A rousing dual profile in The Wall Street Journal looks at the war effort in Afghanistan through the eyes of devout military chaplain Terry Moran and his atheist assistant Philip Chute: a pair that roams the Taliban countryside debating with each other "over everything from the power of angels to the wisdom of standing in clear view of enemy snipers." But like any odd couple, their theological differences seem to ensure that they make for a surprisingly complementary team:
Lt. Moran, 48 years old, preaches about divine protection while 25-year-old RP2 Chute covers the chaplain's back and wishes he were more attentive to the dangers of the here and now. ...
"He trusts God to keep him safe," says RP2 [Religious Programs Specialist] Chute. "And I'm here just in case that doesn't work out."
It wasn't always a particularly easy match-up for the pair, as Chaplain Moran recalled to the Journal. He remembers the first day Chute dropped the "A-bomb."
Appalled, Lt. Moran contacted his fellow chaplains. He says he was simply seeking counsel about whether atheists can really be chaplain's assistants. RP2 Chute is convinced Lt. Moran was trying to trade him in for a believer.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.