A chaplain is telling Fort Bragg that we plan to burn down churches

FORT BRAGG, NC – Chaplain (Captain) Chuck Williams wrote an open letter on Fort Bragg’s Facebook page calling for the cancellation of on-post secular festival Rock Beyond Belief. Cpt. Williams claims,

“It has now been made blatantly public by [event] organizers that part of this event will be… glorifying violence against people who possess a faith in God through the burning of churches. This is appalling!”

Fort Bragg estimates that 5,000 people will attend the all-day event. It was partially inspired by a controversial evangelical Christian event that targeted non-Christians for conversions. Rock Beyond Belief, to be held March 31, has no such conversion or “de-conversion” agenda. The festival aims to be a family-friendly affair including secular children’s activities grounded in science.

An organizer of the event, Justin Griffith said,

“It is possible that Cpt. Williams thinks that arson is a common hobby of atheists from misinformation he obtained from FOX News. Popular rock band Aiden’s lyrics were purposely taken out of context, making it look like a performer was encouraging the destruction of holy texts and buildings.”

Aiden lead-singer, William Control, has repeatedly explained that the song ‘Hysteria’ was actually a condemnation of faith-on-faith violence and hatred. Though some of Aiden’s songs contain foul language, but ‘Hysteria’ does not. Festival organizers insist that all performers had already agreed to only play radio friendly songs.

Chaplain Williams attacked the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein and festival headliner Richard Dawkins as being “known publicly for their caustic treatment of people of faith.” Ironically, Mr. Weinstein is Jewish and litigates mainly for Christians.

Fort Bragg’s Garrison Commander, Colonel Stephen Sicinski later weighed in on the side of the atheist festival. He even guaranteed the atheists the right to ‘criticize organized religion and its practitioners’ in an official written statement. Cpt. Williams is not the first Chaplain to attack this festival and their efforts now seem to have backfired. Professor Dawkins now has specific permission to push the envelope.

Colonel Sicinski promises to protect statements critical of organized religion at Rock Beyond Belief

The festival is an American Atheists event. It was made possible by a $50,000 donation from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. For more information on the event, check the RBB website.

*Here’s the latest press release our crew put out. Need a copy?*

About Justin Griffith
  • eric

    Moses really should’ve made the first rule of holes one of the commandments. Then maybe fundies would’ve paid attention to it.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    The chaplain is another Liar for Jesus™. Either that or he’s stupid, although these two choices are not mutually exclusive. But his main complaint is that some people do not agree with his claim:

    …we as Americans, from our Founding Fathers through two and a half centuries of history, have understood that a genuine God-honoring faith is the greatest asset we have for the preservation of our national morality, goodness, truth and freedom.

  • Bob Muller

    I was stationed ar Fort Bragg 1983-84. My barracks were not far from the main parade field. I wish I could be there for this, but family obligations (“atheists care about family obligations?!”) prevent me from doing so.

    Hopefully this will become a regular thing and someday I can play there with one of my bands.

    Oh, and I should point out that during my military years (1982-91), religious discrimination in the military was not the problem that it is these days. I wasn’t a militant (pardon the pun) atheist, but nor was I a closet atheist. It just was never an issue. Hopefully, our military members can enjoy that sort of freedom again. This is a nice step in that direction.

  • sqlrob

    @eric:

    Cause “Thou shalt not lie” worked out so well.

  • http://inmyunbelief.wordpress.com TCC

    Damn, sqlrob beat me to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tabetha.gd tabethagustafson-dobbins

    Hmm. It seems, that yet again, the uninformed are believing bias and lies once again. They claim that we, as atheists, are automatically violent.

    Have they looked in the mirror lately?

  • jfigdor

    I would offer to talk to Chaplain Williams, chaplain-to-chaplain to explain the Rock Beyond Belief event, but I don’t think anything will penetrate this wall of delusion. Burning down churches? WTF? Atheists and Humanists don’t advocate violence against religious people. We just think it might be wise for them to give up their imaginary friends.

  • Seamus Ruah

    Conduct unbecoming?

    (lying and all that)

    Although I’ve seen very few officers taken to task for lying. 35th Signal Bde commander lost his command after messing around on his wife during Desert Storm and lying about it. Seems one of his troops forwarded incriminating emails to Corps HQ.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/ Ophelia Benson

    That’s disgusting.

    I didn’t know about the grant from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. I think I sat next to Stiefel at a special dinner at the CSH/CFI do a couple of weeks ago. Liz Cornwell was on my other side.

    Meanwhile, the lies are disgusting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachlebek rodchlebek

    I’m in an American Religion History class right now and it didn’t sound anything like the misinformation that this Col offered.

  • Len Blakely

    Libel? no?

  • F

    Chuck Williams: Moron or liar?

  • http://larianlequella.com larianlequella

    People asking if he’s a liar OR a moron, I think the evidence indicates using the word AND…

  • baal

    As appalling as the lying is, I’m inclined to think it helps rather than hurts secularism. The lies can be pointed out and the liars discredited.

  • Art

    I suppose you could volunteer a few atheists, issued with sidearms and concertina wire, to guard the nearest houses of worship. Wouldn’t surprise me if they found a chaplain and a few God botherers advancing on said buildings with gasoline and matches with the intention of proving themselves the victim … by making themselves the victim.


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