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Thread: House legislation would rule out atheist chaplains

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    House legislation would rule out atheist chaplains

    http://www.militarytimes.com/article...eist-chaplains


    A conservative lawmaker is once again looking at ways to blunt any effort to let atheist chaplains join the military, calling it an attack on all religions.
    “Faith and spiritual leadership are integral and inseparable from the institution of the chaplain corps,” Fleming said. “It would be difficult for an individual lacking in any faith to be appointed as a military chaplain without first dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy and making significant changes to [defense] policy.”
    Even as one who is "not fortunate enough to be a person of faith"...I don't particularly get the need for a Humanist chaplain...but, I also don't get how having one would be an attack on all religions and dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy.

    Perhaps in the same way that gay marriage threatens non-gay marriage? But, yeah, I don't get that one either

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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    http://www.militarytimes.com/article...eist-chaplains






    Even as one who is "not fortunate enough to be a person of faith"...I don't particularly get the need for a Humanist chaplain...but, I also don't get how having one would be an attack on all religions and dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy.

    Perhaps in the same way that gay marriage threatens non-gay marriage? But, yeah, I don't get that one either
    I agree with both points you made. Not sure why they'd want one, not sure why anybody would be against it.

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    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    We have discussed this here before and no cogent argument was made for 'humanist' chaplains then either.

    As to why anyone would be against it the statement stands by itself. Hyperbole of it being an attack on all religions aside the part about dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy seems to make sense. I would hardly think a Christian Scientist surgeon would make much sense either. Diametric opposing belief systems it would seem.

    There is the unanswered question of why any atheist would want to be a chaplain which by its very definition is a position of faith. Perhaps another agenda? That is the usual and most obvious answer.

    There seems to be this growing trend in the country to expand every single group, regardless of it intended makeup and purpose to be 100 percent encompassing of the entire population. Silly stuff really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    http://www.militarytimes.com/article...eist-chaplains






    Even as one who is "not fortunate enough to be a person of faith"...I don't particularly get the need for a Humanist chaplain...but, I also don't get how having one would be an attack on all religions and dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy.

    Perhaps in the same way that gay marriage threatens non-gay marriage? But, yeah, I don't get that one either
    Neither can i. BUT i would like to know how an Atheist could even BE a Chaplain, since there is no power/religion or doctrine for them to follow..

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    We have discussed this here before and no cogent argument was made for 'humanist' chaplains then either.

    As to why anyone would be against it the statement stands by itself. Hyperbole of it being an attack on all religions aside the part about dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy seems to make sense. I would hardly think a Christian Scientist surgeon would make much sense either. Diametric opposing belief systems it would seem.

    There is the unanswered question of why any atheist would want to be a chaplain which by its very definition is a position of faith. Perhaps another agenda? That is the usual and most obvious answer.

    There seems to be this growing trend in the country to expand every single group, regardless of it intended makeup and purpose to be 100 percent encompassing of the entire population. Silly stuff really.

    One can be "spiritual" without being religious and who would it possibly hurt? Again, I don't see why anyone would want to do it and I can't see why anyone would be against it.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    http://www.militarytimes.com/article...eist-chaplains






    Even as one who is "not fortunate enough to be a person of faith"...I don't particularly get the need for a Humanist chaplain...but, I also don't get how having one would be an attack on all religions and dismantling the purpose of the chaplaincy.

    Perhaps in the same way that gay marriage threatens non-gay marriage? But, yeah, I don't get that one either
    We already have atheist chaplains. They're called psychiatrists.

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    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    One can be "spiritual" without being religious and who would it possibly hurt? Again, I don't see why anyone would want to do it and I can't see why anyone would be against it.
    I will assume you mean spiritual in a idomatic context since the very definition of the word evokes religious or mystical belief systems.

    I don't think it would necessarily 'hurt' anyone but it could tend to diminish the whole chaplaincy. Again, the very root purpose of the chaplaincy is to serve military members' spiritual needs. If you don't hold any spiritual beliefs how and why would you seek to serve in an organization whose almost sole purpose is to do so?

    I just think it is plain silly and without real merit and think there is a wider, more disingenuous agenda at work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    I will assume you mean spiritual in a idomatic context since the very definition of the word evokes religious or mystical belief systems.

    I don't think it would necessarily 'hurt' anyone but it could tend to diminish the whole chaplaincy. Again, the very root purpose of the chaplaincy is to serve military members' spiritual needs. If you don't hold any spiritual beliefs how and why would you seek to serve in an organization whose almost sole purpose is to do so?

    I just think it is plain silly and without real merit and think there is a wider, more disingenuous agenda at work.
    Exactly. Atheists don't believe in anything, so how can they have any "Spiritual" needs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    I will assume you mean spiritual in a idomatic context since the very definition of the word evokes religious or mystical belief systems.
    That's exactly what I mean...and that's why I put it in quotes.

    I don't think it would necessarily 'hurt' anyone but it could tend to diminish the whole chaplaincy. Again, the very root purpose of the chaplaincy is to serve military members' spiritual needs. If you don't hold any spiritual beliefs how and why would you seek to serve in an organization whose almost sole purpose is to do so?
    What about for the reasons of confidentiality? Maybe someone wants to go talk to someone that is absolutely confidential, but feel uncomfortable with it being a religious leader?

    I just think it is plain silly and without real merit and think there is a wider, more disingenuous agenda at work.
    There may be but, even if there is, it doesn't affect anything. At all. I would also think they'd be required to have a certain number of people using the chaplain service in order to keep the slot. If he/she wasn't utilized then there would be no reason to keep them around. Other than that, no big deal (unless, of course, the purpose was to "teach" anti-religion).

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    I guess the biggest issue I have will all of this is that I can't figure out why everyone is AGAINST something. I think that's the biggest difference with politics now and 25-30 years ago. People used to be FOR something. Now it's just telling us why something is wrong, not how to make it right.

    An atheist chaplain takes absolutely nothing away from me...it does not affect my "rights" at all. It seems the opposition is that people just don't want other people doing something. I say we worry about how to make things better, not about the things that we think will make things worse.

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