Saturday, April 26, 2008


Freedom and Godliness

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats - New York Times: "But minutes into the talk, the officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” Major Welborn said, according to the statement.
Major Welborn told the soldiers he might bar them from re-enlistment and bring charges against them, according to the statement.
Though with a different unit now at Fort Riley, Specialist Hall said the backlash had continued. He has a no-contact order with a sergeant who, without provocation, threatened to “bust him in the mouth.” Another sergeant allegedly told Specialist Hall that as an atheist, he was not entitled to religious freedom because he had no religion."

First, what about freedom do people not understand? I am certain that the soldiers that have behaved so sadly discriminatorily would, indeed, fuss and shout if someone openly called their religion into question. In fact, there are constantly stories about Christians fussing and shouting about how they are being "forced into their basements" with their religion because they can't have the ten commandments in the City Hall or the State Capitol. They much want their freedom and even special treatment against the very Constitution they want us to believe they love.
What is far more disconcerting is this "bust him in the mouth" thing. What? The godly are threatening to beat someone up because they don't believe in their god? I guess I should not be surprised as this is really not new, but I still would like to believe that we are considerably more evolved. Apparently, I am still learning. Seriously though, the soldier had to be sent home over this. This was a soldier who wanted to fight for his country in Iraq, but the Army, of all institutions, could not ensure his safety. I guess atheism will be the new homosexuality for the Service. Don't ask, don't tell.
What we should be doing while we train them to behave in combat is taking a bit of time to teach them how to behave with one another. We should be telling them that being a redneck in the worst of ways is not tolerated and that the man or woman next to them is to be respected and just as revered for "being there" as they would want for themselves. What a freakin' mess.

Reminds me of the time Bob Barr (R, GA) had a hissy fit because some soldiers down in Texas wanted a pagan temple on their post. The military will (and should) bend over backwards to accomodate any religious preference held by its troops, but according to Barr, paganism just should'nt be allowed here in America. Now, I am a Baptist m'self, but I recognize the freedom to choose afforded to man by my Lord God, as well as the more earthly protections afforded by the First Amendment of the American Constitution.
If you believe someone is lost, then lead him/her to the light-you need to convince that person BY EXAMPLE that yours is the better way. Legislation of such is nothing but tyranny.
Dear anon,
This is not about legislating religion in the service. This is about threatening and strong-arming. This is about people having so little confidence in what their religion is and does for them that it makes sense to pout and want to beat up those that simply think about things differently. You are right, though, that Bob Barr is doing the bidding of fools in his district. How could one have so little confidence in their own faith as to see a pagan symbol a threat? What should be said to those constituents is that there are much, much bigger fish to fry and to mind their own business.
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