Monday, September 24, 2007

Atheist sues military.

I'm sure this isn't new news, but here's an update on Spc. Jeremy Hall.

Hall filed a lawsuit against defense Secretary Robert Gates and his commanding officer because the latter tried to block Hall from gathering atheists together for discussion in Iraq. The bastard went so far as to try and block Hall's re-enlistment, citing that Hall's actions were potentially volatile and divisive. The lawsuit also suggests that Robert Gates allows a military in which Christianity is promoted.

In response to Hall's lawsuit, a Pentagon spokesperson said, "... the military does value and respect religious freedoms, but that accommodating religious practices should not interfere with unit cohesion, readiness, standards or discipline."

Um. HUH!?! How would a gathering of atheists be any more interference than a Sunday morning prayer gathering? Basically, this Pentagon prick is saying, "don't rock the boat" and "shun individualism and freedom for the sake of placating the Christians." No fucking way! It pisses me off to know that our military has been placed in another country, under the guise of bringing freedom and democracy to a theocracy...yet, our soldiers don't have the freedom to gather and discuss their atheism should they choose to.

The article states that Hall has been the victim of, what looks like, hazing-like activities and fears for his life. "I hope I am not the victim of a hate crime while I sleep tonight. I do not want to die for my country this way," wrote Hall, who said a non-commissioned officer was threatening to beat him. "I'm doing my best right now. But I am still afraid that I might be harmed or worse."" Again...who, exactly, are the uncivilized, theocratic assholes? Because, from this vantage point, that line is pretty damn cloudy.

Of course, this action (the lawsuit) has drawn criticism and outrage by rednecks across the nation who lob such idiotic responses such as, "Well,...shhhheeeeeeet' can he claim religious freedom if'n he don't gots no religion?" And, in a stunning twist of irony, things like "You're unpatriotic and shit." Who is putting his life on the line again? OH YEAH - the ATHEIST IN A FOX HOLE.

Why do I feel like we're just one republican candidate away from an internal jihad?


BigHeathenMike said...

Hey there,
My myspace must have been hacked because I'd never send friggin' Macy's ads to anyone. Apologies all around for the spamming - I'll do what I can to knock that shit off.

Glad you're back!

Spurge said...

Lone time lurker.

Just wanted to tell you that Iraq was not a theocracy.

It certainly may turn into one in the future.

Back to lurking

shaun said...

That's all I've got to say about that.

Chris said...

I've read a little about this elsewhere, and the article mentions it as well. The poor guy is afraid of being fragged, which is the intentional killing by friendly fire of an unpopular soldier.

Why am I not surprised?

Chakolate said...

What a brave guy! He deserves a place in the Atheist Hall of Fame.

Whaddaya mean, there isn't one - why not???

aimee said...

Love your redneck interpretation lol. These kinds of stories are disturbing and probably more common than we hear about. If they have the don't ask, don't tell policy about gays, then the same should go for religious preferences, that way they all have to keep it to themselves.

tina said...

Love the link Shaun.
This is heartbreaking because it could very well have been MY son going through this!

Andrew said...

Since I am a member of the miltary, I spoke with this SPC via email shortly after another member of MAAF in the States posted about the incident in Iraq. The kid told me his story, and I urged him to press EO (Equal Opportunity) charges. But since an officer tends to have buddies at the battalion and brigade level (and EO reps are officers), they can make it pretty hard for a complaint to get anywhere but under a dusty rug. Obviously the complaint got stalled in the rug region, so the SPC has filed suit.

The threats to his life were made after the suit was made public.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight, Andrew.
Is there anything that a bunch of atheists could do to help this guy out?