Just over a year ago, Colonel Stephen J. Sicinski — Fort Bragg’s Garrison Commander — was delivering the news that Rock Beyond Belief, a celebration for atheists in the military, would be held at a smaller-than-expected venue, would not receive any funding (despite a similar Christian event getting $50,000), and would not endorse the event in any way (despite wholeheartedly endorsing the Christian event).
Those revelations effectively killed the event.
But what a difference a year makes.
Here’s Col. Sicinski now:
Colonel Sicinski explains, “I want to assure you that Fort Bragg will not discriminate against speech on the basis of its viewpoint. Stated another way, I understand and respect that there will be ample discussion about atheism and/or humanism during the festival and that the speakers may criticize organized religion or its practitioners.”
Wow. That’s not just getting out of the way. That’s supporting a really politically tough position. Good for him.
Organizer Justin Griffith appreciates the support:
“… Colonel Sicinski’s written promise to protect statements critical of religion proves that he really does support us.”
That event takes place just one week after the Reason Rally; thousands of Foxhole Atheists, friends, and family members are expected to attend.
I don’t usually get nervous in front of a crowd, but this may be the most intimidating group of people I’ll ever speak in front of…
***Update***: The commenters who say no taxpayer money was spent on the Christian event are lying: