Surely this isn't true?


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Yorkshire, UK
Army Chaplain Offers Baptisms, Baths
By Meg Laughlin
Miami Herald

Saturday 05 April 2003

CAMP BUSHMASTER, Iraq - In this dry desert world near Najaf, where the Army V Corps combat support system sprawls across miles of scabrous dust, there's an oasis of sorts: a 500-gallon pool of pristine, cool water.

It belongs to Army chaplain Josh Llano of Houston, who sees the water shortage, which has kept thousands of filthy soldiers from bathing for weeks, as an opportunity.

''It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized,'' he said.

And agree they do. Every day, soldiers take the plunge for the Lord and come up clean for the first time in weeks.

''They do appear physically and spiritually cleansed,'' Llano said.

First, though, the soldiers have to go to one of Llano's hour-and-a-half sermons in his dirt-floor tent. Then the baptism takes an hour of quoting from the Bible.

''Regardless of their motives,'' Llano said, ``I get the chance to take them closer to the Lord.''

A blue-eyed 32-year-old with an abundance of energy, Llano goes out every day to drum up grimy soldiers for his pool.

He talks to truck drivers, tank drivers, computer specialists -- anyone and everyone. He goes out to the combat zone to the fighting soldiers and the combat support soldiers who keep them in supplies.

''You have to be aggressive to help people find themselves in God,'' he said.

He calls himself a ''Southern Baptist evangelist,'' and justifies the war and killing with a verse from the Gospel of Matthew, which he often recites: ``Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

''This means we are called upon by our government to fight and that is giving unto Caesar, as the Bible tells us,'' he said.

Earlier this week, word went out that portable showers might be installed here soon, but Llano was undaunted.

''There is no fruit out here, and I have a stash of raisins, juice boxes and fruit rolls to pull out,'' the chaplain said optimistically.
It would be a terrible thing, if to offer those in the frontline of life and death, first required blackmailing to receive small comforts.
Nothing about America surprises anymore. On saying that this could be a goof ball article.
so now God is next to cleanliness?

If true, does he not see that he has cheapened his own beliefs?

But of more pressing urgency -- how is it that he comes up with 500 gallons of clean water in the middle of a desert laden with the beasts of war? That alone suggests to me that no such thing has happened.
Actually, the comments that this could be bogus or satire are worth a great deal of consideration.