Sunday, May 14, 2006

Unitarians and our Military Academies: forgotten history

An interesting comment from Vince Patton over at the Unitarian Universalists in the Military blog; reminding readers of UU History and the Military.

This actually is the first time in about 30+ years that I've been trying to get someone in UUA to even remotely pay some attention to military issues. It's been quite disheartening over the years, especially given the fact that we have a significant number of flag and general officers, as well as senior enlisteds within our membership. And should I mention that we have two former Secretaries of DOD?

Most importantly, the membership of UUA is not well informed of the fact that the military chaplains' corps (which the Navy first started) was run primarily by Unitarian ministers. So whether they like it or not, this is a part of our faith's history -- and they must pay some attention to the needs of UU military members.
And Jamie Goodwin finds what I would call something less than Support Our Troops on a UU website. Wonder what those two former UU SecDef's would think of that.

William Cohen is a UU and was SecDef under Clinton. Not sure who Patton has in mind as the second.

George Bancroft founder of the Naval Academy was a Unitarian, as was the founder of West Point: Sylvanus Thayer.


Radical Hapa said...

i remember learning about some of these connections via a UU World Article in the 1990's. i don't get the sense that the UUA (although I'm not sure which 'part' of the UUA you are referring to), is doing anything to minimize the history...can you say more?

Bill Baar said...

Sure, check this post and this.

How many UU's know two service academies founded by Unitarians? I suspect a handful. That's quite a piece of history to overlook. Especially when the GA debates pacifism.

Something's changed.

Jamie Goodwin said...

I admit that I had no idea that both service academies where founded by Unitarians, and I am one of the guys jumping up and down saying.. respect UUs in the military!

Thanks for the post Bill!