SGT Dustin Chalker, my friend and fellow foxhole atheist, wrote to me with exact figures from the mandatory Spiritual Fitness remedial training.
Keep in mind, when reporters and lawyers are around – Spiritual Fitness is only about ‘team spirit’ and ‘human spirit’. They emphatically declare that it has nothing to do with religion (clearly an admission that they understand such a thing would be illegal). This violates the No Religious Tests and Establishment Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
These reporters don’t have access to the training, and are typically swayed by the g-men they speak to. Dustin and I have both been edited down to mere seconds out of a 4 minute story multiple times.
So, is it about team spirit? If so, it wouldn’t have referred to religion…
Higher Power/Greater Power: 15
Non-Religious/Not Religious/No Religion: 0
I replied to Dustin with the following:
Also, you are probably aware of the several dozen religious images (a large portion of the total images) would be missed by this wordcount exercise.
Additionally, there are massive portions of audio that aren’t transcribed. I spent several hours actually documenting all of this stuff about 9 months ago…
Dustin has started a petition that the White House will have to officially respond to if we get a few thousand more signatures. Please read the Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s information on the petition – sign it!
A slightly older version of the transcript was co-released by American Atheists and MAAF.