Sunday, September 05, 2010

The chaplain's assistant

There's a wonderful story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: A Chaplain and an Atheist Go to War. The chaplain is Navy lieutenant Terry Morna, right; the atheist is Religious Programs Specialist 2nd Class Philip Chute, on the left with the assault rifle. "We're here for security," RP2 Chute explains. "We're not junior chaplains." They are a wonderfully mismatched pair. Not only is the chaplain a believer; he really seems to think he's bullet-proof. And not only is RP2 Chute an unbeliever; he's a committed atheist who will quote scripture to correct the chaplain on matters of faith.

My favorite line in the story (by Michael Philips) is the anguished cry by a Marine gunnery sergeant when Lt. Moran dallies before taking cover: "Tell the [expletive] chaplain to get behind the goddamn vehicle!" Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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