Support for Humanist Chaplains

Society for Humanistic Judaism Supports Humanist Chaplains for Military


Whereas the Society for Humanistic Judaism affirms religious freedom, including both the right to belief and nonbelief, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution;


Whereas the Society for Humanistic Judaism supports the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, which ordains Humanistic rabbis and leaders qualified for and interested in chaplaincy-related work;


Whereas the Society currently endorses chaplains in the university setting and supports the expansion of the Humanistic chaplaincy;


Whereas the Society was founded by Rabbi Sherwin Wine, himself a military chaplain and Korean war veteran familiar with chaplaincy operations;


Whereas the Society stands in solidarity with the ideological tenets and values of the larger humanist community;


Whereas the Society sees a need within the US military for humanist support for service men and women, especially those who are not currently being served because they do not have a God belief;


Whereas the Society sees a need for a professional, diverse, and egalitarian chaplaincy to serve all in institutional settings for the benefit of military personnel, prisoners, employees, students, patients, and others;


Whereas the Society stands in support of those humanists who may wish to serve the nation as chaplains in the military or other institutional service; and,


Whereas the Society seeks equal opportunity for all persons without discrimination on the basis of religious belief;


Therefore, be it resolved that the Society for Humanistic Judaism supports the inclusion of humanist services and humanist chaplains in all institutional chaplaincy settings;


Be it further resolved that the Society encourages the US military and other institutional employers to not only accept humanist chaplains but to ensure a healthy representation of humanist chaplains as part of a diverse and effective institutional chaplaincy program and to ensure that chaplains of all beliefs provide informed and equal support to those professing humanist beliefs.


— July 2013