Tag Archives: jason heap

Non-Theists Argue Titles, Chaplain Amendment

In a revealing outcry, many “non-religious” persons have criticized the vote by the US House to prevent non-religious personnel from becoming chaplains.

In that vein, atheist Jason Torpy has tried to promote the premise that the Defense Appropriations amendment proposed by US Rep John Fleming (R-La) didn’t actually do anything, demonstrating the “ignorance” of the Congressman.

“The [amendment] only requires adherence to the applicable instruction, which in no way restricts chaplains to only those who believe in some higher power,” he said. “Their amendment does nothing…It just shows their ignorance about atheists, humanists, and military regulations.”

Actually, Torpy’s statement demonstrates his ignorance.  The clear language of the amendment indicates it wasn’t written to restrict chaplains to “those who believe in a higher power.”  Torpy simply erected a straw man.  What it was intended to do was prevent non-religious personnel from entering the religious field of the chaplaincy — and that it clearly does.  The amendment simply requires the DoD to continue Read more

Humanist Seeks to be Navy Chaplain

Religion News Service’s Kimberly Winston* writes about Jason Heap, a humanist trying to become a chaplain in the US military.

Heap’s goal is not assured. He fits the requirements…The only thing he does not have is an endorsement from a religious organization approved by the Navy.

And there’s the rub: Heap is a Humanist…The Humanist Society — like all organizations that represent nonbelievers — is not among the Department of Defense’s list of approximately 200 groups allowed to endorse chaplains.

Ultimately, the article does little more than try to keep the concept of “atheist chaplains” (which have been discussed ad nauseum) in the media, and it says little new.

On the other hand, the article does include a fascinating response from DoD spokesman LtCmdr Nate Christensen on “why there are no nonbelievers Read more

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