Articles of War

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
The Articles of War (currently Part I of the Naval Discipline Act 1957) are about to be replaced by the Armed Forces Bill currently before Parliament.

Apart from the fact that we will soon not have a specific naval "Articles of War", the Bill will abolish the current Article 1 (s. 1, Naval Discipline Act 1957), which reads:

All officers in command of Her Majesty’s ships shall cause public worship of Almighty God to be solemnly, orderly and reverently performed in their respective ships, and shall take care that prayers and preaching, by the chaplains of those ships, be performed diligently and that the Lord’s Day be observed.

This has headed every Articles of War since they first were issued in the 1650s, but there is no equivalent provision in the new Bill.

I think this is another step down the slippery slope of political correctness, atheism and general pinko leftyism.
 

GCYZ

Lantern Swinger
hammockhead said:
The Articles of War (currently Part I of the Naval Discipline Act 1957) are about to be replaced by the Armed Forces Bill currently before Parliament.

Apart from the fact that we will soon not have a specific naval "Articles of War", the Bill will abolish the current Article 1 (s. 1, Naval Discipline Act 1957), which reads:

All officers in command of Her Majesty’s ships shall cause public worship of Almighty God to be solemnly, orderly and reverently performed in their respective ships, and shall take care that prayers and preaching, by the chaplains of those ships, be performed diligently and that the Lord’s Day be observed.

This has headed every Articles of War since they first were issued in the 1650s, but there is no equivalent provision in the new Bill.

I think this is another step down the slippery slope of political correctness, atheism and general pinko leftyism.

Or simply reflecting current trends in society with regard to church going/religion?
 

PartTimer

War Hero
It'll be a shame seeing the old Articles of War going. The other night I pointed out to the permanent staff that the Articles of War posted in our RU were dated 1997, and therfore still stated the certain offences carried the penalty of death.
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
GCYZ said:
Or simply reflecting current trends in society with regard to church going/religion?

If the height of the Navy's ambitions was to "reflect current trends in society" we'd allow smoking dope, hoodies and ripped jeans in the wardroom, flexitime for those who want the occasional weekday sleep-in and first-name terms with the CO.

I agree with the following from the Britannia Guide for YOs -

There is always the delicate question of religious faith. We can do all the things set out in this guide and be a good naval officer without faith, though most will need a belief in something - be it our work, the society we are employed to defend, or even ourselves. However, many great leaders have found a firm religious faith, genuinely held, to be a valuable support and guidance to them in achieving and exercising many of the qualities and standards that are the basis of a stable and civilised society. It is essential to respect the religious faith of those we lead.

As naval officers we have an obligation to provide opportunities for worship. The First Article of War states that:

"All officers in Command of Her Majesty's Ships shall cause public worship of Almighty God to be solemnly, orderly and reverently performed in their respective ships, and shall take care that prayers and preaching by chaplains in those ships shall be performed diligently and that the Lord's Day be observed."

The Queen's Regulations for the Royal Navy amplify this requirement.

"Commanding Officers are to encourage religious observance by those under their command and are themselves to set a good example in this respect." QRRN J4401.3
 

GCYZ

Lantern Swinger
hammockhead said:
If the height of the Navy's ambitions was to "reflect current trends in society" we'd allow smoking dope, hoodies and ripped jeans in the wardroom, flexitime for those who want the occasional weekday sleep-in and first-name terms with the CO.

Have you been in wardroom lately? The scuffs bars are always fuller than the main bars. Dress code at dinner has been relaxed etc. The Navy will always (eventually) reflect society as a whole, to quote the seedier aspects of society in a defence for no change is very blinkered. Nor is the the navy's role to promote or encourage religion. The quote from QRRN's simply does not reflect the way the majority of people feel nowadays. Religion is an individual matter, that should be respected and time allowed for; not a mandatory requirement.
 

BeerBad

Lantern Swinger
And I thought the Crusades were over.

With regards to that quote from the Britannia Guide for YOs, I agree that an individuals right to their religious beliefs is fundemental in modern society. But I must poo poo the idea that it is an invaluable tool for guidance. Lets see where it has lead one the worlds most powerful christian (Bush Jnr) and the poor souls he sent to war.
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
No-one is suggesting that divine service should be compulsory or that anyone has to have anything shoved down their throats. What the first Article of War requires is simply that commanding officers ensure that facilities are in place for religious observance. Firstly, it's all too easy to fall along with the peer pressure and apathy bordering on hostility that militates against religious observance in this country. When the shit hits the fan and you have lumps of metal looking looking to make a great hole in you, I think the general view suddently becomes that these things start to matter a lot more, and if you have allowed the chaplaincy and the habit of divine service to fall into disuse then you have let down your men. Secondly, ritual and routine are conducive to discipline, and I don't know anyone who would, for example, want to turn Remembrance Sunday into a secular event.

I agree that the quote from QRRN goes beyond that, and sounds very dated. But the first Article of War is of much earlier provenance, and that is why I started this thread in the Naval History forum. I think it is still consonant with the values of the Service, and it would be a great shame to lose it after 350 years. As for George Bush, let's also remember that it was religious campaigners like Wilberforce and Buxton that set the Royal Navy to the task of suppressing the slave trade, for fifty years with 25 ships and over 2000 men at any one time on the disease-ridden West Africa station.
 

BeerBad

Lantern Swinger
Agreed that it was christians that did great deal of the work to stop slavery, but they were the free thinkers who were able to get their nose out of the book and see that it was people that needed to take action. And there is no question on the value of the Chaplains (one of the greatest sources of dirty jokes).

I don't want to see Rememberance Sunday become a secular event but as an atheist in a guard on Remembarance Sunday I am there for all who fought and fell. It can only be of benefit to us all when other faiths are able to send representatives.

By the way, on the matter of routine, I was made to listen to the Archers on Sunday and give a full account to my Colour Sergeant instead of going to church.
 

Monty_Stubble

Midshipman
While on this subject ... Does anyone have the Articles current in WW2. I've been contacted by an ex-matelot who joined as a boy in 1944 and was sent to his first ship whereupon he s**t himself when the owner read the Articles of War.
I think he fancies doing it again and is keen to see a set.

Anyone help?
 

Dabs

Lantern Swinger
hammockhead said:
GCYZ said:
Or simply reflecting current trends in society with regard to church going/religion?

If the height of the Navy's ambitions was to "reflect current trends in society" we'd allow smoking dope, hoodies and ripped jeans in the wardroom, flexitime for those who want the occasional weekday sleep-in and first-name terms with the CO.

The Navy is nearly there. Have a look at the dress and conduct of Phase 2 trainees the next time you pass a Training Establishment. Give it about 10-15 years and the Navy will probably be so laid back to ensure retention that your comments might just be acceptable in some circles. :(
 

Vasco

Newbie
hammockhead said:
I think this is another step down the slippery slope of political correctness, atheism and general pinko leftyism.

As an atheist I object to being lumped together with pinko leftists and the politically correct.

hammockhead said:
I don't know anyone who would, for example, want to turn Remembrance Sunday into a secular event.

I would.

hammockhead said:
When the shit hits the fan and you have lumps of metal looking looking to make a great hole in you, I think the general view suddently becomes that these things start to matter a lot more

I have felt for some time now that the main urge to religious belief is fear. For most people it is fear of the unknown in general and death specifically. Those of us who deliberately go in harm's way are, perhaps, more likely to need religious belief as a result.

As for the moral aspect of religion, I maintain that ethical conduct does not depend on religious belief. Again, as an atheist, I shall be offended if you suggest that it is not possible for me to separate right from wrong. I think it is actually easier to behave in a truly ethical fashion if you are not dragging a vast baggage of absolute rules about with you: you have to think about what you are doing.
 
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