Just How Many Religions Can Military Chaplains Serve?
by Russell D. Moore
The 1970s television comedy M*A*S*H shaped for a generation of Americans the idea of what a military chaplain ought to be. The character Father Mulcahy was kind, warm, sensitive, and benign. He seemed always ready to offer a listening ear, but was decidedly nonjudgmental, rarely raising a word of protest when those in his charge included an adulterous husband, a woman so promiscuous she bore the nickname “Hot Lips,” or a man willing to cross-dress to get out of military service.
Father Mulcahy wasn’t really all that Catholic, or even all that Christian. He seemed to be more of a Unitarian with a crucifix, the very icon of amorphous, therapeutic civil religion. There was no need for a Billy Graham or Fulton Sheen type, it seemed, because Father Mulcahy was, well, a chaplain.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Russell D. Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor