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.
Hired in July by the Humanist Community at Stanford, a nonprofit group independent of the university, Figdor is one of 18 “professional leaders” at the Office of Religious Life who typically work with sectarian student groups that pay their salaries. A graduate theological degree is required for the job, and the leader is entitled to office space on campus, a parking spot and a Stanford e-mail address. The leaders guide students in whatever way is needed, whether offering advice or organizing events.
Post-modernism is the belief that there is no objective reality and that anything can be anything you want it to be. Post-modernists believe that when a same sex couple wed, it is a “marriage” identical to the ancient and universal definition of marriage; the joining of members of the opposite sex. This is a definition that has existed in every culture since the dawn of modern humans. Post-modernists argue that this, however, is meaningless and marriage can be whatever we want it to be despite the formerly universal acceptance of this definition by all groups, cultures, traditions and races.
Chaplains have always been those who minister to the faithful. Just as gay rights advocates have co-opted the institution of marriage, the irreligious are now aping the ancient traditions of Christianity. I suppose that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but ultimately this sort of thing renders much of the language meaningless. Furthermore, it is certainly a deliberate attempt to undermine understanding of the meaning of the Christian ministry.
Ultimately, the post-modernists undermine culture and tradition and leave in its place chaos and meaninglessness. In that way, it is destructive to everything for which conservatives stand.
I think it is also an indictment of the very principles they are trying to promote. An atheist minister is a tacit admission that there is a gaping hole in the lives of at least some non-believers. By mimicking Christians, these atheists are acknowledging the need for faith that is a natural and universal part of the human experience. Sadly, they won’t find it in humanism which is a deliberate rejection of what they desperately need: the Gift that is Faith.