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Articles of War

Rea1 said:
Its because the head of the country, armed forces and OUR boss is the queen, she also has another hat, I/C Cof E. If you cant understand that, join the pongo's!

This was presumably the basis upon which all Juniors (both U and UA) had to attend Divine Service (or do extra work)? Many put down C of E because they did not want the extra work (or hassle). I would welcome a Remembrance Day Service that focused upon those who sacrificed their lives for us and did not feel that not to associate it with faith was wrong or insulting to those, some of whom had no belief, who made the ultimate sacrifice. Ideally it would be be both Pan Religious and Humanist/Athiest, to represent all.

On the issue of slavery mentioned earlier, it should be borne in mind that Christian evangelism in Wilberforce's time was associated with free thinking and not, as it has largely become today, a refuge for Christian fundamentalists. After all modern evangelicals have asserted, in trying to overcome their dilemma on the theologically thorny issue of homosexuality, that slavery was a primitive form of welfare state, and so was justified, contextually. Their problem is that inerrantcy precludes context: rather it remains an eternal value (Aquinas). After all if Christians can view slavery contextually, so, logically, they must also view homosexuality contextually! I retain my strong moral values - derived from reason (as a Humanist) and out of the horror of what Christian Europe did to our Jewish populations.

The C of E's strong condemnation of anti-Semitism in the 1930s would in the context of the time, be seen as PC - as anti-Semitism was widespread, especially in the British Establishment. Criticising "political correctness" is dangerous - those in the media who have a habit of calling others PC are usually those who dislike having their conservative opinions questioned. I can still remember the days (1970s) when black recruits in the Andrew were not promoted beyond PO on the grounds that, on account of nothing more than their skin colour, they would not command respect and it would, somehow, undermine discipline! Interestingly identical arguments were wheeled out against black, gay and female recruits both in the media and by senior officers in the RN. I always found it interesting that the same old arguments were rolled out without a shred of evidence to support them. Where has that got us? These types of discrimination were wrong.
Maybe it's time to resurrect this topic! I remember seeing the Articles of War when they were still in force when I was in the Cadets. Seeing a document that spoke plainly of God and the death sentence was very memorable in an already dull world. I was disappointed when I found that something that memorable had been replaced by an anodyne Act of Parliament whose strongest punishment seemed to be sending naughty soldiers/sailors/airmen to bed without supper.

New Labour's crusade against everything remotely challenging or worthwhile had many victories, but the tide seems to be turning against them. We will probably have a Conservative Party government for a good ten years. We might get the chance to restore the death sentence for the growing number of bearded murdering traitors who go away for long trips to Syria or Iraq. There's plenty of competition for being Alan B'Stard in the modern Tory Party! Hopefully the Articles of War will make a comeback!

I'm not particularly religious but our having become a more secular society has not had a great positive effect. Thanks perhaps to the NuLab years, we have become very selfish and entitled as a society. I do not think religion has suffered so much in the Forces but there's always the temptation to sweep it all away. As usual, little good will come of it except making a small group of monied people feel better about themselves.
To me, as an atheist, the CoE element gives structure to many of our traditions and institutions. It's what we do and how we do it. Start buggering about with those and we are on the slippery slope to yet more "do what the hell you want" and mediocrity. As a lad, I used to rebel against the God bothering stuff; but I later grew up and saw the bigger picture.
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:

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.
We have now also lost the daily ability to have the Holy Ghost Stand Fast.
It's all sinking fast.

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