‘Soldier Fitness Tracker’ Spiritual questions now available

Two days ago, when I broke the story about the Soldier Fitness Tracker survey, I had to paraphrase the ‘Spiritual’ questions from memory. My recollection was mostly spot on, but I couldn’t remember all of them. I was unable to retake the test myself, so I had no way to look them up word for word. As a consequence, a minor aspect of this story was transposed due to my paraphrasing.

I previously listed:  “I feel connected to a being that is greater than me.” as one of the questions. This was my mind trying to remember this question: “I believe that in some way my life is closely connected to all humanity and all the world.”

I’m able to correct this now only because the questions were recently made available in full. The following came from the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) website

Actual GAT Intro section and Spirituality Questions – Includes a disclaimer saying the spirituality questions are not religious in nature, but saying it doesn’t make it so. In addition, an initial report saying the questions asked about “belief in a higher being” was incorrect. As noted above, some mental gymnastics are required in associating this to a naturalistic/non-supernatural world view. Suggested changes are forthcoming.

The questions are as follows:

I am a spiritual person.

My life has lasting meaning.

I believe that in some way my life is closely connected to all humanity and all the world.

The job I am doing in the military has lasting meaning.

I believe there is a purpose for my life.

Screen capture:

Luckily, I did make screen captures of the results screens, which I expanded on in detail in that first post. Those results still have me absolutely furious, chocked full of insulting statements, and recommendations for counseling and therapy.

I am speaking out against the SFT for the same reasons we started Rock Beyond Belief.

The issues raised with the Soldier Fitness Tracker survey remind us why we were so offended when the Billy Graham Evangelical Associations, ‘Rock the Fort’ concert series came to Fort Bragg. It was allowed to convert several hundreds of soldiers on stage at a military base. At several bases, actually. It was their stated goal to convert as many soldiers, spouses and civilians as possible.

Currently, it seems that the reasons being given on why they aren’t banned from doing this are “The same level of support would be given to other groups”. A line of reasoning that seems to be inclusive to allowing a fundamentalist Islamic evangelical event. I highly doubt they would be given the support implied in the offer, nor should they.

That said, we honestly wish that nobody was allowed to have an event (even us). Until that happens, we will take up the standing offer of similar levels of support from Fort Bragg, and the Military.Our strategy of putting on a quasi-counter event is complicated; along the lines of  “the problem is the solution.” We are putting on the Rock Beyond Belief concert in Spring, while making a specific effort not to ‘de-convert’ or ‘de-baptize’ people.

Why the Soldier Fitness Tracker does not require a complicated approach:

The Soldier Fitness Tracker simply needs to remove the Spirituality aspects, or be scrapped altogether. Too easy. I’m aware of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF) intentions to make their move very soon. I assure you, their muscle and determination will be in full force. More to come on that front, that’s for sure.

*** UPDATE 6 JAN 2011*** There are MANY more questions that didn’t make it onto the MAAF leak. See below.

"Here I'd thought my friend had gone off the deep end. I am very much ..."

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."
"Go "back" to FB?You're talking about alternate futures."

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."
"JT is trolling today too. Was there a behind the scenes note to play knifey-spooney?"

Dawkins is Worse than ISIS But ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Donald M Maze

    Here’s wishing you and your organization, Rock Beyond Belief, sends the message you wish it to. The Air Force Academy is in need of a group of this type. The Christian fundamentalists seem to have that institution in their back pocket. I’d also like to see the position of Chaplin removed from the military also.

  • Pifase

    Greetings from Finland, I have been reading your case with great interest. US army clearly differs from armies of North European countries. We had a army priest and he spoke to us maybe once while we served and it was mostly an introduction to him and to his work.

    I find it very interesting that all of those SFT -questions can be answered 5 point yes as a rational and reasonable person who embrace scientific understanding of the universe.

    1. I am a spiritual person because universe is an interesting and a mysterious place and we dont understand it yet.

    2. My life has a lasting meaning, your life has a lasting meaning, our lives have lasting meanings… they all contribute something, good or bad in the great puzzle of life in planet earth.

    3. Im not a hermit, my life is connected to other people: family, friends, teammates, army, country, other countries…

    4. My job has a lasting meaning… see above number 2.

    5. This one is hard… I dont know if my life has a purpose. It might or it might not as grand cosmic scale but from my point of view I have certain needs and interests in life so yes – my life has a meaning at least for me, or “feed, survive, reproduce”.

  • As a retired Air Force zero, you have my sympathies and support. If I had been subjected to this, I think I would have found the highest ranking GO and bitch slapped them! This is just inexcusable!

  • lol, i wanna take this test, just for shits and giggles

  • Texasrose

    I don’t have screenshots, but another issue is family.
    I answered all questions honestly, I am a single mother and a grandmother and very close to my kids, yet I got a failing “grade” in family, the only question that I can think of that I didn’t give a positive answer to was the one about being in a relationship and/or being close to a spouse, so apparently having a healthy and strong relationship with your children is not enough, you have to be married or in a romantic relationship to get a go on the family portion

  • josh oakley

    I have been an Army chaplain assistant for roughly 10.5 years, and am openly agnostic (I say “openly” because it does present some challenges in the Chaplain Corps to be agnostic, privately or publicly. I disagree with some of your views about the questions in the GAT, I agree that the army’s take on how the spirituality portion is biased and offensive towards non-religious folk. I also think the 1SG in your original post was clearly in the wrong. Frankly, the concept of scoring spirituality section seems on its face premature, as there was not enough discussion with non-religious people on the topic of spirituality before the test was made.

    As a side note, I would like to add that being agnostic has not hindered my performance as a chaplain assistant. I would even say it added to my success.

    Please feel free to include my name in this post.