QUANTICO, VA – The recent nomination of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for Secretary of Defense may have made Marines feel like they died and went to heaven, but not everyone is shouting "Hallelujah!"
Just weeks after Mattis was nominated to the post by President-elect Donald Trump, Headquarters Marine Corps has issued an emergency All-Marine message (ALMAR) directly ordering Marines to stop referring to Mattis as "God."
ALMAR 040/16, released yesterday, states that "all units are directed to inform their Marines that there is no evidence that James Mattis is God and Marines will stop referring to him as such in uniform, at religious services, public events, or on social media."
The ALMAR suggests that Marines wishing to worship Mattis as God should instead use pre-approved pictures of Chesty Puller.
Mattis is known more for his military thinking than any religious activity, other than his famous letter to the First Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq where he told them, "If you meet the Buddha on the MSR, kill him."
A spokesman for Headquarters Marine Corps told Duffel Blog, "We originally thought the problem was just limited to MARSOC posting that 'Saint Mattis of Quantico' picture, which is bad enough, since a Saint has to perform three miracles, and Mattis raining fire and brimstone upon Fallujah doesn't count."
"However we've also gotten reports of Marines waving 'Mattis 3:16' signs at football games, as well as chaplains at unit benedictions praying, 'Hail Mattis, full of hate, Thy Corps is with Thee, etc.' Listen Marines, it was funny for about five seconds but this seriously needs to stop right now."
Asked to comment, the Chaplain of the Marine Corps, Rear Adm. Brent Scott, confirmed the Headquarters decision:
"It's not only a gross exaggeration to call General Mattis 'God', but I frankly think it's offensive," Scott said.
"As the Bible says in John 10:30 'I have said you are gods' and then in Isaiah 45:19 'Seek Me in Chaos,' so from a theological perspective General Mattis is probably just one of multiple gods, not the God."
"Most likely General Mattis is part of the pantheon of immortal Marine legends like Smedley Butler, John Glenn, and Al Gray, who either walk amongst us or watch over us from Marine Corps Base Valhalla and occasionally deign to send us mere mortals their heavenly MARADMINs and White Letters."
Scott suggested Marines could avoid giving offense by just referring to General Mattis by one of the ninety-nine names attributed to Him in the Muslim Quran, such as Al Mumit, "The Bringer of Death".