U.S. Army to Recognize Humanism as a ‘Religious Preference’

Military chaplainWASHINGTON — The United States Army has announced that it will now recognize humanism under its list of religious preferences for military personnel.

According to the Religion News Service (RNS), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to the Pentagon in February, requesting that humanists in the military be able to cite the term as their religious preference. It wrote on behalf of Army Major Ray Bradley, who had been seeking to cite humanism as his preferred belief system in his military records for years, but was unable to do so.

Bradley said that while he switched his religious affiliation from “no religious preference” to “atheist” a few years ago, he does not identify as an atheist. The ACLU said that the term “humanist” more closely described Bradley’s beliefs, but was not on the Army’s list of religious preferences.

“‘Atheist’ only says what I’m not,” Bradley stated. “Humanist is what I am. It is how I live my life. The principles of humanism guide me through life’s challenges and provide me with a sense of purpose to experience life to its fullest. Atheism does neither.”

Humanism is a belief system that places man at the center, focusing on human accomplishments and goals, and working toward the happiness and fulfillment of mankind.

While it is not known whether the change was made as a result of the ACLU’s letter, effective this month, humanism will now be recognized in the Army’s religious “preference code.” The ACLU said that recognizing humanists in the Army was important for equality.

“Our diverse military requires the Armed Forces to act with open-mindedness and tolerance toward increasingly varied systems of belief,” the organization stated. “Adding humanism to the list of religious preferences would be a simple step toward creating a climate of equality and acceptance for non-theistic members of the military.”

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Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, made similar comments to RNS after learning of the addition to the code.

“This is a big victory,” he stated. “This is one part, and the easiest part, of a very long list of other reforms that have to happen before we have equality, not just belief or no belief but theistic belief and non-theistic belief like ours.”

While some have stated that the change may now open the door for the allowance of humanist chaplains, as previously reported, Congress approved an amendment last year that reinforced the military’s ban on non-theistic chaplains.

“Since General George Washington instituted the military chaplaincy, chaplains have served a vital role in serving the spiritual needs of our Armed Forces,” stated bill sponsor Senator John Fleming (R-LA). “It is absurd to argue that someone with no spiritual inclination should fill that role, especially when it could well mean that such an individual would take the place of a true chaplain who has been endorsed by a religious organization.”


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  • http://www.JesusForSinners.com JesusForSinners

    Great! Since the federal government has officially recognized Humanism as a religion, it can no more be taught in schools. Humans at the center of life (evolution), the importance of being happy and fulfilled (self-esteem doctrine); all tenets of the religion of Humanism.

    I’m certain the ACLU will be filing law suits against schools who teach these things, demanding that they not impose religious views on their students. Separation of church and state, right?

    Don’t hold your breath.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Well said!

  • http://historyforthechristianfaith.wordpress.com Rick Habecker

    So, some in and out of the U.S. Military want service people who claim to be just the same as any NAZI infantryman, pilot, prison guard or sailor…just fulfilling the Third Reich’s orders? When one strays away from Christ be on your guard for what you’ll get….man devised right and wrong that always ends in firing squads, people behind barbed wire, inside bamboo cages, in coliseum’s where people are fed to lions.

    • Jack Daniels

      lol…. You realize the Nazi’s and Hitler were Christian, right? You realize a person’s religion has nothing to do with how good or bad of a person they are. I know bad Christians and I know good atheists (and vice versa).

      • http://historyforthechristianfaith.wordpress.com Rick Habecker

        Tell me Mr. Daniels when an agnostic or atheist does evil does that mean that all atheists and agnostics are all evil? The answer is no. Yet take an honest look at world history Sir and you’ll find atheists and agnostics behind every major atrocity in the last century alone (Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Mao). Even the small time killers responsible for school and college killings we hear about so often in our time might claim to be Christian but their actions are not Christ like. Oh some of them (the major & minor leaguers of killers) might have worn the garments of Christianity but their actions were not Christian. If one’s religion or lack of it has nothing to do with how good or bad they are then explain the glaring atrocious actions of those six now Hell confined mass killers and their minor league wanna-bees I just cited and referred to.

        But back to the Nazis and Hitler who were no different. Oh Hitler co-oped the Christian church in Germany but he did it to sway public opinion about himself. He did it partially by putting the pastors who weren’t already intimidated at the prospect of being shot or imprisoned onto the NAZI party payroll. Eventually they were leading the worship of Hitler as the savior instead of Christ. But there were true Christians (the Dietrich Bonhoeffer types) who refused to go along with it who ended up in the gulags and before firing squads.

  • Jack Daniels

    Just look at prison population. Atheists/Agnostics account for less than 1% of the prison population while they account for more than 10% of the actual population. Look at all the wars initiated by religious beliefs, look at all the innocent people being stoned to death or executed in the name of religion. When was the last time you heard of an atheist killing another person over who doesn’t believe in god more?

    Every time a Christian causes harm to someone, is your excuse always going to be something to the affect of “They may claim to be Christian but they’re actions are not Christ-like?” Of course they’re not, the actions of most Christians are not Christ-like. Hence Gandhi’s quote “I love your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, you’re Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    Now back to what I was saying, a persons behavior is not determined by their religion. I can careless what you believe, but don’t act like you’re somehow superior to everyone else because of what you believe. It’s your behavior that determines if you’re a good person or not, not your beliefs.