Army won't allow 'Humanist' on dog tags - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Army won't allow 'Humanist' on dog tags


By: Stephanie Jacksis

Some soldiers are fighting to add Humanist to a list of religions that can be stamped on their dog tags. Outside of Christianity, soldiers can only choose "Atheist" or "No religious preference."

Humanism is a practice focusing on human values and concerns, and attaches importance to man rather than divine or supernatural beings.

"What we really want in the end for Atheist and Humanist in the military, is to be full members of the team.  That starts with equal support and recognition from the chaplains," President Jason Torpy of The Military Association of Atheist & Freethinkers said.

Torpy said the military is failing to focus on all service members equally, as there's a growing population wanting to identify themselves as Humanist.

"They exclude a large subset of population in the Atheist and Humanist that are in the military.  It really calls into question on their suitability as representatives of the command, as representatives of all service members."

He said it's frustrating the military chose to ask the chaplains first, knowing majority of them haven't had any training or understanding of Humanist.  

"They are comfortable with what is primarily a Christian heritage.  They are comfortable that 98% of chaplains are Christian and they seem to be uncomfortable with those who have nontheistic beliefs," Torpy said.


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