Posts tagged military
Posts tagged military
A chaplain under Col. Brian Duffy’s command posted an essay entitled “‘No Atheists in foxholes’: Chaplains gave all in World War II” on the base website (implying it represented government policy) which derided the service of atheists in the military in Christian Supremacist terms.
After taking prompt & courageous action in defense of his troops’ 1st Amendment rights, Col. Duffy is now under attack by the extremists of American Family Assn. Christian supremacists.
Signing this petition will express your support for his actions and counter one asking him to reverse his stance.
Please support Col. Brian Duffy by signing this petition.
Although “the Department of Defense currently does not allow humanists to identify as humanists on their official records… if a humanist dies, then they can be buried under a humanist headstone.”
Very encouraging, take that DOD!
Republican lawmakers and conservative activistsÃÂ concerned that religious expression in the military is âunder attackâ are rallying behind a measure to provide greater protection for religious âactions and speechâ in the armed forces.
Conservatives are seeking to extend the protection of military members’ religious “beliefs” to include religious “action and speech.” How do you think this could impact non-theists and other groups in the military?
Considering those who are pushing for this legislation, The Family Research Council (a known hate group) and retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, it’s safe to say that what they mean by ‘religious freedom’ in the military is the right to push their Christian Dominionism views throughout the Armed Forces of the United States and the right do discriminate against and disparage homosexuals as well as the rights of believers of other religions and non-believers (atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc.).
Suicide killed more American troops last year than combat in Afghanistan, and that is likely to be the case again this year.
According to the Pentagon, there were at least 349 confirmed suicides in 2012, compared with 310 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in the same period.
What a terribly tragic statistic. This is another tearjerker here friends but it’s a story that needs to be told.
Last year, more U.S. service members took their own lives than died in combat. And despite the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, the pullout in Iraq, and hundreds of new programs designed to help troubled servicemen and women, the number of suicides continues to rise.
I choked up big time on the way home from work today while listening to this story.
What is wrong this picture?
Navy Judge Commander Marcus Fulton has just ruled that comments made by the President regarding military rape “would unduly influence” any potential sentencing in the cases of two defendants in military sexual assault cases, U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes. Stars and Stripes reports that, per the judge’s ruling, should the two men be found guilty, they cannot be punitively discharged because of “unlawful command influence,” meaning, because of what President Obama, as the Commander in Chief, said. Would you like to know what incendiary, unduly prejudicial, trial-influencing comments the president made, so inflammatory that if two servicemen are actually found guilty of violently raping they should not be punished?
Of course if you agree with many in the GOP and on FOX “News,” women don’t belong in our military in the first place and we should just accept the fact that we will see more cases of rape if women are allowed to “officially” server in combat units.
So I guess we should just hold the victim responsible since, what is supposed to be most disciplined versions of the male species in the world, are unable to control their sexual urges to the point of violently raping their female counterparts.
Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee voted to decline aSCA-supported amendment that would have allowed humanist chaplains for nonreligious service members who are serving in the nation’s military.
The Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy today released a new position paper that details a disturbing expansion and entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. military — a cultural force which remains at times both tacitly and overtly endorsed by senior military leaders.
Over the past decade there have been multiple news reports highlighting an intensified tension regarding what constitutes proper religious expression in the U.S. military. However, there has been a scarce amount of thorough research examining the connection between these reports and, in addition, proposing possible solutions. As a result, there has been a lack of information with which to stoke change.
CFI’s position paper, titled “For God and Country,” presents several case studies demonstrating a clear pattern of unconstitutional religiously sectarian behavior; explores the merits of the competing philosophical perspectives on the proper role of religious expression by men and women in uniform; and concludes with recommendations that those in power should implement immediately in order to fully protect the U.S. military’s necessarily secular foundation and the religious freedom of all who volunteer to serve.
"For God and Country" was authored by James Parco, PhD., Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), an associate professor of economics and business at Colorado College. Parco graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991, was a member of the faculty for many years, and retired from active duty as a lieutenant colonel in 2011. He has also served on the National Security Council at the White House during the Clinton Administration, as well as in a diplomatic capacity overseas with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Read the full position paper here.
I just finished Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox and it was a horrifying yet fascinating read. The story of the Small Pox virus captivated me from the books early pages and maintained my interest to it’s final chapter. There is much to be learned in this book about the history of this deadly virus and the threat it poses to the present and the future.
I hate to miss this but I know it’s going to be a great success even without me:-)
After more than a year of planning, atheists in the military will stage a public festival and rock concert celebrating their lack of religious beliefs at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, one of the largest U.S. military bases.
Dubbed “Rock Beyond Belief,” the event is believed to be the first of its kind to highlight “freethought” — atheism, humanism and skepticism — on a U.S. military base.
Organizers hope the March 31 event will lead to broader recognition and support of nonbelievers in the armed forces, where they say they receive little support and often discrimination from an overly Christianized military.
“This is perhaps the first step in a new direction away from the evangelical proselytism that has permeated the military for decades,” said Sgt. Justin Griffith, an atheist serving at Fort Bragg and the event’s chief organizer.
Griffith said the concert is a “bitter pill” for some of his superiors on base, which is home to the storied 82nd Airborne Division, “but they get it. They are supporting us and I am really proud of them.”
The event, which will be open to the public, will include music and public speakers, including Richard Dawkins, a best-selling author of several books, including “The God Delusion.” Base officials expect approximately 5,000 people to attend.
How many of those will be atheists is an open question. According to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, which analyzed a Department of Defense census, Christians account for 68 percent of the military population, while those who state “no religious preference” make up the second-largest group, at 23 percent. Those who choose to have “atheist” stamped on their dog tags account for less than 1 percent.
Many military nontheists report being the unwelcome targets of proselytism, sometimes by superiors, and complain of compulsory religious prayers and practices at official events. One area of growing concern is the mandatory assessment of soldiers’ ”spiritual fitness,” which they say is both unconstitutional and an attempt to proselytize.
“If you are a nonreligious soldier, you are a third-class citizen in the U.S. military,” said Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a military watchdog group, who will attend the event in Fayetteville, N.C.
“You are basically told that you lack intellectual integrity, courage, character and honorability . … Rock Beyond Belief is an attempt to stick a fist up in the sky and say, ‘We have our rights.’”
The idea for Rock Beyond Belief grew out of “Rock the Fort,” a Christian-themed concert held at Fort Bragg in September 2010. That event, staged by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, included Christian music, speakers and an altar call for attendees to publicly embrace or affirm their Christianity.
That upset many nonreligious service members at Fort Bragg, including Griffith, who has been an atheist for 12 years. He asked officials for equal time and support for an atheist-themed event.
Griffith said he initially met with resistance — piles of paperwork to file, approvals to obtain, proof of interest and financing plans. An agreement was reached early last year and Rock Beyond Belief was slated for April 2011. But Griffith soon canceled it.
“I felt we were not getting all of the support we were promised,” Griffith said. “We were not getting an equal level given to Rock the Fort.”
Fort Bragg officials say they asked nothing extra of Griffith that they do not ask of anyone seeking to hold an on-base event. Further complicating the process were reports by Fox News that the concert would feature the rock band Aiden, whose lyrics are perceived by some as anti-Christian.
With funding from several freethought organizations, Rock Beyond Belief was rescheduled. And while dissenting opinions about religion will likely be expressed, Griffith and base officials have agreed the content will be “family friendly.”
Still, the concert has its critics. The Associated Gospel Churches, an organization of independent evangelical churches that endorses chaplains for the military, has asked the Department of Defense to step in.
“What we want to see is the Secretary of Defense say enough of this nonsense and shut this thing off,” said Chaplain James Poe, president of AGC. “It is not in any way constructive to military discipline. It reeks with rebellion. The Army has had for years a sense of core values and this tears down those values. It is an assault on the things Army people hold most dear and it needs to stop.”
But Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg’s garrison commander, has signed off on the concert and issued a statement, reading in part, “Fort Bragg will not discriminate against speech on the basis of its viewpoint.”
No taxpayer money is supporting this event, a base spokesperson said, nor did any public money go toward Rock the Fort — a claim Griffith and others dispute. The base will provide security, setup, tear-down and cleanup for Rock Beyond Belief, as it did for Rock the Fort.
Griffith would like to stage similar events at other bases, especially those where Christian-themed events have been held with support from military brass. Meanwhile, he hopes Rock the Fort gives unbelievers in the military the courage to come forward and seek tolerance and acceptance.
“At the end of the day we are asking the same questions as the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians,” Griffith said. “We just have a different answer.”
This has been such a long time coming with kickback and cancellations along the way. Now I’m waiting for the Westboro nuts to announce that they’re going to protest this too…unless I already missed the announcement. ~ Kim