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Re: [atheists-59] Reporting Religion

From: steve
Sent on: Monday, June 11, 2007 10:28 PM
Army to EO Reps: "Discrimination Against Atheists OK"
Wayne Adkins


Contact Wayne Adkins at [address removed].
Wayne Adkins
April 29, 2007

It was bad enough when Army chaplains and leaders like Chief of the National Guard Bureau Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum were disparaging atheists in the press. It was bad enough when my formal EO complaint was thrown away by the National Guard Bureau EO office. It was bad enough when the Department of the Army Inspector General's office refused to follow regulations and send me a written response to my formal EO complaint. It was bad enough when I had to file for documents pertaining to my complaint under the Freedom of Information Act to discover its disposition. It was bad enough when those documents revealed that, despite the unlawful discrimination that had occurred according to Army Regulation[masked], the Army concluded that "Lt. Gen. Blum's remarks, though perhaps insensitive, did not rise to the level of an offense".

Now the Army National Guard is telling its unit level Equal Opportunity representatives that it is OK to discriminate against atheists. They are using my formal EO complaint as a training scenario in which a Lieutenant files a formal EO complaint against a general officer for claiming that there are no atheists in foxholes. The Sergeant Major who conducted the EO training for Ohio's unit level EO reps told them that "since atheism is not a religion, atheists are not protected by the regulation and it is acceptable for officers and chaplains to disparage their own soldiers". This is, of course, a fallacy. To discriminate against a soldier because he has no religion is still discrimination on the basis of religion. The Army's position on this is like saying that discriminating against someone because they are black is illegal, but discriminating against someone because they are "not white" is fine.

This only further confirms that the problem of bigotry towards atheists in the Army is a systemic one. The Army not only looks the other way when officers and supposed leaders disparage soldiers because they lack a belief in the supernatural, the Army systematically ignores formal EO complaints by atheists and refuses to enforce its own regulations. Now, being the efficient machine it is, the Army is training its EO reps to ignore legitimate EO complaints by atheists at the lowest possible level. I am so glad I submitted my resignation as an officer. The Army has disgraced itself by protecting bigots and allowing unlawful discrimination to continue.

1LT Wayne Adkins

 

 

 

 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Josiah <[address removed]>
> To: [address removed]
> Subject: Re: [atheists-59] Reporting Religion
> Date: Mon, 11 Jun[masked]:40:08 -0400 (EDT)
> 
> 
> As a former marine, I can tell you that offically, the military is
> pretty hands off on religon. They largley take the stance that those
> things are "above my pay grade" as the saying goes. Of course the
> reality is very complicated.
> 
> On 6/11/07, Susan <[address removed]> wrote:
> > According to the Department of Veterans Affairs "Available 
> > Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and 
> > Markers" (http://www.cem.va...­), the army 
> > allows both the American Atheists symbol and the Humanist symbol 
> > on tombstones.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > >From: Michael <[address removed]>
> > >Sent: Jun 11,[masked]:55 AM
> > >To: [address removed]
> > >Subject: [atheists-59] Reporting Religion
> > >
> > >2 issues raised on this week's religion show on the BBC World Service:
> > >
> > >1. The Catholic Church is increasingly pressuring Catholic politicians
> > >to vote the church's line, even at this point threatening them with
> > >excommunication.­ This week's show mentioned Australia, but I also read
> > >in the paper about Mexico City's vote on abortion.
> > >
> > >The issue here is not abortion. Of course, I do not expect all atheists
> > >to hold the same position on abortion. We are a diverse lot. But when
> > >the Church starts dictating how Catholic politicians vote, they are
> > >bringing back that fear that so many Americans had in 1960 about
> > >electing a Catholic president: that he would have to take his orders
> > >from Rome and not from the American people and constitution.
> > >
> > >I might still vote for a Catholic politician, but he must first go out
> > >of his way to prove that his loyalty is to the American people and not
> > >to pope. I can longer take that for granted.
> > >
> > >2. After all these years, the US Army finally recognized the right of
> > >soldiers to have a Wiccan funeral. I'll admit that the only thing I like
> > >about Wiccan is its humor value, but I'm wondering, do atheist soldiers
> > >have the same right? I would assume so, but I'm not sure.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >--
> > >Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to 
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> > >This message was sent by Michael ([address removed]) from 
> > The Boston Atheists Meetup Group.
> > >To learn more about Michael, visit his/her member profile: 
> > http://atheists.m...­
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> > here: http://www.meetup...­
> > >
> > >Meetup.com Customer Service: [address removed]
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to 
> > everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> > This message was sent by Susan ([address removed]) from The 
> > Boston Atheists Meetup Group.
> > To learn more about Susan, visit his/her member profile: 
> > http://atheists.m...­
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> 
> 
> 
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to 
> everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> This message was sent by Josiah ([address removed]) from The 
> Boston Atheists Meetup Group.
> To learn more about Josiah, visit his/her member profile: 
> http://atheists.m...­
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>



---
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law." -Thomas Jefferson

"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." -
Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (1797), approved by unanimous vote

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." -James Madison


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