Justin Griffith writes that the higher ups at Ft. Bragg are refusing to allow us to collect canned goods at this weekend’s Rock Beyond Belief event to help feed homeless veterans. They’re using a policy that forbids “fundraising” on the base to do so, but applying it inconsistently:
This means that the evangelicals surely had to follow this law too, right? Of course not.
They were permitted to raise funds (in the form of cash!) for months on post. They raised $54,000 in tithing at every chapel on post – there are several. That is a colossal fundraising effort, repeatedly violating the regulation – at multiple locations on post.
They spent the money on radio commercials (over $5K) and newspapers ($5K) and sandwiches, face paint, transportation and hotel rooms for their guests, etc. It represents institutionalized violations of the ethics code that they claim applies to their own event. The cleverest among you may notice that the entire point of their event was to convert as many people as possible to Christianity – a membership drive is an understatement. People should be in a massive amount of trouble for this!
Because there are loopholes that allow the chaplains to do what no one else can do. And to this day, Griffith’s atheist group is not allowed to meet on the base, they have to meet off the base. It’s just another example to show why Rock Beyond Belief and the larger movement on behalf of atheists in the military is so important.
And how myopic of the base commanders. Do they really want to take a stand against helping homeless vets? A huge number of the homeless are vets. The collection of food will go on, but it must go on at the afterparty at the hotel rather than at the event itself.
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