LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Why? Having seen both sides of the isle in the religious sphere of US military chaplaincy, and the over bearing amount of chaplains that represent the majority religion, it may just be a lost cause to ever see fairness and respect for any and all in the US Air Force chaplaincy. Even those of the majority religion that have those with unique and smaller unknown sects also seem to be also sidelined. I don't mean to be harsh or trying to give a bad rap to chaplaincy, but I witnessed Missouri Senate chaplain candidates bated for the specific purpose to see if they would work with women and see if they could "fit in."My story is well known now as I was a chaplain in that majority religion and a leader for many years with a prominent denomination until the light went off (or on!). My career was great, had much fun and success, and I did wonderful things for the service and for people. My heart was all about serving the people and that is why I joined. But, when I did the unthinkable, I saw what it is like to be the minority and what vile and horrible things these chaplains are able to do and achieve. And not all chaplains are insincere, but the word on the street is, US Air Force chaplaincy at this moment, are the worst of the worst. A good old boys club working very hard to protect their jobs, positions, culture and pay, (and I am adding here) their projected superior religion. Religion to many people is indeed black and white. We are the best and your the worst. We are right and you are wrong. Jews want to be left alone and don't care what other so-called religions think of the practice given to us by Hashem thru Moshe as documented in the Torah.
So what is the worst thing one could ever do in an environment that caters and prides itself in second coming theology? The answer is quite exciting to tell you. When your a chaplain of that majority religion and you make the hard choice to drop everything, reject the nonsense, relearn everything, and run to Mount Sinai, you have become the turncoat and the backstabber of chaplaincy. Maybe your labeled, lied about and marked as a troublemaker now. Your now setting the new standard of what it is like to be discriminated against in ways never before thought of. Being Jewish is an easy target for religious discrimination anyways. First hand I can tell you that when I made this move the opposition and the hostility was incredible. Friends I knew for life left, organizations I dedicated myself to ignored and never communicated with me, chaplains that love people seemed to love other people yet had zero tolerance for my decision, reasoning and my person. Was I hurt over this, by far it was emotionally hard but my determination overrode all the drama because in myself I felt secure and knew the truth I sought was far more important than the lies I had been taught the previous 40 years.For my case I was rejected by the US Air Force when I reapplied to be a Jewish Chaplain, hey a stellar career doesn't guarantee anything. I spent many years in Yeshiva, studying and relearning. I received a new chaplain endorsement and semicha for that effort. And frankly, the military needs Jewish chaplains as there are under 10 in the active duty out of the hundreds from the majority religion. But, now my concern is those who come after me. If I ever reappoint is less important at this time, but making the point to the world that standing up to this type of religious bullying isn't 1st Amendment rights for all. My ability to advocate for my faith is limited because I was rejected for appointment with no cause, which was expected. Jews are a part of the team, equally and bring Torah perspectives (light) in a world of darkness. Our obligation is to teach and bring morality, ethics and decency to all. Maybe it is not every day that someone like me does the turncoat thing and becomes Orthodox Jewish, but I can tell you we as a people cannot cave to political correctness and bullying either by world governments or by religious discrimination.
I for one will make the point that Judaism will be respected and even though Goliath is bigger, in Torah, we are far stronger. B"H.