We provide a humanist chaplain and lay leaders to host a Socratic style Atheist-Humanist secular meeting every Sunday for the BMT trainees. The Lackland AFB trainees have the option on Sunday to go to a church service or stay back and clean the dorms. We provide another option for reflection and recharging. STAR is supported by the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) and this is a command sponsored meeting. We regularly have over 20% of the BMT trainees in attendance for our meetings. Note: Not all attendees are Atheists or Humanists but they are introduced to people who are involved in Atheism and Humanism beliefs or lack thereof.
Our weekly topics allow the trainees to discuss their thoughts on how those who do not worship a higher power handle the following:
- Spirituality – one of the pillars of the Air Force, how do non-believers define their spirituality
- Humanism – introduction into what this really means and its place in our professional and personal lives
- Death – what happens to you when you die, if you don’t believe, what options do you have for your funeral and burial?
- Morals – where do morals come from? Are humans the only ones that have morals?
- Fallacies – how to spot them and some pretty funny examples that we might come across daily
- Coming Out – should you come out about your sexuality or religious preferences? How and when to do it for all concerned
- Separation of Church State – what does it mean and why its important to understand the differences it can make in our lives
- Rise of the Nones – why are so many millennials leaving the church or identifying as not affiliated with religion?
- Grief and Stress – how to handle grief and stress when you don’t believe or how to comfort others that don’t believe
There is a steady attendance of 1000 each week and we are currently in the PRC building on Sunday’s at 13:00-15:00.
We also have special guests and special topics depending on the date of the meeting.
- Some visitors included Evan and Seŕah from the Humanist Experience Podcast – Atheists in Foxholes visited the Lackand AFB Secular meeting back in November of 2015. They recorded some interviews with the facilitators at that time. You can really get the feeling of what happens there from the episode and why its so important to provide this space for the trainees.
- On June 18th, we had a visit from Jason Heap of UnitedCor who wrote this article on his experience. They later asked a few of us for some interviews.
- In July 2017, we had the Skeptical Chief come to experience the meeting and to give a brief talk on the importance of Humanism in the Military. He shared the stats and resources for those who were interested in learning more about MAAF. He said he had an amazing time.