Atheist Soldiers Want a Chaplain?

Sometimes, as deacon Greg eludes to, reality is funnier than The Onion.

Former Baptist Church now Atheist meeting hall

Excerpt:

“Jason Torpy, a former Army captain who is president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, said humanist chaplains would do everything religious chaplains do, including counsel troops and help them follow their faiths. But just as a Protestant chaplain would not preside over a Catholic service, a humanist might not lead a religious ceremony, though he might help organize it.

“Humanism fills the same role for atheists that Christianity does for Christians and Judaism does for Jews,” Mr. Torpy said in an interview. “It answers questions of ultimate concern; it directs our values.” Read the article here.

Finally an honest atheist who admits that atheism/humanism is a Religion and an organized one at that.  Des Moines  hosted their convention during Holy Week.

Mark Shea  has a creed for them, There is no God, and Dawkins is his prophet.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry and I have been married 39 years. But the deacon’s wife gig is a new twist. Larry was ordained in August of 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren. The oldest grandchild is ten and the youngest is three. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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6 Responses to Atheist Soldiers Want a Chaplain?

  1. “Finally an honest atheist who admits that atheism/humanism is a Religion”

    Atheism and humanism aren’t the same things.

    The whole point of it is that if the government has hired people for strictly religious purposes, then there is one of two things they must do: either cover every single religion, or none. Otherwise it’s against the First Amendment.

    I, personally, wouldn’t need a chaplain of any kind. But some atheists who are also humanists almost certainly would. And if they’re out there in the military, fighting for our freedom, they shouldn’t be forced to have to talk to a Christian or other type of chaplain who at best wouldn’t understand them, and at worst might be openly hostile to them.

    • Susan Kehoe says:

      Not a Scientist,
      I used the term humanism because the article quotes the president of the atheist association in the article used the term:

      “Humanism fills the same role for atheists that Christianity does for Christians and Judaism does for Jews,” Mr. Torpy said in an interview. ”

      Yes I am aware that not all atheists consider themselves humanists. Some for example are materialists. But, the article infers, it is atheist humanists who are seeking “chaplains”.
      Peace

      • Yes. It is atheist humanists. Your article, however, implies it is atheists as a whole. And it also implies that atheism is a religion. Which it isn’t.

        “There is no God, and Dawkins is his prophet.”

        And I gather you know this, but not even all atheists like Richard Dawkins, let alone think of him as anything more than a scientist, lecturer and author.

  2. Susan Kehoe says:

    Hi NAS,
    Yes I get it. Atheists don’t all think a like. Christians don’t either. But please try and understand that atheism looks a lot like a religion to outsiders.

    One of the dictionary definitions for religion is, “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”.

    You probably do not agree, but I think it takes a lot of faith to NOT believe in God. I think it takes a lot of faith to believe that humans and all creation are the result of a random event without a first cause.

    I love science. But science has not proved that there is no God.

    I thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • “Atheists don’t all think a like. Christians don’t either.”

      It’s not that we don’t all think alike. It’s that we only need to agree on one single point to all be considered atheists. Christians vary, I grant you, but they have to have more than a single point in common to all be considered Christians.

      “One of the dictionary definitions for religion is, “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”. ”

      Agreed.

      Atheism, however, isn’t a system. It is a single position on a single belief. It’s opposite is theism, not Christianity. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. are all theists, because theism is a single issue. You need a lot more than that single issue to make a religion.

      “You probably do not agree, but I think it takes a lot of faith to NOT believe in God.”

      You’re correct. I don’t agree. :) I strive not to use faith at all in my life.

      “I think it takes a lot of faith to believe that humans and all creation are the result of a random event without a first cause. ”

      I think your description doesn’t accurately describe my beliefs.

      “I love science. But science has not proved that there is no God. ”

      I never said it did. But science has also not proved that there is no Bigfoot. The overwhelming lack of scientific evidence is the reason for my lack of belief.

      “I thank you for taking the time to comment.”

      You’re welcome.

  3. Colin Wilson says:

    You wrote: “But, the article infers…”

    No, no, no. The article implied. You inferred.

    Btw I would think it would be very difficult to find any truly religious personnel in the Australian, British, or New Zealand military services.

    In those countries it is reported that only about 4% of the population go to church against a reported 40% in the US.

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