Republican-Led House Approves Amendment Banning Non-Religious Military Chaplains

Last month, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) suggested an amendment (PDF) to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow Humanist, ethical culturist, or atheist chaplains in the Army Chaplains Corps:

The Secretary of Defense shall provide for the appointment, as officers in the Chaplain Corps of the Armed Forces, of persons who are certified or ordained by non-theistic organizations and institutions, such as humanist, ethical culturalist, or atheist.

The amendment made so much sense that, of course, Republicans were quick to condemn it:




There’s some first class ignorance for you:

They don’t believe anything,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) “I can’t imagine an atheist accompanying a notification team as they go into some family’s home to let them have the worst news of their life and this guy says, ‘You know, that’s it — your son’s just worms, I mean, worm food.'”

“This I think would make a mockery of the chaplaincy,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). “The last thing in the world we would want to see was a young soldier who may be dying and they’re at a field hospital and the chaplain is standing over that person saying to them, ‘If you die here, there is no hope for you in the future.'”

You can see the full debate on the issue in my previous post.

Needless to say, the amendment failed on a 43-18 vote.

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Would Anthony Weiner Have Gotten Away With It If He Were Gay?

The Internet is buzzing with news of another sex scandal involving Anthony Weiner (a.k.a. Carlos Danger), the former congressman who resigned in 2011 after reportedly exchanging lewd messages with women online. His web history has certainly been called into question as Weiner powers through the mayoral race in New York City, but one thing nobody’s addressing is his sexual orientation.

That’s a mistake, according to Michael Brown, a columnist for the Christian site Charisma News. In a column titled “The Most Selfish Thing In The World,” Brown compares the Weiner scandal and the fate of another sex-scandalized politician, Eliot Spitzer, to stories of powerful men who abandoned their families to start gay relationships. His hypothesis? Men who run away with other men are praised for their “honesty” and “boldness,” while men who have affairs with women are shunned. Effectively, he says Weiner is only being punished because he’s straight.

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Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Is Trying to Pass a Bill That Would Use Taxpayer Money to Fund Religious Programs

You may recall that the Bossier Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana recently lost $15,000 in federal funding because of the religious nature of its Young Marine Program.

Now, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is trying to pass a bill that would change that.

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Atheist Ireland Makes Formal Request for Constitutional Convention to Repeal Blasphemy Law

A Constitutional Convention is taking place in Ireland this year and one of the major changes the committee is considering is a removal of the blasphemy law.

As it is right now, Article 40.6.1 of the Constitution says:

The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.

To that end, Atheist Ireland today submitted their reasons for why that law in particular must be repealed:

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Humanist Delivers Godless Invocation at Wilmington City Council Meeting

Back in April, Han Hill delivered a secular invocation at a meeting of the Wilmington City Council in North Carolina. (He was labeled a “Humanist Minister,” though “Humanist Celebrant” would have been more accurate.)

It was short and sweet:

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