Defense Department Expands List Of Recognized Faith and Belief Groups

Section 533 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 called on the military to accommodate the conscience and moral beliefs, as well as religious beliefs, of members of the Armed Forces.In a Memorandum dated March 27, 2017, the Pentagon, after review by the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, issued an expanded list of faith and belief groups, expanding on a list (at pg. 46) last updated in 2013.  The new list includes Pagan and Humanist, as well as listing separately a number of religions that were previously consolidated under a broader classification. The American Humanist Association this week issued a press release "applaud[ing] the Department of Defense (DoD) for recognizing Humanism as a belief system protected by the Department’s ethical standards."

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