Showing posts with label atheists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label atheists. Show all posts

Monday, March 26, 2018

Congress tells Navy "No Atheist Chaplains"

No ‘atheist’ chaplains, lawmakers tell Navy
Navy Times
By: Mark D. Faram
4 hours ago

A command religious ministries department divisional officer and a chaplain baptize a sailor aboard the carrier George Washington. A self-described "humanist" has had multiple attempts at becoming a Navy chaplain denied.
(MC3 Eric S. Brann/Navy)

Lawmakers are applauding a decision by Navy officials to reject the application of a secular humanist — called an atheist by many — to be a Navy chaplain.

It’s the second time the sea service has declined to accept Jason Heap, who calls himself a “humanist” and and a “non-theist,” into the chaplain corps.

A “humanist” is one who doesn’t believe in a god, but in the natural ability of humans to “lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity,” according to the Humanist Society.

The latest denial of Heap’s application is at the center of a debate on whether or not one who doesn’t believe in a deity can serve as a military chaplain.

Despite the swirling debate around Heap’s beliefs, or lack thereof, no one is denying his qualifications. Heap holds a master’s degree in divinity from Texas Christian University as well as a theological history degree from Oxford.
read more here

Actually, he's been trying since 2013.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ohio VA Clinic Swaps Bible for 'Prop'

This is from Navy Life on what the Bible on the POW MIA Table means.
"The tradition of setting a separate table in honor of our prisoners of war and missing comrades has been in place since the end of the Vietnam War. The manner in which this table is decorated is full of special symbols to help us remember our brothers and sisters in arms."
"The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God." Yet somehow over the years some folks seemed to manage pretty well putting their lives on the line for others they served with but cannot manage to put up with seeing something like this on a table.  Pretty astonishing when you think about it. 
Ohio VA Clinic Swaps Bible for 'Prop' Book After
by Bryant Jordan
Apr 06, 2016

A Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Youngstown, Ohio, substituted a "prop" book for a Bible after a civil rights organization accused the facility of endorsing a particular faith by having only the Christian holy book displayed at a table set up to honor American prisoners of war and missing in action.

In a note to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on Monday, Kristen Parker, chief of external affairs for Cleveland VA Medical Center -- which handles media for the Youngstown clinic -- said the Bible was "replaced with a generic book, one whose symbolism can be individualized by each of our veterans as they pay their respects" to POWs and MIAs.

Parker told on Tuesday that because the VA cannot endorse, favor or inhibit any specific religion, "we are supporting our local veteran organizations with their decision to use a prop-book on the POW/MIA Table at our Youngstown [clinic]."

Parker previously said the clinic would support the Disabled American Veterans -- the group that set up the table -- in its decision to display the Bible on the missing man table.

The switch was made after the veteran who initiated the complaint, working with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, responded to the clinic's initial refusal to pull the Bible by demanding a separate table be set up with the Jewish Torah and a copy of "The God Delusion," a popular book on atheism. "If in the future I decide to add the Quran, or Mormon book of Latter Day Saints, that is my implied right," retired Army Capt. Jordan Ray wrote.
read more here

Saturday, March 12, 2016

POW-MIA Traditional Bible Removed from Akron VA

Seems really odd that a tradition that goes back decades suddenly offends a few and is removed while the multitudes finding comfort in the remembrance were forgotten about in a POW-MIA remembrance display.
Bible removed from Akron Veterans Affairs display causes uproar
By Amanda Garrett
Beacon Journal staff writer
March 11, 2016

A small dining table in Akron set up to remember soldiers who never came home — those missing in action or taken prisoner during war — has set off a large national battle over religious symbols in government spaces.
Everything on the POW-MIA table, a tradition since the Vietnam War, is a symbol: The white tablecloth represents the purity of the soldiers’ duty. Salt on a bread plate represents tears shed by soldiers’ families. A Bible has represented faith.

But not all POW-MIAs are Christian.

And when a local soldier, permanently disabled in Afghanistan, saw a red New Testament Bible on a POW-MIA table in the lobby of the Akron Veterans Affairs health care facility last month, he was troubled.

“I know for a fact that all POW-MIAs were not Christian because my grandfather was MIA from World War II and he was Jewish,” the disabled soldier said this week during an interview.

He reached out to a nonprofit that fights for the religious rights of the U.S. armed forces, which in turn contacted the administrator of the Akron VA.

Within days, the Bible was gone.
read more here

Friday, March 13, 2015

Air Force Defends Freedom of Christians to Speak, Finally

Aren't they tired of telling people they are too weak in their own convictions? After all, if they really believed they were right then why would they be so afraid to see a cross or hear someone offer a prayer for them?

Freedom of speech, on of the freedoms they risk their lives to preserve, does not mean they have the right to take it away from people they don't agree with.

No one is stopping them from simply replying they don't approve of the message.
Outcry leads Air Force to rescind ‘blessed day’ ban
Macon Telegraph
March 12, 2015
In the complaint from the airman posted on the foundation’s website, the airman stated “I found the greeting to be a notion that I, as a non-religious member of the military community, should believe a higher power has an influence on how my day should go.”

After widespread outcry, the Air Force reversed a decision to ban Robins Air Force Base security personnel from saying “Have a blessed day” to people entering the gates.

Earlier, the gate guards were told not to give the greeting after an unidentified airman complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, according to the group’s website.

The foundation complained to the base, and the base issued the ban.

News of the ban went viral Thursday. That, in turn, led to this statement from the Air Force later in the day:
“Defenders have been asked to use the standard phrase ‘Welcome to Team Robins’ in their greeting and can add various follow-on greetings as long as they remain courteous and professional,” the statement read. “The Air Force takes any expressed concern over religious freedom very seriously.
“Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase ‘have a blessed day’ as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force Instructions.” In the complaint from the airman posted on the foundation’s website, the airman stated “I found the greeting to be a notion that I, as a non-religious member of the military community, should believe a higher power has an influence on how my day should go.”
read more here

Thursday, January 8, 2015

King North Carolina Wuss Legislators Removing Soldier Kneeling at a Cross Statue

I can't take credit for this word but it fits perfectly! "Wussification" is a term used by local radio show host Rick Stacy on 105.9 FM. I love this show and he makes my day heading into work at 6:30 until he gets off the air at 9:00. Anyway, whenever I read stories like the following, the term "batcrapcrazy" would jump out of my mouth to prevent my head from exploding. Stacy uses the term a lot and it helps calm me down.

Well it looks like wussification just took over in King North Carolina as legislators cave in.
City leaders agree to remove 'praying soldier' statue from veterans memorial
January 7, 2015

KING, N.C. — Leaders in the Stokes County city of King voted 3-2 Tuesday to remove a statue of a praying soldier at a local park, saying the cost of fighting a federal lawsuit would "greatly exceed" the city's insurance policy limits.

"The decision to settle this case has been very difficult for the King City Council," the city said in a statement.

The moves comes after a two-year legal battle between the city and Steven Hewett, a former police officer and U.S. Army veteran who claimed the city promoted Christianity at a veteran's memorial that is situated in King's Central Park.

The city removed a Christian flag from the memorial in 2010 but refused to remove the statue, which depicts a soldier kneeling at a cross.
read more here

Everyone has the right to believe what they want or not believe in anything or anyone. My question to them is simple. Has anyone ever forced you to pay homage? Has anyone ever forced you to even pay attention to it?

How big of a wuss are you if something like this makes you feel uncomfortable? This stands for fallen soldiers and the members of their "family" they left behind. You know. The guys and women willing to die for your right to be able to use your own rights but I doubt you ever once considered that they did it for everyone else too. That means they didn't die to give you the right to take away the right of someone else!

I have defended your right to believe in nothing when some were forced in the Army to attend a Christian concert but I defended the right of a Christian Chaplain talking about his faith when faced with PTSD and the loss of hope while speaking about suicide prevention.

I have seen too much evidence of the souls of men and women moved far beyond what you may call "human nature" because while human nature can do good as well as bad, the people serving in the military go beyond all of it and still manage to shed a tear, reach out a hand and show compassion while other people are trying to kill them. They comfort children as if they were their own and the price they pay for the rest of their lives if a child is killed during war never leaves them.

I have seen the transformation within them as they heal with what you seem so terrified of you cannot even stand to see an image of unselfish love. The first thing they want to do is help other veterans heal too.

You may think it is brave to stand up for your right to not have to look at something but they put their lives on the line generation after generation and this is a symbol of a sacrifice made by them. Stunning how so many atheists never seem understand no one is trying to take away their right to make their own choices which include, not looking at something like this.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Atheists came up with list of what they believe in not believing?

Atheists came up with list of what they believe in not believing?
Here are the "Ten Non-Commandments" chosen as the winners:

1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.

2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.

3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.

4. Every person has the right to control of their body.

5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.

6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.

7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.

8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.

9. There is no one right way to live.

10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

Number 5 is funny when you think about it. Why mention God if they don't believe there is one?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gideons Bibles are going back into Navy lodges

I do not approve of any member of the military feeling forced to do anything against their will when it comes to the personal choice of matters of faith or the lack of it. That said, I approve of this move because some choose to believe and Bibles have a long history in the military.
Navy Tells Lodges to Put Bibles Back in Rooms
Stars and Stripes
by Travis J. Tritten
Aug 15, 2014

WASHINGTON -- Gideons Bibles are going back into Navy lodges.

The Navy on Thursday ordered the Bibles returned to rooms and said it is reviewing a decision by the Navy Exchange to remove them from its worldwide network of military hotels.

Atheists had cheered a victory after a complaint prompted the exchange to begin moving the Bibles to its lost-and-found bins this summer, but the Navy said the decision was made without consulting senior leadership.

"That decision and our religious accommodation policies with regard to the placement of religious materials are under review," Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes.

"While that review is under way, religious materials removed from Navy Lodge rooms will be returned." Bibles donated by Gideons International are a common sight in Navy lodges and at hotels around the world.
"This will allow the commanding officer to determine ... whether the materials will be accepted and how they will be handled and distributed," Mayhue wrote.

The memo was prompted by a complaint in March by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin atheist group that claims 21,000 members including hundreds of active-duty troops and veterans.
read more here

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Atheists want Bibles out of the military?

Why are atheists so afraid of Bibles?

Freedom of Religion means no one is forced to believe anything but it also means that no one should force their views on anyone else or stop them from believing as they see fit.

There is a long tradition of members of the military taking Bibles into combat but there are no claims of anyone being forced to take one. My father-in-law kept the Bible he was given during WWII. My Dad kept his from the Korean War and my husband has his from the Vietnam War.

Since they cannot understand this is a long held tradition in the military the solution is simple. Let the Chaplains hand them out to anyone wanting to receive one. After all, if you go to Walter Reed with gifts for the wounded, religious items have to be turned over to the Chaplain.
I defend the rights of atheists to be protected from anyone trying to force them to attend any religious event but sometimes they go just too far.
Atheists Want Guard to Stop Bible Handouts
by Bryant Jordan
Aug 05, 2014

An atheist organization is demanding that the Missouri National Guard stop offering Bibles to new recruits at its recruiting station in St. Louis.

The American Humanist Association, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, also requested the New Testaments volumes displayed in the building be removed.

"Numerous cases have ruled that when the government offers biblical literature, even if done indirectly, it is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion," Monica Miller, an attorney for the association's Appignani Humanist Legal Center, wrote in a letter to the General Services Administration and to the Missouri National Guard. The GSA owns the building housing the Guard recruiting station and other military offices.
read more here

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Atheist Marine became a Warfighter Chaplain

Marine turned chaplain explains roles of religious ministries
1st Marine Logistics GroupSearch Icon
Story by Cpl. Timothy Childers
April 4, 2014

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Captain Bill M. Appleton, currently the chaplain of 1st Marine Logistics Group, began his career, not as a commissioned naval officer, but as a recruit stepping onto the yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 1976 and at the age of 17.

Appleton, who is from Philadelphia, served for 12 years active and reserve in the Marine Corps until he retired at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. He accepted admission into the Navy Chaplain Kennedy Program in 1998, after feeling a call to ministry and has remained an active duty chaplain since.

Q: Why did you feel the calling to become a Navy chaplain?

A: “I was good at taking orders, I felt a call for ministry and ‘Aye Aye Sir’ was the only answer I knew. But truthfully, I came in an atheist and became a Christian from the invitation of a young fellow Marine. A year later, when I was stationed in Hawaii, I felt the call to ministry. I didn’t tell anybody because I couldn’t understand why God would call a Marine to be a chaplain. It seemed contradictory, a warfighter becoming a chaplain. Now I understand more fully. Now I can relate to my fellow Marines.
If they want to come and talk with me, they know they are talking to somebody that has at least walked a day in their shoes.”
read more here

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Would-Be Chaplain Who Doesn't Believe in God

And just where do they think non-believers should go when they need spiritual help? I have a problem with atheists wanting their own chaplain but given the choice of that or no one to talk to, something has to be done. As for congress putting a ban in place, that is among the most stupid stunts they have pulled. Consider the fact that military suicides and attempted suicides are at an all time high, there isn't much these folks have gotten right.
The Would-Be Chaplain Who Doesn't Believe in God
Stars and Stripes
by Leo Shane III
Jul 29, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Jason Heap wants to be a Navy chaplain. But he doesn't believe in God.

Belief in a higher power, the 38-year-old humanist argues, has nothing to do with that work.

"I am aware there are many who would be reticent or militant against that," he said. "But at the end of the day, my job is not to inculcate my viewpoints onto other people. My job as a chaplain is to be a facilitator, someone who cares for people, someone who is a sounding board."

Heap submitted his application to the Armed Forces Chaplains Board earlier this month, in an effort to become the first humanist chaplain in military history.

He holds master's degrees from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University and Oxford University, and has almost finished a doctorate too. He has been teaching religious studies to teenagers in Britain for the last five years and has been conducting scholarly research on 17th century Baptist literature for longer than that.

He passed his physical and is eager to become a sailor.

Supporters argue he would be a shoo-in to serve as a chaplain if he were a practicing Christian.

But Heap's application comes at a time when lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing to bar atheists from joining the chaplain corps, arguing that only "religious" officials should be able to fill those roles.

Last week, House lawmakers approved an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill designed to block the Pentagon from accepting chaplains who don't believe in a god.
read more here

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Florida Atheists put up monument to nothing

Some of my friends are very upset over Atheists putting up a monument near where the Ten Commandments monument is. I am no more upset about this than I am about the fact some people do not believe in God. It is up to them. If this is public land, then they have the same rights believers do. They do not harm my faith any more than idol worshipers hurt the faith of early Christians. As a matter of fact, how they treated the Christians in the beginning caused more people to hear about Christ and they ended up joining no matter what price they would have to pay. They worshiped in hiding knowing if they were caught, they would be put to death.

No one can ever control what is in the mind and hearts of others. This nation began so that all people could worship or not as they see fit. To feel threatened in anyway by a monument put up by Atheists that believe in nothing honors it. How can we complain about nothing? They have an equal right under the laws of this nation. I just find it ironic when they fear Christian symbols like the Cross, as if it does them any harm at all, then turn around and put up a symbol of their faith in nothing.

Atheists unveil monument in Florida and promise to build 50 more
RAW Story
By David Ferguson
Saturday, June 29, 2013

At the unveiling of the first-ever atheist monument erected on government public property Saturday, the organization American Atheists announced that they plan to erect more monuments at locations throughout the country. In a press release, American Atheists President David Silverman said that the organization has plans for 50 more monuments at public sites across the country.

The unveiling took place at noon on Saturday at the courthouse in Starke, Florida, where last year a Christian group erected a monument to the Christian Bible’s Ten Commandments. The new atheist monuments will be placed in similar locations, where Christian groups have erected monuments to their beliefs in public, government-owned places.

“We’re not going to let them do it without a counterpoint,” Silverman told the Miami Herald. “If we do it without a counterpoint it’s going to appear very strongly that the government actually endorses one religion over another, or — I should say — religion in general over non-religion.”
read more here

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bahrain live Nativity rescheduled for Christmas Eve

Bahrain live Nativity rescheduled for Christmas Eve
Stars and Stripes
Published: December 14, 2012

Servicemembers in Bahrain will have a live Nativity scene after all.

The performance has been rescheduled for Christmas Eve after an atheist group complained that the original event to be held during the base tree-lighting ceremony amounted to command sponsorship of a Christian holiday and threatened the safety of servicemembers in the Muslim-majority country.

“The Nativity scene being held on ... Dec. 24 will be very similar to the originally scheduled program,” said base spokeswoman Jennifer Stride.

Stride would not explain why the initial Nativity performance was canceled. read more here
Bahrain Navy Base Christmas plans scuttled after atheist group complains

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bahrain Navy Base Christmas plans scuttled after atheist group complains

Bahrain live nativity rescheduled for Christmas Eve

Live nativity scene at Bahrain base scuttled after atheist group complains
Stars and Stripes
Published: December 13, 2012

NAPLES, Italy — A live Nativity scene planned at the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain was dropped from a holiday program after an atheist group complained that it amounted to command sponsorship of a Christian event and could put servicemembers in the Muslim-majority country at risk.

The live nativity was initially scheduled for Dec. 6 during an annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony hosted by Naval Support Activity Bahrain. The celebration also advertised appearances from “Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Camel,” according to a promotional flyer.

The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers wrote a complaint to the Inspector General responsible for Navy installations, asking that the event be investigated because it promoted “Christianity as the official religion of the base.”

“This violates the Constitution and the mandates of the command to support all belief while privileging none,” the group wrote, according to a post on its website.

The event also could foster misconceptions about the U.S. military’s religious agenda in a Muslim country, the group argued.
read more here

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Indiana Guard chief promoted religion. So What?

Indiana Guard chief promoted religion. So What?
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
August 22, 2012

Indiana Guard chief promoted religion? Well that is what the title said anyway. This is a lot more complicated than this simple title suggested. While Mikey Weinstein has been doing a lot of good when it comes to everyone in the military being able to decide their own faith and has been against forcing anyone, he has been wrong on several issues that do not cross the line. He was against The Cross at Camp Pendleton saying that atheists were harmed by it. If they don't believe in anything then how does this actually harm them? It isn't as if they were forced to go and kneel in front of it. Weinstein has never really explained that one. He was right when it came to soldiers being forced to go to a religious concert at Fort Eustis.

I doubt he can explain how Indiana Guard Major General Umbarger's support of a religious group especially when evidence supports the power of spiritual healing when soldiers have PTSD and military suicides have gone up. Umbarger was talking about a group trying to help.

Centurion’s Watch Founder, Doug Hedrick, Speaks Directly to You
Major Doug Hedrick, Founder of Centurion’s Watch, and the Board of Directors of Centruion’s Watch, are passionate and dedicated to strengthening military marriages across America, including yours! Doug would like to personally invite you and your spouse to attend an upcoming “Fortified” Military Marriage Conference, and to ask you to consider partnering with us, your local church, and local businesses to bring a conference to an area near you. We want your marriage to be healthy and strong, and we need your help to reach other military couples who need to discover the principles, tools, support, and encouragement they need to enjoy the marriage relationship that they desire and God intended.

As Florida State Coordinator of Point Man International Ministries we help veterans and their families from all walks and all faiths. I am a Christian but fully acknowledge that all Christian denominations do not agree on doctrine. All of the people I help are helped the same way. With the love and compassion of Christ no matter what they claim their own faith is. I do not hit them over the head with the Bible any more than I try to covert them to my own faith. I am Greek Orthodox for Heaven's sake. Do you really think I could covert anyone? We come from all branches of faith and we like it that way. We aim to heal the soul of veterans and their families, not get butts in the pews.

There are times when I have to worry about crossing the line even when I am talking Christians because their faith preaches something I don't agree with. It isn't up to me to tell them they are wrong in what they believe. It us up to me to use what they believe to help them to heal.

It is the same when I talk to a person with no faith at all. I talk to them as a person spiritually since that part of the of the whole veteran is at the core of PTSD. It is a spiritual wound and requires treatment of the mind, body and spirit.

If no one was forced to support Centurion's Watch, or listen to Umbarger's speech, then there should be no problem with this.

Group: Indiana Guard chief promoted religion
By Chris Sikich and Michael Boren
Indianapolis Star
Posted : Tuesday Aug 21, 2012

The head of the Indiana National Guard says he made a video promoting an evangelical Christian group because it helps soldiers who struggle with their marriages after coming home from war.

But a military watchdog group says Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, the Guard’s adjutant general, violated military rules and the First Amendment by promoting a religious group in the 33-second video while in uniform.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, based in Albuquerque, N.M., sent a letter to the National Guard Bureau on Thursday asking that Umbarger be investigated and punished. Former Air Force attorney Mikey Weinstein founded the group, which seeks to guarantee religious freedom in the military.

The issue, Weinstein said, is that Umbarger’s message promotes one religious group over others. In the military, Weinstein says, such a show of support from a two-star general is intimidating.

“He should be removed immediately,” Weinstein told The Indianapolis Star on Monday, “and, from our perspective, court-martialed.”

Umbarger made the video in September 2011 on behalf of Centurion’s Watch, a Christian group based in Indianapolis that offers marriage counseling to military families. It was posted on the nonprofit’s website.
read more here
Yep, that's all he did. No one was forced to do anything.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) military suicides are "atheists"

Looks like his thought bubble just burst. How dare this man try to blame military suicides on "atheists",,,has he ever talked to them or their families? Does he believe they deserve to die if they are atheist? I was sent a link to Rock Beyond Belief and didn't trust the site so I went looking for where it came from. It was on Gohmert's congressional page as if he's proud of it.

Kimberly Willingham (202) 225-3035
Jonna Fitzgerald (903) 561-6349

Gohmert’s Statement on the Tragedy in Colorado
July 20, 2012
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement today regarding the senseless shooting in Aurora, Colorado last night:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their loved ones because of senseless violence last night in Aurora, Colorado. This tragedy is not only heartbreaking –it is incomprehensible. We should unite together as compassionate Americans to comfort those who are mourning. It is my prayer that we will cling tightly as ‘one nation under God’ and lift each other up in ongoing prayer, as well as, bringing physical comfort and support during this heartbreaking time.”

Below is a transcript of my discussion with former Congressman Ernest Istook on his show, Istook Live. Some of my comments in this interview have been taken out of context. Below is the full transcript in context:

ISTOOK: As promised we have a member of congress that is a former judge. Congressman Louie Gohmert represents the first district of Texas. We are happy to have him with us because everybody is concerned about what has happened with this shooting. Let me see if we have him here. Louie?

ISTOOK: That’s a huge figure. But that’s theirs. That’s about 68 hundred times a day which means that the number of times that they defend people is far greater than the times that they are used to take a life. Ah, but again, there are so many unknowns; I don’t want to get too far afield on this, this Colorado shooting. But, but what was your experience as a Judge, when you were on the bench? This is Congressman Louie Gohmert. When you were on the bench, what was your experience with people who had mental health issues that were involved in crimes of violence?

GOHMERT: Well, it’s always a problem and there are some people that require medication, and when they are on their medication they are not a problem whatsoever. But you can’t require them, you know, to keep taking their medication, and because you can’t follow them around. You can commit them to mental health facilities, but then they put them on their medications and they do fine and then they release them, then you, you know. We had an engineer who was just a wonderful guy, but when he got off his medication – ya know, it came in –our friend was out at a major intersection – eight lanes both ways –he’s running naked between the cars. When he was on his medication, he was a great functioning member of society. But, ya know, I might mention something else that had not been public yet, most of us that follow the military know we have had an extraordinary increase in suicide in the military –and it’s just heartbreaking. And, I’ve sat with families around their kitchen tables and they are going ‘we never saw this coming – ya know, we didn’t know.” And there was a study commissioned…

ISTOOK: And, Louie, we’re gonna have to finish...

GOHMERT: Well, let me say this very quickly – but its six thousand personality index profiles. And, what they found, and I don’t know if they will make it public – one of the participants told me ‘ the results may not go public’; but, all of the people who committed suicide, within their thousands of people studied, were part of the 2-percent most atheistic members of the military . We’ve lost our faith.

ISTOOK: Thank you, Louie Gohmert – Congressman from the First District of Texas.

Congressman Louie Gohmert is the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas. He also served as Chief Justice of Texas'12th Court of Appeals.

*****This is from his own site*****

Saturday, April 21, 2012

God-less chaplains in the military

When the news came out about atheists wanting their own Chaplain I thought it was a joke.

When you read what a Military Chaplain is supposed to do, it actually makes sense, even though I hate to admit it.
A military chaplain ministers to military personnel and, in most cases, their families and civilians working for the military. In some cases they will also work with local civilians within a military area of operations.

Although the term chaplain originally had Christian roots,[1] it is generally used today in military organizations to describe all professionals specially trained to serve any spiritual need, regardless of religious affiliation. In addition to offering pastoral care to individuals, and supporting their religious rights and needs, military chaplains may also advise the executive on issues of religion, ethics, morale and morals. They may also liaise with local religious leaders in an effort to understand the role of religion as both a factor in hostility and war and as a force for reconciliation and peace.[2]

Military chaplains normally represent a religion or faith group but work with military personnel of all faiths and none. Some countries, like the Netherlands, also employ humanist chaplains who offer a non-religious approach to chaplain support. Groups such as the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers,[3] support the idea of such chaplains.

There have been a lot of complaints that haven't made the news lately regarding servicemen and women seeking spiritual help from a Military Chaplain but instead of being comforted, they are told they are going to hell unless they convert.

In the following article this statement shows it is much worse than we thought it was.

GRIFFITH: It went on and on telling me that I need to improve my spiritual fitness. But if I need help, I call this 1-800 number. So I called that 1-800 number, and I was basically just going to yell at whoever it was, and to my surprise this was a suicide hotline. I was told that I was suicidal because I was not religious.

I am a Chaplain but not a "Military Chaplain" even though I work with veterans and their families. While I am a Christian (Greek Orthodox) I help people no matter what group they belong to from where they are spiritually. If they do not believe in Christ as the Son of God, they are at least able to accept Him as a person, or at the very least, a good story of morality, love, compassion and forgiveness.

I hang out with guys covered with tattoos, love to drink beer, carry guns and they ride Harleys. Most claim to be a member of one denomination or another, but they do not attend a church. The Nam Knights have had two weddings in the last couple of years but they were at the club house. Rev. Al Paquette officiated. He is a prison pastor ministering to the jailed and forgotten by "polite society" and preaching about God's love. Rev. Al Paquette, former badass biker, now bringing the message of hope and recovery into the darkest places on the planet. From documentary "Real Sobriety."

Real Sobriety Bonus: Rev. Al Paquette from Jill Heinerth on Vimeo.

The people I love and spend a lot of my time with would not fit in with what most "Christians" think they are supposed to be. Then again, there are a lot of churchgoers not acting very Christian at all. The only issue I have with the "atheists and non-believers" is when they try to take away from the believers because they use a "Christian symbol" as a memorial. As for the rest of what the following has to say, even I can now see the need for it.
Godless Chaplains
April 20th, 2012

LUCKY SEVERSON, correspondent: It was only fitting that the first parachutist out of the plane at this festival for atheists and non-believers at Fort Bragg is herself an atheist—Sargent Rachel Medley.

SARGENT RACHEL MEDLEY: I am an atheist and I’m a good person—have, you know, a great life and have great friends, and my service to my country is based on my personal morals which are help other people, be kinds to others, treat others as you would like to be treated.

SEVERSON: She would like to be treated with more respect, as would many of the troops attending this first ever event expressly for soldiers who don’t believe in God. Sargent Justin Griffith was one of the organizers.

SARGENT JUSTIN GRIFFITH: This is us coming out of the closet, you know, shattering that stained glass ceiling. We want to remove the stigma about atheists and whatever they think the word “atheist” means.

SEVERSON: As unlikely as it may seem, one token of respect they would like is an atheist chaplain. That’s a tall order considering that conservative evangelical clergy dominate the ranks of the chaplaincy. Organizations like the National Association of Evangelicals, the NAE, dispute any need for an atheist chaplain. Galen Carey is an NAE vice president.

GALEN CAREY: Well, evangelicals very strongly supported the men and women in uniform, and they want to see that their spiritual needs are met. I don’t think you would find many who could understand, frankly, the point of a chaplain for atheists.

SEVERSON: There are over 3000 chaplains all together. Ninety percent are Christian, even though only about 7 out of 10 soldiers claim to be Christian. There are also a handful of Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu chaplains. Jason Torpy, an Iraq veteran, wants to know why the much larger group of atheists or humanists, estimated to be about 40,000 soldiers, don’t have their own chaplain.
read more here

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Atheism-themed concert held at Fort Bragg

Atheism-themed concert held at Bragg
By Tom Breen -
The Associated Press Posted :
Sunday Apr 1, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — For the first time in history, the U.S. military hosted an event expressly for soldiers and others who don’t believe in God, with a county fair-like gathering Saturday on the main parade ground at one of the world’s largest Army posts. The Rock Beyond Belief event at Fort Bragg, organized by soldiers here two years after an evangelical Christian event at the eastern North Carolina post, is the most visible sign so far of a growing desire by military personnel with atheist or other secular beliefs to get the same recognition as their religious counterparts.

The purpose was not to make the Army look bad, organizers said, but to show that atheists and other secular believers have a place in institutions like the military. “I love the military,” said Sgt. Justin Griffith, main organizer of the event and the military director of American Atheists. He added, “This is not meant to be a black eye.” Griffith said he and other non-religious soldiers are not permitted to hold atheist meetings at the post and have so far been rebuffed in their efforts to change that. They feel their beliefs marginalize them.

Organizers were hoping for a crowd of about 5,000. At least several hundred people gathered on the parade ground by midday Saturday. Rainy weather for most of the morning may have affected the turnout. Fort Bragg officials said they would provide a crowd estimate later. read more here

Friday, March 16, 2012

Texas man allegedly killed soldier for not believing in God

Texas man allegedly killed soldier for not believing in God

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, March 15, 2012

Can being an atheist in America get you killed? If police in the small Texas town of Petrolia are to be believed, the answer to that question is yes.

Officials in Clay County, Texas revealed this week that human remains uncovered near the Oklahoma border last month were those of Spc. Jose Ramirez, an El Centro, California native who went missing from Fort Sill, Oklahoma more than seven years ago. A former friend of Ramirez’s, 30-year-old Justin Green, was charged with the murder in February.

Three others, including Green’s mother and sister, also face charges related to helping clean up the crime scene and hide the body, and the story was carried earlier this week by The Associated Press.

But one shocking detail in that story seemed to be overlooked in the AP’s lead: A criminal complaint against the group, obtained by Raw Story on Thursday, shows that Green’s sister believes he killed Ramirez “because Ramirez did not believe in God.”
read more here
Fort Sill soldier missing since 2005 remains found in shallow grave

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How does Camp Pendleton Cross hurt Atheists?

How does Camp Pendleton Cross hurt Atheists?
Chaplain Kathie

It is not as if the government has issued a rule saying the cross "has to" be there. It isn't as if the government said no other faith can be displayed there. So why is the claim of a group of Atheists being considered to trump the needs of these Marines to honor their dead?

If Atheists believe in nothing than how does this harm them? Are they being forced to go up the hill and worship at it? There are many complaints they have that should be taken very seriously.

One of them is when they go to see a Chaplain for spiritual issues and are told they must convert or they will go to hell. Now, that's something to complain about. Being forced to attend a Christian concert is something to complain about. Being forced to go to a church service is another thing to complain about and I will defend them on those issues. No one should be forced to do anything against what they believe. The Marines shouldn't be forced to go against what they believe either. They believe the cross honors the lives lost in combat. They believe the cross symbolizes that sacrifice better than anything else.

Atheists, Marines debate Camp Pendleton crosses

Associated Press

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Camp Pendleton, --

San Diego County - A Marine Corps ruling on the future of a pair of crosses at the top of a steep Camp Pendleton hill isn't expected until next year.

An atheist group wants the crosses to come down. Many Marines and their families want the crosses to stay in honor of comrades killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Base officials have sent a recommendation to Washington, but won't say what it is.
read more here

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Memorial to fallen stirs controversy

Memorial to fallen stirs controversy 

Marine Corps weighs fate of crosses atop remote hill in Camp Pendleton

Written by J. Harry Jones

The Marine Corps will soon decide whether two crosses that sit atop a remote hill in Camp Pendleton as a memorial to fallen troops should be removed.

One of the crosses was placed on the hill in 2008, about 60 feet from where another had been for four years but burned in a wildfire in 2007. The second, a 13-foot cross made of a fire-resistant material, was erected Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

A controversy started after the Los Angeles Times wrote a story and published photographs of it being carried up the steep hillside. Atheist groups read the story and complained. They said the separation of church and state dictates that religious symbols should not be allowed on public land. Base officials have conducted a legal review and have sent their recommendation to Washington, where a final decision awaits. They declined to say what that recommendation is.

Should the crosses be allowed to stay, a lawsuit is likely. This is just the latest battle in San Diego County over crosses. After receiving two complaints, Caltrans quietly removed three crosses from a roadside pullout just south of Julian in August. The largest of those three crosses is back now, near where it once stood, but this time on private land. The Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla has been a legal issue for years, its fate still unknown. read more here