(22-09-2010 06:49 AM)BnW Wrote: Finally, I don't think chaplains in the military are going away any time soon because no one would have the balls to take on the issue, but I do think that there is perhaps a First Amendment issue here and a potential violation of the Establishment Clause. The argument the army would make is that employing clergy does not violate the Establishment Clause because they are employing them from all faiths for the benefit of soldiers, not the benefit of the military (which are obviously one and the same, but I can see how they can split that hair). The problem, however, is from your point of view they are giving religion a preferential place in a government institution and I think that crosses the threshold.
I think you've got the basis for a good law suit, as well as an opportunity to become infamous and one of the least popular people in the US military.
(22-09-2010 08:11 AM)2buckchuck Wrote: This likely is a case that could be made in a suit against the military, but I think any arm of the government can only be brought to trial when they agree to allow it to be brought to trial. That might prove difficult.
There clearly is religious discrimination at work here and I'd be very happy to see someone bring this to public attention. Clearly, anyone doing so from within would do their military career irreparable damage, and there probably would be widespread denunciation of anyone bringing this up, complete with death threats, etc. It would require a great deal of courage and determination to endure what would follow ... and there's no guarantee that such a suit would be successful, after all.
Well, these posts raise some intersting questions.
I spoke with JAG today as well as the lawyers at TDS (Judge Advocate General's Office, a.k.a: the prosecution and Trial Defense Services, a.k.a: the Defense) on the phone and both agree in general terms that it is possible for me to sue the department of defense (though not the military specifically, or the Army specifically, because the clauses and issues come from higher) on a matter of equal treatment and discrimination. I do, however have to go through my chain of command first. Naturally.
HOWEVER. I am asking favors of my chain of command to try and go home to my family and this would be tantamount to shooting myself in the foot. Currently I am stuck here until my contractual ETS in April, giving me an 18 month tour in Korea. I am asking for an exception to policy to go home early.
I can (and may) pursue this on the outside, but I am not going to make my last 6 months in the Army purposely miserable by screaming about religious discrimination while I ask for favors and preferential treatment on a separate matter. And, I think my wife would be a little angry with me if I pulled a stunt like that.
It's not that I am worried about my career, I don't give a flying fuck about my career (excuse my mouth). I'm getting out. The worst they can really do to me is kick me out, and send me home early....
But, after thirteen years, I have learned not to bite the hand that feeds me, especially when there are other means to go about it. I do think that after I get out, I will look into this with the ACLU and see what they have to say. I am curious about all sorts of things, like legal fees and whatnot, and what happens if I lose. But a class action suit for change, and no monetary gain might go over well. I don't want the money, i want the equal treatment.