Nov 04 2011

Atheist Army Sergeant Unleashes on the Bully Known as JD the Christian Fighter Pilot

For the past three years, an atheist Army sergeant has had to remain silent as lie after lie was told about him by an Air Force Major named Jonathan Dowty. Major Dowty, a.k.a. JD the Christian Fighter Pilot, is a Christian officer who belongs to the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF), an organization that thinks the real duty of a military officer is to raise up “a spiritually transformed military, with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

As a devout Christian officer, Major Dowty has made it a practice to publicly attack and defame atheist and other non-Christian enlisted service members by name, knowing that they can’t respond to defend themselves because he’s an active duty officer, so it would be insubordinate for them to respond to him.

Major Dowty has relentlessly targeted five particular service members on his christianfighterpilot.com blog — three atheists and one Muslim in the Army, and one Air Force tech sergeant who practices an earth-centered religion. All of these service members are or have been clients of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and include my fellow blogger here on Freethought Blogs, foxhole atheist SGT Justin Griffith.

Well, one of the soldiers Major Dowty has been lying about on his blog, SGT Dustin Chalker, just got out of the Army, and is now free to fight back against this Christian bully who has dogged him for the last three years.

Dustin’s “first order of business” upon becoming a civilian was to go straight to Major Dowty’s blog and post a little comment on a post that Dowty wrote about him just this week. Dustin’s comment, submitted last night, has not yet shown up on Major Dowty’s blog, where the comments are, of course, “moderated,” so I thought I would post it here.

You should be ashamed of yourself, JD. For years you’ve made a hobby of publicly attacking subordinate lower enlisted and NCO’s who can’t defend themselves against your constant defamation. The last time I engaged you on this website, I found out that you are still an active duty field grade officer and had to end the conversation. You, clearly, have no such reservations about good order and discipline, and seem to enjoy dragging your subordinates’ names through the mud. What do you think is the effect when the leaders, peers, and subordinates of your targets come across the unprofessional and inappropriate public attacks you launch against your subordinates? How does it make you feel smearing subordinates who can’t say a word back to you? You get to blast out all of the defamation you want from behind the cover of that little oak leaf.

I’m not worried about that any more, Dowty. Let’s drag your name around for a little while and see what your leaders, peers, and subordinates think.

Jonathan Dowty pulls quotes out of context to deliberately cast a false light on others’ character, drops passive aggressive loaded questions, misdirects from the issues with irrelevant non-sequiturs, denies facts he has no knowledge of with fallacious argumentum ad ignorantiams, and abuses the definition of nearly every word he touches. And that’s just in this one blog post.

//a lawsuit that was tossed out because Chalker failed to use the internal grievance systems the Army has in place//

Jonathan Dowty is lying, pretending not to know what really happened. My commander was informed of my grievance and declined to do anything about it. I was turned away by IG and JAG, who both refused to investigate and referred me to EO. My initial informal EO complaint was found to be “unfounded.” I used internal remedies. This is all in the testimony (alongside the Army’s deceptive equivocation of this EO complaint with a later unrelated complaint, and my ex-commander’s perjury that I never raised the issue with him). No, I didn’t “exhaust” the internal remedies. Why? Because the problem is institutional in scope, and the internal systems can only provide local solutions. So what if I resolve the problem for myself at one post in one unit with one commander, and the same thing will happen again after the next change of command, the next PCS, or some soldier in another unit somewhere? Internal remedies for this *don’t exist*.

//there is no indication the military, as an institution, “forces” anyone to participate in any religious act.//

Jonathan Dowty wants the government to force his religion on other people. Being present IS participation. Being forced to stand in silent respect IS participation. The closest thing I have to a “religious practice” is to LEAVE when people do things I find intellectually absurd and irrational. Why can’t I “practice my religion” and leave? Forcing me to stand there is forcing my participation, especially when the soldiers assembled are very often the subject of the prayer. If you’re praying about me, and forcing me to stand there, that is forcing my participation, Dowty. If a Wiccan forces you to stand silently on a parade field in a position of respect so he can cast a spell on you, would you mind? Would you comply? Or would you say, “hey, I don’t want to participate in this hogwash”? Even if you are capable of suppressing your instinctive aversion to getting spells cast on you long enough to comply for the sake of maintaining a semblance of intellectual consistency, you would discover exactly why it is wrong to force everyone to participate in other people’s religious rituals.

//Oddly, Chalker presents a mutually exclusive proposition: If the voluntary presence of prayer prefers “religion over non-religion,” wouldn’t an official ban on prayer prefer “non-religion over religion?”//

Jonathan Dowty attacks me with a fallacious claim that I’ve made a “mutually exclusive proposition” when the truth is that Dowty set up a false dichotomy because straw men are easier to debate than soldiers who can’t reply to him. No, Dowty, non-religious is not the opposite of religious. Despite your loaded question and its flawed premises, not praying shows no preference whatsoever to “non-religion over religion”. Not praying is the position of neutrality. Preference is shown when one group is given the podium and a captive audience, gagged and forced to listen to the other group’s rituals or opinion. Preference to religion is shown when troops are forced to stand there for your prayers. Preference to non-religious people would be shown if you were forced to stand there and listen silently while a philosopher explains that there is no reason to believe in god and you’d be better off sleeping in on Sunday. This isn’t a simple dichotomy of religion vs. non-religion. Jonathan Dowty is a demagogue and propagandist who uses these deliberate fallacies to construct a narrative painting neutrality as being anti-religious, when in fact neutrality is ::gasp:: neutral.

//There is no religious test in the Global Assessment Tool, despite military atheists’ opinions to the contrary.//

Jonathan Dowty likes the spiritual fitness test, because it discriminates against people with non-religious philosophies. The GAT questions all rely on premises of a religious nature. The questions are not directly about any specific mythology, but they require religious beliefs in order to answer in a manner to get a high score. No person who rejects supernatural beliefs can score well on the GAT without twisting the plain meaning of the words.

//Naturally, this rampant threat to national security has manifested itself in demonstrable ways.//

Jonathan Dowty thinks if something hasn’t happened before, it can never happen. Anytime you disenfranchise people, you create the potential for backlash. How many examples of insider threats over the years should I dig up? Hasan comes to mind. You don’t think religious bullying plays a part in pissing some of these people off? I don’t actually know any crazy atheists, but I also don’t believe that being non-religious magically makes them immune from the factors that lead to extreme or violent ideologies or behavior. You like to blame all sorts of evil crap on atheists, so I’m surprised you’d shy away from the possibility of one of them doing something drastic as a backlash for having magic Jesus spells cast on him all the time.

//What is surprising is how long it took.//

Jonathan Dowty is blind to anything that isn’t immediately obvious, and likes to talk about things he doesn’t know anything about. You should’ve signed it. Or tried to. Chances are you would encounter the same glitches that thousands of people complained to me about last month. I don’t know if every petition has this problem, or if the apostrophe in the title created the bugs due to embedding problems. Either way: the sign up process was broken, the page wouldn’t load from the normal URL and required a workaround, and most users got an error or maintenance screen even after multiple tries. I doubt if even half of the people who tried actually managed to sign.

// It’s a shame he didn’t use the opportunity to present a factually accurate description of the religious climate in the US military.//

Jonathan Dowty should be ashamed of himself, for using his website as a public forum to attack subordinates who can’t respond because Dowty is an active duty Air Force officer who outranks all of them and anything they say could be construed as “disrespectful” and used against them to harm their military career. Dowty fails to recognize that even if he personally “allows” these subordinates to engage him here, doing so could nevertheless result in action by their soldier’s own commanders because military standards apply 24/7. Jonathan Dowty’s blog posts defaming non-commissioned officers are detrimental to good order and discipline, and should be removed from the internet because they are accessible to those soldiers’ leaders, peers, and subordinates. Jonathan Dowty’s disregard for good order and discipline ought to be noted and acted upon by his superiors, who have thus far failed in their duty to enforce military standards of mutual courtesy and respect, allowing Dowty to wage a public smear campaign for many years.


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  1. 1

    Anyone taking bets on when/if the comment will show on JD the xian coward’s blog?

    Anyone?? Bueller….

  2. 2

    knowing that they can’t respond to defend themselves because he’s an active duty officer, so it would be insubordinate for them to respond to him.

    Is that really all it takes to be considered “insubordinate”? Now there’s a problem that needs fixing as well.

  3. 3
    JT Eberhard

    Exhibit A in how religion fails to make anybody better. Fuck that guy.

  4. 4

    I’d like to buy Maj. Dowty a beer. (Of course, I’d strongly consider pissing in it before I gave it to him.)

    Souns like the living embodiment of the ‘Maj. Frank Burns’ character.

  5. 5

    I sent JD a message on his blog that appears to have been published. ” How unprofessional. Christian Fighter Pilot is not an oxymoron but is a moron.”

  6. 6
    Dustin Chalker

    Jonathan Dowty is a coward who disapproved my comment because it publicly exposes his ongoing conduct detrimental to good order and discipline.

    Jonathan Dowty uses his position as a shield to protect himself from criticism by subordinates who could be prosecuted for insubordination.

    Jonathan Dowty “fights” like a coward, flying around the internet carpet bombing those beneath him who can’t fight back.

    Jonathan Dowty’s conduct is unbecoming of a military officer, and he deserves to be exposed for dragging his subordinates’ names through the mud. Now HIS name is going to get a little dirty.

  7. 7
    Abalone diver

    When I was stationed in Germany in the 70′s I wound up guarding a friend with a loaded 45 while we waited for the MP’s to come and take him to the stockade. He had assaulted an officer. The assault? Telling the officer “Sir, you are a tired tired dude” I cannot imagine what you endured, but you were wise to not unleash the truth while in the military.
    Robert Estrada
    Former Infantry Sgt.
    U.S. Army

  8. 8

    Is it illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to lie to a subordinate?

    If it is, from what has been posted on this site and if the lying was due to religious differences, it would seem that prosecuting would be difficult. Furthermore, it seems that this would suggest that going outside the chain of command should be legal and not having to follow internal remedies should be allowed.

    Is there any real reason why there is a military justice system? Why can’t the military use the justice system set up for everyone else in the country?

  9. 9
    Dustin Chalker

    Dr. Dale, having a separate military justice system under the Uniform Code of Military Justice is a necessary feature because we are subject to additional laws that civilians are not subject to. Soldiers must obey all lawful orders, cannot display insubordination, are required to render customs and courtesies like the salute, have to dress, walk, and talk according to specific standards, obey the law of war, and so on. You are not required to follow military laws, regulations, policies, or orders. We are. The subject requires judges and lawyers who specialize in this area of law.

  10. 10

    …is there any procedure for a civilian to request an investigation as to whether an officer’s conduct is detrimental to good order and discipline?

    Is there a procedure for a member of the military to request such an investigation regarding a superior officer encountered outside the line of duty?

  11. 11
    'Tis Himself

    UCMJ means “Uniform Code of Marsupial Justice” because it allows kangaroo courts. In a pissing contest between an officer and an enlisted person, the officer is always right and the enlisted is always wrong. There’s even something called “dumb insolence” where the enlisted person doesn’t have to say anything to be insolent.

  12. 12

    Thanks for posting Justin’s words Chris. JD has been a near constant moron on blogs and I’m glad Major Dowty can get his due. The bastati re.hld retire. His negative effect on military moral and readiness should be enough to bust him out. He may be a credit to his church but he’s a pile of crap to the USAF.

  13. 13

    Dare I ask what’s going on over at Rock Beyond Belief? That looks like a minefield.

  14. 14

    That should be “The bastard should retire.” I don’t think it looked like that when I typed it but you never know.

  15. 15

    Yeah I commented in his blog. My comment is “awaiting moderation.”

    Not holding my breath.

    Real courageous there, Major.

    As a civilian, I don’t have to kiss his ass.

  16. 16

    All I can do is conclude that if the Major has to resort to that strategy to get his ministry across, then his theology must be pretty weak. I hope that if he ever gets involved in a shooting war, he can clear his head of that God nonsense for long enough to do his job and not endanger anyone around him. I would not want him praying during a crisis!

  17. 17

    [Please note: If I were to talk about capitol punishment no one should think I would like to go around giving lethal injections. When I write about a violent historical fact, it does not mean I approve or would like to participate in the activity. (/inoculation)]

    During the fiasco of the US’ involvement in Vietnam there were reports of line commanders being ‘fragged’ (an officer’s own troops would throw a grenade into an officer’s tent). As I understand the dynamic; officers were murdered if they exposed their soldiers to unnecessary injury and death often for no better reasons than personal glory or being too literal in following orders.

    When I was in the big green weenie my peers and I often talked about which officers (and NCOs) we would happily leap off a cliff for, if ordered, and those superiors we would demand a written record of an order they gave and then we would only do what was required.

    We had no difficulty with the outdated saluting nonsense or addressing an officer with a subservient “sir!” when the correct response should have been: “fuck off.” What made the difference in motivating us to complete an order with alacrity and going the extra distance to look out for the officer’s well being or only doing what was necessary was in how the officer treated us.

    Did they treat us with basic human respect or were we bossed around like serfs and used as pawns for their own advancement?

    I remember once being flabbergasted when a butter bar lieutenant saw me reading a Scientific American magazine and said to me: “You’re only pretending to read that aren’t you?”

    I wanted to reply with: “Sir, you are a tired tired dude”, only using words that were much more vulgar and to punctuate my answer with a demonstration of my bar fighting capabilities. Instead, not wanting to be locked up, I left without saying a word.

    Major Dowty appears to an example of the arrogant asshole officer type. If he is like the managers I’ve had who start out their introductory talk with: “My priorities are god, my family and then myself…” then he is not looking for his deity’s glory; he is trying to use his deity for his own glory.

    Major Dowty must be terribly dense insulting enlisted personnel considering he must trust his ass to all those avionics systems they maintain.

    All those words to say: Fuck’em and the horse he rode in on.”

  18. 18

    Hang on, why would it be insubordinate for an army serviceman to respond aggressively to an air force officer? Aren’t they considered completely seperate branches with no cross-service authority?

    Or is this a more informal thing: ‘Air force captain gets talked back to by army private, air force captain talks to army captain, army captain punishes army private’?

  19. 19
    Dustin Chalker

    Aliasalpha, the UCMJ generally applies across all of the armed services, but you’re right: Article 89 (Disrespect) does not apply across service lines in most instances. But there is a separate “catch-all”, Article 134, that can be applied because it prohibits all conduct “to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or… of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.” Any insubordination against Dowty could have been prosecuted on those grounds.

    Jonathan Dowty, of course, is guilty of misconduct under Article 134 as well as “Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman”, a crime under Article 133.

  20. 20
    procrastinator will get an avatar real soon now

    JD qoute: “… the religious climate in the US military.”

    There should be exactly zero “religious climate” in any military, perhaps with the exception of the Taliban or the Islamic Republic of Iran. It should be a total non-issue.

  21. 21
    procrastinator will get an avatar real soon now

    Oppsie, quote.

  22. 22

    abb3w asked: “…is there any procedure for a civilian to request an investigation as to whether an officer’s conduct is detrimental to good order and discipline?”

    You could try writing a detailed letter to your Congresscritter and your two Senators.

  23. 23

    Congresscritter probably would be more likely to Hurt than help in my case. Senators seem a better bet.

  24. 24
    Assassin Actual

    Get em son, A captain once told me that most worst officers in the military are the ones with the gold rank.

  25. 25
    Raging Bee

    This JD guy is even more cowardly than he used to be. Remember when he used to show up regularly on Ed’s blog to at least try to pretend he had a decent response to complaints about people like him?

    I hope this guy is nowhere near any actual combat with any of our current enemies. They’d see right away that he’s a) a pathetic coward, and b) a perfect propaganda tool to show that America really is at war with Islam itself.

    Someone should tell Al Jazeera about this guy.

  26. 26

    I wonder what Major Dowty’s actual copilot thinks whenever Dowty tells people that his co-pilot is Jesus?

    On the one hand, I can’t believe people with imaginary friends are trusted to pilot billion dollar aircraft. On the other hand, if the military is looking to mold men into sociopathic killers who never question authority, there is no better clay than the Jesus freaks.

  27. 27

    Dale, now that you’re out of the military, what’s the chances on a libel suit if this keeps up?

  28. 28

    Is this the same JD piece of shit who posts lying theotard drivel on Ed Brayton’s blog?

  29. 29

    I remember once being flabbergasted when a butter bar lieutenant saw me reading a Scientific American magazine and said to me: “You’re only pretending to read that aren’t you?”

    Hell, I had a captain tell me to take off my prescription auto-tinting glasses after I’d gone into a building on a sunny day, even though I told him, sir, these are my regular glasses, and I can’t see without them. I have 20/500 vision, after all, and I can get hurt if I don’t wear them. Sir. See, if you say sir like that, as if it’s an afterthought, or as if you’re only saying it because you’re making it clear to him that you’re sticking it to him, they know what your sir really means: FUCKFACED ASSHOLE SCUMBAG.

    Anyway, he didn’t care about what I said, since he was on one of those scumbag officer power trips. So he made me take them off, anyway. And then I proceeded to trip, because what looked to me like tile going to carpet was actually a step up. Thanks, Captain Asshole. My ankle hurt for weeks because of you.

    The amusing part: While he was reporting me to my commander for being insubordinate (how dare I make it clear to him that he was demanding that I do something unsafe!), I was telling my first shirt what had happened in case the guy had a stick up his ass–which he obviously did. Imagine his surprise when he had to apologize to me for a) endangering me by forcing me to remove my glasses, and b) not fucking believing me when I explained that they were auto-tinting, and I could get hurt without them. He got to take the boring-ass base safety class, too, to remind him that officers are not supposed to force airmen to do obviously unsafe things.

    But that was back when the AF was sensible.

  30. 30

    A captain once told me that most worst officers in the military are the ones with the gold rank.

    The silver ones aren’t too swift on the uptake, either.

    We used to have a saying that you got half your brain and one vertebrae removed at every step you moved up the chain of command.

    I didn’t see much that proved the point wrong. A frightening number of officers were dumber than a bag of hammers. We used to have all kinds of fun making up stuff about what we were doing in our electronics shop, because it was obvious that the history major or MBA officer looking over our shoulder knew exactly fuck all about what we were doing.

  31. 31

    My message to this world class asswipe:

    If you cared at all about the Constitution which you took an oath to defend from all enemies foreign and domestic, I suggest you look in the mirror and examine your christofacist and medieval worldview… You are a mirror image of the Taliban with your wildly inaccurate and hateful rantings, and you have no place as a representative of the United States Government.

    Sorry, I would have thought about it more and written more, but I was getting some sort of proximity nausea from being on that web page…

  32. 32
    Marcus Ranum

    There’s even something called “dumb insolence” where the enlisted person doesn’t have to say anything to be insolent.


  33. 33
    Michael Heath

    Dustin Chalker writes:

    Jonathan Dowty wants the government to force his religion on other people.

    It should always be noted that doing so is in direct violation to the oath he swore to defend the U.S. Constitution. JD continually demonstrates his obligation is to his religion even at the cost to the Constitution, his country, and to his comrades. I know of no bigger traitor in the government than Mr. Dowty.

  34. 34

    Some have mentioned their posts are “awaiting moderation” on the asshat’s site. I never try to post in such places; regardless of whether the post is allowed or not; my visit counts as a web hit & might be ammo in some twisted head as “support from isp such-n-such” in the search for sponsors. The only support I would ever willingly give such cretins is toward a one-way ticket out of town.

  35. 35

    What eludes me is how this JD guy has avoided charges of “conduct unbecoming of an officer” or whatever the UCMJ general article reads. His badgering of subordinates over religion on a public forum is clearly inappropriate and detrimental to good order and dicipline.

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