Chaplain: (n) a member of the clergy attached to a private chapel, institution, ship, branch of the armed forces, etc.
We certainly do this with people’s occupations.
If someone says they work at a grocery store, we probably will not launch into a statement of gratitude for providing food for the masses.
But if someone says they’re a chaplain in a prison or the military, we raise our eyebrows, impressed, thinking we’re dealing with a sacrificial individual who is doing really, really valuable work.
The distinctions we make in life cause our prejudice–because there is such a thing as a good chaplain and also a bad chaplain, just like there’s a good grocer and a bad grocer. There are people who do their job well and people who do their job poorly.
So to judge a person who is a doctor as noble and kind is absolutely foolish. Many Dr. Jekylls are actually Mr. Hyde.
I think it would be very difficult to be a chaplain in the military, for the Gospel he or she would preach would not necessarily be in line with either the stars and stripes or the red, white and blue. Jesus had his differences with capitalism, and certainly was not a great advocate of violence.
Yet I respect the chaplain who brings the hope of the Gospel to people who find themselves in the position of making decisions that have far-reaching effects.
So if we can stop our silly bigotry about occupations and start asking ourselves what makes a good person in any situation, then we will be on our way to truly grasping equality and the wisdom of understanding.