Atheist Soldier Ordered to Attend Billy Graham Event, Detained
The National Atheist Party (seriously) recently announced its association with the atheist Rock Beyond Belief occurring at Fort Bragg at the end of March.
In their short write-up, the atheists said this [emphasis added]:
While serving under an active duty enlistment, Mr. Griffith was ordered to attend a Christian festival hosted by Billy Graham, and subsequently detained for his refusal.
Now, what’s more shocking: that Rock Beyond Belief event organizer and American Atheist “military director” Justin Griffith was detained after he refused an order to attend the BGEA’s Rock the Fort, or that in the past 18 months this spectacular storyline has never been mentioned?
Wouldn’t this make a perfect military atheist persecution story? The atheist party seemed to think so.
For anyone who has followed the story, there’s a simple explanation:
The atheist story isn’t true.
No one was forced to attend, and no one was “detained” over Rock the Fort. Apparently, what really happened — the Christian Rock the Fort was uneventful, atheists wanted their own counter-event in response, and they got it — wasn’t dramatic enough for their atheist audience.
Unfortunately, like other incidents where the US Army has been drug through the mud — by atheists — over its support of the event — for atheists — no one from Rock Beyond Belief corrected the atheists’ maligning of the Army. In fact, this was the response of Justin Griffith to the Atheist Party’s write-up:
Thanks, that’s an extremely kind gesture, and write-up.
It benefits no one to allow the image of the Army to be falsely maligned either by ignorance or those who seek self-serving publicity.
Within the military, there are certainly those who act improperly in regard to religion, race, gender, etc. — not everyone serving in the Armed Forces of the United States is of strong moral character. As an institution, the military isn’t perfect, either. Generally, however, the US military does an admirable job of protecting the human liberties of its members. The truth is far less dramatic than a political party of atheists seems to want.
If atheists want to accuse the US Army of persecution, though, they could at least have the courtesy not to make up a story. Of course, if they have to create fiction to accuse the Army of persecution, the Army can’ t be doing that badly.
From the Rock Beyond Belief site: