April 08, 2003
That coercive baptism story

Just about everyone has blogged about this story, which features an Army chaplain who controls a 500-gallon supply of water and will let dirty soldiers take a bath only if he baptizes them first. Not surprisingly, it's generated a huge outcry in the blog world, and justifiably so.

And it looks like the Army has received the message:

A newspaper article about Josh Llano, 32, generated numerous e-mails and phone calls, said Lt. Col. Eric Wester, a chaplain and spokesman for the Chaplain Corps based in Virginia.

Wester said the article, and the response, got the immediate attention of the corps' chief, Maj. Gen. Gaylord T. Gunhus, who has requested that top chaplain officials looked into whether the article was accurate.

"The chief was immediately concerned about the nature of this article and negative reflection that it casts," Wester said. "The question then arose to what degree is the information in the article accurate. The content of the article clearly raises immediate questions."


Wester would not say what punishment, if any, could be taken if Llano indeed did do what the article described. He said the chief wants more information before any action is taken.

He said Gunhus' response can be read two ways.

"It's good in the sense that it shows his commitment to the standards we have about free exercise of religion," Wester said. "It's bad because it's bringing very negative public perception on Army chaplaincy."


"It's very important and absolutely critical chaplains uphold the highest standard in terms of respect for not only performing rites and sacraments of their own faith, but providing for religious needs of all in that area of operation," Wester said.

Stay tuned, I guess. Thanks to Ginger for the catch.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 08, 2003 to Iraq attack | TrackBack

Some other items that mirror the "THAT COERCIVE BAPTISM STORY":

Movie house owner, Lou "Mr. Multiplex" Parkman, is now offering free raisonettes to any soldier who will accept Reese Witherspoon as their personal Goddess.

Tileworks owner Ben Grouter stated that his company will provide a free pair of kneepads to any enlisted soldier in the Cedar Rapids area. Said Grouter, while speaking to a cashier in aisle five of his flagship store, "As long as that soldier agrees that the state of Iowa should be refloored, preferably with Tileworks Tile™, why, they deserve the kneepads."

Insulin manufacturing giant Ingluconical Inc. has announced that it will continue to provide top quality insulin just so long as the checks don't bounce.

The massive three-headed diety of the Middle East, Yahweh-God-Allah, has offered to sit on the "Dunk Me" seat at the Trans Worship Carnival, held every spring in the north parking lot of the ancient city of Ur. Yahweh-God-Allah agreed to volunteer as long as the proceeds went to charity, then verily He/He/He did plainly stipulate that He/He/He would kill anyone who pointed at him and laughed.

Posted by: Frank Armstrong on April 9, 2003 1:03 PM

I just want to say that I'd be willing to accept Reese Witherspoon as my personal goddess. Assuming, of course, that Tiffany lets me.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on April 9, 2003 1:14 PM

i'm sure it's accurate, and i'll tell you why i think so.

weeks before the story made its rounds in blogtopia (yes! i coined that phrase!) i received an email from some relatives in the heartland.

(i am on a mailing list for every relative with this particular surname, my mother's mother's name. it lets me keep in touch with family i know and that i never knew i had, plus check out the various levels of stupidity in america in general).

this email had this story and a picture of the guy baptizing soldiers in the desert. of course, the email was praising this chaplin (and the lord!) but i thought at the time, wow, this guy gives blackmail a bad name.

don't know where my freeper relative got the story and pic, i am assuming from some church newsletter or something.

i hope the army busts the guy down to alterboy. (i know i'm mixing religions like they were metaphors, but that's my privilege).

Posted by: skippy on April 9, 2003 1:52 PM

Jesus Christ! How did this wackjob ever pass his psych evaluation for the Army?? I wonder if he's the guy who was passing out those leaflets to the troops (the ones asking them to pray for George Bush)? In any event, he should be courtmartialed and thrown out of the Army, pronto! I suppose most of the fascist dittoheads out there in the vast wasteland called America would propably praise this fruitloop for the "good" work he is doing. Man, the Taliban's got nothing on the bible-thumpers in this country!

Posted by: gene on April 9, 2003 5:37 PM

With the chaplain if you don't change to his religion you don't get a bath.

With the Taliban if you didn't change to their religion you got a bullet to the head.

Surprisingly liberals are unable to tell the difference between a bullet and a bath.


As an aside: a lot of my non-Jewish friends in boot camp went to the Jewish Friday night services very regularly. Why? It was the only place to get a lawful drink of wine for the three months we were in training.

And the chaplain asked for nothing more than attendance.

Posted by: M. Simon on April 10, 2003 12:12 PM

"Surprisingly liberals are unable to tell the difference between a bullet and a bath."

Yep, I have no idea what the difference is between the two. Advantage: YOU!

"And the [Jewish] chaplain asked for nothing more than attendance."

Too bad the baptizing chaplain couldn't have been as generous with his water as the Jewish chaplain was with his wine. Next time you bring up a point, it should SUPPORT your argument, not undermine it.

Posted by: DavidNYC on April 10, 2003 12:59 PM