By J.p. Lawrence
“Please don’t jump down my throat,” Taylor Grin thought as he approached his training instructor with a request.
It was 2013, and Grin was a few weeks into Air Force basic training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. He had just learned which religious services were available to trainees — Catholic, several Protestant denominations, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist, among others.
Grin, then 26, considered himself a secular humanist, someone who pursues an ethical life without a belief in God. With no chaplain-facilitated service for trainees like him, he wanted to start one — and became a key player in a national culture war playing out within the U.S. military.
With a commander’s blessing, Grin and seven others met in a lobby Sundays, picking up new members from recruits headed to nearby restrooms. The weekly meetings now attract 1,000 trainees or more, a major share of the roughly 3,800 who attend religious services each week.
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