Religion and Military Service

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Religion and Military Service

#1  Postby Kenaz » Sep 09, 2010 12:45 pm

Hey all,

Just returned from my 13 week stint at Parris Island where they "..Make Marines!" Every Sunday we were afforded different religious services to attend. One, which I was surprised and happy about, was the "Atheist/Agnostic" category. So, I decided to visit it the one Sunday. There were two hours we were afforded. The first was ran by the recruits where we had an open forum type discussion which I enjoyed. We had a mix of actual atheists and agnostics and we also had the recruits who just wanted a place to come and sneak in a few conversations and get the latest news on what to expect in training coming up ahead, he he. Aka. the "recruit underground."

The thing I would like to mainly discuss and bring up is, in the second half they had a religious figure come in and speak to us about creationism and why evolution was faulty. It consisted of videos from creationist speakers (mind you, with no valid or rational evidence, mostly by the Bible). To me, it was disrespectful to provide a forum and option labeled Atheist/Agnostic and then to have a religious figure come in and try and (in my eyes it was) "convert" people or sway their views deliberately. Now, being a recruit ('maggot') on Parris Island, I had no real room to speak up about it, and the gentleman was nice and did allow for some debate against it (although it always ended, as usual, with the 'Bible held as the Truth' cop-out).

Anyhow, I was just a bit sickened by it. I ended up attending the Buddhist religious education option, at least it was close to philosophy and as we all know, you don't have to have much dogma to enjoy the practice of Buddhism in general. I'm looking for thoughts, shared experiences, etc.. from both military and non-military members here alike. For those who are in the military, any similar experiences and thoughts?


Sincerely and Semper Fidelis,

JWG
Last edited by Kenaz on Sep 09, 2010 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Religious Service at Parris Island

#2  Postby Paul G » Sep 09, 2010 12:55 pm

I don't understand. You're actually allowed to push creationism in the US military to people who clearly aren't interested?
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#3  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 09, 2010 1:01 pm

JWG wrote:
The thing I would like to mainly discuss and bring up is, in the second half they had a religious figure come in and speak to us about creationism and why evolution was faulty. It consisted of videos from creationist speakers (mind you, with no valid or rational evidence, mostly by the Bible). To me, it was disrespectful to provide a forum and option labeled Atheist/Agnostic and then to have a religious figure come in and try and (in my eyes it was) "convert" people or sway their views deliberately. Now, being a recruit ('maggot') on Parris Island, I had no real room to speak up about it, and the gentleman was nice and did allow for some debate against it (although it always ended, as usual, with the 'Bible held as the Truth' cop-out).


Hi. I'm not in the military but this seems very wrong. I know you feel you can't speak up about it, but when you went to the Buddhist event was the second half atheist videos on why religion made no sense? At the very least you've got a case for false advertising, although the fact that it also was aimed at agnostics could have been the justification for including those videos.

Having said that, I'm fairly impressed that they even attempted a multi-belief offer.

What did the other people who attended the atheist/agnostic event think?
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#4  Postby trubble76 » Sep 09, 2010 1:05 pm

Personally I would have left quietly, then registered my complaint with the apropriate authority. Either that, or I'd have run my big fat mouth off and worried about the consequences later. :lol:
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#5  Postby Weaver » Sep 09, 2010 1:20 pm

I strongly urge you to contact the Military Religious Freedom Foundation with this story.

I am in the Army, not the Marines, but such bullshit should not be tolerated.
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#6  Postby Kenaz » Sep 09, 2010 1:30 pm

Weaver wrote:I strongly urge you to contact the Military Religious Freedom Foundation with this story.

I am in the Army, not the Marines, but such bullshit should not be tolerated.


I don't know. Not looking to make a big stink, especially as a lowly PFC. :lol:

Technically the RE (religious education) is an option, we were not forced to attend them, but who wants to stay back in the squad bay when you're allowed to get an escape for a few hours, he he. Just seems like it'd do more harm than good. Don't know how I feel about it. Would've been much nicer if they had an actual atheist or agnostic come in and allow us to speak about atheism, science, skepticism, philosophy, etc. And another thing, why not have someone from other religions than Christianity each week if they were going to open our minds to new avenues. Ah well.


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Re: Religion and Military Service

#7  Postby Weaver » Sep 09, 2010 1:33 pm

JWG wrote:
Weaver wrote:I strongly urge you to contact the Military Religious Freedom Foundation with this story.

I am in the Army, not the Marines, but such bullshit should not be tolerated.


I don't know. Not looking to make a big stink, especially as a lowly PFC. :lol:

Technically the RE (religious education) is an option, we were not forced to attend them, but who wants to stay back in the squad bay when you're allowed to get an escape for a few hours, he he. Just seems like it'd do more harm than good. Don't know how I feel about it. Would've been much nicer if they had an actual atheist or agnostic come in and allow us to speak about atheism, science, skepticism, philosophy, etc. And another thing, why not have someone from other religions than Christianity each week if they were going to open our minds to new avenues. Ah well.


JWG

The MRFF will respect your desire to keep private about the complaint. They will understand you aren't trying to file an EO complaint - but, as you say, your only outlet from the squad bay shouldn't be to have religion forced down your throat, especially at an event supposedly for atheists.

This is really important - even if it doesn't affect you personally, it needs to be addressed. Your privacy will be respected - but please contact them.
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#8  Postby chairman bill » Sep 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Is there a Quaker option? OK, I know that they're pacifists and shit, but worth asking :smile:
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#9  Postby Ubjon » Sep 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Buddhist soldiers. Isn't that something of a contradiction?
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#10  Postby King David » Sep 09, 2010 1:51 pm

Call Mikey Weinstein at the MRFF. This creeping, metastasizing evangelical cancer of the military needs to be nipped in the bud before these loons amass any more power and decide to wage a coup. Rest assured the dominionists have as their ultimate goal the control of the American government one way or another. This push to impose religion on the military is funded by a cabal of radical loons like Pat Robertson and John Hagee, and organizations like "focus on the family."
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Re: Religion and Military Service

#11  Postby Kenaz » Sep 09, 2010 5:22 pm

Weaver wrote:
JWG wrote:
Weaver wrote:I strongly urge you to contact the Military Religious Freedom Foundation with this story.

I am in the Army, not the Marines, but such bullshit should not be tolerated.


I don't know. Not looking to make a big stink, especially as a lowly PFC. :lol:

Technically the RE (religious education) is an option, we were not forced to attend them, but who wants to stay back in the squad bay when you're allowed to get an escape for a few hours, he he. Just seems like it'd do more harm than good. Don't know how I feel about it. Would've been much nicer if they had an actual atheist or agnostic come in and allow us to speak about atheism, science, skepticism, philosophy, etc. And another thing, why not have someone from other religions than Christianity each week if they were going to open our minds to new avenues. Ah well.


JWG

The MRFF will respect your desire to keep private about the complaint. They will understand you aren't trying to file an EO complaint - but, as you say, your only outlet from the squad bay shouldn't be to have religion forced down your throat, especially at an event supposedly for atheists.

This is really important - even if it doesn't affect you personally, it needs to be addressed. Your privacy will be respected - but please contact them.



King David wrote:Call Mikey Weinstein at the MRFF. This creeping, metastasizing evangelical cancer of the military needs to be nipped in the bud before these loons amass any more power and decide to wage a coup. Rest assured the dominionists have as their ultimate goal the control of the American government one way or another. This push to impose religion on the military is funded by a cabal of radical loons like Pat Robertson and John Hagee, and organizations like "focus on the family."


I have considered what both of you have said and will let it settle in. I agree with both of you, and I think it would be a cowardice, selfish, and lazy thing for me to stay silent. I didn't elect to serve in the armed forces to defend Christianity or religion, I joined for Liberty and freedom; which includes the right to be without religion if one chooses.

RAmen. :smoke:


Semper Fi,

JWG
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