Tag Archives: no atheists in foxholes

Army Adds Humanist Religious Preference

The US Army recently decided to add “humanist” to the list of options that Soldiers could declare as their religious preference. From the LA Times (also repeated in the Stars and Stripes):

There may be no atheists in foxholes, but there soon will be a few humanists. The U.S. Army has heeded the plea of Maj. Ray Bradley that he (and others of his kind) receive a “preference code” similar to those accorded to members of traditional religions.

Much has been made of the change and, granted, humanist “adherents” have been calling for the change for some time. In the end, though, even advocates admit the addition really does little other than changing a moniker in a file, despite other declarations:

In practical terms, the change means Read more

Chaplain of the Marine Corps on Faith in the Foxhole

The Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis means “Always Faithful.” For USMC’s entire existence, Marines and sailors have fought gallantly on the battlefield with ever-present faith. That faith was administered through the wise words of Navy chaplains and religious program specialists, who preach religion to devil dogs and promote ethical and moral behavior as well as provide them guidance. Today, Navy chaplains continue to play an integral role in supporting Marines and sailors to improve combat readiness.

The Chaplain of the Marine Corps, Chaplain (RAdm) Margaret Kibben,  Read more

Update: Weinstein Blames Harmful Christians for Air Force Reversal

After weeks of stewing, Michael Weinstein finally responded to Col Brian Duffy’s decision to re-post Chaplain (LtCol) Kenneth Reyes’ once-banned article on the base website, over Weinstein’s objections.

Michael Weinstein’s response was predictable, though it went counter to his public face of supporting “religious freedom.”

Weinstein blamed bad Christians for the Air Force reversal.  Weinstein said:

This was the Air Force caving in to pernicious, fundamentalist Christian pressure…

So much for supporting “military religious freedom,” eh?


Presidential Remarks on America Getting “Back to God”

AS A FORMER SOLDIER, I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives.

In battle, they learned a great truth–that there are no atheists in the foxholes. They know that in time of test and trial, we instinctively turn to God for new courage and peace of mind.

All the history of America bears witness to this truth.

Out of faith in God, and through faith in themselves as His children, our forefathers designed and built this Republic.

We remember from school days that, aboard a tiny ship of destiny called the Mayflower, self-government on our continent was first conceived by the Pilgrim Fathers. Their immortal compact began with the words, “In the name of God, Amen.”

We remember the picture of the Father Read more

Commander Who Pulled Chaplain Post Issues Statement

Update:  An Army Chaplain weighed in with a response to Col Duffy’s decision to pull Chaplain Reyes’ article, and a comment on the Commander’s statement from a recently retired Air Force Colonel takes Col Duffy to task:

Sir…Can you understand how your actions in kowtowing to [MRFF] threats now opens you and your fellow Blue Suiters up to even more insidious actions? Do you think this group will just roll over after having demanded that you take administrative actions against Lt Col Reyes for having had the audacity to write and publish this article? After they labeled his use of “no atheists in foxholes,” as a “… bigoted, religious supremacist” phrase? I believe we both know the answer to that question.

Sir, you hit the nail right on the head when you stated that you must protect the constitutional right of free speech and the free practice of religion…Where you go wrong is when you decide that this article, regarding faith and one’s perception of it in their own life, somehow is “governmental establishment of religion.”

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Facebook page was inundated with criticisms of Col Brian Duffy’s decision to pull Chaplain (LtCol) Kenneth Reyes’ column and issue an apology to Michael Weinstein. Those criticisms appear to have been completely deleted and replaced with a statement from the Colonel.

In short, the Colonel admits the article was removed out of concern for “those who may have been offended,” and called his decision a

“balance…between constitutional protections for free exercise of religion and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion.”

A few commenters called that out, given that not even the MRFF claimed the Air Force was violating the First Amendment with the article.  Besides, the Constitution says nothing about “offense,” which is the stated reason the article was pulled (which caused a spate of responses claiming various things were offensive, and demanding Col Duffy remove more content from his website).  Several atheists chimed in and criticized the censorship as well — noting it wasn’t an “atheist vs Christian thing” — but a Weinstein vs Christian thing.

Then, though, the Colonel turned stern and took the unusual step of commenting on potential punishment — something normally rebutted with a “we make no comment on personnel matters.”  In short, this time Col Duffy flatly refused Michael Weinstein’s demands and says he has “not and will not reprimand anyone.”  The entire statement follows:  Read more

Air Force Pulls Chaplain Column, Atheist Article Remains

Update: The Air Force has restored the censored article.  Read more here, or the chaplain’s original article here [updated link].

Update: The Air Force has reportedly declined to explain what regulations prohibit the chaplain’s column, which Liberty University School of Law fellow Ken Klukowski says “looks like expression protected by the free speech and religious freedom provisions of the First Amendment.”

 A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members.  There has to be a recognition that this is discrimination against Christians… When anti-Christian activists like Mikey Weinstein are dictating the rules for what chaplains are allowed to do, then we must ask the question why we [even] have chaplains.

– LtGen Jerry Boykin, USA, Ret

The US Air Force reportedly pulled down an official article written by a Chaplain because someone claimed to be offended by the title.

A chaplain at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska was ordered to remove a religious column he had written titled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave all in World War II,” because it allegedly offended atheists serving on the Air Force base.

Col. Brian Duffy, the base commander told Fox News the column was removed “out of respect for those who considered its title offensive.”

The article notes that the column, written by Chaplain (LtCol) Kenneth Reyes, did not “attack or insult” anyone — it simply began with the question of the origin of the phrase.  It seems a few critics didn’t read beyond the title, and criticized a caricature of what Chaplain Reyes wrote, such as atheist Jason Torpy, who makes a point of addressing the “no atheist” cliché wherever he finds it on the internet:  Read more

Atheist Jason Torpy Claims Not Praying is Atheism

Jason Torpy, former US Army Captain, atheist, and one-man band that is the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, recently commented on the study of religiosity and World War II veterans originally discussed here and announced back in May.  (The article at Religion News Service was written by Kimberly Winston, whose reporting on atheism was apparently the product of a generous donation from an atheist benefactor, Todd Stiefel.)

Torpy said [emphasis his]

The research also found that 28% of Pacific Infantry never prayed, even during heavy combat, so the study proves more than disproves the service of atheists in combat.

Torpy then contacted an (atheist) doctoral student, with Read more

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