Atheists are pushing for the military to have chaplains for atheists in the military. Uhm, we already have them. They’re called chaplains. An atheist has as much right to go see a chaplain as anyone else.
If an atheist wants an atheist to talk to, they’re called psychologists or counselors.
The NY Times reports:
In the military, there are more than 3,000 chaplains who minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of active duty troops, regardless of their faiths. The vast majority are Christians, a few are Jews or Muslims, one is a Buddhist. A Hindu, possibly even a Wiccan may join their ranks soon.
But an atheist?
Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large — and largely underground — population of nonbelievers in the military.
Joining the chaplain corps is part of a broader campaign by atheists to win official acceptance in the military. Such recognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.
But winning the appointment of an atheist chaplain will require support from senior chaplains, a tall order. Many chaplains are skeptical: Do atheists belong to a “faith group,” a requirement for a chaplain candidate? Can they provide support to religious troops of all faiths, a fundamental responsibility for chaplains?
As to the question of whether atheism is a “faith group” I would say that it takes a great amount of faith to be an atheist. Believing that the entire universe and every human being who ever lived was just a random act of crazy chance takes an enormous amount of faith. But it doesn’t deserve a chaplaincy. This kind of foolish chase after some sort of elusive equality only seeks to make all things unintelligible. Words mean things. Chaplains are clergy. To expand the definition to atheism thins out the meaning of the word to non-existence.
Secularists are doing it with marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. But some don’t want to get married to the opposite sex so they want to expand the term and the institution into meaninglessness.
If the military accedes to this atheist chaplaincy request, it wouldn’t be expanding the use of chaplains, it would make it the entire institution meaningless. But isn’t that what atheists are all about -meaninglessness?