Atheism in the Marines
As a Marine who is also an atheist this matter is very concerning to me. After publishing about the Marines classifying atheism as a “risky behavior” a Marine from H&S Battalion in Quantico reached out to me with this:
I saw your blog entry about H&S Battalion in Quantico. That specific unit has the most fundamentalist leadership, but I specifically blame the influence of this crusty old Roman Catholic Priest that was the chaplain there (I dunno if he still is, I left there almost a year ago). For your viewing pleasure, this is the kind of regular Christian Crap that he would post all over with the leadership’s blessing.
Obviously, of great concern is that this post which was endorsed by the command was clearly sectarian and favored only those of Christian background who were having marital problems. It marginalized not just atheists, but any minority religious individual who might be having problem with their marriage. Rather than being compelled to seek out help it did just the opposite. Let’s examine precisely what’s wrong with this message of faith masquerading as a marriage counseling tool:
The Obvious Facepalm
I just don’t understand these people… The rampant misogyny, the obvious disenfranchisement towards anyone who doesn’t fall under the belief system of that specific chaplain, and the fact that it received open command support. I’ll be following up on this issue as well.
Many who are not veterans or who have never served may not understand the profound ignorance in making something like this. If there were a chaplain of each faith assigned to every unit this probably wouldn’t be a problem. But as it stands the US Military doesn’t have the ability to support that (even though the Chaplaincy is financially abusive and corrupt in the use of our tax-dollars) so there is only one Chaplain assigned per battalion-sized unit — 1 Chaplain per 1200 service members. If that Chaplain is able and willing to counsel and assist with people of all or no faiths, which is what they are supposed to do, then there is no problem. When they post items on read boards that are clearly sectarian, degrading to women, and might push away those of other more liberal viewpoints….then do you honestly think these people will seek help from that chaplain?
That’s the not the type of working environment the US Military, and my Marine Corps specifically, should function under. I’m very disappointed.