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Jan 20 2012

Atheist-Bashing Coward Major Jonathan C. Dowty Spreads RUMOR That Rock Beyond Belief May Be Cancelled

In a post yesterday on his ChristianFighterPilot.com blog, Air Force Major Jonathan C. Dowty (a.k.a. the Christian Fighter Pilot) attempted to make it appear that Rock Beyond Belief, the secular festival to be held at Fort Bragg, NC on March 31 might be cancelled.

THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT made up by the atheist-bashing Dowty. Rock Beyond Belief is absolutely happening on March 31!

In his blog post, Major Dowty employs one of his favorite tactics — implying that there’s a problem that doesn’t exist with something he knows nothing about.

Dowty’s post, with the completely speculative and misleading title “Atheist Rock Beyond Belief may be Cancelled. Again,” begins:

“Though its organizers have said nothing publicly, it seems entirely likely the atheist counter-event to be held at Fort Bragg, NC, known as ‘Rock Beyond Belief’ — the atheist come-back to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s ‘Rock the Fort’ — will yet again come to loggerheads with the US Army.

“In fact, the March 31st ‘concert’ may even be cancelled. Again.”

Yeah, “its organizers have said nothing publicly” because there’s nothing going on, other than Rock Beyond Belief’s organizers finalizing hotel and travel arrangements for the speakers and performers and sending out information to the vendors about setting up at the event.

Major Dowty then goes on to write about Rock Beyond Belief organizer SGT Justin Griffith by name, employing one of his other favorite tactics — defaming enlisted service members on his blog, knowing that they can’t respond to defend themselves because he is a superior officer and his enlisted targets cannot be disrespectful to him no matter what he writes about them.

Back in November, I wrote about former Army sergeant Dustin Chalker, one of the atheist soldiers relentlessly targeted by Major Dowty. Once Dustin got out of the Army and was free to respond to Major Dowty without fear of consequences, he attempted to post a comment on Dowty’s blog. But the cowardly Major Dowty did not post Dustin’s comment on his blog. So I posted it here on my blog, and am reposting it now because nobody can describe Dowty’s abuse better than one of his victims.

The rest of this post is from my previous post, “Atheist Army Sergeant Unleashes on the Bully Known as JD the Christian Fighter Pilot.”

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.

21 comments

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  1. 1
    VeritasKnight

    Is there nothing that can be done about a public official, a Major in the US Air Force, using a bully pulpit to push around soldiers who cannot say anything?

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Talk about abuse of privilege. Talk about fighting dirty. Jeeeeeeeeez.

    I thought military types were supposed to be big on honor! Where’s the honor in badmouthing subordinates who cannot reply no matter what?

  3. 3
    Al Stefanelli

    In his blog post, Major Dowty employs one of his favorite tactics — implying that there’s a problem that doesn’t exist with something he knows nothing about.”

    Seems par for the course for just about all these fundy assfedoras. Fits with almost every argument they try to muster.

  4. 4
    Aquaria

    We had a saying in the military that every increase in rank removed half your brain, and a vertebrae.

    I can see that JD didn’t start with much of either, to become such a cowardly piece of shit moron.

  5. 5
    michaelcrichton

    I’ve known enlisted bloggers who were forced to quit posting because of stupidly innocuous BS like referring to Afghanistan as “Ash-canistan”, under the apparent grounds that that was somehow bad for discipline. How is it that THIS idiot hasn’t been reprimanded?

  6. 6
    'Tis Himself

    Major Dowty is a bully, slandering juniors while hiding behind his rank.

  7. 7
    Yoritomo

    This should be “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman”, but apparently that only includes insults to other officers. Insulting non-coms is okay.

  8. 8
    b00ger

    When I first heard of your book, “Liars for Jesus,” I thought it was just a list of names of these kind of people. Now I realize that would be even longer than your books already are, and you would likely have to write considerably more volumes. Keep pointing these people out and we will continue to oppose them.

  9. 9
    peterh

    That slimy toad needs to be put in the public eye as often as possible. And then some more.

  10. 10
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    The atheist event can’t meet the restrictions imposed on it by the military. As the event draws near, the Army will likely remind them what those restrictions are.

    What ‘restrictions’ is the man bleating about?

  11. 11
    mithrandir

    I’ve known enlisted bloggers who were forced to quit posting because of stupidly innocuous BS like referring to Afghanistan as “Ash-canistan…”

    I think I’ve spotted the problem.

  12. 12
    Pinky

    Dowty’s lies about the concert sound like Republican dirty tricks like calling people in poor neighborhoods and telling them to be sure and vote Wednesday when the vote is Tuesday.

    Dowty has the ethics of an insect.

    I thought about making the Air Force my career when my tour was up in the late ’70s, but did not because of having to put up with supervisors with barely functioning I.Q.s and too many officers like Dowty.

    I have never regretted the decision.

  13. 13
    Aquaria

    So where is this piece of shit stationed?

    He has a superior officer that complaints could be directed to. And if that superior sits on his ass or blows anyone off, that superior has a superior officer.

    If nothing else, it might be time to write to Gen. Schwartz en masse and ask him why this piece of shit is allowed to lie and abuse subordinates without consequence. Dig up the appropriate UCMJ articles, and ask how long an enlisted person would get away with breaking those rules if s/he behaved the same way.

    Make it public. Make it ugly.

  14. 14
    Pinky

    Aquaria says:

    Make it public. Make it ugly.

    Good advice.

    An email I wrote to The Young Turks (CCed to Chris)

    The Young Turks

    Dear Person

    I have a story you may be interested in.

    I learned of Major Dowty from a blog written by Chris Rodda named “This Week in Christian Nationalism” on Freethoughtblogs.com. Ms. Rodda is the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the author of the book: Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History and is currently working on its followup: Liars For Jesus: Volume 2. Chris also blogs on Talk2Action.org and Huffington Post.

    From Chris Rodda’s blog:

    > 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.

    Jonathan Dowty enjoys a comfortable position, not only is he a mouth piece for a deepening fundamentalist annexing of the US Air Force and other services, he knows he can not be challenged by military personal below his rank – even in other services, so he feels free to write lies and slander about subordinates at will.

    For further information I recommend speaking with Chris Rodda at:

    Chris Rodda
    MRFF Senior Research Director
    [email protected]

    Says

    [Pinky]

    For those so inclined; feel free to use any amount of my words above to alert news media of ‘The Christian Pilot.’

  15. 15
    calgor

    Its stories like this that make my blood boil… Not to mention why other armed forces tend to laugh at the US armed forces behind their backs. (Not to their fronts, there has been too many blue on blue by accident, don’t want to give a reason as well)

    With over sixteen years of service in the UK armed forces, JR and Officer, I can state that Major Dowty would have very few people supporting him in a fire fight; it has even been known of officers of similar standing to ask their men to let the enemy shoot them because of this sort of attitude to the enlisted. In all those cases I believe that the men granted that request. I wonder if Major Dowty has the guts to make a similar request.

    It is abhorrent that the US does not seem to employ the old British military adage when officers have to communicate to other ranks.

    “Praise in public, Bollocking in private”.

    Any other format is detrimental to unit cohesion.

    The fact that this officer has got to the rank of major suggests he is the number one in the world at his job (which I doubt) or he has a lot of friends above him (which is scary), But neither of these scenarios should excuse this behaviour.

  16. 16
    Who Cares

    @Aquaria(#13):
    Guess who are in on this. The superior officers.

  17. 17
    jaranath

    Tried leaving the comment below at Dowty’s blog and it’s been held in moderation indefinitely. He posted other critical comments, so I’m not deluding myself into thinking I singlehandedly destroyed his delusions…just wanna vent it somewhere, if that’s alright:

    Major Dowty, do you not see how this reflects upon you as an individual, as a “Christian”, and as a representative of our military? You’re an officer for cripes sake! “I have a claim to make, but I’m not going to back it up with all this great evidence I have, you’ll have to do my due diligence for me, or better yet ask those nasty people over there who I don’t like why they’re keeping it from you. Meanwhile, I’ll keep it from you.”

    My god, man. What petty, childish, schoolyard tripe. I’m proud to call an Air Force Major friend, and I’m ashamed to see you denigrate his rank and his service with this behavior. Hell, I mean to advise my nephew to pursue the Academy, but if these are the kind of people he’ll be serving with…this isn’t the first time I’ve questioned whether that environment is less than healthy for a young man. You’re supposed to be better than this, sir.

  18. 18
    Aquaria

    Guess who are in on this. The superior officers.

    Are you stupid?

    Norman Schwartz, the USAF Chief of Staff (Hello! That’s the most superior officer of the USAF) is Jewish. Do you think he’s going to put up with taxpayers writing to him to complain about a scumbag funditard piece of shit under his command, especially if enough of those taxpayers write to him to tell him they’re pissed off at a funditard violating Article 133?

    And if you don’t think Schwartz will do anything (even though he probably would), you notify the IG. You CC people like members of the Armed Services Committees, especially any Democrats. If you have a Democrat as your congress critter/Senator, or if the base’s congress critter/Senator is a Dem, you CC them, too.

    You notify the Secretary of the AF, the civilian link to the military.

    These people do not want taxpayers pissed off at their service members.

    You can make life very–very–uncomfortable for this scumbag, with just a few letters.

  19. 19
    LykeX

    Has anybody contacted the OCF about this? Or are they a fundy organization?

  20. 20
    Chris Rodda

    @ LykeX … OCF is one of the WORST of all the fundy organizations in the military!

  21. 21
    LykeX

    I had hoped they might be reasonable and could be persuaded to have a chat with their member. Guess it was too much to hope for :/

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