Why this is a big deal

Justin Griffith has a very important post on why it matters (a lot) that atheists in the military should come out of the closet. (Yes, Brendan O’Neill, the closet.)

This is why:

Here is the debate-ending argument against NO-REL-PREF:

For all of those who still don’t see why this is a big deal:

  • Silence reinforces the culture of shame and fear.
  • We are banned from meeting on posts.
  • We are forced to take spiritual fitness tests (and mandatory remedial training).
  • Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on converting you and your families to Christianity.
  • Many chaplain-endorsing agencies have an official proselytizing policy: “We reserve the right to evangelize the un-churched.”

This list is not even close to exhausting the problems our community faces, yet it represents active discrimination on a massive scale. If nobody calls them on it, the situation festers. You can help at the local level. Stop turning the other cheek. We love the military. It’s our responsibility to make it better. It’s our duty to report violations of law and ethics. Identifying as an atheist and standing up for your rights simply makes the military a better military.

Justin says please spread it around. I say the same.


  1. carpenterman says

    The problem is, atheists in the military are constrained by the strict hierarchy of rank, and military leaders are notorious for their indifference (if not active hostility) toward civilians trying to influence military policy. Forget trying to get to the top brass themselves; only pressure on lawmakers who can actually bring the force of law and oversight to bear is going to change things.


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