Can the US Army Embrace Atheism? Have a read of this article on the BBC Website and say what you think folks!
In my experience the U.S. Army has done a good job of providing faith services to those soldiers wishing to practice. I've never been forced to declare a religion, or attend any religious events. There are a large amount of atheist and agnostics in my current unit and I haven't heard any anecdotal evidence of a different experience than myself. Our chaplins do like to pray at the first and last formations everyday which is a bit annoying but they keep it as secular as possible with no mention of Jesus. I dislike the intolerance of religious people, so I try to be tolerant of them to avoid hypocrisy, as long as they remain tolerant in the military. Good article, and I wasn't aware of the problem declaring atheism on personnel records. I'll have to look into that.
The military is light years ahead of the civilian populace in terms of acceptance and toleration.
When I was in Navy Basic Training (then in Orlando), my CC was insistent about having a believe in God.. Took us to the church on base and introduced us to the Chaplin. Nice enough guy, but I only saw him that once during my training.
most people in my unit refuse to talk about religion except for the few atheist in my platoon we joke about it constantly i never noticed that i didnt have atheist on my dogtags
CAN they? Sure they can. Isn't the real question WILL they?
Supporting atheists isn't just about not forcing them to pray. Chaplains provide a wide array of counseling and community support services that are not in any way faith based. These services are valuable; just as Christians and Jews benefit from a supportive community of like-minded individuals, so do atheists. I present Think Atheist as a case in point.
Here is a letter to chaplains laying out simple steps they can take to help the military accept us. Until they take these steps, the military cannot be said to be open to atheists, and certainly not "light years ahead".
I am happy to report that I've been doing the Army thing for 15+ yrs. My dog tags read "Atheist", as do my personnel records (now). My last 2 unit chaplains have known about my views and cared little, if any (never made it known to me if they did). And yet they still were extremely supportive and friendly to me and my soldiers.
The Army isn't perfect by a LONG shot, but it isn't bad as organizations go with respect to being tolerant.
my friend is a SFC in the army at Ft. Belvoir. He has always kept his atheism a secret both there and at Ft Hood because, as he put it, non-christians do not get promoted in this man's army. He has been paranoid about it to the point of editing the online posts of his children for fear that a superior officer is monitoring them. I find this hard to believe because it would be impossible to monitor the actions of every enlisted individual (both non-com and coms) much less their entire family.
A new group should be started up at Ft Belvoir in the near future. Definitely have him plug in with theMAAF Network if he hasn't already.
He won't risk "coming out" because he believes it will jeopardize his career.
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