California Firefighters Don't Want Chaplains

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, May 30, 2003

California Firefighters Don't Want Chaplains

Six California firefighters are asking a federal court to end the Chaplain’s Corps of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.   They claim that the corps violates church-state separation.


The pattern is a familiar one.   The group includes a self-professed Baptist, an Episcopalian, a Christian Scientist and a “rationalist agnostic.”


Of the first 52 chaplains hired, all but two were Christian; the department has since added a Buddhist and a Jew.


I wish just once that someone would file suit against someone else for blaspheming God or speaking ill of Jesus.  


Doesn’t it strike you as odd that the First Amendment supposedly prohibits so much public communication about God, except when his name is used as a curse word?   Then that same First Amendment supposedly defends the right of people to offend me.


The secularization of the country continues, but California firefighters can fight back.   The Christians can do their own witnessing and counseling.   People might contribute to a fund to pay for the chaplains of their choice.


I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.