On Tuesday, July 22, the American Humanist Association will hold a congressional briefing about the need for Humanist chaplains in the military. Speakers include Jason Torpy (President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers), Stephen Boyd (retired colonel and military chaplain), and Major Ryan Jean (current military member).
This briefing is intended to educate members of Congress about the importance of including humanist chaplains in the U.S. military. With over 13,000 active duty personnel identifying themselves as atheists or agnostics, nonbelievers outnumber all non-Christian faiths in the military. Additionally, 276,000 individuals in the military label themselves as having no religious preference. Since the defeat of the Polis Amendment last year, which would require the military to provide for the needs of humanist servicemembers, these soldiers are chronically underserved. Nonthesist military members can benefit from the confidential guidance and comfort provided by humanist chaplains as they endure the stresses of combat and separation from their families. However, all applicants to become humanist military chaplains have so far been rejected. This vital yet unmet need by humanist military personnel requires Congressional consideration and attention.
The AHA is urging people to ask their representatives to attend the briefing and they offer an easy way to get in touch with them. It took me just a few seconds to do, so do it!
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