In the wake of the Aiden scandal and questions about their acts’ previous behavior, Fort Bragg has reportedly made sure those behind Rock Beyond Belief are “fully aware” of the standards they must follow.
The reminder comes after the most recent question from an Army chaplain about the event’s ability to adhere to military guidance:
Last month, Chaplain Chuck Williams posted an open letter on Fort Bragg’s Facebook page saying he’s concerned that, based on lyrics in some of the performers’ songs, and Dawkins’ often caustic tone when addressing religious believers, the Rock Beyond Belief event will be little more than an occasion to mock soldiers who believe in God.
“They are well known to use such derogatory terms towards or about people of faith as ‘moronic,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘uneducated,’ ‘irrational,’ ‘childish’ and ‘delusional’ in the course of their public speaking engagements and writings,” Williams wrote of Dawkins and other scheduled speakers. “If memory serves, nothing of the sort ever happened or was expressed in any way toward those of other faiths or even unbelief in the ‘Rock the Fort’ event.”
In an interesting phrasing, Fort Bragg responded to the public criticism by engaging in a “back and forth” with event organizers, as opposed to simply giving them guidance:
Bragg leadership is aware of those concerns, and has talked about them with organizers, according to base spokesman Ben Abel.
“We’ve had some back and forth to make sure the event organizer and the bands are fully aware of the standards that we expect everybody to follow,” he said.
Those behind Rock Beyond Belief publicly backed off the “atheist anthem” that denigrated religion after multiple media outlets aroused public concern over the atheists treatment of religion. Notably, while they’ve removed the “church-burning video” from their website, the song itself remains the theme-song behind their promotional video on their redesigned site.
Finally, US Army Sgt Justin Griffith, the lead of the event, made an interesting comment about avoiding “provocative gestures.”
Griffith also says there won’t be any provocative gestures like “de-baptisms,” during which participants renounce having received the Christian sacrament.
“It’s absolutely just about embracing the community,” he said. “We’re taking the high road here.”
If you’ll recall, it was Griffith who made a point of emphasizing kids would be able to not just “walk on water”, courtesy of an atheist summer camp’s arts and crafts, but also do so in front of the base chapel [emphasis added]:
You can let your kid walk on water right in front of the main post Chapel! Win.
There can be no question the atheist formulation of walking on water is mocking in tone, and it is obviously directed to a singular event in one particular religious faith. Apparently Griffith thinks this “Win” — and doing so “right in front of the main post Chapel” — is the non-provocative “high road.”