Atheist Rock Beyond Belief may be Cancelled. Again.

Though its organizers have said nothing publicly, it seems entirely likely the atheist counter-event to be held at Fort Bragg, NC, known as “Rock Beyond Belief” — the atheist come-back to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s “Rock the Fort” — will yet again come to loggerheads with the US Army. 

In fact, the March 31st “concert” may even be cancelled.  Again.

Its primary organizer, US Army Sgt Justin Griffith, cancelled the event once already after the Fort Bragg leadership approved the event at a post theater, rather than the parade field he demanded.  Once Griffith received a sizeable donation from an atheist and provided documentation from booked acts, he re-requested the event, and it was approved (again) and he got the parade ground he wanted.  All he had to do was what was required to begin with.

This continues to be portrayed as the US Army canceling the event (including by Jason Torpy at the MAAF) or discriminating against the atheists, neither of which is true.  No one representing Rock Beyond Belief has attempted to correct those misperceptions which falsely present the US Army in negative light.

Now, it seems likely the sensationalized melodrama that is “Rock Beyond Belief” will repeat itself.  The reason is simple:  The atheist event can’t meet the restrictions imposed on it by the military.  As the event draws near, the Army will likely remind them what those restrictions are.  “Suddenly” finding themselves restricted, the atheists may cry “persecution!”  (or “proselytizing!”, a word they often misuse) and cancel themselves (again).

That the atheists have been aware of these restrictions for months will likely be downplayed.  They will also ignore the fact they are getting exactly what they asked for:  “equal” treatment with every other group on post.  They may potentially use the ensuing public controversy as the grounds for their oft-repeated but never-followed-through threatened lawsuit, courtesy of Michael Weinstein’s MRFF.  Weinstein probably has a press release prepped already.

Possibly, but less likely, the atheists may put their concert on regardless, and dare the Army to do something about it.

Alternatively, the military atheist organizers of the counter-Christian event may actually accede and follow the restrictions the leadership imposes on every private organization on the facility.  Given their reaction to Fort Bragg’s initial approval of their event — which was treated just like every other event — that, too, seems unlikely.

At this point, it is inconceivable how it is even possible for them to both follow military restrictions and still have their event as they’ve planned it.

What restrictions, you wonder?  Perhaps you should ask them

It will be interesting to see how they handle it.  Probably not surprising, but interesting nonetheless…


  • Pigs may fly tomorrow! (Though I have absolutely nothing to base this statement on, I’m going to say it anyway because, well, it could happen and people might believe me when I say it.)

  • This person is a liar. I hereby officially call pants on fire.

  • @Len
    That’s an interesting and well-thought out reply. Chris Rodda, Michael Weinstein, and Dustin Chalker beat you to the “pants on fire” accusation. Like them, you have cited no factual inaccuracies (though, to his credit, Chalker did make one attempt; he was just wrong); you’ve merely resorted to name-calling.

    If there is something here that is incorrect, it will be fixed. Please cite the error of fact.

  • There were no facts at all in this article. As such, no facts in the article could possibly be incorrect.

  • How does one cite an error of fact in an article that contains no facts? There are assertions here, but nothing even specific enough to attack. Who says it might be canceled? What restrictions are there that can’t or won’t be met? You haven’t even made a specific statement, much less provided evidence for it.

  • @Ed Brayton

    How does one cite an error of fact in an article that contains no facts?

    Your question should have been “how does one say something is a lie if it isn’t a fact?”

    What restrictions are there that can’t or won’t be met?

    Ask your friends at the MRFF. If they won’t tell you — or they’re claiming not to know — visit again next week.

  • MRFF is not organizing this event. The organizers of the event seem to have no idea what you’re talking about, since they’re literally making airline reservations as we speak. But you don’t seem to understand that if you make the claim, it’s up to you to support it. You haven’t done so. You haven’t even attempted to do so. Is it possible that the event could be canceled? Of course. Anything could happen. But at this point, I think a rational person would conclude that you’re just talking out your ass.

  • @Ed Brayton
    No one said the MRFF was organizing the event.

    The conflict between Rock Beyond Belief’s plans and the restrictions imposed by the military are information publicized by the organizers themselves. Not to worry, though. This article will be supported further.

  • Huh? The organizers have no idea what you’re talking about, JD! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next week to support your wishful speculation “further” (actually, you can’t support something “further” that you haven’t supported AT ALL yet).

  • @JD

    Although I know you would not objection to giving Atheists equal time and importance with Christian events, I do sense a feeling of dismay on your part that the Rock Beyond Belief thing will be allowed.

    This supports my feeling that you would prefer a single religion (Christian) military, govermment and country. I do know that evangelical protestantism is the antithesis of religious freedom. Evangelicals are commanded and sworn to make deciples out of everybody shaking them from their own beliefs and turning them into obedient Christians, often emplying violence and coercion. This makes evangelical Christianity basically an outlaw amongts religious beliefs. Supporting religious freedom obviates trying to take beliefs away from other religious parties.

    It must be said that one of the greatest parts of religious freedom is freedom from religion. One may practice a religious belief or not as he chooses, without penalty or scorn.

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