Canadian military bans public prayers in the name of inclusion: directive

It’s about replacing traditional religion with the new state religion of progressivism,’ says one chaplain, who adds the ‘silent majority’ are ‘very worried’ about this rejection of tradition.

Canadian military bans public prayers in the name of inclusion: directive
CP PHOTO/Kevin Frayer
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The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) continue its woke tirade against members after banning religious prayers at public functions.

“While the dimension of prayer may occupy a significant place for some of our members, we do not all pray in the same way; for some, prayer does not play a role in their lives,” reads a directive obtained by the Epoch Times.

“Therefore, it is essential for chaplains to adopt a sensitive and inclusive approach when publicly addressing military members,” it said.

Chaplain General, Brigadier-General Guy Belisle, who signed the directive on October 11, said any “spiritual reflection” henceforth must be “inclusive in nature, and respectful of the religious and spiritual diversity of Canada.”

That means that a chaplain cannot recite from the Bible or allude to God during public functions.

The Department of National Defence (DND) confirmed that chaplains must refrain from words such as “God” and “Heavenly Father” in official ceremonies.

The ban on religion appears to be part of a larger cultural shift to prioritize the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as the said functions must use language “mindful of the Gender-Based Analysis (GBA+).” 

That includes not referring to God as the “Heavenly Father,” an active duty chaplain told the Epoch Times on the condition of anonymity.

Additionally, the directive will mandate the removal of traditional scarves chaplains wear to differentiate religions, including the cross, the Star of David, and the star and crescent.

“Chaplains must consider the potential that some items or symbols may cause discomfort or traumatic feelings when choosing the dress they wear during public occasions,” said the directive.

“Chaplains shall ensure that all feel included and able to participate in the reflection with a clear conscience, no matter their beliefs,” it said.

DND spokesperson Derek Abma told the Epoch Times that “[…] chaplains shall avoid faith specific and exclusive language [where the faith stance of participants is unknown] and instead speak words which will help participants remember those who have offered their lives in the service of Canada," reads an emailed statement.

“This directive is about expanding participation in the reflections of military chaplains and not about limiting it,” he added.

The decision follows a Systemic Racism and Discrimination panel report, Re-Defining Chaplaincy, in January 2022 that openly criticized religion.

It contends that “religion can be a source of suffering and generational trauma, [especially for sexual minorities and indigenous people].”

"Some chaplains represent or are affiliated with organized religions whose beliefs are not synonymous with those of a diverse and inclusive workplace," reads Chaplaincy.

The legal basis for the October 11 directive cites Mouvement laïque québécois v. Saguenay (City), a Supreme Court case where an atheist complained about prayer recitations before Saguenay city council meetings.

“The evolution of Canadian society has given rise to a concept of neutrality according to which the state must not interfere in religion and beliefs,” it reads. 

“The state must instead remain neutral in this regard, which means that it must neither favour nor hinder any particular belief and the same holds for non-belief.”

Brig.-Gen. Belisle said non-compliant chaplains will be removed from the Armed Forces. 

The anonymous military chaplain told the Epoch Times that he believes the new policy will disincentivize Canadians from attending Remembrance Day ceremonies that honour deceased soldiers.

“As a military chaplain, I believe we have moral and spiritual obligations. We have a covenant with the dead,” he said. “Most of those who fought in the Great Wars did so for God and country, and deserve to be honoured in that way.”

“This new policy is first and foremost a violation of that covenant,” he added, claiming it destroys tradition in the name of “diversity.”

Despite the concerns, Defence Minister Bill Blair blamed “disinformation” for the panic, claiming that chaplains can still pray on Remembrance Day.

Another chaplain also rejected the military’s “woke mentality” by using “threats and fear to […] submit everyone into obedience.”

He contended the “silent majority” are “very worried” about this rejection of tradition, but are afraid to denounce the directive publicly.

“None of this is surprising,” continued the first chaplain. “They have to gradually remove God from the public square to push all these radical agendas we are now seeing.”

“It’s not about ‘remaining neutral,’” added the second chaplain. “It’s about replacing traditional religion with the new state religion of progressivism.”

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