(CNSNews.com) — The man pushing to get the military to install “atheist chaplains” in the armed forces told government-subsidized National Public Radio that military officers should not be praying with their men before going out on missions.
Jason Torpy, president of the Military Atheists and Free Thinkers Association, told “All Things Considered” over the weekend about an incident in 2003 or 2004, in which his commander gathered his team together to pray before the Army unit deployed — rather than make preparations for the mission.
NPR: Can you give some examples of where as an atheist, as a humanist, you felt left out?
TORPY: Going on a military mission, for example, we were getting ready to roll out. And ‘Everybody come in.’ So as the commander of this convoy (said), ‘Everybody come in and we’re going to do a prayer first together.’ We’re not going to talk about communications, we’re not going to talk about route planning, we’re not going to talk about first aid, we’re not going to talk about maintenance.
TOPRY: So I had to opt myself out of that situation, to ‘out’ myself because this commander took it upon himself to have a personal religious activity in the midst of a military mission.
NPR: You didn’t participate?