Navy atheist’s epic win against “so help me god”

I've been privately asked a few times how to deal with re-enlistment oaths, and that tricky "so help me god." This is how. I had a run-in with an E9 who worked at Reserve Forces Command for my last reenlistment.  MY command was very understanding of atheism and accepted my wishes to change "So Help Me God" to "On My Honor" not only for the spoken oath, but also when I crossed out "so help me god" on the form and changed it to what I wanted. A couple of weeks after submission it … [Read more...]

Fort Gordon stops making soldiers do yard work for Catholics

I'd like to thank Fort Gordon, GA leadership for the rapid about-face. Only a week ago American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded that the US Constitution be upheld for soldiers attending the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC). Hundreds of soldiers were ordered to clean up a Catholic organizations yard - also known as "area beautification." This was off-post, during the duty day and in uniform. The time period this was supposed to take place was over several months! An … [Read more...]

DoD’s top chaplains finally discussed letting atheists meet on post

After years of trying to get the military to formally recognize and support atheist groups equally, an answer may be forthcoming. It's a no-brainer from a legal standpoint. Establishment Clause, EEO, Limited Public Forum... pick your poison. Unfortunately, it really could go either way - potentially begging a massive lawsuit. I have it on good authority that after over a year of stalling, the Armed Forces Chaplains Board finally discussed the issue. It's still not even clear if they've made a … [Read more...]

Happy apostasy anniversary, DW!

Friend of RBB, Dustin Williams (AKA DWNomad) celebrated his 5th year of freedom from the shackles of evangelism. So he got a tattoo. Dustin describes his deconversion as the best day of his life This will make more sense if you read yesterday’s blog post first. Five years ago today, when my roommate on the trip to Mexico woke up, we chatted about what I had been going through and the decision I had made. Even though he didn’t agree with my conclusion, he agreed that I had looked … [Read more...]

Earliest Occupy Wall Street, circa 2000

This band really needs to record new material. Rage Against The Machine - Sleep Now in the Fire www.youtube.com/embed/w211KOQ5BMI? Via wikipedia: The shoot for the music video on January 26, 2000, caused the doors of the New York Stock Exchange to be closed. In fact, the Stock Exchange locked its doors mid-day in response to fears of crowds gathering to watch the filming. This was not recorded as a closure as trading on the exchange floor continued uninterrupted. … [Read more...]

How to fight back against mandatory prayer and win

Bookmark this one. This letter accidentally became the best walk-through on how to fight back against those mandatory ceremony prayers. For 17 years, every military graduation ceremony I've been to has had an invocation and/or benediction.  This includes schools like: Basic, AIT, PLDC, BNCOC... and BNCOC at Ft. Eustis specifically named Jesus.  I'm an instructor and have attended ceremonies for WLC and an MOS reclassification course that have included prayer…until recently. I'd locked … [Read more...]

(Your) god is not my co-pilot

Former United States Air Force member, Ian Greer, wrote me a powerful letter last night. This is one of the best accounts of a typical military experience as an out of the closet atheist in the US military. Long patches of 'no big deal' bookended by intense WTF-moments. SGT Griffith, My name is Ian. I enlisted in the United States Air Force in October of 2005, and over the course of the next 6 years I have seen and been the subject of many similar situations I have heard recounted on your … [Read more...]

Two star general does the Macarena

This is the highlight / blooper reel for the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) [counter-intuitively shortened '1st TSC'.] This is where I have worked for 4 years. We just said goodbye to Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dowd, and he will be missed. He was always trying to show the human side of being a general. Often, he'd go out of his way to interact with the enlisted ranks as much as possible. One of my soldiers, Specialist Kelsey Jeffers, created this video montage for his going away party. It was a … [Read more...]

Chaplain: “If you don’t fear god, you will live your life in a terrible way”

The New Foxhole Atheists are starting strong! Just hours ago I posted about an Air Force NCO who refuses to bow her head for Jesus. Shortly thereafter, that post generated a reply from a brand new foxhole atheist - fresh out of boot camp (congrats!) In Army Boot Camp at Ft. Jackson this spring, the chaplain would come around periodically and have a prayer with the company. I would never bow my head or close my eyes. Strangely, the only others that I saw when looking around that didn’t have … [Read more...]

Air Force atheist refuses to bow her head for Jesus

This message made me extremely happy. So many of us are ordered to stand and bow our heads for Jesus on a disturbingly frequent basis. I'm glad that there are so many of us that are this feisty. NAME/RANK/DUTY LOCATION WITHHELD The topic of prayer or invocations during official military functions has always been a touchy subject with me. I believe that prayer is a personal matter and should not be part of any military function. Chaplains will mostly say that they try to keep it … [Read more...]