The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA chaplain at Guantanamo

Clinton A. Pickett, an ELCA chaplain, ministers to military and civilian personnel on Guantanamo Bay, the Naval base that oversees prisoners from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

He arrived after the camps became a controversy and just before President Barack Obama ordered them closed by next January.

“Military ministry is pastoral ministry on steroids,” said Darrell D. Morton, ELCA executive assistant to the presiding bishop for chaplaincy ministries. “These chaplains are providing word and sacrament ministry at all hours and in the most unlikely settings.”


Mark Kleiner

Mark Kleiner

Posted at 12:47 am (U.S. Eastern) 7/30/2009

WTF? (what the fig?)

OK, I'm not ELCA, I'm ELCIC, but I am American born, and we are sister churches, so I will be so bold as to comment. Why are we at Guantanamo providing spiritual care for the torturers, if we are not at least also providing care for the inmates and survivors, AND advocating to have this atrocity shut down? Only then might it be forgivable to  bankroll staff to assauge the guilt of the torturers, but even then, grace like credulity is strained.





Posted at 3:36 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/21/2009

The purpose of a chaplain is to convince soldiers that it's permissible to kill for the state.  That way the soldiers can bomb, torture and rape with a clear conscience because reverend so-and-so said it's "of the Lord" and they won't be held accountable. If you pick up a gun and kill your neighbor you'll go to prison but if you put on a uniform, pick up a gun and kill a few hundred, they pin a medal on your chest.

Robin Pizanti

Robin Pizanti

Posted at 7:41 pm (U.S. Eastern) 9/19/2009

The primary purpose of the Chaplain is to provide the opportunity for military personnel  to worship as provided for in the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.   The Chaplain supports Commanders in providing spiritual support in the garrison, in combat, caring for the wounded and honoring the fallen. ELCA Pastor/Chaplain OIF

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