4 thoughts on “Venerable Clinton M Langston QHC Chaplain-General and Archdeacon for the Army

  1. “Happy are men who yet before they are killed
    Can let their veins run cold.”
    If I was asked what I would rather teach children about the devastating impact on mental health of those going to war, either the made up story of Lazarus or the made up poems of Wilfred Owen, I know I would always choose the latter.

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  2. In fear for his life, the Ven Clinton’s immediate concern is his family but, given time to contemplate, he talks about Lazarus from his BBoMS.
    This seems to be the wrong way round.
    When bravery’s needed, shouldn’t his faith in his IMF come to the fore? Then, in the cold light of day, he’ll be struck that those most precious to him would have lost him.

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  3. It sounds like the Venerable Clinton has been seriously traumatised by his experiences in Iraq. Indeed, he seems to have traumatised himself before he even got out there. There are a number of treatments for PTSD, none of which is guaranteed to work, and if you are a professional Christian whose main source of inspiration is the BBoMS, maybe the made-up tale of Lazarus is as helpful to you as anything else.

    That doesn’t mean, however, that you can come on the BBC and expect listeners to accept your coping strategy as having any relevance to themselves. More to the point, does the Ven C expect the squaddies to whom he thinks he ministers to be inspired or comforted by such an approach? I ended up feeling quite sorry for him, but also that his personal travails, and the way he has found to address them, are his, and his alone.

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  4. He referred to ‘my soldiers’ a couple of times, which sounded weird. Perhaps, given his purported role, that’s how he thinks of all those squaddies, but it was still jarring. What never seemed to be in question was the point of his being with an armed military unit in Iraq anyway. It is puzzling enough in wars where both opposing forces claim the Christian IMF for their side; but how does that sit when the ‘enemy’ are Muslim, and when indeed UK soldiers might be followers of Islam, or Hindus? There’s long been a supposedly strong link between the UK military and religion; but I’m not convinced that it’s of importance to a majority of soldiers. Just can’t make sense of it – not in terms of Christianity, anyway (“I tell you, love your enemy,” “turn the other cheek” etc etc).

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