Coming Out Atheist, pg 217

“This Christian culture in the U.S. military – with its anti-atheist hostility – has practical effects as well, very often in the form of non-believers being given extra work or more onerous work, and Christians being given extra time off or other special privileges. Marine Sergeant Adam Dunigan (date of service: April 1, 2008 – present) says, “I think the most egregious offense that religion perpetrates in the military is that it assets itself (and is thus treated) as an integral part of military life. When I first entered basic training and we were given time off contingent on attending religious service, I was shocked.” Marine Lance Corporal Steffen Camarato (dates of service: June 2006 – June 2010) says, “An atheist in the military? Well, good job, now you get to work on Sunday because you obviously have nothing to do on Sundays right?” Army Warrant Officer Christopher Roberts (date of service: August 2006 – present) says, ” Another side note I found to be very coercive was that all Service Members who were married were allowed to visit with family members during Sunday worship services while those who weren’t religious or those who weren’t married were stuck on work details during that period of time.” And Air Force Staff Sergeant Johnathan Napier (dates of service: September 13, 2005 – August 21, 2011) says, “I also remember going through basic training and being given the option of ‘going to church’ or ‘cleaning.’ That’s not a real option. Of course everyone chooses church… Frankly, I was quite annoyed at how positively I could be viewed as a soldier, but so negatively as an Atheist.”

–Greta Christina, Coming Out Atheist, pg 217


Discuss!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Once the religious achieve power, their bigotry and blinkered view of life, asserts itself to the detriment of others, – as the privileged theocracy intrudes into administrative procedures and regulations.

    It is of course not only atheists and agnostics who suffer discrimination, but cultures are polarised and conflicted by rival religious groups, denominations, and cults, with their conflicting dogmatic requirements!

    @OP – “An atheist in the military? Well, good job, now you get to work on Sunday because you obviously have nothing to do on Sundays right?”

    Well yes! If you are not spending your time pandering to your god-delusion on Sundays, what else could you possibly think of doing? –
    Improving your education and understanding of the world perhaps? Relaxing with friends? Intelligent discussion? Keeping in touch with family members? Hobbies? 🙂

    Religion and ideological nationalism, are good servants of the military seekers of power, as they encourage unthinking obedience of authority figures, and unconscienced servile compliance with orders.
    An absence of atheist jihadists is perhaps note-worthy in this context!

  2. Religions and their lazy ways… Why make sense when you can just be forced down people’s throats?

    People are so afraid of being wrong, of having to admit failure, that they will go to great lenghts to convince people around them about their (religious) beliefs. When the truth won’t fit your beliefs, then change it, ignore it, or get people to agree with you. If everybody believes it, then it’s true!

    Sometimes, believers even forget that people they can’t convince are still human. The weaker your certainty in your belief, the stronger your need to convince others, and the heavier the hate you will have for those who won’t give you the reassurance you need.

    So atheists are annoying, a little less human in their minds, and they do not care if atheists get more work, less time with loved ones, etc. Human nature and dehumanisation. Lovely.

    How else can we explain that people who worship a ‘loving god’ would do such horrible things to fellow human beings? Turn the other cheek, right? Right.

    It’s all about being right.

  3. In ”The God Delusion”, Richard Dawkins writes that he loves Hindus. I explain why he should not like hinduism: the dancing Shiva or Nataraja, a popular deity among Hindus is depicted dancing upon a crippled dwarf (Asmara). This cruel attitude towards the disabled and weak pervades hinduism-influenced behaviour. In other words this is what hindus think of the disabled.

  4. Daniel Integer #3
    Mar 16, 2017 at 10:48 am

    In ”The God Delusion”, Richard Dawkins writes that he loves Hindus.

    Do you have a quote or reference for that! I don’t see any reference in the index of the book.

  5. For me, atheists, those who appreciate that we are living on the planet the same as plants and animals, would not be members of the military, other than for existential employment purposes, because they would appreciate that intra-species confrontations is counterproductive to meaningful planet living. For atheists, war is an interesting and sad sapient behaviour, but based on bullshit; though securing resources for community growth has been the unspoken but evident existential motivation for the past century or so; before that you had mythically-based wars and societies. If a soldier working in the US military believes he/she is prepared to fight for freedom, to keep USAers safe, or for a greater good, then he/she isn’t an atheists. And his or hers Sunday chores has little to do with the price of eggs.

  6. fadeordraw #5
    Mar 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    For me, atheists, those who appreciate that we are living on the planet the same as plants and animals, would not be members of the military, other than for existential employment purposes, because they would appreciate that intra-species confrontations is counterproductive to meaningful planet living.

    In many social animals this sort of conflict and confrontation is the norm and the basis of survival.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013cj7q

    Natural World visits the Arizona desert, where a new honey ant queen wages an intense battle for survival as she attempts to build and defend her empire.
    Eliminating rivals with ruthless efficiency, sacrificing thousands in her quest for domination, murder, cannibalism, genocide – she will do anything to keep her crown.

    Empire of the Ants is the epic story of one honey ant queen’s dramatic rise to power – and her brutal fall from grace.

    A group of queen ants, initially co-operate to build a colony, but once established one becomes dominant and her followers eliminate the other queens.
    The colony then expands over-running and destroying any competing weaker colonies as their territory expands, until they ultimately run u against a stronger any colony of the same or rival species, which wipes them out in a battle and captures their repletes and their resources.

    This is similar to the battles between warlords building empires capturing and pillaging rival city states in the bronze age: – killing leaders and warriors, while capturing slaves and resources.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14417917

    As the sole reproducer in a colony, ant queens are traditionally considered lone figures.

    However, in certain species unrelated queens will sometimes co-operate to kick-start a new colony.

  7. I am retired USN, ’77-’99, and I can’t say for 100% sure, but I think those stories are from Boot Camp. Yes, on Sunday, when most of the platoon/company is at religious services, the Drill Instructors/Company Commanders will find something to keep the handful of recruits left behind to do some busy work. In no way was it some sort of punishment for being Atheist.

    I enlisted as a C.O., a Conscientious Objector. I refused to take arms in defense of my country, yet I wished to serve as a healer (medic) to the warriors. When my company went to the rifle range (during Boot Camp), I was sent to the galley to peel spuds. Again, this was not punishment. The other fellas peeling with me were not CO’s, they were Mess Specialist, doing their job.

    Twenty-two years in, and never felt my Atheism compromised me. Yet, admittedly, the Medical Corps is full of Atheist doctors, nurses, EMT’s, lab techs, etc, etc.

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