Lawmakers battle over push to create military ‘chaplain’ for atheists

by
July 24, 2013

Members of Congress are set to square off over a push to create military chaplains for people who do not believe in God.

The effort to create a chaplain for atheists and “humanists” has been building over the last several weeks. While the title might sound inherently contradictory, supporters say the point is to give atheists in the military someone who will pro-actively reach out to them and facilitate meetings.

Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Free Thinkers, claims that 23 percent of those in the military ranks assert no religious preference. And he argues chaplains are not providing enough “positive outreach and support” in the way “they do for all of those beliefs that aren’t their own.”

As might be expected, the campaign is running into some heated criticism.

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