Though its organizers have said nothing publicly, it seems entirely likely the atheist counter-event to be held at Fort Bragg, NC, known as “Rock Beyond Belief” — the atheist come-back to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s “Rock the Fort” — will yet again come to loggerheads with the US Army.
In fact, the March 31st “concert” may even be cancelled. Again.
Its primary organizer, US Army Sgt Justin Griffith, cancelled the event once already after the Fort Bragg leadership approved the event at a post theater, rather than the parade field he demanded. Once Griffith received a sizeable donation from an atheist and provided documentation from booked acts, he re-requested the event, and it was approved (again) and he got the parade ground he wanted. All he had to do was what was required to begin with.
This continues to be portrayed as the US Army canceling the event (including by Jason Torpy at the MAAF) or discriminating against the atheists, neither of which is true. No one representing Rock Beyond Belief has attempted to correct those misperceptions which falsely present the US Army in negative light.
Now, it seems likely the sensationalized melodrama that is “Rock Beyond Belief” will repeat itself. The reason is simple: The atheist event can’t meet the restrictions imposed on it by the military. As the event draws near, the Army will likely remind them what those restrictions are. “Suddenly” finding themselves restricted, the atheists may cry “persecution!” (or “proselytizing!”, a word they often misuse) and cancel themselves (again).
That the atheists have been aware of these restrictions for months will likely be downplayed. They will also ignore the fact they are getting exactly what they asked for: “equal” treatment with every other group on post. They may potentially use the ensuing public controversy as the grounds for their oft-repeated but never-followed-through threatened lawsuit, courtesy of Michael Weinstein’s MRFF. Weinstein probably has a press release prepped already.
Possibly, but less likely, the atheists may put their concert on regardless, and dare the Army to do something about it.
Alternatively, the military atheist organizers of the counter-Christian event may actually accede and follow the restrictions the leadership imposes on every private organization on the facility. Given their reaction to Fort Bragg’s initial approval of their event — which was treated just like every other event — that, too, seems unlikely.
At this point, it is inconceivable how it is even possible for them to both follow military restrictions and still have their event as they’ve planned it.
What restrictions, you wonder? Perhaps you should ask them…
It will be interesting to see how they handle it. Probably not surprising, but interesting nonetheless…