:

As a jew takes his authority from the Hebrew scriptures and a Catholic’s authority is the magisterial teaching of the church, doctrines solidly grounded on scripture and tradition and an evangelical uses onl scripture as his authority, you can see that a real Muslim’s sole authority is the Koran.

As it advocates literal, continual world wide jihad - the conquest, or at least submission and tribute from infidels those Muslims who do not advocate this are only giving their personal opinion which differs from the Quran, which claims to be the literally dictated word of Allah to Mohammed, his last messenger or prophet.

It has been noted by others in the press and academia that if we were to really open our somnabulent, secularist western eyes we would realize that Osam bin Laden, the Al Zarkawi beheaders, the Taliban and all related jihadist groups are the true Muslims.

That Chaplain is to Islam as a Unitarian/Univeralist is to the Holy Catholic Church - just another personalist take on a religion’s real, claimed authority.

No Koran, no Islam. No literal obedience to its precepts and one is a heretic or apostate, punishable by death.

The real Islam of the Koran must also be spread by the sword, not by smiling chaplains, Xian run orphanages, hospitals or schools.

So, if your maritime mullah is not expouding these tenets in his talks to those he ministers to, he is not teaching them Islam, just a western variant of it, an a variant a priest I know told me we usually have less to be afraid of because once taken out of its culture, Islam withers and dies.

This is because you cannot separate the state and the mosque in the land living under the crescent. Those of us under the crosses real or at least barely waning shadow see no need for true Christianity to be propped up in force by men with guns, mysogynist theocrats and technnology fearing luddites with suicide for values and hate as mistake as piety.

So I say as the Old Boys told you here: salute the office. I paid honour to priests and bishops I disagreed with or didn’t like or trust, but it was in the interests of charity and civility and to hope to win them back over to orthodoxy.

There are lengthy protocols and terms of address for writing to Catholic priests, monsignors, nuns, bishops, nuncios, legates, Cardinals and the Pope.

Each letter must must have certain salutations, i.e. Most Reverd Sir , or Your Excellency, Your Grace, - the same way you would humbly besech a Lord (Bishop), a Prince of the Church (all Cardinals), a respected courtier (monsignor), a priest (Dear Sir, or Dear Rev, or Dear Reverend Sir); a religiousl (Dear Abbotess…

The encyclopedia of etiqutte (may not be in print) outlines the respecful way to address each office holder. And how to address them when speaking to them - some of the titles change.

It explains the sympolism of ring kissing - acknowledging the Holy Mother Church who appoined this man to this office.


#16

[quote=Cubsfan]As a Navy Officer this is only hypothetical since I have not expereinced this as of yet, but the U.S. Navy does have Chaplains who are followers of the prophet mohamed.

I believe that Mohammed was one of the false prophets Christ warned us about. For me to salute a man who is leading people down a false path seems like I am giving undue respect to this individual. As a Catholic can I honestly not salute a Islamic chaplain based on religious convictions?
[/quote]

You can do so as a purely civil courtesy, irrespective of his religious position; just as Chinese Catholics were able to participate in certain civil - i.e., non-religious - actions respectful to Confucius, although they were not Confucians.

We cannot always choose our neighbours or superiors.

It is the uniform and the rank & the function that is honourable, however villainous the wearer of it or the bearer of it: the honour is paid to that, and not to the villain. ##


#17

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