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Atheist Soldier Discriminated In Army

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Atheist Soldier Discriminated In Army

Unread postby Bill the Butcher » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:31 am

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/08/atheis ... index.html

This appears to be the typical "humans abusing ______" story. I don't think this is much about the entire military wanting to shove Christianity down people's throats, but more of individuals saying to others, "Oh, you don't believe in our God?... then we're going to haze the shit outta you."

Sad, really. Individuals, with a religion which teaches to love and to have compassion for your "brothers and sisters" (essentially, like all religions), hating on others simply because they pray (or don't pray at all) to an invisible man in the sky.

Thoughts, concerns, insults?
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:07 am

I'll wait to see how this plays out. Two guys complaining is a far cry from a real problem. I'd like the 8,000 man list to be verified first.

If other troops decided not to like him because he's an atheist then that doesn't violate the first amendment. If he can provide proof that he was denied promotion because of it then that is something, but the first amendment only prevents the government from creating a state religion. If individuals decide to ostracize you then that's not covered under the Constitution and he just needs to deal with it.

The Constitution does not serve to empower the thought police, it serves to restrict government. I desire proof that the military as an organization is pushing these tactics. It could be that this guy just couldn't deal with his buddies turning on him.
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Unread postby Bill the Butcher » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:03 am

Yeah, I agree Mac.

Like I said, this is more on the individual and personal level. If he can some way prove that he was denied a military promotion, then there is a valid Constitutional issue.

But this just goes to show how ridiculous religion can get.
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Unread postby SteelersStillSuck » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:31 am

Depends on how he was about being an atheist.

If he said something like.."I respect your choice of choosing to believe in a God". Then yeah..he's got a case.

But there has been atheists...I've met that have been dicks somewhat about it. But one could make the point that theres people like that everywhere in religions/non religions.
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Unread postby buckeye319 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:56 pm

It's obviously a bizarre story, but I know a lot of people in the military who are atheists, so I figure this is likely an anomaly. When you have an organization as massive as the U.S. Army, you're bound to find people who fall within the whole spectrum of society, from assholes to saints.

It's too bad the guy got caught up with certain individuals, but this doesn't strike me as an institutional issue....at least from what I've heard from those close to me in the military.
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Unread postby jfiling » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:58 pm

I remember hearing about how the military gives pagans a hard time, so this doesn't surprise me. I doubt it's an institutional issue, but superior officers do represent the institution, so this guy may have a case if he can prove he was denied promotion because of his (lack of) faith. On an emotional level, this pisses me off big time, but like I said, it doesn't surprise me.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:02 pm

SteelersStillSuck wrote:Depends on how he was about being an atheist.

If he said something like.."I respect your choice of choosing to believe in a God". Then yeah..he's got a case.

But there has been atheists...I've met that have been dicks somewhat about it. But one could make the point that theres people like that everywhere in religions/non religions.


I've met the same kind of people. We had guys at USF that would do the same thing as a crazy fundamentalist Christian - shout at people as they passed by, belittle them, insult them.

My read is it's another attempt to prevent religious expression of any kind. I've talked to rational atheists about it in the past and they greatly dislike it when other atheists or agnostics file suit and attempt to essentially force their non-belief on everyone.

Was this guy antagonistic? Did he ever mock soldiers for their faith? If he did and proved to be a disruption then that could have caused him to not get promoted. How you relate to your fellow soldiers does matter and if it was thought by his actions that he held them in contempt then that's not about atheism but about attitude. I'd feel the same if a Christian looked down on his fellow soldiers because they weren't believers.

If the US Armed Forces are such an evangelical bunch then why haven't we heard holy hell about it from the muslim countries we're in where proselytization is either frowned upon or outright forbidden? I don't recall hearing complaints from Afghans and Iraqis about this.

My inclination is to think that he decided to be an aggressive atheist and didn't like it when soldiers treated him differently. If they started to get upset with him if they felt that he was becoming a bother then it would be reflected in any discussions had with his fellow soldiers that would be used for evaluation.

Honestly, if a group decides to belittle you for your belief or lack thereof then deal with it. I was laughed at in many classes for being a profession Christian but never contemplated suing USF over it because it's your right to look down at me if you like.

Why does everyone nowadays believe that they are guaranteed respect or guaranteed acceptance? I'm glad I was never always accepted because it made me stronger. I hated it when I was made fun of as a kid but I look back at it and know it actually was a help and not a hindrance. It's just like me looking back and realize my father was right, one day I did thank him for how he raised me though I hated it when it happened.

Seems to me that there are a lot of silly lawsuits complaining about rights violations that are just a bunch of whiny brats that can't deal with people not liking them or their views.
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