I was taking a break from the never ending task of planning my wedding (I had no idea it would be this intense) and I began to look back over my journal of some of my experiences as a prison chaplain. I came across the following entry and it got me thinking:
...I also learned that there are Chaplains from many other religions out of the same office that we are in. I found this interesting due to the belief structures of some other religions. For example, Christian Scientists do not believe in the problem of sin or evil so what would a Christian Scientist Chaplain give as cause for the person who is in jail? Buddhists believe life is an illusion so are those bars that are keeping you locked up an illusion too? Muslims believe that Allah predestines everything so what do you say to a Muslim who is behind bars? “Sorry, but stop complaining because Allah clearly wants you there?” I hope I have an opportunity to talk with some of these other Chaplains over the course of my time there.
I haven't really come up with the answer to these questions yet. Perhaps it is because God created each one of us to love and care for our fellow man. Of course this naturally leads to the question "Why would God create us to care for our fellow man unless He cares for him too?" If this is true, that God does care for man, than there may be serious contradctions in these religious worldviews as they do not necessarily promote a God that is caring and loving. This then brings us back full circle to my original question of why are some of these other chaplains here? Interesting.