Atheist Chaplain?!

The New York Times reports that atheists are hoping to have an atheist leader join the chaplaincy corps. A group called Military Atheists and Secular Humanists, or MASH, is planning to ask the Army to appoint an atheist lay leader at the base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. According to the Times, “Atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large—and largely underground—population of non-believers in the military.”

Isn’t the term “atheist chaplain” an oxymoron? I thought that the purpose of a military chaplain was to help the enlisted men and women connect with God. If there were no God, what would be the function of an atheist chaplain? How would he or she go about performing their duties?

I suppose that such a “chaplain” would not be needed in combat situations, since there are no atheists in foxholes!

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”…–Psalm 14:1.

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