The Examiner, a leading Baptist organ, in looking forward to the coming session of Congress, is impressed with the idea that “One of the first duties of Congress, when it reassembles, is to provide an adequate number of chaplains for our increased army in the Philippines.”
As the army in the Philippines is kept there not for spiritual ends, but to end all armed resistance to American authority, it is proper to inquire what interest Congress can have in the question of the adequate supply of chaplains.
What Congress wants of the army in the Philippines is that it shall fight well, and thus thoroughly and speedily overcome the “insurrection.” Unless the chaplains will render the soldiers more efficient as fighters, of what else can they be in the line of that which alone the soldiers have been sent to the islands to do?
It is proper of course to feel an interest in the spiritual welfare of soldiers, as of other classes of men, and to provide for them those who will labor for their spiritual benefit. But this is not a matter that can come into the concern of Congress—a body appointed to represent the people merely in a civil capacity.
If chaplains are to be sent to the Philippines, let them be sent and maintained by the respective churches.