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After Huelskamp Pans Proposal to Appoint Atheists, "Ethical Culturalists" (Whatever that Means), and Humanists as Military Chaplains, the House Rejects that Amendment by Lopsided 278-146 Vote

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) highlighted the absurdity of Rep. Polis' amendment (to the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2014) to require the appointment of atheists, "ethical culturalists," and humanists as officers in the Chaplain Corps.

Army regulations require a chaplain to "hold appropriate religious services at least once on each Sunday" and "perform appropriate religious burial services." Navy regulations provide that a chaplain "conduct[s] public worship according to the manner and forms of the church of which he is a member," "commanders … shall cause divine service to be performed on Sunday," and "earnestly recommend to all officers, seamen, and others in the naval service diligently to attend at every performance of the worship of Almighty God."

Congressman Huelskamp made the following statement:

"This amendment would have required the Secretary of Defense to appoint "humanists, atheists, and ethical culturalists' (whoever they are) as chaplains so long as they're "ordained by nontheistic organizations.' The notion that an irreligious person should be ordained by a godless organization to conduct religious services for our troops is absurd. While there can be exceptions to the "there are no atheists in foxholes' adage, by definition there can be no atheists in the Chaplain Corps. I'm pleased 3 out of 5 House Members rejected a proposal that disrespects our noble chaplains such as Medal of Honor recipient Emil Kapaun."

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