Faith-heads are expressing horror over the fact that Dr Jason Heap, above, may be appointed to serve as a secular-humanist chaplain in the Navy despite having been rejected earlier.
In what conservative blogger George Rasley describes as “a bizarre act straight out of the Obama playbook”, the Navy Chaplain Appointment and Retention Eligibility Advisory group is now recommending the appointment of the “militant atheist”.
Heap is the Executive Director for the United Coalition of Reason, based in Washington, DC. In November 2014, he and The Humanist Society filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the United States Navy’s rejection of his application to serve as a chaplain.
Rasley quotes Eric Baxter, Senior Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, as writing for Fox News in 2015:
The mission of the Humanist Society and American Humanist Association is to support atheism, not religion.
Dr Heap is part of the Humanist Society and American Humanist Association, and as Baxter noted they’ve sued over war memorials with religious symbols, calling them ‘foul’ and ‘sectarian’. They want the phrase ‘under God’ out of the Pledge. They oppose the National Day of Prayer. They celebrate ‘Kids Without God’, pushing public campaigns that mock teens of faith for having ‘imaginary friends’.
And they’ve even teamed up with folks like Mikey Weinstein at Military Religious Freedom Foundation, who accuses military chaplains expressing their faith of ‘spiritual rape,’ saying they ‘should be punished’ for ‘sedition and treason’.
Rasley points out that the courts have confirmed that denying service members access to chaplains would violate both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the US Constitution.
For soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who need it, chaplains perform religious services, pray on the battlefield, ensure access to religious scripture, and provide religious comfort to the men and women in the field and to their families back at home.
How exactly is an atheist supposed to do that?
They can’t, and as Baxter told reporter Michael Cochrane when Dr Heap sued back in 2015 to be admitted to the chaplaincy, ‘The purpose of the chaplaincy is to provide religious ministry …
Atheists, militant atheists, they have the same right to be in the military as everyone else and we defend that. But that doesn’t mean they are qualified to serve in every position in the military, and especially as people who mock and reject and ridicule religion, they’re not qualified to provide religious ministry.
According to Washington Area Secular Humanists, Heap took double majors in philosophy and practical theology at Howard Payne University before attending Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University) for an MDiv.
He then studied for an additional Master’s in history and religion at The University of Oxford before completing further post-graduate certification from Sheffield Hallam University that allowed him to teach in the UK’s state-maintained schools.
Among the nine subjects he teaches, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, and personal/social/health education have been his favourites.
After working in the UK schools for 5 years, he went on to give six years of experience as the Headteacher (the UK equivalent of a “Teaching Co-Principal” in the US) of UK-curriculum “international” schools, and throughout his work, he has lived in and visited nearly 40 countries.
He has completed a Doctor of Education in administrator leadership and his dissertation focused on empowering non-Western grassroots schools and teachers.He is a Humanist celebrant, a regular contributor to TheHumanist.Com, and gives regular volunteer time to chaplaincy work with student organisations at major American and British universities.
Rasley urges his readers to contact their Representatives to demand they sign a letter by Representative Doug Lamborn, a Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, who has:
Has stepped up to oppose this travesty.
Clearly, the idea of having such an educated man in the role of a secular-humanist chaplain scares the bejesus out of morons like Rasley and Lamborn.