Humanist Jason Heap applied for Navy Chaplaincy. His application was reviewed and considered along with all the others, but was not chosen to serve.
Those on the right are touting this as a victory that God-believing religions are the only approved religious organizations recognized by the Navy for chaplaincy. Those on the left are saying he was not chosen because he was endorsed by a non-approved religious organization.
It’s true, according to the Navy, a chaplain endorsed by the Humanists Society does not meet the minimum qualifications to serve in that capacity for the Navy. But is that really the reason he was not selected? Neither he nor the Navy have confirmed as to why he was not chosen. Everyone is just assuming it’s because of his “religious” affiliation.
A Navy spokesman said that less than 50% of applicants are selected due to the highly competitive nature of the position. So the real question that needs to be answered before all this speculation continues is… was he denied the chaplaincy because he’s a Humanist? Once that question is answered, the really burning questions can begin, like… how does an atheist chaplain provide spiritual guidance to someone when they don’t believe in spiritual guidance?
It’s a bit of a quandary. Some Humanists are deists, but most are atheists. And most atheists reject the notion that they are a “religion”. Chaplaincy by definition is a clergy or minister for a religious organization and the Navy requires that stated affiliation for qualification. It’s a sticky wicket…
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