Update: Jason Torpy revived the issue enough to generate a Navy Times article, though it contained no new information. In fact, a Navy official reiterated a point made below — even humanists can’t really put bounds on a definition of “humanism:”
“Humanism’s not a defined term across the country,” the official said. “There’s a group of Jewish Humanists. The Humanist Society was once the Humanist Society of Friends, a Quaker organization.”
The official, referring to Heap, continued: “I don’t know that he represents a religious organization by any accepted definition.”
Tom Carpenter, a former Marine pilot and one of the founders of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — the homosexual advocacy group that lobbied for the repeal of DADT — has attacked the Navy chaplaincy for not approving the chaplaincy application of Jason Heap, a self-described non-theistic humanist. Tragically, if not predictably, Carpenter seems to base his attack on “evidence” that does not exist [emphasis added]:
…The Navy Chief of Chaplains rejected the application of Jason Heap, a highly qualified chaplain candidate who would have been the first Humanist military chaplain. All the evidence leads invariably to the conclusion this decision was based upon a Constitutionally prohibited “religious test.”
What public evidence is there the Navy rejected the application based on a “religious test?” None whatsoever.
Carpenter implies — repeatedly — the Navy Read more
The US Navy will soon be deploying 21 “Deployed Resiliency Counselors” (DRCs):
The counseling and support services provided by the DRC are preventative in nature, aimed at addressing life challenges such as adjustment to deployments, separation from friends and family, relationship and family issues, and other challenges to military life. The DRCs are also fully trained to provide an extra layer of support to any victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, assuring that there are no gaps in support services.
In addition, the DRC will provide psycho-educational training on a variety of topics as suicide prevention, stress reduction and substance abuse prevention.
That is, of course, essentially the role of military chaplains — without the provider having an officially religious background. The press release notes Read more
The US Air Force Academy recently reminded its cadets and staff that they have access to free, confidential counseling virtually anytime they want it through the Military Family Life Consultants:
The four Academy MFLCs can meet with service members, their families, Defense Department civilians, or cadets on- or off-base to provide situational, problem-solving counseling support and Read more
Ever since US Rep Jared Polis (D-Co) tried to specifically authorize atheist chaplains in the US military there has been one misrepresentation after another over what the government is “required” to do, or what atheist troops even want.
The most interesting argument is that Congress cannot require a Chaplain to be “religious” because of the Constitution’s prohibition on “no religious test” for public office. It’s a bit pedantic, but at least you can see the (attempted) logic of the argument. (Given the language and reasoning of George Washington’s creation of the military chaplaincy, and even Congress’s own centuries-old chaplaincy, it is unlikely that such semantic gymnastics were their intent.)
Another repeated but misrepresented claim has been that the Appropriations bill amendment sponsored by US Rep John Fleming (R-La) did “nothing” (according to atheist Jason Torpy) because the current regulations allow non-theistic chaplains, so long as their organization is endorsed by the IRS. A PhD writing a blog at the Huffington Read more