By: Mark D. Faram
4 hours ago
A command religious ministries department divisional officer and a chaplain baptize a sailor aboard the carrier George Washington. A self-described "humanist" has had multiple attempts at becoming a Navy chaplain denied.
(MC3 Eric S. Brann/Navy)
Lawmakers are applauding a decision by Navy officials to reject the application of a secular humanist — called an atheist by many — to be a Navy chaplain.
It’s the second time the sea service has declined to accept Jason Heap, who calls himself a “humanist” and and a “non-theist,” into the chaplain corps.
A “humanist” is one who doesn’t believe in a god, but in the natural ability of humans to “lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity,” according to the Humanist Society.
The latest denial of Heap’s application is at the center of a debate on whether or not one who doesn’t believe in a deity can serve as a military chaplain.
Despite the swirling debate around Heap’s beliefs, or lack thereof, no one is denying his qualifications. Heap holds a master’s degree in divinity from Texas Christian University as well as a theological history degree from Oxford.
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Actually, he's been trying since 2013.