Chaplaincy is protected under the Lemon vs. Kurtzman ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. It is considered a necessary function of government to care for the holistic mind, body, and spirit of its citizenry. Chaplaincy is not a function that forms religion; therefore, it is protected under this law. The Lemon test was formulated by Chief Justice Warren Burger. The court in Lemon v. Kurtzman ruled three requirements for government concerning religion, they are:
1. The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose. (Such as a Chaplain providing crisis response or humanitarian aid for mind, body, and spirit during times of crisis.)
2. The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion. (Such as a Chaplain providing aid to people of all faith backgrounds and refusing to solicit members for a specific religion or faith organization.)
3. The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion. (Such as a Chaplain providing temporary crisis response services to people in need of humanitarian aid for mind, body, and spirit outside the confines of a church or faith organization.)
Did you know that there were full time paid Chaplains appointed to the very first Continental Congress in 1737? Chaplains have faithfully served the federal government, all branches of the military, and both houses of congress for over 280 years.