The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Atheist Military Chaplains?

Here's one you might have missed. Apparently some atheists in the military want to have their own chaplains and lay leaders. It seems they're bummed out that they're deprived of whatever it is they think believing chaplains provide for their faithful.

I'm just trying to understand what exactly an atheist chaplain would do. Would he or she conduct services during which the unfaithful would gather together and do what? They obviously wouldn't pray. Would they sing hymns to the great emptiness of the universe..."A mighty fortress is our void..." Maybe they'd simply sit around and discuss the meaninglessness of their lives as biological accidents with a future devoid of any vestige of hope. Boy, that would sure be uplifting.

Would an atheist chaplain provide some form of solace to a mortally wounded soldier on the battlefield?
"Well, son, you're obviously dying and about to enter the nothingness of death. If you're in pain you might as well put a bullet in your head now. After all what's a few more minutes of life if it's a miserable few minutes?"

Or maybe the atheist chaplain would take a more pragmatic approach to the whole idea of the military and simply counsel all his faithless followers to desert. I can hear his sermon now:
"We've all been fools to join the military. After all, we're atheists. We have only this one life. We all know that there's no living source of moral or ethical behavior. Nature is completely amoral. Morality and patriotism and self-sacrifice are all a part of the sham perpetrated by these phony religions just to exert power over the people. Are you going to sacrifice your life, your one and only life, for these power-hungry charlatans? I say, 'No!' Let's go AWOL and head for Vegas."
As someone who spent many, many years in uniform, it all seems a bit odd to me. Let's hope our increasingly politically correct military rejects the idea.

Being is good, because God is.

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