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Thoughts on Atheist or humanist chaplains?

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notsue 3
Tee C 2
Gemini09 2
soldierboy54 2
Silverkitten 4
Kangaroo 1
MoreNoBull 1

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Silverkitten (Mod) --- 6 years ago -

Religious scholar who doesn't believe in God wants to become Navy chaplain. What say any of you? 

notsue --- 6 years ago -

I'd lie about my beliefs to become a chaplain if it was something I really wanted to do. Not believing in god doesn't affect your ability to help people. The job involves working with people of all different religions, not just Christians, so I'm confused as to why it matters which religion he chooses to practice, or not practice. 

soldierboy54 --- 6 years ago -

It matters because, (and this is the definition of a chaplain)--Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister, such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or lay representative of a religious tradition, attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel. Though originally the word "chaplain" referred to representatives of the Christian faith,[1] it is now also applied to people of other religions. That is the definition of a chaplain. I don't believe that person who doesn't believe in a GOD has no right trying to be a "chaplain" 

Gemini09 --- 6 years ago -

I don't think it matters at all. A Chaplain's main goal is to spiritually guide someone. You do not need to be religious to do that. Plus, my husband's last unit chaplain, literally, could give services for any religion. Different religions believe in different versions of Gods.

I would love to have a non-religious chaplain around. I am not into "god", but I do believe in the power of the human spirit, especially when it comes to what we can do together when we put our minds to it. 

Silverkitten (Mod) --- 6 years ago -

JOB DUTIES According to

Providing advice in matters pertaining to religion, morals and morale.

Overseeing a full program of religious ministries, including workshops, counseling sessions, religious education and special events.

Officiate at official ceremonies such as military functions, funerals and memorials.

Provide religious ministry to a variety of armed service personnel and civilians from the U.S., foreign nations and agencies.

While I understand that you don't have to believe in (a)God(s) to help people, I don't know why you would want to become a Chaplain if you don't. Why would you want to be in charge of religious services if you think it's all a bunch of BS and no higher power. Why not become a counselor? While it is true that Chaplains are responsible for covering all services they at least feel they are serving a higher power. I am not saying he should or shouldn't be allowed, I just don't know why he would want to. 

notsue --- 6 years ago -

I'm used to the brigade chaplain giving services for multiple religions. Catholic, Muslim, LDS, etc... Since they do that, I don't understand why the chaplain would have to be Christian to do that job better than the person who's an Atheist. Now if we had different chaplains for each service it'd be different, since theres no atheist service, but that's not the case. 

soldierboy54 --- 6 years ago -

Silverkitten, That was very well said.

Notsue, no one said they had to be "Christian" there are many, many religions that arent christian. But the belief in a higher power, which atheists have none, is what I was saying a chaplain would be good to have. 

notsue --- 6 years ago -

I figured being a religious scholar should have been enough qualification... He cared enough to spend the time in school learning about the different religions.

Example: I agree that if I want to teach math, that I should also enjoy it some and not just study it. However, if I'm a great teacher, it might not make a difference if I like it or not. My personal views on math might not come thru in my teaching if I'm just a great teacher. 

Gemini09 --- 6 years ago -

I personally know someone else who does not believe in God, but would be a Chaplain if he could. He was raised Christian and he believes in the morals and values being taught. He knows the Bible like the back of his hand too.

You can believe in the lessons/morals etc being taught without believing in the higher power itself. 

Kangaroo --- 6 years ago -

Atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc. all also have spiritual needs.

Interestingly, James Madison - called "The Father of the Constitution" - believed the military should have chaplains, but that the churches should supply them at no cost to the government. 

MoreNoBull --- 6 years ago -

Notsue: You would LIE to become a chaplain.... hmm not sure that is such a good thing.

Now, if you are a wife of a chaplain, it is perfectly fine.. lie and cheat as long as you are at servise on Sunday. 

Tee C --- 6 years ago -

I think it's a problem because all chaplains have to be trained and proficient in administering to people of ALL faiths. Meaning a Protestant chaplain can give last rites, a Catholic chaplain can administer a non-catholic communion, etc, etc, etc. 

Silverkitten (Mod) --- 6 years ago -

TeeC it's good to see you back. Where have you been? 

Tee C --- 6 years ago -

Silverkitten, hey :).

I have been enjoying getting old, lol. Seriously, our daughter went off to college this summer so it's just me and her Pa. Our daughter and me are so close I thought I was going to just melt into a puddle but honestly, I'm loving it.

The Underground has been a bit quiet lately so I don't come as often. A lot of the old crew has moved on. Heck, I am at another duty station but I'm still around, lol.

How have you been? 

Silverkitten (Mod) --- 6 years ago -

Hay Tee C, I am good. Busy busy busy all the time. Glad you are enjoying the empty nest even though it's hard to let them go. 

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