Monday, January 28, 2013

You knew it was coming. . .

Chaplain John Figdor has a divinity degree from Harvard. He counsels those in need and visits the sick. And he works with Stanford students under the Office of Religious Life.

So Figdor is the last guy you'd tag with the "A" word.

But, yes. The chaplain is an atheist.

"People are shocked when I tell them," Figdor said. "But atheist, agnostic and humanist students suffer the same problems as religious students - deaths or illnesses in the family, questions about the meaning of life, etc. - and would like a sympathetic nontheist to talk to."

Figdor, 28, is one of a growing number of faith-free chaplains at universities, in the military and in the community who believe that nonbelievers can benefit from just about everything religion offers except God.

FWIW Stanford is first... but many are sure to follow... Chaplains who will give their unbelievers the full counsel of nothing at all...

9 comments:

Janis Williams said...

So what does he offer to the dying? "Don't hang on, soon you will cease to exist?" What comfort! Or marital strife: "Just duke it out. I doesn't matter if you stay together?"

I bet he's all for social justice. That really does a lot. A bandaid on this life, and hell in the next. Oops. There isn't any next, is there?

What does Joel Osteen have in common with an atheist? Your best life now.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, it is coming.

A non-denominational preacher is "so" 20th century. Get with the times, man!

Expect campus religious centers at universities all over the country to be run by people such as Chaplain John Figdor - All in the name of diversity, inclusiveness, and political correctness, of course.

Anonymous said...

If atheists truly believe that Jesus is a fraud, then why do they spend all of their time trying to discredit Him?

Anonymous said...

Churches are becoming nothing more than self-help centers? Interesting how Rick Warren and Bill Hybels are leading this transformation of churches. Chris Rosborough was right after all.

fatherd said...

Atheist, agnostic, and humanistic students suffer the same problems as religion students, but they have closed the door on the only real answer to those problems, Jesus Christ. Until they are willing to correct their mistaken views on life, the help they seek will remain forever closed to them by their own choice. An "atheist chaplain" is simply a fraud, someone else equally as confused as the person seeking help. Thus we have the blind leading the blind, and they both fall into a ditch.

Fr. D+
AAnglican Priest

Joe Martin said...

Janis Williams said...
So what does he offer to the dying? "Don't hang on, soon you will cease to exist?" What comfort! Or marital strife: "Just duke it out. I doesn't matter if you stay together?"

Why is an empty promise of an imaginary afterlife the only consolation to be offered to the dying? Atheist are willing to accept death finality without a childish cushion to protect them from the hard reality of the concept. Why can't they be consoled by the fact that they've lived their lives and will be remembered by the living after they're gone, or some other real-world consolation without having to resort to fairy tales?
What makes you think atheists care any less for their marriage partners, simply because they have no need for the sanction of an imaginary sky-daddy?

From the comment of Fr. D+, it appears the clergy are getting worried that humanity is finally outgrowing the need for their snake oil services and can discuss their personal problems with a professional with a sympathetic ear without the baggage of religion attached.

Joanne said...

Unless he is using religious texts to work with his clients, he's really just a counselor and belongs in the school's medical services. He isn't using religion in his work, so he is no chaplain. And, schools have had counselors as a medical service for decades. Only news is that they've placed a counselor in their religious services area. Athiests couldn't tell the difference, could they? If he's in the religion section, whouldn't they expect him to use some religious texts to console them? Kahlil Gibran maybe and Jonathan Seagull, and the best poems of Hallmark Cards.

Anonymous said...

Agnostics respectfully disagree with Christians when asked to discuss religion. They bother no one and quietly get on with their lives.

However, the atheist message is the same as the satanist's message: Spend 100% of time and energy attacking Christians and blaspheming Jesus. What is your message: "The other guy sucks." Being a perpetual downer is not necessarily the best way to win converts, now is it?

Anonymous said...

How can a degree-seeking institution rename a counseling degree a divinity degree?