Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Would-Be Chaplain Who Doesn't Believe in God

And just where do they think non-believers should go when they need spiritual help? I have a problem with atheists wanting their own chaplain but given the choice of that or no one to talk to, something has to be done. As for congress putting a ban in place, that is among the most stupid stunts they have pulled. Consider the fact that military suicides and attempted suicides are at an all time high, there isn't much these folks have gotten right.
The Would-Be Chaplain Who Doesn't Believe in God
Stars and Stripes
by Leo Shane III
Jul 29, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Jason Heap wants to be a Navy chaplain. But he doesn't believe in God.

Belief in a higher power, the 38-year-old humanist argues, has nothing to do with that work.

"I am aware there are many who would be reticent or militant against that," he said. "But at the end of the day, my job is not to inculcate my viewpoints onto other people. My job as a chaplain is to be a facilitator, someone who cares for people, someone who is a sounding board."

Heap submitted his application to the Armed Forces Chaplains Board earlier this month, in an effort to become the first humanist chaplain in military history.

He holds master's degrees from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University and Oxford University, and has almost finished a doctorate too. He has been teaching religious studies to teenagers in Britain for the last five years and has been conducting scholarly research on 17th century Baptist literature for longer than that.

He passed his physical and is eager to become a sailor.

Supporters argue he would be a shoo-in to serve as a chaplain if he were a practicing Christian.

But Heap's application comes at a time when lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing to bar atheists from joining the chaplain corps, arguing that only "religious" officials should be able to fill those roles.

Last week, House lawmakers approved an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill designed to block the Pentagon from accepting chaplains who don't believe in a god.
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