In what some might see as an oxymoron, an advocacy group apparently is preparing to ask the Defense Department to appoint a chaplain — for atheists.
A source tells Fox News that the Military Association of Atheists and Free Thinkers plans to make the request on Tuesday, floating its president Jason Torpy as the proposed chaplain.
Asked for comment, the association referred FoxNews.com to its position in support of a prior bid to name a “humanist” chaplain.
But a Defense Department official confirmed that a meeting is planned between the applicant and the Navy on Tuesday.
Rep. John Fleming, R-La., who last year opposed the creation of such a position, also voiced concerns about the planned request. He told FoxNews.com he’s got to wait and see how the proposal plays out, but threatened to use legislation to block it if necessary.
“We’re only finding out about this now,” he said. Fleming said the law is clear that any chaplain needs to have an “endorsing agency” and questioned whether the applicant would have that here. “We just don’t see any avenue, but you know we’ve been surprised before by the military.”