While anti-war demonstrators burned the American flag and waved the Viet Cong one at such places as the Justice Department and the grounds of the U. S. Capitol last month, a cadre of America’s choice military men were making a stout defense of what they believe is right about the nation.
During the forty-sixth national convention of the Military Chaplains Association, the chaplains clearly were for God, flag, and country—usually in that order.
Earlier, a letter to the magazine of the MCA (which seeks to represent America’s 10,000 or so active and reserve chaplains), the Military Chaplain, was addressed to the Militant Chaplain. The letter came from Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, largest of the church-related peace organizations that regularly protest in Washington, D. C.
The typographical error may not have been too wide of the mark, judging from religious fervor evident at the chaplains’ Washington meeting.
Most of the several hundred military chaplains of all faiths who met during the finale of the Mayday protest were disturbed by what was going on outside. These chaplains knew—more than most of the protesters—that the war in Southeast Asia is dehumanizing. But they obviously didn’t feel America had gone as far down the drain as the demonstrators claimed.
“Contrary to what some of our citizens, including some politicians, are trying to project, America is not a warlike nation,” boomed the MCA’s executive director, Karl B. Justus. “But in two short centuries we have often been called on to defend our freedoms, as well as the freedoms of others who wish to remain free. As peace-loving people the choices have often been difficult, but millions of Americans have never failed to rise to the defense of freedom—and the ...1
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