Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Another atheist in a fox hole.

Spc. Jeremy Hall filed a federal law suit against the United States Army alleging that the military prevented his promotion because of his atheism.

"Hall alleges he was denied his constitutional right to hold a meeting to
discuss atheism while he was deployed in Iraq with his military police unit. He
says in the new complaint that his promotion was blocked after the commander of
the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley sent an e-mail post-wide saying Hall
had sued."

I know we've talked about this soldier before, but I think it's interesting that now the situation has progressed to denying him a promotion because he wanted to get a group together to talk about atheism. Call me crazy: but, I'd be willing to bet good money that any soldier who wanted to hold a Bible study wouldn't have to put up with this obvious load of crap.

"According to the lawsuit, Hall was counseled by his platoon sergeant after
being informed that his promotion was blocked. He says the sergeant explained
that Hall would be "unable to put aside his personal convictions and pray with
his troops" and would have trouble bonding with them if promoted to a leadership

So...wait a minute...Hall was denied a promotion because he was "unable to put aside his personal convictions" to pray, but the friggin' United States Army SERGEANT, a civil servant commanded to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, can't be expected to put aside HIS personal beliefs against atheists? And, beyond that... an atheist soldier is discouraged from a promotion because he doesn't want to pray while in the service of a government agency whose sole purpose is to protect the civil liberties of American citizens?!?!?!?! What the f***, Chuck? What kind of caca' would hit the fan if an officer of the armed forces told a Christian or Muslim or Jewish soldier that he/she was being denied a promotion because THEIR beliefs might interfere with bonding?

Hall responded that religion is not a requirement of leadership, even though
the sergeant wondered how he had rights if atheism wasn't a religion. Hall said
atheism is protected under the Army's chaplain's manual.

Is anyone else frightened by the fact that Hall's superior officer is being allowed to serve in any position of authority when he so clearly doesn't understand the rights of Americans?

"It is beyond despicable, indeed wholly unlawful, that the United States
Army is actively attempting to destroy the professional career of one of its
decorated young fighting soldiers, with two completed combat tours in Iraq,
simply because he had the rare courage to stand up for his constitutional
rights," Weinstein said in a statement.""

A-to-the-men. This reminds me of the don't ask, don't tell policy regarding sexuality. Ugh. Disgusting.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

This worries me. Evidence of people with a twisted bizarre form of Christianity with access to a nuclear arsenal.

Calladus said...

This reminds me of the don't ask, don't tell policy regarding sexuality

That policy is actually very hypocritical - it is based on the Article 125 prohibition against Sodomy in the UCMJ.

The Manual for Courts-Martial defines Sodomy so that it specifically includes fellatio and cunnilingus - even between married heterosexual partners!

Yet soldiers and Airmen do admit to doing this. (When I was in the Air Force the jokes and lurid descriptions got pretty graphic!)

It didn't matter that a troop would entertain his friends with graphic details about his date last night, as long as it was with someone of the opposite sex.

However, a hint of any sort of same-sex relationship would be enough to put him on the path of becoming a civilian.

Arkonbey said...

A bittersweet contrast to this story. The book "The Fighting 69th" by Sean Michael Flynn is a book about a diverse moderately apathetic National Guard unit that was sent to Iraq for combat operations and the experiences of the men.

While the book is on my list, I haven't read it, but flipping through it I came up on the image of the unit having a memorial service for a fallen comrade. In what was more than likely a Buddhist ceremony, either the platoon Sgt. or the Lt. (sorry, faulty memory) is shown holding incense bowing before a small 'altar' with the dead soldier's portrait.

It reminded me of my aikido sensei's annual ritual in the dojo marking the day his first sensei (and young daughter) died in a car accident.

Tolerance exists. Sometimes it seems overshadowed by intolerance.

JC said...

a civil servant commanded to uphold and defend the United States Constitution

I may be nitpicking, but a civil servant is precisely what a soldier is not.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading about this military evangelism situation for several months now. It really is a cause for concern.

Mephitis said...

Good grief.