Fort Bragg Reminds Rock Beyond Belief of Appropriate Standards

In the wake of the Aiden scandal and questions about their acts’ previous behavior, Fort Bragg has reportedly made sure those behind Rock Beyond Belief are “fully aware” of the standards they must follow.

The reminder comes after the most recent question from an Army chaplain about the event’s ability to adhere to military guidance: 

Last month, Chaplain Chuck Williams posted an open letter on Fort Bragg’s Facebook page saying he’s concerned that, based on lyrics in some of the performers’ songs, and Dawkins’ often caustic tone when addressing religious believers, the Rock Beyond Belief event will be little more than an occasion to mock soldiers who believe in God.
“They are well known to use such derogatory terms towards or about people of faith as ‘moronic,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘uneducated,’ ‘irrational,’ ‘childish’ and ‘delusional’ in the course of their public speaking engagements and writings,” Williams wrote of Dawkins and other scheduled speakers. “If memory serves, nothing of the sort ever happened or was expressed in any way toward those of other faiths or even unbelief in the ‘Rock the Fort’ event.”

In an interesting phrasing, Fort Bragg responded to the public criticism by engaging in a “back and forth” with event organizers, as opposed to simply giving them guidance:

Bragg leadership is aware of those concerns, and has talked about them with organizers, according to base spokesman Ben Abel.
“We’ve had some back and forth to make sure the event organizer and the bands are fully aware of the standards that we expect everybody to follow,” he said.

Those behind Rock Beyond Belief publicly backed off the “atheist anthem” that denigrated religion after multiple media outlets aroused public concern over the atheists treatment of religion.  Notably, while they’ve removed the “church-burning video” from their website, the song itself remains the theme-song behind their promotional video on their redesigned site.

Finally, US Army Sgt Justin Griffith, the lead of the event, made an interesting comment about avoiding “provocative gestures.”

Griffith also says there won’t be any provocative gestures like “de-baptisms,” during which participants renounce having received the Christian sacrament.
“It’s absolutely just about embracing the community,” he said. “We’re taking the high road here.”

If you’ll recall, it was Griffith who made a point of emphasizing kids would be able to not just “walk on water”, courtesy of an atheist summer camp’s arts and crafts, but also do so in front of the base chapel [emphasis added]:

You can let your kid walk on water right in front of the main post Chapel! Win.

There can be no question the atheist formulation of walking on water is mocking in tone, and it is obviously directed to a singular event in one particular religious faith.  Apparently Griffith thinks this “Win” — and doing so “right in front of the main post Chapel” — is the non-provocative “high road.”


  • JD, do you realize you’re just proving the point of why an event like Rock Beyond Belief is necessary? You and a few other people, like your new friend at FOX News who reads your posts, are assuming that non-theists are immoral people who would be incapable of tailoring their acts and speeches to be family friendly. That atheists wouldn’t know on their own not to include content in their acts or speeches that might be OK at a club, college, or other adult venue but wouldn’t be appropriate at an all ages event on a military base. That they need “guidance.” It just these kind of assumptions and prejudices that Rock Beyond Belief aims to dispel. That’s the whole point!

  • @Chris Rodda
    Sometimes it difficult to tell if you’re being deliberately disingenuous or if you’re just honestly ignorant.

    No where on this site has the discussion ever been about something being “family friendly.” Nothing in the article above speaks of a “club, college, or adult venue.” You’re either intentionally deflecting the issue or you’re incompetent as a ‘researcher’ for a purported “religious freedom” group.

    For the US government to treat this event “equally” with the one it has demanded to be equal to, it must be given the same “guidance” as the other event. As noted more than once already, the performers at Rock Beyond Belief must make “no statements that are critical of other religions.”

    As the chaplain pointed out, the performers are known precisely for being “critical of other religions.” Organizers have continued the atheist mantra of criticizing religion even within their own promotion of the event. So you’ll understand if some people find their claim they can speak and sing for 8 hours without continuing that trend dubious.

    The Army says it gave them the same guidance — and has said it will hold them to the same standard. Whether the participants of Rock Beyond Belief can do so remains to be seen.

  • So, saying that anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus as their savior is wrong and is going to hell isn’t being critical of other religions? If the Billy Graham people can say that (which they do at their Rock the Fort events), then the atheists at Rock Beyond Belief can say that anyone who does believe in Jesus or any other god is wrong. Both groups are just equally expressing their opinions.

  • @Chris Rodda

    If [they] can say that…, then…

    You should run that by the RBB organizers. Their event is only three weeks away; certainly they’ve got it figured out by now…right?

    Atheists have been described as an asterisk on religion (or Christianity) because of their inability to form an ideology independent of religion. They either spend their time criticizing religion or tagging along and emulating it, as they have with Rock Beyond Belief as a “response” to Rock the Fort.

    This is an opportunity for atheists to prove the asterisk can stand alone — that atheism can stand apart from religion. Can they go for 8 hours without being critical of another religion?

    As a representative of a participating organization, you’re not inspiring hope…

  • Wow, JD, you’re just really hoping that someone at RBB screws up, aren’t you? I think you’re giving more thought to this event than it’s organizers. But then, that’s not really surprising given your obvious obsessive disorder. You should have a lot more free time after March 31, at least until you find the next thing that has nothing to do with you to obsess over.

  • “Atheists have been described as an asterisk on religion (or Christianity) because of their inability to form an ideology independent of religion.”

    He says, linking to himself saying that thereby completing the circular reasoning loop.

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