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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:39 PM

Hawaii military atheists celebrate with charity and service

Across the military, atheists and humanists are reaching out to support their local communities. Hawaii MAAF Affiliate M*A*S*H* Hawaii with organizer Jacob Milich and lay leader Nick Stenkamp support Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hickam AFB, Schofield Barracks, and Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay. They’ve shown their holiday spirit by doing a food drive for local homeless persons and a toy drive for Toys for Tots. These service activities along with their recent convention with Richard Dawkins are raising the bar for local community-building.

The success of this group also shows how a bit of chaplain support can make all the difference. M*A*S*H* Hawaii meets regularly in the Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam chapel. Their November event to feed the homeless was held there. Group members brought food for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, prepared the sandwiches and bags, and then went to hand out the sandwiches. Organizer Jacob Milich says the event was a great learning experience as well and he’s got the knowledge to scale up the event for future food drives.

MAAF provides a special thank-you to the chaplain staff that is providing a location for meetings. That is one of the simple steps chaplains can take to reach out to the nontheist community.

In December, the group partnered with the Hawaii Secular Society to do a Toys for Tots fundraiser and holiday party. About 20 people brought in 60 toys including legos, light sabers, stuffed animals, and dinosaurs. The event had a decidedly scientific bias with a microscope, chemistry set, Rubics cube, and paleontology kit joining the other toys. The toys were brought to a local Toys-R-Us drop-off station for donation and distribution. The coordination between civilian and military groups is a great example that local nontheist groups should always follow. Both communities need each other, and there is strength in numbers.


Oh, those horrible "militant atheists"!

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Reply Hawaii military atheists celebrate with charity and service (Original post)
cleanhippie Dec 2012 OP
pinto Dec 2012 #1
mr blur Dec 2012 #2
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #3
Post removed Oct 2014 #4

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:52 PM

1. A great example of partnerships. Kudos all around.

Part of a statement from Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers -

Open Letter to Chaplains from Foxhole Atheists

Even among our community, some are surprised that nontheists would seek out or even could benefit from support by chaplains. Only with the help of chaplains can this divide be resolved. The chaplaincy is trained, resourced, and commissioned to support everyone in the unit. The steps above will ensure that chaplains can support humanists on humanist terms. The intent of these requests is to encourage chaplains to use MAAF as religious support agencies are used. Some of what I provide will sound like ‘proselytism’ as I’m asking you to learn about atheist and humanist beliefs, but this is no different than the need to learn about Jews, Muslims, and others in your unit. Support inclusive of the nontheist community brings the chaplaincy more in line with the modern demographics in the military and the modern requirements of the chaplaincy.


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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:37 PM

2. Excellent. Haven't you got any stories about nasty atheists?


I don't think there's been one yet today.

Must be the season of goodwill.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:55 PM

3. There was a troll sighting in another thread, spewing "militant atheist" nonsense again.

What made it even funnier, it had fuck-all to do with the OP.

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