Why do our military servicemen and women need their freedom of religion?

June 25, 2013


Why do our military servicemen and women need their freedom of religion guarded, protected and secured to them while in the service of America?  Read the following account of unity of faith and uncommon heroism given by Dr. Richard Lee, in his devotional book, “In God We Still Trust”

“Shortly before 1 a.m. on February2, 1943, the American transport ship Dorchester was steaming through the icy North Atlantic from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland, carrying 902 service men, merchant seamen, and civilian workers when a German torpedo struck the starboard side.  The blast killed scores of men, and many more were seriously wounded.

Through the pandemonium, four Army chaplains – George L. Fox, Methodist; Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed – brought hope to the men struggling to survive.  They could be heard encouraging the frightened, praying for the dying, and guiding the disoriented toward the lifeboats.

Men jumped into lifeboats, overcrowding them to the point of capsizing.  Other rafts drifted away before soldiers could get in.  As men reached topside, the chaplains began distributing life jackets.  When no more were available, the chaplains astonished onlookers, taking off their own and giving them to four frightened young men.

Then in the darkness, singing and shouting biblical encouragement, the four chaplains linked arms and grasped the railing of the ship as it slipped into the ocean.  William Bednar said that, as he floated among dead comrades, ‘Their voices . . . were the only thing that kept me going.’

Of the men aboard the Dorchester, 672 died, including the chaplains.  Their heroic conduct offered a vision of greatness that stunned America.”

If ever there was a time in America when the men and women in military service and the everyday citizen needed examples of courage, faith, selflessness, and moral character, it is today! 

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