Skip to comments.US Navy Says No to Atheist Chaplains; Members of Congress 'Relieved' by Decision
Posted on 03/23/2018 7:57:20 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The U.S. Navy turned down the application of an atheist chaplain to serve in the Navy Chaplain Corps. The move comes after 43 members of Congress signed a letter warning that the very definition of what it means to be a chaplain is at stake.
Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) and Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R) explained in a joint statement on Wednesday that the Navy made the right call in turning down the appointment of Dr. Jason Heap, the national coordinator for the United Coalition of Reason based in Washington, D.C., who first made the attempt under the Obama administration.
"The very definition of the chaplaincy was at stake here, so I am relieved to see the Navy's response," Lamborn said.
"Appointing a secular-humanist or atheist chaplain would have gone against everything the chaplaincy was created to do. I applaud the Navy for upholding a traditional definition of the chaplaincy, which has been repeatedly confirmed by Congress and the Department of Defense," he added.
"The installment of an atheist chaplain would inevitably open the door to a host of chaplains representing many other philosophical worldviews, thus eroding the distinct religious function of the chaplain corps to the detriment of service members."
Hartzler pointed out that the chaplaincy "is older than our country and was instituted by General Washington to meet the religious needs of his troops."
"This historic institution serves a vital purpose for today's service members, ensuring the free exercise of religion for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. I am pleased to hear that Navy has upheld the integrity of the chaplaincy," she said.
Over three dozen members of Congress had warned in their letter that if the chaplaincy were to be expanded to philosophical beliefs, rather than only religious faith, it would "not only undermine the very constitutional purpose of the chaplaincy," but it would create many additional application and administrative questions.
"Marxism, for example, is a philosophy that takes a position on religious issues, but is not itself a religious worldview," they noted.
"Allowing Dr. Heap to act as a chaplain would thus open the door to a host of chaplains representing many other philosophical worldviews, complicating the chaplaincy application process, and, over time, eroding the distinct religious function of the corps to the detriment of service members."
In an article in TheHumanist.com in March 2015, Heap argued that atheist chaplains are not an "oxymoron."
"Most English dictionaries recognize that, traditionally, a chaplain was equated with a religious minister who was attached to a secular institutional setting, though some dictionaries are slow and perhaps loathe to accept the inevitable sociolinguistic evolution of how context changes definitions," he argued at the time.
"The greater and more diversified work of nontheistic chaplains across the United States as well as around the world challenges the notion of any one particular, sincerely held belief having a monopoly on morality."
Conservative group Family Research Council said atheists should find other ways to serve rather than through the Chaplain Corps.
FRC President Tony Perkins wrote in a statement on Tuesday: "If the military wants to create specific programs for atheists or humanists, it can. There's no need to hijack the Chaplain Corps to serve them unless, as I suspect, the real goal had nothing to do with service to begin with. Either way, we salute the Navy for protecting the integrity of the chaplaincy, 'For God and Country.'"
It’s stupid that the subject even comes up. How do you deploy someone who is halfway thru an addidictomy?
Atheist chaplain is the dumbest oxymoron yet. In the military it is called a Drill Sergeant
The leftards are truly depraved. An atheist Chaplain? Cognitive dissonance much?
A universally understood sentiment that makes a theist out of almost anybody. I certainly include myself.
Surprised with the anti Christian influences running wild in the military these days.
I was not aware that the US Navy ran the Congress. /s
Planned Parenthood would probably welcome them.
One country had atheist chaplains. They were zampolits.
Dr. Heap will find a “progressive” judge who will force the Navy to hire him. You know, discrimination and all that...
**US Navy Says No to Atheist Chaplains**
God bless them!
Judges and courts do not make laws. Congress makes laws.
Thank you, Jesus.
Here's another arricle on the same topic.
I asked one of them on the elevator - "What do you do here all weekend, get together and pay homage to nobody? Unpray? I mean, what's the point?"
He just shrugged. They had Chinese food. Nothing else really going on.
A huge hallelujah and thanks to you for hearing from the Holy Spirit as you recently led us in prayer on this very topic.
Great news!!! Praise God.