Atheist Offended by Military Deployment Ceremony
Jason Torpy, the former Army Captain and perpetually offended atheist, recently took issue with a deployment ceremony conducted by the the 1st Battalion, 182nd Field Artillery Regiment, Michigan National Guard. The reason? The ceremony was performed in a church. The official Guard news release noted
family, friends and guests [gathered on] October 17th at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Sanctuary in Detroit to honor the Michigan Army National Guard, 1st Battalion (HIMARS), 182nd Field Artillery Regiment as they depart for a year-long tour of duty to the United Arab Emirates in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
The 350-man unit and its family filled the church’s expansive auditorium:
In a similarly expansive tirade, Torpy claimed the mere presence of the unit in a church was
clearly an oppressive Christian culture in the Michigan Army National Guard…
an abuse of authority to promote Christianity
a miscarriage of leadership
entangl[ed] their fighting forces with Christianity while preparing to do exercises with a Muslim country.
To be clear, Torpy said the military should “reprimand” the Guard for nothing other than the simple location of their ceremony. He asserts no illegal conduct nor violations of any regulations or policies. He just didn’t like the fact it was in a church — which to him is proof, prima facie, of “an oppressive Christian culture” in the unit.
Who knew that a building could reveal so much? Perhaps the Army should hire Torpy to analyze buildings in the Middle East so he can tell the military what those buildings say.
Torpy’s accusations are ridiculous. His claims that there is something wrong with being in a church prior to deploying to a Muslim country is asinine — and it is also a page from Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s playbook. Weinstein regularly claims that Muslims in foreign nations and even America’s adversaries should be the arbiters of what is, or is not, acceptable conduct by US troops.
To be fair, this isn’t explicitly about what is generally considered the fight for “religious freedom.” Torpy is simply the latest (and certainly not the last) militant secularist to manifest a case of the vapors because something remotely associated with religion was somehow associated with the US military.
These militant secularists amazingly have the gall to demand the removal of the benign words “God bless” or even “in the year of our Lord” — or, in this case, demand that a military unit be banned from being seen inside a church. This is patently absurd, and its likely their bigotry against religion won’t win the day.
But their attacks won’t generally be opposed, either. Few people will call these secularists out for their unwarranted attacks on religion.
And that, ultimately, is where they will win. Even if its simple quantity — (throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks, or that thing about a blind squirrel) — these militant secularists are capitalizing on apathy in the general public about religion. Attacking religion — more specifically, Christianity — has almost become blasé.
Nativities, Ten Commandments monuments, memorial crosses… Jason Torpy, Mikey Weinstein, Chris Rodda and those like them would like nothing more than to tear them down and out and throw them away. Invocations, ship christenings, ceremonies in a church building… Their ability to be offended is limitless.
Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Lincoln, command sergeant major of the Michigan National Guard, hands the State of Michigan flag to Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Day, command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 182nd Field Artillery Regiment, MING, during the unit’s departure ceremony at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Oct. 17, 2015. The 1-182nd FA is deploying to the United Arab Emirates in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The unit will be training with UAE and Jordanian military units using the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HiMARS). (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kimberly Bratic/Released)
See the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church site.