Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Unpopular Opinion

I'm not the type of person to get into serious discussions/arguments on Facebook. Personally, I prefer to steer clear of confrontation, and I'm really just not comfortable sharing my opinions on things such as politics and religion on the internet. Yesterday, something strange happened though. I saw a status that I strongly disagreed with, and I couldn't help but add my two cents.

The post on Facebook was in reference to this article by the Army Times. The majority of the comments above mine were about how if you want to join our military, you need to dress like us. While I do agree with that statement to an extent, there are currently plenty of exceptions in place that allow Soldiers to sort of bend those rules for a variety of reasons. A few of those reasons are stated in my response at the bottom of the image.

After posting, I couldn't stop thinking about the whole issue, so when Hubster came home for lunch, I asked him what he thought about beards in the military. I was super surprised when he said "no". What?! You're my husband, you're supposed to agree with me! So I asked him why. His two word answer actually had nothing to do with uniformity, and "letting people get away with everything". Actually, in my opinion, it was much more thought out than any of the comments that I had read on Facebook. His answer: "gas masks".

So I'm curious. I know that many of my readers are either in the military, veterans, or military spouses. Am I totally crazy for not agreeing with the masses?

Love, Alex

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  1. Religious stance aside, the beards during the Civil War were pretty clutch. Jeb Stuart? That man knew how to grow a beard.

  2. Religious issues like this really get me going...

    Freedom of religion means ALL religions, not just the ones that are the societal norm (ie. Christians). If other religions are allowed to wear their religious clothing items (ex. Jewish wearing yarmulke, Christians wearing Crosses/Crucifix/Rosaries), then ALL religions should be able too. If that can't happen for whatever reason, then ::no one:: should be able to.

    However, I do agree with your husband. If one's religious garb interferes with safety then that's another matter entirely. Safety for the individual and group, should come before one's religion -- ANY religion. So if a service person's duties cannot be safely performed while wearing whatever religious iconography/clothing/jewelry/etc then it should not be worn. However, that does not seem to be the case in this instance.

    However, not allowing individuals to express their religious beliefs simply because they are not "socially acceptable" or make others "uncomfortable" or whatever, is not tolerable in this country (despite what some may think). It's a violation of the Constitution and the principles upon which the country was founded.

  3. I'm pretty sure if they go in the gas chamber, they'd have to at least trim it down. That being said, I'm fine with it as long as it is a reflection of a true belief. I had a Jewish kid in my company who insisted on wearing a yamaka but I never saw him attend a religious service, he didn't keep kosher, etc. I would say 85% of the reason he wore it was to be "different" and to correct Sergeant Majors when they asked him about it. That's annoying. As for people saying this is "our military, dress like us." What makes them think these Mulsims aren't American?

  4. That was my hubby's immediate response, too. He wanted to know if the beard was immune to chemical gas, then :P.
    And he feels the same about guys with shave 'chits' as ones for all other reasons.

  5. I think it's ridiculous to exclude an entire group of volunteers based on their religious customs. I am in agreement with your husband though...if you volunteer for the military and can't meet the safety standards for any reason than you should either adapt or not join.

  6. I agree to the extent that if it is something that impedes with safety regulations or a piece of equipment that could save you life, you need to forget it. However in garrison, I think the rules should be able to allow for religious freedoms to some extent. It is one of the rights that these men are fighting for...


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