Military atheists seeking the rights and benefits offered to religious groups

“If there’s a reason to support religion in the military, it’s the ethics and values that come out of it, not the supernatural claims,” he said. “We also have constructive ethics and values, but we rally around humanism rather than the supernatural.”

The Washington, D.C., strategist behind the worldwide campaign says the concept isn’t so strange if you consider that chaplains do more than facilitate religious observance. They have a wide range of secular duties as well that brings them into contact with all servicemembers.

“It doesn’t matter what we believe, we can’t get away from them,” said Jason Torpy, a former Army officer and head of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, or MAAF. “They’re on the command staff, and they’re already advocating for us in areas like mental health, family services and suicide prevention.”

Though it’s not the case with all chaplains, Torpy said, many view atheists as people to be converted or dismissed.

Full story at Stars and Stripes
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