Atheists at Fort Bragg are crying foul at the military chapel congregations hosting Vacation Bible School.
Because apparently military Christians and their families can’t attend VBS.
Ironically, the atheists apparently don’t know what VBS actually is, claiming the US government is “funding a religious summer camp.” Though understandable for those who don’t share a faith system, its generally advisable to at least figure out what something is before mocking it and calling it improper.
In the same vein, they took issue with the Chaplains office advertising VBS through Fort Bragg’s Public Affairs and email, despite the fact such a message was entirely consistent with the role of the Chaplaincy. They just didn’t like it. The offensive message:
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School will be held at Gordon Elementary (Linden Oaks), June 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. to noon; Devers Elementary (Ardennes) June 20 to 24, from 9 a.m. to noon.
VBS is available for children who have completed kindergarten through the sixth grade. You may obtain a registration form at any one of the chapels, Watters Center or Religious Support Office.
For more information, please contact…
Military atheists continued their willful self-contradiction by decrying VBS at Fort Bragg as improper, while simultaneously pulling a “me, too” and demanding atheists get similar support — which the Chaplains office is more than willing to provide, just as it was with “Rock Beyond Belief.” The current plan is to suggest Camp Quest, an “atheist summer camp,” as the counter-response to the Christian VBS.
Unfortunately, it appears Fort Bragg atheists are already headed down the same path as the RBB controversy.
As already noted, VBS is not comparable to Camp Quest, as the atheists claim. In the easiest example, Camp Quest events are geographically separated from Fort Bragg, so they couldn’t be held in the local facilities. In addition, Camp Quest websites list the cost per child between $300 and $500. By contrast, an entire VBS curriculum can easily run less than $20 per child.
They have asserted VBS was “funded” by Fort Bragg, laying a foundation for them to claim Camp Quest should also be “funded,” though they have provided no evidence to support their claim. They should probably make sure VBS wasn’t supported by the local Christian congregations — as the much-maligned “Rock the Fort” was — to avoid an embarassing repeat of their demand the military Christians’ collection plate support their atheist event.
Likewise, they are also saying they will force Fort Bragg to “sponsor” Camp Quest, though Bragg has not “sponsored” any VBS.
In the end, it seems to be yet another manufactured controversy (or at least laying the foundation for one). The short version of what really happened: The Chaplains office was asked if they would support an “atheist-equivalent to VBS,” and they were receptive. No persecution. No discrimination.
Rather than praising the US military’s open-minded protection of religious liberties, however, the atheists instead published an 1100 word mockery of Christian free exercise in the military, laced with implications of improper conduct by the US Army and martyrdom on the part of the atheists.
Even when the Army does precisely what its critics say they want it to, the Army is still vilified. They can’t win.
It seems Michael Weinstein’s “clients” are putting his playbook to good use.