From last week’s Baltimore Sun. As an aside, I can’t imagine a Canadian military chaplain, faced with a similar situation, telling a soldier that “this is God’s army”. MP+

Army Capt. Ryan Jean, an intelligence officer at Ft. Meade, Md., is an atheist who seeks official recognition for nonbelievers on par with that of Christians, Jews and Muslims. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun / October 20, 2011)

By Matthew Hay Brown, Baltimore Sun

November 14, 2011, 3:40 a.m.
Reporting from Ft. Meade, Md.— Capt. Ryan Jean wanted to perform well on the Army’s psychological evaluation. But he also wanted to answer the questions honestly. So when he was asked whether he believed his life had a lasting purpose, Jean, an atheist, saw no choice but to say no.

Those and other responses, Jean says, won him a trip to see the post chaplain, who berated him for his lack of faith.

“He basically told me that if I don’t get right with God, then I’m worthless,” said Jean, now an intelligence officer at Ft. Meade. “That if I don’t believe in Jesus, why am I in uniform, because this is God’s army, and that I should resign my commission in order to stop disgracing the military.”

Jean says experiences such as that confrontation three years ago, when he was serving at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, have spurred him to seek Army recognition as a humanist lay leader — on par with Christian, Jewish and Muslim lay leaders who help military chaplains minister to the troops.

Read the whole story here.

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  1. As an aside, most couldn't imagine an American military chaplain telling a soldier that "this is God's army". Unfortunately, all we have to go on is the Captain's version of the story.