Is the U.S. military anti-atheist? An interview with Jason Torpy

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Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, speaks on a panel about the freethought movement during the 2013 Religion Newswriters Association Conference in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 28, 2013. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow.

Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, speaks on a panel about the freethought movement during the 2013 Religion Newswriters Association Conference in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 28, 2013. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow.

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"There is a very powerful minority—about 19 percent—of military personnel representing evangelistic and anti-atheist constituencies in the military." Former U.S. Army Captain and President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers Jason Torpy speaks with RNS.

  • Larry

    “Psychiatrists and chaplains have different education, skill sets, services, and job descriptions, so there’s just no reason to suggest one could replace the other.”

    More importantly seeing a psychiatrist has a much different effect on one’s career prospects in the military than seeing a chaplain.
    http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/06/stigma-war.aspx
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7800175
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18333488

  • Garson Abuita

    Who is the proposed endorsing body for atheist or humanist chaplains and lay leaders? Are they going to be viewed as separate “distinctive faith communities” — I believe this is the DoD terminology.

  • “And the back-and-forth you are seeing is that struggle between atheists and Humanists in need, and the desire for Christian privilege and demonization of atheists.”

    It is so rich.

    Atheists are the demonic ones? I guess it is because we object to things like this:

    GOD RECOMMENDS RAPING THE PRETTY SLAVE GIRLS AS SPOILS OF WAR

    “When you go out to war…and the LORD delivers them into your hand… if you see a comely woman among the enslaved and become so enamored of her….you may take her home….you may have sexual relations with her.” (Deuteronomy 21:10-14)

    JESUS REINFORCES
    “Jesus answered them, ‘I and My Father are one.’ ” (John 10:30-33)

    To object to this
    Is considered demonic?

    So pathetic.

    __
    AM
    For Peace, Religious Freedom, and the Separation of Church and State

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  • Larry

    There already are Humanist bodies for wedding officiants. I am sure they can come up with one for chaplains as well.

  • Garson Abuita

    The subsequent article on the lawsuit against the Navy gives more information. The proposed endorser is the Humanist Society.

  • Larry

    There you go. 🙂

  • Mike

    Chaplains exist for the purpose of providing for the “free exercise of religion”. Given that humanists and atheists don’t believe in religion, they have no standing to claim the right to be chaplains, unless of course they want to acknowledge that being humanist or atheist is a religion.

    In the military, no chaplain, or military member for that matter, may degenerate the religious belief of another (that would be intolerance). I don’t know many atheists or humanists who can go very long without degenerating organized religions especially Christianity.

  • LARRY

    Quite untrue. Chaplains have generally taken on a role as de facto counselors. But don’t let that get in the way of your infantile jabs.

    Its funny because the people who are the the most offensive to other beliefs usually call themselves Christians. There is no group in the US more hostile to free exercise of religion and the separation of church and state. Such types tend to make poor chaplains.

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