Tag Archives: rock the fort

Fort Bragg Atheists Test Military Politicking Rules

Some may have assumed that with a Democratic President (and the stereotype that the US military leans Republican/conservative), most of those testing the limits of permissible political activities or commentary would be “right wing” or conservatives.

They would be wrong.

The blog for the Rock Beyond Belief event organized by Justin Griffith at Fort Bragg recently posted an article about North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which would modify the NC State Constitution to say the only domestic legal union in the state is Read more

Fort Bragg Hosts Uneventful Atheist Festival

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

Military Atheist Festival Claims Right to Denigrate Religion

In keeping with the theme that atheists cannot fellowship together without the ability to denigrate religion, organizers of the atheist “Rock Beyond Belief” to be held at Fort Bragg have secured the explicit “guarantee” of the US Army that they can criticize religion — and people who are religious.

According to their announcement, Garrison Commander Col Stephen Sicinski has said he respects

that the speakers may criticize organized religion or its practitioners…

Because this event is now “cleared” to criticize religion, while the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s Rock the Fort was not, the MRFF’s Chris Rodda claims this is a coup.

She doesn’t realize the joke is on her.  Read more

Army Atheist Concert Emphasizes Controversial Song in Lineup

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

Atheist Soldier Ordered to Attend Billy Graham Event, Detained

The National Atheist Party (seriously) recently announced its association with the atheist Rock Beyond Belief occurring at Fort Bragg at the end of March.

In their short write-up, the atheists said this [emphasis added]:

While serving under an active duty enlistment, Mr. Griffith was ordered to attend a Christian festival hosted by Billy Graham, and subsequently detained for his refusal.

Now, what’s more shocking: that Rock Beyond Belief event organizer and American Atheist “military director” Justin Griffith was detained after he refused an order to attend the BGEA’s Rock the Fort, or that in the past 18 months this spectacular storyline has never been mentioned?

Wouldn’t this make a perfect military atheist persecution story?  The atheist party seemed to think so.

For anyone who has followed the story, there’s a simple explanation:

The atheist story isn’t true.

No one was forced to attend, and no one was “detained” over Rock the Fort.  Apparently, what really happened Read more

Christians Rocked Beyond Belief, in 1990

In 2010 some reacted with consternation after reports Christians had been to the circle claimed by pagans at the US Air Force Academy.  As noted at the time, they failed to acknowledge the area known as the “LZ” had been used for Christian gatherings of one sort or another for some years before the pagans laid claim to the clearing.

It turns out Rock Beyond Belief — the name of the atheist counter-Christian event being held at Fort Bragg — has a Christian history, as well.  The Christian music group Petra, named after the Greek word for “rock,” was one of the pioneering groups in the Christian music genre.

In 1990 they produced an album called Petra: Beyond Belief. As if predicting an association with the military, the album cover was graced by a photograph of an Air National Guard C-130.

The title track, Beyond Belief, is a call to Christians to do more than just “believe.”

Watch the video and see lyrics below the fold.

With credit to Barb for the point out.

Read more

Rock Beyond Belief Drops “Atheist Anthem” from Website

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

Fort Bragg Reviewing Atheist Rock Beyond Belief Lineup

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

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