Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Disgrace to the Chaplain Corps

When thinking about the case against Navy Chaplain Shane Dillman, its hard to know where to begin. When you consider the trust he has violated and the numerous vows he has broken, I cannot really consider how he came to betray his denomination, the Navy, sailors under his care and his Lord.

Dillman is scheduled to go on on trial for rape and fraternization. He has already plead guilty to adultery.

When a man takes on the role of a religious leader, he consents to a higher standard than John Q. Public. When a minister accepts a commission in the US military, he pledges to be faithful to his country and his sailors and marines. This man was dishonest with himself, his family, his shipmates and his church.

He has done irreparable harm to the counseling role of the chaplaincy and has placed barriers between chaplains and the troops for years to come.

Dillman appears to have had two faces. While deployed in the combat zone, he was, by all accounts, a good chaplain. But when he was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson, he lost his control and his honor.

Since I only served in the Fleet Marines Chaplaincy and on Subs with only lay leaders (and no women!) I cannot comment on the amount of supervision he'd had onboard the Vinson. I know its a floating city but people see things. They can tell when something isn't Kosher. Where was his chain of command? Where was his RP Chief? Does anybody from the Carl Vinson know what happened?

Accountability is essential. While Dillman's actions didn't lead to a reactor incident or an accidental weapons discharge and nobody was killed, he has brought damage to the service and should be dealt with harshly. Let him counsel convicts in the brig or better yet Leavenworth.

What makes me even madder is the last part of the article where it is revealed that he has yet to report the charges to his endorsing church. These guys are Pentecostals, maybe they'll throw snakes on him.

No comments: