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Group Preparing to Press Military for Atheist Chaplain

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posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:41 PM
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Four Chaplains' Medal




The four chaplains were lieutenants in the United States Army: Rev. George L. Fox (Methodist), Rabbi Alexander D. Goode (Jewish), Rev. Clark V. Poling (Reformed Church in America) and Fr. John P. Washington (Roman Catholic). In late 1942, the chaplains were transferred to Camp Myles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts and attended Chaplains School at Harvard University. In January 1943, the chaplains embarked on board the USAT Dorchester, which was transporting over 900 soldiers to the United Kingdom via Greenland.

On February 2, 1943 the German submarine U-223 spotted the convoy on the move and closed with the ships, firing a torpedo which struck the Dorchester shortly after midnight. Hundreds of men packed the decks of the rapidly sinking ship and scrambled for the lifeboats. Several of the lifeboats had been damaged and the four chaplains began to organize frightened soldiers. They distributed life jackets from a locker; when the supply of life jackets ran out, each of the chaplains gave theirs to other soldiers. When the last lifeboats were away, the chaplains prayed with those unable to escape the sinking ship. 27 minutes after the torpedo struck, the Dorchester disappeared below the waves with 672 men still aboard. The last anyone saw of the four chaplains, they were standing on the deck, arms linked and praying together.

As to official military decorations, each of the four chaplains was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.


If any secular humanist chaplain can perform to that high a standard then OP's issues don't matter ok!

Because it didn't matter one iota what type of faith they had ... it is what THEY DID ... that counts!

BTW ... When was the last time you saw a military psychologist in a freaking foxhole on the front line?

There is nothing wrong being inclusive and methinks that this thread is the result of bruised ego's.

What would Jesus Do?




posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:42 PM
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This is ridiculous. Atheism is a lack or a religious belief, therefore why would they want someone to lead them in their non-belief? It is quite hypocritical if you think about it. You cannot have a religious leader if you don't have a religion. Of course atheists maintain their atheism like it is a religion, which is also hypocritical, but a chaplain still makes no sense whatsoever.



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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originally posted by: NavyDoc

originally posted by: AfterInfinity

originally posted by: NavyDoc
a reply to: AfterInfinity

And what reason would that be?


Territory, resources, family, public welfare, personal safety. Not necessarily in that order.


And those would require a chaplain how?




I never said they require a chaplain. You asked me for reasons why someone would give their life in the absence of a god or an afterlife, and that's what I was answering. In answer to your current question...technically speaking, not a single person in the military requires a chaplain. And I'm using the word "require" in the sense that we require food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. Spiritual guidance is not a necessity anymore than books are.
edit on 12-5-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:45 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: NavyDoc
What spirituality are athiests missing out on and what is unique about an athiests version of spirituality (although the concept is self contradictory) that keeps it from not being addressed by a traditional chaplain?


Ummm... There is no God.



What are they missing out on that is not already covered?


I don't know, hon. I don't have the answers. I don't know why you think I do. I just know that if I were having spiritual issues or questions, I wouldn't want to go to a religious leader.


And why would someone need a special type of chaplain for "there is not god?" It seems self evident to atheists, no? What special training does one need to say, "yep, there is no god." (Crickets).

So you don't know what you want but you are sure you want it and know who you don't want to address it but don't know who or why someone else could address it or not, if it exists or not, because you don't know or not. That's pretty clear I guess.



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:46 PM
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That's OK. I find a lot of things people want to be silly. But I'm pretty sure those who want this don't find it silly.

Can I ask... What's the harm? How does it hurt anyone to have a HUMANIST chaplain on board? (The requesters are asking for a "humanist chaplain", not an "atheist" chaplain. That's FOX News and other sensationalism at work.)


There's a contradiction of sorts in the idea of a Humanist Chaplain and seeking the spirituality from a Humanist perspective. Considering the traditional understanding of spirituality, it seems a bit contradictory to be using a Humanist Chaplain to be seeking one's spirituality.



According to Waaijman, the traditional meaning of spirituality is a process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man, the image of God. To accomplish this, the re-formation is oriented at a mold, which represents the original shape: in Judaism the Torah, in Christianity Christ, in Buddhism Buddha, in the Islam Muhammad."[note 2] In modern times spirituality has come to mean the internal experience of the individual. It still denotes a process of transformation, but in a context separate from organized religious institutions: "spiritual but not religious."[5] Houtman and Aupers suggest that modern spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology, mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions.[6]


There is a lot of stuff in that definition, despite the passing reference to humanism, that flies in the face of the definition of Humanism.



Humanism is a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity. • American Humanist Association


It seems to me that most of spirituality is bound up with the mystical, and the mystical is attached to the supernatural.

So, how would a Humanist Chaplain not be a bit contradictory to a spiritual atheist?



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity

Yet, there are many, many people who, when asked to do life or death situations, require spiritual guidance, support, and services otherwise they couldn't do the job asked of them. Agree with it or not, that is the facts of the matter and Chaplains have long served that purpose to take care of our religious service men and women. Demanding a chaplain for literally "nothing" is a bit silly. Like you said. Many people fight for many other things other than a religious belief system and they do not need a chaplain for that. They fight for money? We got a bursar that takes care of that.



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:54 PM
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Is the OP's Author concerned about secular humanist chaplains giving last rights to dying soldiers who may hold a religious conviction?

Can an atheist truly give last rights?



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 05:57 PM
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What ever way you look at this, it is ridiculous.



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:00 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: seeker1963
a reply to: Benevolent Heretic


Ummm... There is no God.


See?

That's where you lose me!

You come out and insult those whom don't believe as you do.......


Whoa! Wait a minute. I think you misunderstood something... I was merely answering NavyDoc's question:
"what is unique about an athiests version of spirituality"?

Besides, saying, "There is no God" is no more insulting than saying, "There IS a God".



Can you see how that is insulting to someone whom believes in God?

The 1st has consequences that is something I see being taken advantage of by those on all sides that don't see a problem with respecting the freedom and rights of all.

I could give a damn if you pray to a can of baked beans! That's your choice! It's the insults from everyone that is destroying all of our freedoms!

That's what politicians feed off of! Personally I would rather give a pint of blood every month as long as we could just respect each other! But we all know that isn't going to happen!
edit on 12-5-2014 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: DietJoke

Is the OP's Author concerned about secular humanist chaplains giving last rights to dying soldiers who may hold a religious conviction?

Can an atheist truly give last rights?



No, and how could they, if they don't believe in anything? Seriously, what is the point of a "chaplain" who does not believe. Belief and serving people who believe (actually everybody and anybody) is the whole point of the chaplain corps. All secular matters are already taken care of by an army of ombudsmen, corpsmen, psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, doctors, nurses, paymasters, legal, stress units, casualty assistance officers, financial aid officers, NCOs, officers, family issues specialists, and so forth. Other than some sort of political correctness point and lefty trolling, what is the logical and practical application and reason behind "atheist chaplains?"



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity

Differences between Atheism and Humanism

Atheism is ONE thing: The lack of belief in a deity.
Humanism is more of a system of beliefs and a humanist CAN believe in God.



• Atheism rejects the existence of god altogether thereby being an absence of belief in god
• Humanism is a generic term applied to theories that take a positive approach of the world and lay emphasis on our shared humanity than on the religions of the world
• Humanists reject the notion that there is any sacred knowledge revealed to human beings by any god.
• Humanism believes in sympathy and caring for other human beings
• Humanists believe that we can have a full life without believing in a god
• An atheist can be a humanist as not believing in god does not stop a person from being a humanist.
• Humanism is a worldview, or an approach to life, whereas atheism is merely absence of belief in gods.
• A humanist is not always an atheist as there are secular and religious humanists too.
• While atheist rejects god, a humanist would say that god is not needed to be moral.


The term "atheist chaplain" is sensationalism created by those who want to insult and marginalize atheists.
edit on 5/12/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc

Please see this post in response. It's a HUMANIST chaplain that is being requested, not an "ATHEIST" Chaplain.



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:16 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: NavyDoc

Please see this post in response. It's a HUMANIST chaplain that is being requested, not an "ATHEIST" Chaplain.

Right. And what is a "humanist" chaplain and what is that "humanist" flock that needs his services and how does one get certified as such and what does one bring to the table that is not already covered?

By the same token, "humanist" is just a nice way of saying atheist by those who are too chicken# to stand up for what they really believe--or not.

The very thing you cut and paste says that religious people can be humanists too, by the very nature of how they put people in regard, so why need a separate "humanist" chaplain when any and all religious chaplains already qualify by the nature of their work and training?
edit on 12-5-2014 by NavyDoc because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic


Humanists reject the notion that there is any sacred knowledge revealed to human beings by any god.


Aaannnddd there goes half the mainstream religions of today's world. Imagine walking up to a Christian and saying, "God never revealed any sacred knowledge to us." Repeat with Mormons, Muslims, Catholics, or Hindus. See what response you get. In fact, try standing on a street corner in any major city throughout the world and see what response you get.

Or this one:


Humanists believe that we can have a full life without believing in a god


Refer to the above and swap out "God never revealed any sacred knowledge to us" for "we can live a full and healthy life without God". Again, see what responses you get. I'd be genuinely curious.

And last, but not least:


Humanism is a generic term applied to theories that take a positive approach of the world and lay emphasis on our shared humanity than on the religions of the world


I think you'll find that a good portion of today's religions would insist that our humanity, and anything shared as a result of it, are only possible because of their god. We're either abominations or amoebas, fit only to be killed or enslaved. Not all religions see it that way, but the ones who do are the ones who talk loudest.

Point being, humanism and theism are technically not mutually exclusive. However, at one point or another, they are bound to discover a serious conflict of interests.
edit on 12-5-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:19 PM
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originally posted by: NavyDoc
The thing is that the military already has secular counselors--psychiatrists, psychologists, financial, legal, family counseling, omnibudsman, and the good old fashioned "talk to your sergeant." That actually works...senior NCOs have seen it all and can provide good counsel.

In addition, chaplains are trained to and expected to listen to and advise atheists and those of all faiths and can give advise and support of a non-religious nature as well, so that's already covered too.

What we have here is what is known as "a solution in search of a problem" and is really just some real life trolling by malcontents.


Can one walk into Chaplin's office and talk with someone without an appointment? Is the same kind of access as a service member has to a Chaplin also as easily accessible and available to see a psychologist?

Are Chaplin conversation held in confidentiality? Are service men and women's psychological records held to same standard of confidentiality?



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc

Oh, Lord! An atheist could go to a Humanist Chaplain and not be "preached" to about praying, turning to God, God's will and such.

I'll ask you, too (although I didn't get an answer from FF) What's the harm? What's the problem with having a humanist chaplain? If an atheist wants someone in the foxhole to talk to, what's the rub? Are we short on them or something? What's the big deal? Why are y'all so resistant to it?



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc

From the source article ...


A separate organization, The Humanist Society, endorsed Oxford-educated religious scholar Jason Heap last year to be the first-ever humanist chaplain in the U.S. Navy.


So a totally separate organization to the Military Association of Atheists and Free Thinkers, who are pushing for the humanist chaplain, and a specifically humanist organization, the Humanist Society, is doing the endorsing.

What they may bring to the table is an atheist psychologist who is in the foxhole with the soldiers instead of in some office with the gear in the rear!



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity

I'm not claiming they're mutually exclusive. A humanist can be an atheist. And an atheist can be a humanist. But they don't share a set of beliefs and one doesn't imply the other. If I were an atheist in battle, I wouldn't want to go to someone that was going to try to convert me or talk about God being the answer, when I don't believe in that.
edit on 5/12/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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a reply to: windword

Yes to all of the above. Methinks a lot of people weighing in didn't serve a day in the military.



posted on May, 12 2014 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc

Is military service a requirement to have an opinion on the subject?



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