Fort Bragg’s ban on atheist meetings wont apply this weekend

Military Atheist Thinking Soldier, scholar statue

We broke so much ground last year, and attracted national media attention. We were on the cover of the New York Times, and when the Associated Press got hold of us – we were on the cover of hundreds of newspapers.

All the while, the Chaplaincy’s regulations were preventing us from meeting on post. We’ve had to meet in people’s homes, often an hours drive for some members. And we are unable to collect donations the way the other religious preferences are allowed. I spent thousands in the first six months to keep it going until we got approved… but the chaplaincy just wont budge.

Those regulations don’t apply to getting ready for the already approved atheist festival, Rock Beyond Belief. That’s because RBB did not go through the Chaplaincy, so it couldn’t be blocked there. Actually, they wouldn’t touch it – I did try.

MASH Fort Bragg gets born again (but not like that)

Fort Bragg’s MASH is making a comeback – It’s tough to maintain a community with the transient nature of the military. After I deployed, it sort of lingered under the control of people with dual allegiance to another smaller group. They tended to only post their meetups to our page, and after four or five months, it started to choke off the excitement we had going. People just joined their group and stopped thinking about ours. We welcomed the cross-posting at first, but it’s time to turn ‘life support’ off and get back to LIFE!

The other group is not focused on the military community, which is fine, but what we are doing is really important. And there is room for both. We’re still by far the largest group in the area, but we desperately need to re-boot the excitement from 2011. Be it deployments, or moves, this stuff takes its toll. We had a contingency plan, but all six of the core leaders moved or deployed at the exact same time.

But I’m back now. And we’re going to kick an amazing amount of ass (again). And I’m training my replacements so this situation never occurs again. Not that it ever died, but our new blood hasn’t seen how it’s done yet.

In spite of still being banned on post…

This weekend is historic; MASH Fort Bragg is going to meet on post for the first time. Though still banned by the chaplaincy, we’re not ‘meeting as MASH’. Rather, we’re planning for the upcoming Rock Beyond Belief festival. We refuse to break rules, but in this particular situation we are not bound by them.

We’re going to help Amy Monsky from Camp Quest get her volunteers, and get the lay of the land, along with other groups from the Raleigh area. So join MASH Fort Bragg if you want to be a part of history. More details about this meeting simply must be private for now, but this is a big one.

There will be punch and pie.

Support the troops – with cold hard cash!

If you can donate a little bit of money please use the links below. A tiny bit of money will go a long way to us! As it is, I’ve spent thousands of dollars out of pocket because at first we didn’t understand how to make it sustainable. Please help us get back on our feet. We’re like too big to fail, or something :)

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I’ve not sold T-shirts, stickers, or anything at a tacky Cafe-press site. I’ve not nickel and dimed the atheist community before. We’re not asking for a whole lot of money. Any tiny amount will seriously go far.

We’re slamming the closet door shut in the military – and you can help.

If you are on Fort Bragg, please show up this weekend! (civilians too)

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  • jasonon

    So, let me get this straight, Atheists can’t meet on post because of chaplains? I guess I’m a little behind on my military-atheism news, but what do chaplains have to say about anything like that? What’s the base commander’s take on the situation? I mean, unless the atheists want to use the chapel, but even then, unless things have changed this I exited the military, the chapel was open for all organizations to use: jewish, catholic, presbertarian, primitive baptists and yes, even atheists. Of course, I was never stationed on Bragg, but Hood and Huachuca.

  • benjdm

    The Donate button only takes me to Paypal.

  • Justin Griffith

    It works now. Thanks for letting us know!!!

  • Nadeen

    Thank you, I was looking all over this and the Rock Beyond Belief website for a donate button.

    It is not possible for me to make the festival but I do want it to be a huge success and to contribute in some way.

  • Ned Wulin

    What stinking country is this?? Iran?

  • Ned Wulin

    Gotta get permission from teh Mullah first…

  • http://Facebook emanuel kleinFa

    Justin:

    Is there a snail mail address that a check can be mailed to?

  • Sly

    I’m trying to make my plans for the 31st… Is there a schedule of events yet? Times for the different speakers and such??

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Bart

    Proud to have made a donation.

    Never give up the fight. Never Surrender!

    Bart Centre

    aka Dromedary Hump

    atheist in a fox hole Vietnam ’68-’69

    82nd Airborne Div.,

    3rd Brigade 2/505th

    11B10

    CIB

    Bronze Star

    ACM

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Bart

    Ps: I was a “Leg” replacement… i did not, and would never, jump out of planes. Just for the record.

  • JF

    All the while, the Chaplaincy’s regulations were preventing us from meeting on post. We’ve had to meet in people’s homes, often an hours drive for some members.

    I want to preface this with a disclaimer. I’m not being sarcastic or intentionally snide, so if it comes across that way, I apologize. It’s really just a curiosity.

    I understand the need for people of different faiths to have meetings where they can discuss their faith, etc. among like believers. But what happens when atheists meet? By definition, isn’t atheism the absence of faith? Wouldn’t it then just be another social type gathering? And if so, why can’t you guys reserve a room at the Ft. Bragg Club, one of the Picerne Neighborhood Centers (they only require a deposit and you don’t have to be a resident), or during nice weather a place at the park, etc.

    Like I said, I’m not trying to pick a fight, I’m genuinely curious.


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