This US Army Chaplain Just Stood Up to the American “Empire”

US-army-chaplainBy Michaela Whitton

A U.S. Army Reserve chaplain has resigned in opposition to U.S. policies on nuclear weapons, militarized drones, and preemptive war. In a letter to President Obama, Captain Christopher John Antal stated he can no longer serve as a chaplain for an “empire.”

From September 2012 to February 2013, Antal was an Army chaplain to a battalion supporting the 3rd Infantry Division in southern Afghanistan. Although his unit didn’t have operational responsibilities for drones, the chaplain saw them launch and land, and was therefore fully aware of the consequences of remote-control killing.

In a poem he wrote in 2012, called “A Veterans Day Confession For America,” Antal accused the U.S. of sanitizing killing and condoning extrajudicial assassinations. His commanding officer was informed of his prose, and in a blatant attempt to silence dissent, Antal was investigated and banned from travel. Officially reprimanded, he was sent back to the U.S. with a “do not promote” evaluation and discharged from active duty. According to Veterans For Peace, the minister challenged the punishment, which resulted in his re-activation and promotion to Captain in the U.S. Army.

In his letter sent to President Obama on April 12 — also published on the website of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern — Antal laid out the reasons behind his resignation. Citing opposition to U.S. imperial overreach, he wrote:

I resign because I refuse to support U.S. armed drone policy. The Executive Branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing.

Voicing opposition to U.S. nuclear weapons policy, the chaplain also accused America of investing millions of dollars into arms that threaten the existence of mankind and the planet. Adamant in his refusal to support terror and “mutually assured destruction,” he added, “I resign because I refuse to support U.S. policy of preventive war, permanent military supremacy, and global power projection.“

Slamming the U.S. for claiming extrajudicial authority and impunity from international law, Antal said he can no longer reconcile these policies with what he called his “sworn duty to protect and defend America.” Nor can he reconcile the principles of his own religious faith — including justice, equity, and compassion — with U.S. warmongering.

This article (This US Army Chaplain Just Stood Up to the American “Empire”) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Michaela Whitton and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].


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7 Comments on "This US Army Chaplain Just Stood Up to the American “Empire”"

  1. y3shuA imMANu3l | May 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Reply

    Matthew 4:
    Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
    4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
    5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
    “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
    7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
    8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
    10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
    11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

  2. y3shuA imMANu3l | May 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Reply

    “The blind human’s hate, ignorance, greed, envy, and selfishness think they can destroy life. They can destroy no life except their own.”

  3. y3shuA imMANu3l | May 17, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Reply

    “False knowledge and the deceiving senses bind the human soul in prison.”

  4. KUDOS – U.S.Army Reserve chaplain Captain Christopher John Antal
    Standing tall – hopefully more will follow.
    Perpetual oil wars serve the culling of the heard unholy crowd.

  5. A concerned american | May 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Reply

    Obama couldn’t care less, he wants the “good out and the bad in.” Anything to degrade our military or reduce it’s effectiveness, he’s all in.

  6. Super Kudos !!!

    How often in this day and age do we actually see religion practiced as it is preached?

  7. An honorable man. Apparently one of very few.

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