Skip to comments.Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military
Posted on 04/27/2011 2:59:57 PM PDT by arderkrag
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. In the military, there are more than 3,000 chaplains who minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of active duty troops, regardless of their faiths. The vast majority are Christians, a few are Jews or Muslims, one is a Buddhist. A Hindu, possibly even a Wiccan may join their ranks soon.
But an atheist?
Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large and largely underground population of nonbelievers in the military.
Joining the chaplain corps is part of a broader campaign by atheists to win official acceptance in the military. Such recognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
chaplain comes from “chapel”
Do atheists have chapels?
Who knew? To do what? Talk to themselves?
Next they’ll want “holidays”
What's next, Jehovah's Witness chaplains who wander from foxhole to foxhole in pairs?
This would officially classify atheism as a religion, and then subjecting it to all of the scrutiny and issues of other religions.
Then atheism is a Religion if they want a chaplain.. does this mean it can’t be taught in schools?
BTW, let’s have a contest to design the collar insignia for an “officially recognized” atheist “chaplain”
I nominate a little smiley face with the motto “Don’t worry, be happy”
Is this satire?? Instead of giving a dying soldier his last rites, they’ll tell him he’s just “dust in the wind”.
Did you hear about the Jehovah’s Witness who married an atheist?
Their kid grew up going around knocking on doors every Saturday for no particular reason.
You’re just opening things up for the Mormons on bicycles!
I’ve always said atheists have a religion, it’s called Humanism.
No, but I heard of the two atheists fishing in a leaky rowboat. They would stop fishing and bail occasionally. Soon he boat sprung a major leak. One atheist looks at the other and says, "We might drown. You'd better start praying." The other atheist says, "I don't know how to pray. I'm an atheist." The first atheist says, "Well, I once attended a Catholic function. I'll give it a try." He folds his hands, bows his head and intones, "Under the B-12. Under the O-64."
Why not? Atheism certainly requires as much faith as any other religion...
I swear, my country is going to hell.
Send them to the Unitarian chaplains: that’s close enough.
Soldier: I just don’t know, I am scared to the bone when we getinto a firefight...
Atheist Chaplain: Son, it doesn’t matter...
Soldier: But surely you might have some suggestions for me to control my fear...
Chaplain: It doesn’t matter son, think of your self as a dust mote in an impossibly large universe. Think of yourself as that mote just blowing in the wind...
Soldier: Uh...Is their nothing else you can give me. Is there no takeaway?
Chaplain: Think of the universe as a beach of sand and your job is to leave your footprints on that beach....
Soldier: Only to be washed away with the next tide?
Chaplain: Yes, you can recognize the beauty of that image?
Soldier: I think I’ll go see Father Mulhaney...
Chaplain: It doesn’t matter son.
Soldier: Yes, it does you moron....(mutters as he walks away...”God, he quotes Sartre to me when I need some support here.”
I don’t quite get this idea. Atheists do not believe in a higher, supreme being or consciousness. So what exactly would an atheist ‘chaplain’ preach? Is the rejection of all religions actually a religion?
While this probably has ulterior motives, I can imagine one legitimate reason to have an atheist chaplain. Solely as an ombudsman for when atheists are being abused for not being religious.
The military has a problem with idle personnel. It is generally equated with mischief. This often meant that “You either go to church, or you get extra duty.” Slacking off is not seen as an option.
By having an atheist chaplain, there will at least be a supervised, dedicated area for atheists to hang out, while others are at church.
Likely the atheists will still be slacking off, but not in the barracks, and not running free. This is acceptable to NCOs.
More to the point is when soldiers are actively abused for not being religious. This is actually fairly *uncommon*, but when it does happen, there is a great hue and cry, so it gets noticed.
Oddly enough, the most common disputes are not between the religious and the atheist, but between sectarians, who confuse their particular sect’s doctrines as military policy; and those who get hung up on the “church and state” argument, who overstep on what is permitted in the military, usually over things like religious ornamentation, necklaces and prayer beads.
Likewise, there is much confusion over religious minorities.
I’m not going to question the motivations of any atheist who serves our country honorably... I just, from a religious perspective, how you can “minister” to people who by their own admission are not religious?
Someone needs to remind these atheists that dying soldiers beseech for two things: Mom and God. Both love the dying soldier, both will mourn their death and both would rejoice the eternal salvation if the dying soldier was committed to God before his passing.
Our enemies fanatically believe their death in combat is truly rewarded in Paradise. This is why they are so dangerous.
Remember the photo of the LT CMDR Joseph T. O'Callahan on board the USS Franklin, praying with the burned sailor?
Somehow, I can't see some half-assed Commie atheist giving the Last Rights to a Sailor with a shattered liver and then saying Kaddish over a Marine with both legs gone.
Thanks for your service.
2. The atheist chaplain would have to provide general religious support to those not of his faith group. IOW, he'd have to help the catholic soldier get catholic help, and the baptist soldier get baptist help, etc., etc. He would NOT be permitted to tell them to take a hike.
3. He is also required by law to conduct worship for his faith group. I don't think there is any doctrinal consensus among atheists on what that would even begin to look like. Additionally, he'd have to arrange for such worship for those not in his faith group when in a job that requires him to be with soldiers.
4. He is to provide counsel to the commander on matters of morale as touched by religion. He is to provide/arrange counseling for families, individuals, etc. He is to conduct weddings, funerals, etc. All of these things would have to be redefined.
5. Finally, he is to be a symbol of hope in darkest hours that speak of death. His symbol would be "kiss your ass goodbye, 'cause once you bite the dust here, it's all over there, too."
er...not trying to start a Holy War but I completely disagree. Atheism is about not having enough proof to believe...nothing more.