Free Markets, Free People


Atheist “chaplains” in the military?

So atheism is now a religion?  What am I missing here?

Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large — and largely underground — population of nonbelievers in the military.

Ok, then don’t believe – but why in the world does a group of nonbelievers need a “chaplain” to represent them in the military?  Well according to them it would make things more convenient, I guess:

Joining the chaplain corps is part of a broader campaign by atheists to win official acceptance in the military. Such recognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.

“Official acceptance”?  You’re a nonbeliever.  Who has to “accept” that?  Be what you are.  You need others to help spread your literature and advertise your events?  Why?  It’s about not doing something isn’t it?

The whole point is lost on me – except the fact that these are militant atheists who have made their nonbelief into a sort of pseudo-religion, and, as Saul Alinsky taught, want to use their opponents rules against them.

As for the military chaplain ploy, here’s their problem:

But winning the appointment of an atheist chaplain will require support from senior chaplains, a tall order. Many chaplains are skeptical: Do atheists belong to a “faith group,” a requirement for a chaplain candidate? Can they provide support to religious troops of all faiths, a fundamental responsibility for chaplains?

The answer to question one is “no” if you ask most real atheists.  The answer to question two is also “no”.  So they are 0-2 on the requirements necessary to be a chaplain.  As  a kid I grew up in non-denominational army chapels that conducted faith based services.  How does a atheist do that?  They don’t.  In fact, atheists don’t hold services at all, faith based or otherwise.  That’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

And:

Military atheist leaders say that although proselytizing by chaplains is forbidden, Christian beliefs pervade military culture, creating subtle pressures on non-Christians to convert.

Which is interesting since what the atheists are trying to do is set up a mechanism where they can proselytize their nonbelief – something they claim to hate about religions.  What, not enough atheists to suit them?

Seriously – this is an absurdity that true atheists all over should denounce. 

Geez.

~McQ

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31 Responses to Atheist “chaplains” in the military?

  • Military atheist leaders say that although proselytizing by chaplains is forbidden, Christian beliefs pervade military culture, creating subtle pressures on non-Christians to convert. [emphasis mine - dj505]

    If it was a question of overt pressure – “My CO told me that I’ll never get promoted until he sees me in church” – then I’d say that the atheists have a beef.  But “subtle pressures”?  Gee, could that be from the fact that the military, like the American population in general, is and always has been overwhelmingly Christian?  I realize that it must be uncomfortable being a minority, but (A) it’s sometimes part of life and (B) military service is completely voluntary, so this is a discomfort that can easily be avoided.

    This is the “ME!” generation in operation.  “You MUST cater to my every want and whim, or I’ll raise hell about it!” Shall we next hear demands for Wiccan chaplains?  Buddhist?  Shinto?  satanic?

    I also note that military bases, while perhaps not plunk in the middle of sprawling metropolises, typically aren’t in the middle of a desolate waste, either, and GI’s are free to go off-post for various personal matters if their duty and disciplinary status permits.

    [R]ecognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.

    Because I was never on active duty, perhaps I missed that part of the chaplain’s job was to “advocate” and “pass out literature”.  My experience with our brigade chaplain was pretty much what one would expect: non-denominational service on Sunday morning, counseling or assistance with personal problems if desired, and a friendly presence when I bumped into him around the armory or camp.  The only “literature” that he or his assistant passed out were copies of the order of service or a hymnal.

    I’m also a bit curious about how an atheist chaplain would deal with non-atheists in his unit.  A chaplain is supposed to be there for ALL of the troops.

    Color me cynical, but I think that’s what this is about: getting RID of the chaplains.  “You aren’t catering to everybody, so you can’t do it for ANYBODY.”

    Bah.

    • “Shall we next hear demands for Wiccan chaplains?”

      I seem to recall, they already have.

    • Wicca is a religion.  Atheism … not so much.

    • If it was a question of overt pressure – “My CO told me that I’ll never get promoted until he sees me in church” – then I’d say that the atheists have a beef.  But “subtle pressures”?  Gee, could that be from the fact that the military, like the American population in general, is and always has been overwhelmingly Christian?

      There’s dozens of reports of not-so-subtle pressure. Evidently what’s proper for one is improper for another and “majority rules” includes thuggery.

      • Then I say that these should be addressed by the chain of command.  A soldier’s religious beliefs should have no more bearing on his efficiency reviews / advancement than his color, political views, height, etc.

  • So atheism is now a religion?

    It seems that Madeline Murray O’Hare in fact made it a recognized religion while in pursuit of a tax exemption for her atheist group, American Atheists.

    • The scary part here is that I can see somebody using this to support ObamaCare.
      Here is an example of a non-belief system being declared a belief system.  I can see the argument for a simile with commerce and non-commerce.  But I can then see a simile for non-payment being a payment (of taxes).

  • Interesting.  Supports what I have always said about atheism.  It is a religious system…and it has gained a place as the state religion in the U.S., now shared with environmental and other hogwash.  It makes perfectly perverse sense for there to be atheist chaplains.

    • Exactly what does an “atheist chaplain” do ?
      Comfort somebody by telling them that God isn’t there to help you ?  … you will have to suck it up yourself ?  Isn’t this the function of your drill sergeant ?   Hmmm … problem solved.

      • But my drills insisted they WERE god…!!!  To some extent, I believed

        • At least for the first few weeks of basic, I was pretty sure that my drill sergeants had more in common with the other guy than with God…

  • This is stupid.  If you don’t believe, and are firm in your convictions, who cares what subtle pressures exist, your reasoning should be able to withstand such pressures, and if it can’t, maybe you need to re-evaluate your position (same goes for Christians, etc, who get all pissy when people disagree with them on matters of faith).  I’m agnostic, and I was easily able to ignore the evangelicals on my ship without a worry.
    That being said, non-believers do often get overt pressure to convert.  The MRFF (http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/) gets letters regularly from soldiers, sailors, and airmen who are persecuted for their beliefs, or lack thereof.

    • Non-drinkers also get pressure to drink, non-gamblers also get pressure to gamble.
      Do we make Charlie Sheen or Steve Winn a chaplain ?

    • “non-believers do often get overt pressure to convert.”
      EVERYBODY often gets overt pressure to convert. Ever heard of the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Unless you live in a tree in the woods, with no tracks leading to it, you have probably been visited by them. It also seems, according the referenced article, that atheists seem to want to engage in a little overt pressure themselves.
      ” gets letters regularly from soldiers, sailors, and airmen who are persecuted for their beliefs, or lack thereof.”
      Persecuted, or pestered? I really doubt that anyone has been actually persecuted. Unless things have radically changed nobody really gives a flying figleaf what anyone’s religious beliefs are.
       

  • This is collateral action to “queering the military.” I would be very surprised if it doesn’t happen, the “atheist chaplains.” They will be justified on grounds such as the need for atheist soldiers to be counselled about their deepest ethical and moral sentiments, without hearing about a deity they don’t believe in.

    That in turn will become a position from which politicized and radicalized “atheists” (in quotes because atheism will not be the half of it) will challenge “religion-based moral judgments.” This will make a nice “congregation” point for open homosexuals to use for challenging all sorts of “homophobic” military practices. It’s helpful to remember that the “gay agenda” is a radical Left agenda, and is probably the easiest Alynskyite movement to identify in America, one that virtually any American will do anything to avoid having in his or her face.

    Both the repeal of DADT and this action share the nexus of political correctness, which is the door that Left radicalism is using to enter the military.

  • As if we needed more proof of what harm drugs do to the Nations metal heath. It’s all a Belladonic dream…

  • I’m a conservative atheist, and while I understand their desire to gain more acceptance in the military (as atheists are looked down on, and often expected to participate in Christian activities (ie. prayer), I find this attempt ridiculous.  And the idea that there are no atheists in foxholes is complete rubbish.
    http://www.militaryatheists.org/

  • This is just a part of the militant atheist push against Christianity.  I got no problem with atheists who simply let me know that they don’t believe in God, and that’s that.  But there are a branch of militant atheists in this country, they are filled with antipathy, hate, and fear of believers, (really just Christians).
      That is why they take ridiculous positions such as advocating for a name change for the city of Los Cruzes.

  • As a lifelong atheist, but not an Atheist(tm), I also see no point at all in atheist “meetings” or “events”.
    Last I checked not-believing-in-God was not a religion. At least, it damned well shouldn’t be.
    If you need a not-believing-in-God support group, “ur doin it rong“, as they say on the internet.
    (If you’re not sure, congratulations! You’re an agnostic!)
     

    • You know, this suggests a good anti-Alinsky tactic: NON-BELIEVERS UNITE!

      “I don’t believe in (insert deity here).  I DEMAND a support group for me and my fellow non-believers!”

      Insert “Allah” and watch the fur fly…

    • “I also see no point at all in atheist “meetings” or “events”.”
      Maybe it’s to reaffirm the whole “yeah, this is it, we’re just meat computers” thing, sit around, yuck it up, talk about how pointless life is, laugh at the cosmic level joke, talk about the point of bothering to have any morality and where inalienable rights might actually come from.

      Maybe some atheists have a need to save other people by pointing out they really don’t have any soul, you know?
      Being an agnostic myself, I DO get why those who believe might be inspired to spread the word, I’m puzzled why those
      who don’t would give a rat’s ass.

    • Organized non-belief does seem like an oxymoron.

  • Boy, oh boy! The idiotic legends posted here are incredible. I guess those who still adhere to superstition, while ragging the Islamics for much the same, show their true colors.

    • Why don’t you convert to Islam and get ahead of the curve.  LOL

    • Actually, I hold my personal beliefs to be sancrosanct, and I feel the same toward others beliefs.  I find it rude to make fun or belittle anyone personal beliefs as long as they are not in the process of trying to proselytize me.  I suggest you try the same.

    • I am still trying to figure out what ‘legends’, idiotic or otherwise,  were posted here. Perhaps you can help me out?

    • I guess those who still adhere to superstition, while ragging the Islamics for much the same, show their true colors.”
      Well, maybe because a lot of the “idiotic legends” (not) posted here don’t involve stoning and cutting off people’s heads for NOT believing in the idiotic legend (that they may have once no longer counts, we’re talking TODAY, not 500 years ago).
      I don’t mock Islamics for believing in something, it’s what they DO with their beliefs that concerns me, the same way it would if i lived next to a village of Aztecs.

      Furthermore, in defense of those who perceive intelligent action behind all of this as Hamlet observed, “for what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause”.  Even if it’s merely concern for the “dread of something after death” that motivates them.

      I’m with Neo, you keep to yours, I’ll keep to mine.

      Given that atheists have presumably pursued a trail of hard logic that leads them to conclude there is nothing it is logically puzzling as to why they would need to have that belief in nothingness ‘represented’ by a ‘chaplain’.

  • Atheism seems to have the properties of a religion, at least by the conduct of the adherents.  And in public institutions, its the endorsed religion.

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