A Military Chaplain’s Response

This post is a bit late here—LT Jeanette Shin responds to Rev Senauke’s musings on Buddhist military chaplains, which I blogged about here.

The concerns expressed by Rev. Senauke and others that the presence of Buddhist chaplains might deter commanding officers from taking C.O. claims seriously, can, in fact, be seen as a positive development on several fronts. […] For those individuals believing that all they have to do is claim to be “Buddhist” and that will get them out the gate, the fact of Buddhist chaplains in the military now makes this belief untenable. It may reduce the bogus applications, in any case. There is NO one religion that can release someone from service just by adherence, especially in the era of the all-volunteer force.

I certainly hope that the increased visibility of Buddhists in the military will spread a greater sense of respect and understanding for Buddhists in uniform—not just from within the armed forces, but also from within our own Buddhist community.