The Navy was considering his application, but it was stopped by pushback from lawmakers.
Sen. Roger Wicker said Wednesday that the Navy has finally denied the application of a man who sought to become a “secular humanist” chaplain for the service.
The application of Jason Heap, who was backed by the Humanist Society, was first rejected by the Navy in 2014, but a Navy chaplain advisory board recently recommended approving it.
Leadership has done the right thing,” said Wicker, R-Miss., who chairs the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee. “The appointment of an atheist to an undeniably religious position is fundamentally incompatible with atheism’s secularism. This decision preserves the distinct religious role that our chaplains carry out.”….
House lawmakers said the reconsideration of Heap’s application raised concerns that the Navy was trying to expand the Chaplain Corps beyond its intended focus of serving religious sailors by including philosophical beliefs.
“Allowing Mr. Heap to act as a chaplain would thus open the door to a host of chaplains representing many other philosophical worldviews, complicating the chaplaincy application process and over time eroding the distinct religious function of the corps to the detriment of service members,” they wrote in a March 9 letter….