This site previously noted the lack of original thought on the part of some activist atheists.
- In response to Christmas, they want their simultaneous anti-religious displays.
- In response to Vacation Bible School, they want an atheist counter-Bible School.
- In response to a Christian concert event, they want an atheist counter-event.
Now, in response to Easter, they want, well, an atheist counter-celebration of Christ’s resurrection, apparently.
Last year this site noted that Michael Weinstein’s research assistant Chris Rodda held up for derision the military Christian celebrations of Easter in the combat theatre. Despite the criticism by Rodda and Weinstein’s organization, which oddly includes “military religious freedom” in its name, the celebration of religious holy days in the combat area is perhaps one of the most explicit examples of religious freedom in the US military.
This year, the MRFF continued its attacks on the celebration of Easter in the military when it publicized photos of Easter cakes made in theatre, as if there was something wrong with them. One was cross-shaped, with “Thank You, Jesus,” on it; the other was book-shaped, and had the (misspelled) KJV text of John 3:16 on it. They were reportedly made at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan.
The MRFF allies at Rock Beyond Belief — the yet-to-occur “festival” that has become an ongoing atheist rallying point — took up the cause, questioning the legality of the cakes and soliciting cake ideas they could use to demand what would apparently be a counter-confection.
Because apparently no Christian in the military should be able to celebrate their faith without an atheist standing behind them to say “But, but…me too!”
Rather than “celebrate reason,” as they may claim, it seems some atheists believe atheism is nothing more than a “response” to religion. Perhaps they will soon be asking for Monday morning atheist services and atheist Ash Thursdays. It seems some atheists want to follow Christians around wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m with stupid” — while emulating the very exercise of religious freedom they are criticizing.
Of course, neither the MRFF nor atheist activists represent the whole of their faith movement. Most atheists in the military are content to let Christians have their Easter, Jews have their Hanukkah, and Muslims have their Ramadan. They may roll their eyes at the Easter cake in the chow line or smirk at the ashes on the forehead, but they don’t want to restrict religious freedom, despite their disagreement with others’ beliefs. Rather, they respect religious freedom — freedom they, too, celebrate with joy — not spite.
Sometimes a cake is just a cake. As another US troop wrote, commenting on noble (but somewhat unsuccessful) efforts at similar Easter cakes at a different location in Afghanistan:
We are deployed here in southern Afghanistan. The local food service manager in his attempt to make us feel at home put a lot of effort into creating a display for our American holiday, Easter…
He used patriotic themed paper in red, white & blue, a cake replica of Jesus on an Easter cake next to an oversized replica of the Easter bunny and an Easter egg!
I believe the manager is from either India or Nepal. It is the thought that counts in the end – right?
I still miss home despite the effort.
Wonder if the homesick Soldiers know the cardboard cutout of Jesus is part of a vast, world-dominating conspiracy against which the MRFF is ‘waging war.’
Contrary to the claims of some conspiracy theorists, the vast majority of US military troops work together well, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, Southerners or Northerners, Catholic or pagan, or any other conflicting ideology. To the average US troop, an Easter cake is a frosting-covered baked good, a reminder of hearth and home — not some illegal, confectionery conspiracy as the MRFF and its atheist allies would imply.
In the end, the atheist mimicry of Christianity’s traditions and free exercise isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery.