Letters, Sep. 16, 1935

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In the camps we are practically forced into chapel attendance at times by the deceit practiced by barracks leaders and officers alike. Realizing that the armed service exists primarily for murder and that a Christian philosophy of the type advocated by the radical character of Christ (historical or mythical) is at variance with the doctrines of the Fascist Friedrich Nietzsche, who presides over the spiritual life of the Army and Navy, it becomes necessary for the officers to practice subtle deceit in order to get the enrollees into the Hall to listen to the dry and inane piffle of the sky pilots, who merely become apologists for the existing war machine and cannot under any circumstance represent the Christianity of the "pale Socialist of Galilee." We, the poor, deluded and unwanted enrollees, are often led unsuspectingly into chapel by the unrevealing report that "The Captain wants to see everyone in the Recreation Hall." Depending on our courage and state of mind we run either for the woods or the Hall, to discover that no matter how thin you slice it, it is still sky pilot baloney. . . .

JIM MACKENZIE

Luray, Va.

Sirs:

In defense of statement made by Chaplain Edward A. Duff, U. S. Navy (TIME, July 22), regarding attendance of Navy personnel at church services aboard ship and on shore, to which Junior Deck Officer Tinker, S.S. Christy-Payne, took issue, I desire to submit statistics from annual reports to the Secretary of the Navy by Navy chaplains in 1934—neither chaplain being attached to stations where attendance was "enforced."

1) "Forty-six church services have been conducted during the past year with a total attendance of 6,088. Three quarterly communion services have been held with a total of 250 communicants."

2) "Sixty-two divine services have been conducted during the past year with a total attendance of 9,105. One hundred and twenty-one holy communion services have been held with 816 men making their communion."

Attendance aboard Naval vessels is not compulsory, as ex-Midshipman and ex-Naval Officer Tinker would lead civilians to believe. Each Sunday morning, in the most commodious compartment, our ship's church is rigged. There are no stained glass windows—only plain port holes; no comfortable pews—just plain mess benches; no vested choir—but an excellent ship's orchestra and, when in port, volunteer musicians from ashore.

At these Sunday morning services it is not uncommon for several hundred officers and enlisted personnel to assemble in Christian fellowship, their attendance voluntary in every respect. . . . CHAS. G. VAN DORN

Yeoman, 2nd Class, U. S. N. Puget Sound Navy Yard Bremerton, Wash.

"Mr. Mex" of Tex.

Sirs:

In your issue of Sept. 2, under National Affairs, the Congress, you speak of the Hon. J. P. Buchanan of Brenham, Tex. and use the nickname "Buck."

Mr. Buchanan may be called "Buck" in Washington, D. C. but in Washington County, Tex., where he was reared, he is called "Mex" from the fact that as a young man he frequently went to Mexico for cattle and, I believe, lived there for a short time. People around Brenham refer to him as "Mr. Mex."

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