U.S. Marine removed from duty for passing out Bible Coins

U.S. Military regulations prohibit religious proselytizing.

The United States soldier has been placed on suspension until further investigations. The marine was passing out coins with Bible scriptures on both sides: ‘Where will you spend eternity” and “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Reported earlier – many of the citizens were scared to refuse his Bible Coin. I can imagine they were afraid to turn his offer down and for many reasons, which should be apparent. American Christians aren’t kind to their own who do not buy into Christianity or organized religion. And, more importantly than – the refusal of accepting their Lord and Saviour – God Jesus the Holy Spirit. In a war torn land with tankers and a host of weapons – uhmm…I can see where some might hesitate.

“Regulations prohibit members of the coalition force from proselytizing any religion, faith or practices,” said Col. Bill Buckner, a coalition spokesman. “Our troops are trained on those guidelines before they deploy.”

A military statement said “appropriate action” will be taken if the reports are substantiated.

The reports stoked religious concerns in Iraq just weeks after Iraqi police discovered that a U.S. soldier had used the Quran, Islam’s holy book, for target practice.

Well, I hope the soldier doesn’t receive a dishonorable discharge or is permanently let go for breaking regulation.  Our U.S. soldiers must remember though they’re foreign occupiers not Christian Missionaries.

Marine removed from duty of Bible Coin.

Don’t worry it’s just a ‘PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS – GOT ANY?’

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “U.S. Marine removed from duty for passing out Bible Coins

  1. Boy. This is a hot button issue. But I’ll weigh in. I think his heart was in the right place, but I’m not sure where his head was. I think he should be educated on the big picture. This is reminiscent of the Crusades. I mean, I really think the military is a job (having been in both the US Army and Navy at points in my life) and you are employed to represent the company’s best interest. People aren’t allowed to proselytize at any major secular company that I know of in the US and for good reason. Your personal religious beliefs can be shared on personal time and in a neutral place, but as a deployed soldier you are on company time 24/7. This is harrassment regardless of how innocent his intentions may have been. An occupying foreign soldier with munitions and battle gear at the ready, who has (or his peers have) already slain countless Iraqi citizens (no matter how justifiable or unjustifiable you may argue that this war and its implications have been), offering religious tokens is a sad, ignorant, arrogant picture in my mind. Pull him, educate him, and keep a close eye on him. I don’t think he should be discharged though – certainly not dishonorably at least.

  2. Hey Karen – Welcome!

    Thanks for your heartfelt comments and your prior service of the US Army and Navy. You know I wanted to believe that the soldier’s heart was in the right place, but then on the other side I questioned if it was done in self righteousness, along with arrogance.

    Simply because so many Christians an Americans feel that they have the right religion/faith. And, anyone who believes in something different….well, your just plain wrong.

    And, I too hope that he is not dishonorably discharge – it’s not worth all that – no no!

    Once again, thank you for your comments.

  3. Saul

    The distribution of coins with a Christian message in Iraq by an US Marine challenges the Armed Forces and the politicians of our country to consider the influence of culture in unconventional warfare. The confrontation of cultures in which the US military finds itself while attempting to stabilize Iraq speaks volumes about the transformation of warfare in today’s world. No longer is there an open ideology to fight nor an organized army to destroy in the battlefield; instead, the battles are fought in the minds of the local populations first and later in the streets. Victory in unconventional warfare requires respect and understanding of the cultural differences among the local population and our troops as well.

    The case involving this US Marine goes beyond the understanding of East and West and clearly points toward the existing religious tension in Iraq. We have heard in the news that the US is engaging religious extremist associated with Al-Qaeda; however, this case involving a US Marine points towards the principle of exclusivity present in most world religions, to include Christianity. Furthermore, the principle of religious exclusivity is the required first step in the development of any kind of religious extremisms.

    Victory in an unconventional war requires a deep understanding of faith and culture, as well as requiring the understanding that our mission is not to change the local culture but to help them establish their government. The Iraqi government may or may not be influenced by Islam, which is an Iraqi decision. At the same time, the US military recognizes and respects any faith professed by service members. It would it be perfectly fine for this Marine to preach his understanding of the Gospel to other service members while in Iraq, but not to locals; the US military would certainly never permit any Iraqi to come to visit our troops distributing religious propaganda.

    Perhaps one of the biggest challenges we face in unconventional warfare is the requirement of treating the local culture in the same way we want our culture to be treated. At the end, they have their principles and we have ours; neither one is better than the other, but we meet at a point that makes the world better for both ourselves and the Iraqis. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could agree on a few simple facts, such as the fact that we live in the same world, the fact that we breathe the same air, and the fact that we have the same basic needs. This should thus lead us to join forces to make this a better world to live in because we have more principles in common than opposed.

    Army Chaplain (Major) Saul E .Cardona is the Director of the Family Life Center in Fort Belvoir, VA. The views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army or the Department of Defense.

  4. Yes, I wish we all – around this world – could agree on simple facts because it really is that simple.

    Thanks for your comments Saul, greatly appreciated.

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