Fort Bragg’s Rock Beyond Belief passed quietly last Saturday. While organizers had predicted a crowd of 5,000, Richard Dawkins, the main draw of the event whose “sell out” crowds were the justification for the attendance forecast, ultimately spoke to only “a couple hundred” spectators. Photos of the event show Aiden, the musical act originally billed as Dawkins’ lead-in, playing to only a few dozen who had stuck out the day. It also appeared the military base was hosting a largely civilian crowd.
Rain early in the day may have affected attendance, much as the heat affected the Christian Rock the Fort the atheist event was meant to protest. Rock the Fort reportedly drew 3,000 to 4,000 of the forecast 10,000 (and the atheists had been quick to mock the attendance numbers of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association event).
Interestingly, Col Sicinski was on site of the event and indicated the event wasn’t the controversy it may have been made out to be: Read more
Rock Beyond Belief, the atheist event billed as a counter to the previous Christian Rock the Fort, has clearly announced a previously controversial song will be featured in its lineup.
In January, FoxNews carried the story of Aiden’s Hysteria, whose music video showed burning churches while the lyrics said religion “distorts the truth” and called for its “death.”
At the time, the lead organizer of the event, Justin Griffith, was quoted in the FoxNews article saying this was a faux controversy — though the public reaction, and Fort Bragg’s, seemed to differ. While the FoxNews piece focused on ‘images of burning churches,’ the issue has always been Aiden’s lyrics that criticized religion. Now, Griffith makes a point of stating Aiden will perform Hysteria [emphasis original]: Read more
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: Read more
In what appears to be a site-wide revamping, Rock Beyond Belief — the atheist counter-event to the Christian Rock the Fort — has dropped the controversial Aiden song that recently caused a media firestorm from its website. The YouTube video was originally called an “atheist anthem” and was the only introduction to the band on the site, though after FoxNews highlighted it organizer Justin Griffith said they would not be performing that particular song.
Also absent is the plea for civilians (“as many people as possible”) to come to the event. A recent article quoted Justin Griffith saying he “counts about 100” atheists at Fort Bragg, meaning he is likely relying on the event to draw far more civilians than members of the military. For a rough comparison, the Fort Bragg chapels host about 2,000 congregants in 17 services every week (both Christian and not); the Christian Rock the Fort had an estimated attendance of 3-4,000.
In another interesting twist, a revealing but obscure comment was made by a pseudonymed military officer presenting himself as part of Rock Beyond Belief Read more
The controversy over the “glam goth” band Aiden being invited to play to a military audience at the atheist Rock Beyond Belief at Fort Bragg has seen comments on a wide variety of websites. In the tradition of “crowd-sourcing” solutions, one commenter came up with a unique idea to ameliorate the scandal: Richard Dawkins should ask that Aiden be removed from the lineup.
Much of the discussion seems to be centered on whether Aiden Read more
Last Friday, a report that briefly joined the top stories on Fox News indicated Fort Bragg would be “reviewing” some of the planned performers at the upcoming atheist festival known as Rock Beyond Belief, the atheist response to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s Rock the Fort.
Benjamin Abel, a spokesman for Fort Bragg told Fox News & Commentary that they were launching a review of the bands scheduled to perform along with their content.
“This is a family-friendly event and we expect the Read more
Love how they burn your synagogues…
– Lyrics by Aiden, Rock Beyond Belief lead-in act
The band Aiden has announced it will be playing the atheist festival “Rock Beyond Belief” at Fort Bragg in March 2012, as the lead-in act to Richard Dawkins, the main attraction at the “concert.”
Never heard of them? You’re not the only one. But first, take a look at what the band said in their announcement [emphasis added]:
Justin Griffith, the soldier in charge of setting this up has a very interesting story to tell. The United States military had no problems funding a christian based musical event, but when it was suggested that the large number of atheists and secular humanists who are enlisted, would like to have a function of their own choosing, the top leaders at Fort Bragg decided to pull the plug on the entire thing. Cutting the funding without any reason at all, that I can see, except that maybe christians in the Army are the only ones allowed to have fun…
They fought the law and THEY WON.
Given that they attribute their information to the soldier hosting Rock Beyond Belief, Justin Griffith, its unlikely a call to correct their misinformation would go far.
For the record (again, and again), the US military did not fund a “Christian Read more
Last week’s speculation that the atheist Rock Beyond Belief would likely face more struggles against US Army restrictions inspired an amazing onslaught of vitriol from the MRFF and its supporters. That the publicity-hungry event scheduled for the end of March might have another brouhaha in its future seemed to strike a chord.
The MRFF’s Chris Rodda didn’t mince words [formatting original]:
THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSH–…
Strong words for something she supposedly considered so trivial.
It is possible Rodda really is as ignorant as she’s implying, despite the fact her role as Michael Weinstein’s research assistant should have informed her of what problems may yet be experienced by Rock Beyond Belief.
Last year Rock Beyond Belief organizers obtained copies of documents from Rock the Fort through the Freedom of Information Act. Though the information has always been in public view, ChristianFighterPilot.com is currently the only site to highlight this fact from the Rock the Fort After Action Report:
“The bands and speakers stayed within the parameters Read more