Pandered to Christians, and
Put on a show;
“Atheist chaplains? That’s
Members then voted
Via the huffpo, video of the House Armed Services Committee, debating an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment was quite simple:
Sec. 502. Inclusion in the Chaplain Corps of Persons Available to provide guidance and counsel to members of the armed forces who are atheist, agnostic, or belong to no organized faith group.
The Secretary of Defense shall provide for the appointment, as officers in the Chaplain Corps of the Armed Forces, of persons who are certified or ordained by non-theistic organizations and institutions, such as humanist, ethical culturalist, or atheist.
But not quite as simple as the Republican members of the committee. The video is brief, but you’ll want to watch to the end, for the loud and self-satisfied chorus of “no!”
Marcus Ranum says
As the Pope of Atheism, I am prepared to ordain any atheist — for a nominal fee.
When I am at the end of my life, and I hope it won”t be for quite some time, my truest wish will be that I am surrounded by family and that any others present respect my own belief. I absolutely do not wish to hear some bullshit about being reunited with my family in heaven. Tell me some good dirty jokes.
Bravo on the Double Dactyl poem. :)
Seamus Ruah says
@ Marcus Ranum.
False Pope! FALSE POPE!!
True atheists only follow the One True Atheist Pope(tm).
Save that headline. By simply swapping out the fourth and fifth words you can use it for EVERYTHING.
The Republicans are really trying to be the party of God. I hope they are happy while heading down the road to insignificance.
Maybe they have figured out that Atheists are so superior, they don’t need any chaplain for help and support.
David Marjanović says
…Wouldn’t an atheist chaplain just be a psychologist?
No, actually, David; psychologists play a different role. As I understand it, anyone in the armed forces can see a psychologist or counselor, but any such meetings would be part of their official record. The equivalent meeting with a chaplain–even if for exactly the same issues, and even if the same counsel is given, is not part of any record. The office of chaplain thus offers a very tangible material benefit, disguised as a spiritual service. Atheists deserve, and want, that same material benefit.
Of course, a separate office could be created to serve that role, but the office of chaplain already exists, already performs that service, and would require nothing more than this simple amendment to apply to atheists as well. (Yes, atheist can and do visit with religious chaplains, but it seems that some are actively being counseled to seek Jesus as cure.)
Some make the argument that Christian chaplains are already trained to be sensitive to all beliefs. If that is false, atheist chaplains are desperately needed. If that is true, the argument that atheist chaplains could look beyond their own personal views is an unfounded claim. There is no reason *not* to have atheist chaplains, and every reason *to* have them.
Tsu Dho Nimh says
anyone in the armed forces can see a psychologist or counselor, but any such meetings would be part of their official record. The equivalent meeting with a chaplain–even if for exactly the same issues, and even if the same counsel is given, is not part of any record
Exactly … psychological services are part of your medical records, but a chat with the chaplin is off the record.
Having chaplains is also key, I have read, to on-base meeting space being provided.
David Marjanović says
Ah. That ought to be changed immediately.
That ought to be changed immediately, too!