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Advocacy group to ask military for atheist chaplains

Advocacy group to ask military for atheist chaplains

The Military Association and Free Thinkers (MAAF) plan to make a request to the military for an atheist chaplain.  Around the same time last year, Republicans and Democrats battled over this issue.  The president of the MAAF said in a statement "The military includes atheists, humanists and people with nontheistic perspectives and the military currently has no way to service them."

Rep. John Fleming R-La, called the idea an "oxymoron."  The Army Chaplain Corps motto is "Pro Deo et Patria" which means "For God and Country."  Fleming said "It's self-contradictory — what you're really doing is now saying that we're going to replace true chaplains with non-chaplain chaplains."

The MAAF say that military chaplains do not have enough outreach for nonbelievers.  The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute did a study in 2009 of military members.  A quarter of the respondents said they had "no religious preference" and just over 1 percent identified themselves as pagan.

The MAAF said in a statement last year that "Such broad-based and growing support of professionals and experts should make it easy for the Department of Defense and the Navy to open their doors to diversity of belief that includes humanists and other nontheists."

The Department of Defense weighed in saying "The department does not endorse religion or any one religion or religious organization, and provides the maximum extent possible for the free exercise of religion by all members of the military services who choose to do so."

The fight for an atheist chaplain has been going on for many years, now it may be finally coming closer to a decision.  If lawmakers cannot decide, the Department of Defense may be able to make a decision instead.

About Jodi Hillman

Jodi is a writer and a blogger. She has been writing for two years and it is a passion of hers.
  • Bor1am

    Perhaps if they called themselves atheist counselors instead of chaplains, they could get around the problem of the "For God and country" chaplains' motto, and counseling is basically what their job would entail.

  • TheSunDidIt

    Other than sucking valuable funds out of the system for their PAC's, exactly what would the point of that be? The chaplain offers comfort sand spiritual guidance to both the living AND the DYING and the final rites for the DEAD. And ALL chaplains serve ALL faith groups by performing THEIR (the service person's) rites and prayers no matter WHICH group they actually represent. So, what will an atheist chaplain tell a dying soldier? Will he perform last rites for the dying Catholic? How about the prayers for the dead and dying that the Jews seek? Planning on a good "hellfire and brimstone" sermon for the Baptists?? Just saying, I don't think someone who DENIES the existence of the divine could POSSIBLY comfort or spiritually guide ANYONE. I'd rather have a Sikh chaplain around. He may represent what I consider "false gods" but, he at least DOES acknowledge the spiritual aspects of life. An atheist denies ALL these things. Guess they'll affirm and hold those "atheists" in their "lack of faith". Wouldn't want them repenting at the last breath like the thief on the cross who was saved by Jesus at his last breath. They want the devil to have his full measure of souls by their corruption and lies.

    • Kat

      "They want the devil to have his full measure of souls by their corruption and lies."

      That sounds an awful lot like those preaching of some supernatural invisible friend to those people desperate to believe their must be something beyond our world. Just because Atheist counselors have rejected the idea of the man on the clouds the same way they've rejected the idea of the man on the north pole, does not mean they cannot comfort the wounded or the dying.

      • TheSunDidIt

        Hate to tell you this but, my "invisible friend" will soon enough remove all Christians from this planet and bring judgment on it for the evil you ALL have wrought and NOT repented of. Jesus paid for ALL sins, even your mocking of Him. One bad problem for you all is, it ONLY applies if you BELIEVE on Him for your salvation and forgiveness. So, you will DIE in your sins. At least, unless you, as the thief on the cross did, repent and seek HIS mercy and grace. But, you don't understand EITHER concept. Your mocking will be your demise.

  • ILD New Project

    Nice Post and blog also I like it so much you mentioned about atheist chaplain Thanks Again ILD New Project!

  • James Bogdan

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