Atheists Misrepresent Military Religious Data. Again.

In what has become standard practice for atheists trying to inflate their numbers, the Freedom From Religion Foundation ran an ad in USA Today’s Year in Defense claiming nearly a quarter of the US military is “not religious” [emphasis added]:

Proselytizing officers got you down? Annoyed by preaching chaplain emails? Frustrated by prayer at mandatory events? Tripping over bibles with every about face? If you’re one of the 23.4%* of the U.S. military who is not religious, join the ranks of America’s largest non-prophet nonprofit…

As previously noted, atheists who take pride in their “skepticism” and reliance upon demonstrable data over mere belief have been very quick to express their belief in the report from the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers that initiated the 23.4% number — despite the fact the data does not support the conclusion.

The asterisk in the ad leads to a small-font footnote citing the MAAF’s 2010 assessment that

23.4% of all military personnel identified as atheist, agnostic, or no religious preference…

As has been discussed multiple times since that report came out, declared “nontheists” accounted for only 0.5% of that number; the remaining 22.9% expressed “no religious preference.” NRP may mean many things, but one can no more definitively say NRP is “not religious,” as the FFRF did, any more than one can say someone who has “no fast food preference” doesn’t like McDonalds.  The Fort Hood shooter, then-US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, had “no religious preference” in his records.  Are atheists really trying to use the man who yelled allahu ackbar and massacred his comrades to bolster their credibility?

These atheists are so desperate to improve their social status by padding their numbers — 23.4% apparently sounds a lot more “legitimate” than 0.5% — that they’re willing to be less than totally truthful, even after they’ve had their misrepresentations pointed out here and the halls of the US Congress.

Why the sudden interest from the FFRF in the US armed forces, when they claim only 5,000 of their 21,000 members are veterans or military?  Perhaps they’ve seen how profitable its been for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who claims 40,000 ill-defined “clients” — and a nearly $300,000 salary.



  • Statistically (skew the numbers to match [your] objective) there is no true way to know exactly how many of the ‘NRP’ dog-tag owners are religious or not unless you pole each person and collect the data. Even then, many will not state their true belief; either because it doesn’t matter, or they might fear being “outed” and possibly suffer retribution. The belief in a higher power (say Zeus or Capt Kirk) might be the reason they chose NRP. I will not accept any data that Congress may have; they are so far removed from reality (earth is 6000 years old–really?) and the American public they may as well be in a different country…or on a different planet.

    I will admit I have no clue if nontheists numbers are 5% or 25% and neither does anyone else for that matter. The US Census Bureau can’t count the right number of people in the USA so how can we expect any government agency ‘count’ what NRP’s are or not?

    To say the Fort Hood shooter is/may be condoned by nontheist military members is not very nice JD, I expected better from you; this massacre was morally wrong at the least. Hence NPR is useless for proof of anything…good or bad!

    • To say the Fort Hood shooter is/may be condoned by nontheist military members…

      You are mischaracterizing the statement about Hasan. The FFRF cites 23.4% of the military as “not religious” to make atheists seem like a more substantial group, and calls upon that 23.4% to “join” them. Hasan was part of that 23.4%. That has nothing to do with them condoning anything. It has everything to do with them being so desperate to legitimize their movement that they’ll ignore basic and important facts — omissions that make them look foolish when they (indirectly and incorrectly) claim Hasan was not religious, and make it seem they want Hasan to “join” the FRFF…

  • People hide behind labels and join certain groups so they can blend in. I know people who say they are christian but curse and act like assess. Given Hasan’s end game it’s no surprise he chose NRP…if he chose Muslim I’ll bet things would have turned out way different; for his career and his terrorist act.

    We ALL know that the majority of Military members that choose NRP are nontheists (NOT TERRORISTS). Like I said, NRP is useless for proof of anything, not even for the FRFF.