“Nothing in this amendment in any way impairs the relationship between a Christian or Jewish or other soldier or service member and his or her faith leader,” Andrews, an Episcopalian, said on the House floor. “Nothing.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) offered the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. The amendment would have allowed humanists and other nonbelievers join the Chaplain Corps. Polis noted that Buddhists were already allowed to become chaplains, though Buddhism was generally considered a nontheistic religion.

“What this amendment does is to show respect to the choices made by our service members,” Andrews continued.