Another Marine Corps Controversy from the Same Unit that Believes Atheism is Cause for “risky behavior”

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.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Cat

    There is such a huge need for humanist chaplains

  • Jonathan D Kline

    Absolutely ridiculous! If only more people would stand up to their chain of command when things like this happen the atmosphere would change quickly and dramatically.

    • ituri

      The atmosphere would change quicker, sure, but those individuals that “make waves” would forfeit their careers in the military for sticking out in what the current command will deem “an irresponsible nature.”

      Which is why this stuff gets put online once someone has left a unit. Less risk for the poster involved, since that command is no longer influencing the personnel members career directly.

      • Paul Loebe

        You are absolutely right! People have to sacrifice their livelihoods to ensure the Constitution is being followed. That’s why I do what I do.

  • Nichelle Wrenn

    I was stationed in Hawaii and I have seen that while many Chaplains mean well they are very simply not well equipped (and in some cases willing) to see solutions to problems their troops might be having when those solutions lay outside of the Chaplain’s own faith. There is a Air Force order regarding Chaplains that states that they may abstain from violating the tenets of their faith. Meaning that (according to the Chaplain I spoke with) if they are Christian they may end a group prayer with “in Jesus name”. The guidelines are murky and very few people are willing to call Chaplains out when they violate their mission to be a guide to all their troops, not just the ones in their faith tradition.

    • Paul Loebe

      I was also stationed in Hawaii on KBay. I was still figuring out what I believed at the time so I ignored everything going on with this back then. I know one thing…I never would have gone to the Chaplain for any of my
      Questions, though. I knew where that would lead…

  • Darrell Barker

    I’m a former Marine, served in the Corps 1970 to 1973. I “converted” to Catholicism in Boot Camp because the Protestants didn’t serve real wine during communion. Ha. At 19 years old, I didn’t know spit from shinola about Church/State Separation like I do now, but I knew “a little wine was good for the soul.”

    Today, I’m an atheist and would be bothered too with this kind of imposition of the chaplaincy.

    I support you in this “speak out” endeavor.

    Back then, it was Semper Fi, Today it’s Simplify.

  • Urbane_Gorilla

    Unfortunately, religion’s perverse stranglehold works through all segments of society.. It is just that much worse in the Military where anyone that speaks up pretty much puts an end to their upward mobility…This is particularly noticeable lately in recent articles on sexual abuse, wherein personnel that report rapes are eventually drummed out of the service with ‘mental issues’.