US Navy Again Rejects Humanist Chaplain Jason Heap

For the second time, the US Navy has denied the application of Dr. Jason Heap to become a “humanist chaplain” in the sea service. A Navy board had supported his appointment; when word of that decision leaked, members of both the House and Senate wrote the Navy in protest. Those congressmen have now revealed that the Navy has rejected Heap’s application, again.

Heap’s application as been widely opposed by religious liberty groups, largely because humanism isn’t a religion — and the chaplaincy is religious.

On that point, Hemant Mehta, the poorly named “Friendly Atheist”, has officially arrived, being quoted in Todd Starnes’ FoxNews column. Mehta said [formatting original]:

[Wicker] refers to Heap as an “atheist” applying for a “religious position.” Heap is a Humanist, and that’s an important distinction, because last year, the Department of Defense added Humanism to its list of “Faith and Belief” groups, making the case for Heap’s inclusion in the chaplaincy even stronger.

As far as the military is concerned, Humanism is a religion.

As previously noted, Mehta doesn’t appear to be fully on board with Heap’s application to begin with — and his apathy appears to be affecting his argument. Here, Mehta makes a fundamental error, because while the Navy did add Humanism to its list of belief groups, as noted then, that list has nothing to do with the chaplaincy.  Even better, though, the DoD list Mehta cites also includes “atheist” and “agnostic.”

So, by Mehta’s logic, “as far as the military is concerned, atheism is a religion.”

Checkmate, Hemant.