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Humanist seeks to become military chaplain

Humanist seeks to become military chaplain

Jason Heap holds master’s degrees from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University and Oxford University, and is close to finishing his doctorate. He teaches religious studies and is a scholar on 17th-century Baptist literature. He wants to be a Navy chaplain.

But he doesn’t believe in God. Stars and Stripes reports:

“I am aware there are many who would be reticent or militant against that,” (Heap) said. “But at the end of the day, my job is not to inculcate my viewpoints onto other people. My job as a chaplain is to be a facilitator, someone who cares for people, someone who is a sounding board.”

Heap submitted his application to the Armed Forces Chaplains Board earlier this month, in an effort to become the first humanist chaplain in military history.

Supporters argue he would be a shoo-in to serve as a chaplain if he were a practicing Christian.

But Heap’s application comes at a time when lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing to bar atheists from joining the chaplain corps, arguing that only “religious” officials should be able to fill those roles.

Read more here.


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