No atheists in foxholes? Fort Bragg soldiers beg to differ

seek recognition from Army

A forum for people in the armed forces.

Moderators: kiore, Blip, The_Metatron

No atheists in foxholes? Fort Bragg soldiers beg to differ

#1  Postby DoctorE » Apr 04, 2011 2:56 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. - The cliche notwithstanding, there are atheists in foxholes. In fact, atheists, agnostics, humanists and other assorted skeptics from the Army's Fort Bragg have formed an organization in a pioneering effort to win recognition and ensure fair treatment for nonbelievers in the overwhelmingly Christian U.S. military.

"We exist, we're here, we're normal," said Sgt. Justin Griffith, chief organizer of Military Atheists and Secular Humanists, or MASH. "We're also in foxholes. That's a big one, right there."

For now, the group meets regularly in homes and bars outside of Fort Bragg, one of the biggest military bases in the country. But it is going through the long bureaucratic process to win official recognition from the Army as a distinct "faith" group.

That would enable it to meet on base, advertise its gatherings and, members say, serve more effectively as a haven for like-minded soldiers.

"People look at you differently if you say you're an atheist in the Army," said Lt. Samantha Nicoll, a West Point graduate who in January attended her first meeting of MASH. "That's extremely taboo. I get a lot of questions if I let it slip in conversation."

The decision on recognition goes first to an Army agency called the Installation Management Command and may be reviewed after that by the Army Chaplain Corps. Neither agency returned calls for comment. MASH members said chaplains at Fort Bragg have been supportive of their effort.

Similar groups of non-theists at about 20 U.S. military bases around the world are watching the outcome at Fort Bragg in hopes it will lead to their recognition, too, said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.

MASH, whose name conjures the 1970s movie and sitcom about an Army field hospital in the Korean War, formed in January, partly in reaction to a concert called Rock the Fort that was sponsored by an evangelical Christian organization and held on base last fall. Griffith, an atheist when he joined the Army 4 1/2 years ago, said he tried to organize an atheist festival but called it off because higher-ups were not providing the same support they had for the Christian event — a claim Fort Bragg officials deny.

Continues: ... 69249.html
User avatar
Posts: 11067
Age: 62

Iceland (is)
Print view this post

Re: No atheists in foxholes? Fort Bragg soldiers beg to diff

#2  Postby Weaver » Apr 04, 2011 7:15 pm ... -organize/

From the horse's mouth ... good read
Retired AiF

Cogito, Ergo Armatus Sum.
User avatar
RS Donator
Posts: 20125
Age: 54

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Return to Atheists in Foxholes

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest