Inspirational video of Megan Hurwitt, America’s newest Foxhole Atheist

Megan Hurwitt joined the military last week. This 44 second video of the ceremony is pretty awesome.

Megan Hurwitt just joined the Texas Army National Guard. Her ceremony was in Houston, and it went like this:

“I, your name.” I, Megan Hurwitt.

“Do solemnly swear.” Do solemnly affirm.*pause*

“To support and defend” To support and defend

“The Constitution of the United States” the Constitution of the United States,

“And the state of Texas” and the state of Texas,

“against all enemies”, against all enemies,

“foreign and domestic” foreign and domestic,

…………….

“according to regulations” according to regulations

“and laws” and laws.

“So help me god.” *crickets*

Many may not realize how intimidating this first moment of military experience can be. You have no idea what to expect, what to do, or what’s really going to happen next. But look at her. Megan fearlessly asserted her rights, starting her military career with a bang.

That bang joins a cacophony of ‘atheist closet’ doors slamming shut behind heroes from the front lines of two kinds of war. The one that you see on TV, and the overwhelmingly one-sided subterranean culture war that evangelicals have been waging on us for decades, on your dime.

But it’s moments like this that really make give me goosebumps. And Megan’s attitude is positively contagious.

That said, I love my fucking military! So glad to be a part of it!

Yeah, the guy next to me. He asked me about it afterward. I explained that I don’t believe in the presence of a higher power. He confessed that he had his doubts too, but said it “just in case”.

Many civilians are unaware of the mandatory cleaning / punishment that nearly all non-religious soldiers endure during Basic Training every Sunday.

Megan, however, is well prepared – copy of Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in hand.

It looks like Megan will be going to OCS at Fort Benning by the time the Rock Beyond Belief festival hits Fort Bragg. On the upside, when I finally do meet her, I’ll be saluting her. She already earned it, in my book.

As a fellow soldier, and as the Military Director for American Atheists I am very proud to serve alongside heroes like you Megan! Is it too early to say “the New Foxhole Atheists” ?

Please leave any words of encouragement or other comments for her here. I’ll make sure she sees them before she ships out for boot camp.

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About Justin Griffith
  • fastlane

    *clenched tentacle salute* ;-)

    And a ‘real’ salute too. I never served, but I grew up in the Air Farce, which is almost like doing the time, but not getting paid.

    I also spent quite a few years doing search and rescue in the quasi military Civil Air Patrol.

    God on you, Megan. And I hope your actions inspire other to do the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YawningDog kategarrenson

    Go, Megan! You looked and sounded great up there!

  • J. Hurwitt

    As proud as I am of my daughter Megan, I do not care for my FB responses to be reposted here without the courtesy of having been asked.

  • Godfreechick

    Get it girl!!! YOU Rock!!

  • Gordon

    So say we all.

  • Cuttlefish

    That sounded wonderful!

  • PSG

    That’s how you lead. Excellent! Best of luck and stay safe!!!

  • Jeff

    Megan–you rock! And you’ve already shown you have guts. Please keep up the good work. As an American and a DoD employee, I’m damn proud of you!

  • lordshipmayhem

    You sound like the kind of soldier America needs – bold, unafraid, not easily cowed. Good luck, Megan. From a former serviceman of one of America’s allies.

  • https://plus.google.com/100177776801127531910/about The Nerd

    Applause!

  • http://www.secularcafe.org/index.php davidb

    Off to link to this at my discussion board.

    And in thread at Pharyngula

    David B

  • Shake

    This USAF veteran says good job, Megan! Stick to your guns and don’t let them intimidate you. You are already a credit to your country!

  • Eric Collier

    Megan: Congratulations and best wishes from an older generation foxhole atheist (Lieutenant, USMC, 69-73). n those days one could be quite open about one’s non-belief. Most of my comrades disagreed, but they could live with it. I understand things have changed radically in the military since then. Thanks for helping turn that around.

    Eric Collier

    Silverthorne CO

  • Eric Collier

    Megan: Congratulations and best wishes from an older generation foxhole atheist (Lieutenant, USMC, 69-73). In those days one could be quite open about one’s non-belief. Most of my comrades disagreed, but they could live with it. I understand things have changed radically in the military since then. Thanks for helping turn that around.

    Eric Collier

    Silverthorne CO

  • http://www.facebook.com/howard.high howardhigh

    Hooah!!!

    • MEGAN HURWITT

      HOOAH!

  • Pingback: You’ll Want to Salute Megan Hurwitt After Watching This Video | Friendly Atheist

  • MEGAN HURWITT

    Thanks everyone for your support!

    • Waltz707

      No, thank you!

      you r doing something that most of us only dream of. As a proud Texan, I am even prouder to say that you are a product of our fine state. Stay safe!

  • Seamus Ruah

    “So help me god.”

    “So help me Cthulhu…”

    Win!

  • Quincyme

    Video appears to be missing. :(

  • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

    @ Megan

    There are other books that could qualify as “holy” books for the purpose:

    (Some humanist, stoic, and epicurian philosophy)

    The Good Book: A Humanist Bible by A.C. Grayling

    Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

    De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

    The Discourses of Epictetus

    (Since they always accuse atheists of worshipping science, some scientific classics)

    Aristotle’s books on logic, physics, and biology

    Euclid, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo

    (Since they can’t rule against a book just because *you* don’t consider it to be true, how about some mythology?)

    The Iliad & The Odyssey (as close to scripture as the ancient Greeks got)

    The Egyptian Book of the Dead

    The Mahabharata & The Ramayana

    The Eddas

    All much more worth reading (IMO) than the Flying Spaghetti Monster thing.

    • MEGAN HURWITT

      Thanks for the book suggestions!

  • timberwoof

    I recall a moment in some costume drama in which an atheist officer was sworn in (a courtroom scene? re-enlistment?). He had already refused to put his hand on a Bible; his reply to the final line was, “So help me.”

    The best salute I’m entitled to give is the Boy Scout Salute. That said, go you!

  • graham

    Ex UK RAF veteran of 16 years. Thankfully, the whole space-fairy issue was never ever a problem in the RAF, though in basic training we did have mandatory time with the padre which I used to debate the evidence for/against said space fairy which, for a man of the cloth, he appeared to be quite receptive.

    Either that, or he constantly wanted to pass wind.

    Respect to you and best of luck with your career

    Graham

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  • Steve

    I went to Basic @ Ft. Sill back in 2003 and when we had the option to go to church our Drill SGT. told us “You get 3hrs to do your laundry, write letters, clean, etc. If you go to church that is your choice, but you will only get one hour of free time. God will understand if you skip church in basic.” I never went to church the entire time I was in basic and most of my fellow soldiers didn’t either.

  • Old_Warhorse

    You go, Ma’am! Hooah! *salutes the LT to be*

  • Rob E

    Megan,

    I respect your choice to be an atheist. While I was in the Air Force in the 1980s, I was something even rarer than an atheist…I was a Massachusetts Democrat! Here’s my advice to you. Do with it what you will.

    Go to church at least once on Sunday while you are in basic. Don’t go for the religion. Go for the break from basic! I grew up, and still am, a Catholic. I went to the Southern Baptist church every week that I was in basic training. It was so nice to be away from the barracks. It was a chance to hold hands with a cute girl that I smiled at and smiled back at me. The singing was amazing. The energy was amazing. It was more of a pep rally than a church service (at least compared to the staid Catholic masses that I grew up with in Boston.)

    It has probably occurred to you that religion was a form of entertainment before the technological revolution. You don’t have to believe in God or religion to go to church. As a matter of fact-I’d bet there is a significant minority at most masses that just go out of habit-not belief. And, what’s more, you will have done something most fundamentalists have never done. You will have explored their side of the argument.

    But, mostly, it’s just a couple hour break from being told what to do.

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