So people think the US Armed Forces should provide the therapeutic service of the Chaplaincy to it’s atheist and agnostic servicemen. And needless to say? The Christians are up in arms! What’s that? Humanist Chaplains? Next we will be having women in the army! Oh wait what? Well at least there aren’t any gays! Oh you are kidding me right?
First up? Everyone’s Favourite organisation with misleading name, it’s the Family Research Council.
Atheists aren’t just looking for a platform in the military — they’re looking for a pulpit. In one of the more bizarre storylines from the Defense debate, a handful of House Democrats have been working to establish a chapter of non-believing chaplains in the ranks. So far, two representatives — Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) — have introduced measures to create “non-theist” chaplains, only to see them flame out in committee. Groups like the Secular Coalition, who helped hatch this crazy idea, argue that nonbelievers suffer the same fear and pain that affects every service member.
Lest we forget. The Family Research Council considers other religious groups to be “atheist” at best (What? You aren’t saying that Hinduism is real now are you?) and at worst “Satanic”. Yet it’s fully capable of understanding that those particular groups of people in the US Armed Forces get access to chaplains who understand their moral issues and needs.
So why should atheists not have the same right as “those” atheists? I mean come on. Does Tony Perkins suddenly accept the existence of Shiva and Vishnu as equally valid beings?
But isn’t that why the military has psychologists? And, as Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who is a reserve Air Force chaplain, pointed out, nothing is stopping atheists from visiting the chaplains who are already available. In fact, Collins said he’s counseled several non-believers over the years. “What I have found so many times [is that] people in our world today just need someone to listen,” he said.
Because the Chaplains who are already available are not educated in what humanism means. In addition the Chaplaincy has a record of being incredibly condescending to beliefs not shared by the individual chaplain.
The fact of the matter is that the post of Chaplain is an inherently religious one and therefore a post off discrimination. So far in order to hold the post you have to believe in a bloody fantasy. It’s like “Chief Tooth Fairy Worshipper”. It’s bloody daft.
We need to listen, but many Chaplains aren’t doing any listening. And the Tony himself said it.
Christianity views the Army as a ripe ground for flogging religion. The reason Tony fears atheist chaplains is that suddenly Christians will no longer have free reign.
The fact that Congress is even debating the idea of creating non-faith faith leaders is a sign of how absurd this debate about religious liberty has become. By definition, a chaplain’s duties are to offer prayer, spiritual counseling, and religious instruction. If that doesn’t disqualify a non-believer, I’m not sure what would! Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), one of the many members flabbergasted that Congress is wasting its time on this, told Fox News, “When it comes to the idea of an atheist chaplain, which is an oxymoron — it’s self-contradictory — what you’re really doing is now saying that we’re going to replace true chaplains with non-chaplain chaplains. It’s just total nonsense, the idea of having a chaplain who is an atheist.”
Humanist Celebrants are a real thing though. The FRC would have you believe that there is nothing but unending bleakness in a non-theistic position. The same organisation that spends money on ensuring the term GLBT are permanently miserable, to the point that I feel that the G should stand for Glum.
And the fear is stupid. No one’s going to replace your precious Christian Chaplains with Atheists who are going to start burning your Bibles (The irony is that we are less likely to burn a book than the Christians who heed the FRC).
What it means is that atheists will now have a chaplain who they can call upon to deal with issues that are non-psychological.
Atheist chaplains are like vegetarian carnivores. They don’t exist! In reality, what secularists are angling for is a position of greater influence. If the military were to expand the chaplaincy to atheists, it would give anti-Christian extremists like Mikey Weinstein an even greater opportunity to sanitize the military — this time, from inside the chaplain corps.
So wait. Are you saying that the mere possession of Chaplains is a benefit to the Christians and so allows them greater influence? You already said that the Atheists are jealous of the unique pulpit given to Christian Chaplains… Hm….
Fortunately, Congressman Fleming knows how the Left operates. As part of the floor debate on the Defense budget bill yesterday (watch his remarks here), Rep. Fleming attached language that would ensure that federal funds aren’t used to appoint chaplains who don’t have an endorsing agency. In other words, candidates for chaplaincy would have to be officially affiliated with a specific faith. His amendment, one of 100 the House considered in Tuesday’s mark-up, coasted through the vote thanks to 26 Democrats — who helped pad the 253-173margin.
Which is just sad. But not as much as what the FRC has done to their own argument.
Interestingly enough, this debate happens to coincide with a new study about the drop in worldwide atheism. Researchers just released four decades of data on “Christianity in Its Global Context, 1970-2010″ and found that the world is more religious now than it was last century. “If this trend continues,” the report suggests, “agnostics and atheists will be a smaller portion of the world’s population in 2020 than they were in 2010.” If atheism is declining, why should its influence increase? Good question — one that Congress should ponder before it panders to more extremists.
On the contrary. We are increasing in the west. I am afraid that’s like suggesting that Christians in the DRC are relevant to the Chaplaincy in the USA.
However the FRC made one important point.
Man that Establishment Clause gets everywhere. Since by the FRC’s admission the Chaplaincy allows Christianity a unique unopposed pulpit and allows for extra advocacy and influence that is unavailable to the minority groups and indeed this “advocacy” has been used to denigrate and demoralise other service men.
I am afraid this means that we shouldn’t have any Chaplains as it is a tacit admission that the Chaplaincy only favours one group of people who believe in one particular imaginary being.
Or you know. We have humanist chaplains.