50 Years of Humanist Chaplaincy in the Dutch Armed Forces

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In the USA there is a debate on having a Humanist Chaplain in the Armed Forces. In the Netherlands we have for almost 50 years Humanist Chaplaincy. I noticed that there is a lot of misunderstandig in the USA. In this presentation I explain and educate about the Dutch Chaplaincy in headlines. Please, watch and read about this small contribution to the debate.

Transcript of 50 Years of Humanist Chaplaincy in the Dutch Armed Forces

  • 50 Years of Humanist Chaplaincy in the Dutch Armed Forces
  • Humanism is one of the three main cultural historical traditions that have built the Netherlands
  • Unique values in Humanism are: self-determination, equivalence and responsibility
  • Humanists believe, according to the Dutch Constitution, in the freedom of religion for our military, veterans and their families
  • In the Netherlands we have a separation between church and state. All (non) religious organisations are treated equally
  • The Humanistisch Verbond is fully acknowledged as the endorsement organization by the Dutch Government as one of the six denominations that provide pastoral care in the Armed Forces
  • The Statistics Administration in the Netherlands calculated that 48,4% of the Dutch population are non theistic
  • The Dutch Parliament think it is important to facilitate secular irreligious chaplaincy
  • Humanists know that no religion has an exclusive right to give an answer on the questions about the meaning of life
  • We respect other religions and we work closely together
  • We are convinced in the own power of human beings and their resilience
  • We provide professional chaplains educated at universities, including the University of Humanistic Studies
  • We maintain confidentialty and use our own code of professional standards
  • Humanist Chaplains took part in every deployment, from Lebanon to Afghanistan
  • We organize the same activities for our military, veterans and their families as our Christian colleagues
  • From a humanist perspective we give our own training to military for example: the art of living, LGBT discussion groups and Personal Humanism
  • Humanists have their own traditions and ceremonies. On June 21st we celebrate World Humanist Day and we provide weddings and funerals
  • We understand that military at moral dilemmas search for an answer in human conditions and circumstances and not in a higher power
  • We support and comfort people with grief and loss by listening, asking questions, showing empathy and unconditional commitment
  • Why Humanist Chaplaincy? Because we care about military, veterans and their families! Presentation made by Humanist Chaplain Commander Erwin A. Kamp MSc