Calling all foxhole atheists – fill out THIS version of the Spiritual Fitness test.

Spiritual Fitness separation of Church and StateThat’s right, there is research being done into that offensive mandatory Spiritual Fitness testing and training. I was shocked at the test, and surprised that I was the first person to even call it out.

Please fill out this new version of the test no matter if you are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps… Active, Reserve, National Guard.

If you are a CURRENT OR VETERAN U.S. Military service member: (Update: civilians can click here)

CLICK HERE FOR THE NEW TEST

U.S. Military Personnel and Veterans’ participation wanted for national online Secular/Spiritual Well-Being Survey Study

In October 2009, the Army began measuring the “spiritual fitness” of troops with the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program’s Global Assessment Tool.  This Tool is an online survey that asks a series of multiple-choice questions about a person’s well-being.

The Center for Atheist Research (atheistresearch.org) is conducting an online research study on the validity of this “spiritual fitness” Tool, and on the secular/spiritual well-being of U.S. Military Personnel and Veterans.

If you are a member or veteran of the U.S. Military, you are invited to participate in this survey study, which has been approved by the University of Tampa Institutional Review Board.

To participate in, or learn more about, this survey please visit this link.

If you would like to speak with the principal investigator, Dr. Ryan Cragun, about this survey, please contact him at rcragun@ut.edu.

Thank you again for your consideration.

Ryan T. Cragun, Ph.D
Joseph H. Hammer, M.Ed.
Karen Hwang, Ed.D.

As a reminder, the Spiritual portions of the original test are most certainly about religion. Please keep in mind that we all are likely to have some variation to the degree to which we answer each question. And not every question got the lowest rating from me. For instance, even on the old test, I had no problem answering ’5 out of 5′ for the question about having a purpose to my life.

I’ve previously explained exactly how I answered, and how my answers were shaped by my lack of belief in concepts like eternity, after-life, etc.

The new version has many more questions on it, and I am trying to avoid poisoning the sample by saying my exact thoughts. But I can see a lot of improvements. I also see the old questions. If you are the type who just clicks through, you are going to fail miserably, and you will be detected. You might as well just not take it.

But, please take it.

Lastly, if you are religious you may very well be taking this survey at your own peril. Some deities may not look kindly upon you actually writing that you deny your maker. I’ll still be your friend though, but please don’t crash this poll. Just use the regular test if you absolutely have to click on things.

***UPDATE: Civilian version available!***

Just got this reply from Joseph Hammer, M.Ed. behind the new testing.

HUGE thanks for posting the announcement about the military version of the study.  This will definitely help us reach an adequate sample size.

We do have a version specifically for civilians.  Here’s the link.

About Justin Griffith
  • http://www.mindspring.com/~wjager/ Bill Jager

    Retired U.S. Army, Alaska Native Vietnam Veteran. Raised without religious beliefs and Agnostic/Atheist for many years, but grown into just being a Atheist. It never occured to me to be anything else but a non-believer.

  • J

    For those of us not in the military, can we take this? Or is there a version for the curious to see that won’t mess up anyone’s statistics?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/members/justin/ Justin Griffith

      I also really want them to adjust it or make a secondary one. I’ll put in the request. People really should see it, it’s pretty cool.

  • http://www.rationalskepticism.org Paul Weaver

    That’s an improvement – but they still have a ways to go. I included some commentary as to the right direction; hopefully they’ll take it.

    I really think there should be a question along the lines of “Are you at all religious” whose answer in the negative allows the test-taker to skip over ALL the religious/mythological crap and onto questions which really matter. No more “coded questions” about meaning and purpose – make it clear that it’s all about internal and cultural values, ethics and norms instead of ancient mythology. No more excuses to allow the religious to claim that we are “fellow travelers” along THEIR path, or for those religiously inclined to use our scores to try to jam their imaginary friends down our throats.

    This test version is an improvement – but it appears they still don’t really get secularists/atheists (the very last section is probably the best that way – it seems someone has read Dr. Dawkins ;) )

    Thanks again, SGT Griffith, for getting the word out.

  • Eddy Fathom

    I’m in the Air Force and had to do the “Religious Freedom” training but was never made to take a test. The training for the Air Force is actually very fair. It surprised me – I was on the defensive waiting for the other shoe to drop – but the training was very measured and if anything emphasized that irreligious ideas are to be tolerated as equally as religious.

    The “spiritual readiness” bit is a joke but it does point out that one needn’t have a religion to be spiritual, which I agree with. I always have my beef when that aspect is ignored by the chaplains, shirts, commanders, etc., then I pull out the AFI and respectfully help them remember.

  • Jim

    As a squadron commander, I always respected the variety of diversity and beliefs of my Airmen. My job, in that regard, was to look out for the minority opinion, not promote the majority. Many people, in and out of the military, miss that point. I’ve led many a moment of silence, never a prayer. Praying is a personal thing between an individual and his or her deity. Reflecting in a 15 second moment of silence can be good for us all.

    The bottom line is that we respect each other’s beliefs, even when they cotnradict our own–how easy is that?

  • sammy spade

    As an atheist, I don’t have any problem with the test. It’s clearly *not* testing for a belief in god. When I take in the awe, wonder, and Magesty of the universe, and the unlikeliness and good luck of my existence, it’s a spiritual feeling. Being an atheist does make me feel connected to others, as the test tests for – far more than my religious upbringing that put a connection to god first.

    I’m not seeing what the big deal is. There must be bigger fish to fry.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/members/justin/ Justin Griffith

      You must not have taken the remedial spiritual fitness training (also mandatory). You must also not have read any of the links embedded in the article, please do so. The training taught you how to fold the American Flag like a christian (i.e. first fold represents jesus christ, second fold represents god the father, etc… for 12 folds… WTF!)

      You are also extremely unfamiliar with (current) army lingo. Spiritual Fitness = = religion 100% of the time. It’s pure religion, and you have fallen for a cursory look at the issue and the DoD bottom line response. Rock the Fort (the evangelical Christian concert series) was billed as a Spiritual Fitness event. I’d go on, but I already have. Just click on the links in the story above.

  • http://larianlequella.com larianlequella

    Survey taken! I suppose that since I feel that “purpose” is what you make it for yourself, I may have scored better than some. :) But I let them know in no uncertain terms that this is a BS test for all military to be subjected to.


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