Jason Torpy is a committed humanist and vegan. He graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree and from The Ohio State University with a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He served as a Captain with the 1st Armored Division in Iraq and now serves as President of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF), a nonprofit community for atheists and humanists in the military.
**Comments at The Human Animal do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers are any other organizations.**
This is a follow-up to Hemant’s recent post about the re-affirmation of Boy Scout discrimination. This issue is well-known, with a 1995 article from The Humanist surveying federal funding of the Boy Scouts, activities by reform group Scouting For All, and Margaret Downey’s lawsuit against the Boy Scouts. The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (which I lead) has called for an end to federal support of the BSA: The Boy Scouts of America holds a Congressional Charter while discriminating against atheists. The BSA ejects openly… Read more
The God Discussion recently reported on the efforts by Israeli reformers to draft the Ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi Jews, into military service… but the Haredim are pushing back: The Haredim study the Torah and pray from morning to dusk, for a lifetime. They believe that worship and duty is their purpose… The Haredim say that they already do their part to protect the country through the power of God. They also feel that they must be separated from the rest of society… Read more
The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF) has posted two articles regarding premarital counseling in the military. The concern is that chaplains 1) don’t understand or accept nontheists enough to provide proper counseling and 2) may be prone to religious bias in counseling programs that should be secular. The Army, for example, has Strong Bonds, its family counseling program, as $100 million foundational program of the chaplaincy and the Army. Family counseling for deployment stress (FOCUS) and other resources outside the… Read more
This is a follow-up to a recent article “Are Foxhole Atheists Really Seeking a Cure?” I reviewed an article by science writer Matthew Hutson who reported on three studies suggesting that fear of death will inspire atheists to believe in the supernatural. The studies were done out of the University of Otago in New Zealand. I also pointed out that “in discussions promoting ‘belief’ over ‘atheism’, the specific belief is often left extremely vague.” There’s now a new study distinguishing between agnostics… Read more
Ten days before his twins were born, he attempted suicide for a fourth time and was referred to the unit’s chaplain. He wanted more help but the unit was not taking him seriously enough. After his fourth attempt, “he lost all hope and faith in the system to care for him.” The head of psychiatry told his wife they were so overrun with mental illness that they could not possibly accommodate all the soldiers that needed help. He died by… Read more