DOD should not allow promotion of religion on branded dog tags

  
Via:  larry-hampton  •  one month ago  •  12 comments

DOD should not allow promotion of religion on branded dog tags
Troops are allowed to wear and carry religious items. Official military-issued dog tags are stamped with the religious affiliation of their choice. No one is denying service members the right to wear a or carry a symbol of their faith

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The headline immediately caught my eye: “ Anti-religion group seeks to deny troops inspirational dog tags .” It’s a shocking claim and seemed unbelievable — open religiosity was one of the components of military life I found most surprising when I joined, and it’s hard to imagine any organization trying to deny troops something as innocuous as dog tags with inspirational sayings on them.

A careful read validated my suspicion: It is not the case that a nonprofit has been denied the ability to donate innocuous dog tags with inspirational sayings to individual service members by a supportive nonprofit.

Rather, the Marine Corps — which is   notoriously protective of its brand   — denied a license for the private business Shields of Strength to produce and sell dog tags with both verses from the Bible and Marine Corps trademarks on them.

Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
Larry Hampton
1  seeder  Larry Hampton    one month ago

Dog tags with   Air Force   and   Army   symbols and religious verses are still for sale. Additionally, while   coverage   for this decision has blamed the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s   complaint , the   letter   from Shields of Strength’s counsel to the Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office includes a 2011 quote from the Marine Corps that they did “not feel comfortable licensing religious materials” and another from 2017 referencing a   DOD policy   prohibiting DOD licenses “for any purpose intended to promote … religious beliefs.”

The only surprise is that multiple services appear to have violated that policy by issuing Shields of Strength such licenses, which do risk “creating a perception of DOD endorsement.” Setting aside Constitutional issues, both national trends and recent events support DOD’s policy.

A rapidly-shrinking share of adults identify as Christians; at the same time the percent who identify as   religiously unaffiliated is climbing   dramatically and there has been slow but steady growth in the number of those who identify as holding non-Christian faiths. The Army, which   missed   its recruiting goal in 2018, is seeking to expand recruiting outside its traditional stronghold in the South — home of the highest   percent   of Evangelical Protestants — and into regions where potential recruits are more religiously diverse. During this era of rapidly-changing demographics and recruiting challenges, licensing military trademarks to those seeking to promote their own Christian religious beliefs does not align with the DOD   community relations objectives   its branding and licensing policy references.

The problem extends beyond recruiting to issues with how well the military supports non-Christians within the ranks.

The Marine Corps drill instructor sentenced to 10 years in prison for tormenting recruits particularly   targeted   Muslims. Serious   concerns   have been raised about Evangelicalism and   proselytizing   in the   Air Force . Atheists regularly report   uncomfortable ,   frustrating   experiences while serving, alongside outright   discrimination . Licensing the use of a service branch’s symbol on replica dog tags along with Christian bible verses does nothing to dispel the perception among troops that this type of intolerance is tacitly allowed — if not outright encouraged. 

Nor does framing the separation of church and state as “anti-religion.”
 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2  Perrie Halpern R.A.    one month ago

Larry,

I am a little confused by this. I remember when my dad was in the Navy, they used to put your faith on your dog tag, so if you needed a pastor, they knew what to say to you. Has that changed?

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
2.1  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2    one month ago

Perrie, from the article (and the quote used above)...

Troops are allowed to wear and carry religious items. Official military-issued dog tags are stamped with the religious affiliation of their choice. No one is denying service members the right to wear a or carry a symbol of their faith

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Larry Hampton @2.1    one month ago

Sorry Larry, I seemed to have missed that part. So this is a much to do about nothing. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1.1    one month ago
So this is a much to do about nothing. 

I agree.  

The Marine Corps is staunchly protective of our symbol in all things.   That's nothing new.    But the Marine Corps has little to say about personal religious items being worn that DON"T try including the Eagle Globe and Anchor.   As long as it doesn't use the EGA or affect the uniform of the day its fine.

Such as the Saint Christopher's pendants many of us worn under our uniforms for our entire tours.

No problem at all.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
2.1.3  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.2    one month ago

Yup, That's the point of the article, as described in the link it provides right at the beginning.

Anti-religion group seeks to deny troops inspirational dog tags

https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/commentary/2020/01/19/anti-religion-group-seeks-to-deny-troops-inspirational-dog-tags/

Claiming that the Marine Corp and other branches of the US military are being manipulated by anti-religion groups is a flat out lie.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
2.1.4  1stwarrior  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.2    one month ago

When I joined the Marines, they asked what my religion was - I asked why - they said they needed the info in the event something happened to me that they would know which denomination needed to be notified.  I said I was Native American and my "religion" was "spiritual" and they said that wouldn't fly.  So, since Dad was Catholic - that's what I told them - wound up on my tags and in my SRB.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
2.1.5  seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.4    one month ago

Wow 1st, that is crazy. I would hope that now days they have all sorts of religions available for use on dog tags.

 
 
 
katrix
2.1.6  katrix  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.4    one month ago

Yep, back then they pretty much just accepted Abrahamic religions. There was even an uproar when the military started bringing in "pastors" of different religions, as I recall.

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.7  Sparty On  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.4    one month ago

That's a shame.  

Hopefully that is changed today.

 
 
 
Split Personality
3  Split Personality    4 weeks ago

As far as Chaplains go, the standards are now Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist, with plans for a Hindu Chaplain.

Currently the head Chaplain ( a "protestant" at Bethesda Naval Hospital ) is the honorary Hindu Chaplain.

National cemeteries now include 75 religious symbols

https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/emblems.asp

As far as dog tags, it's hard to separate the BS from the myths. Yes there are official looking dog tags out there with

a variety of things like "Jedi" on them, but certainly not what was originally issued.  Replacements for active duty are free

but there are a dozen online places where you can buy them with whatever you want on them. 

Whether they pass muster in a combat zone is an altogether different "issue".

 
 
 
Sparty On
3.1  Sparty On  replied to  Split Personality @3    4 weeks ago

I can tell you this much.  

Unless the Marine Corps has change a lot more than i think it has, there ain't no way anything is being printed on issue dog tags that isn't regulation.   I'm looking at mine right now: Name, blood type, SS #, Branch (USMC), Gas mask size and religion.   God help the Recruit or Candidate that tries to slip something non regulation past their DI's.   Active duty wise i could've cared less what was around peoples necks as long as it didn't resemble a Mr T starter kit:

256

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online

CB
Dulay


37 visitors