Considering a military career? What every atheist needs to know first.

Dear Justin,I am considering joining the Navy, and would like advice on how to go about it as an atheist. What do I tell the recruiter? Are there atheist chaplains? What do I put on dog tags as my religion? Is being an atheist in the military looked at like being gay/lesbian, in regards to "don't ask don't tell"?I really appreciate your time, and thank you for getting back.- (name withheld)Advice on how to go about as an atheist:Start out strong, out of the closet. Encourage … [Read more...]

Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Pantheist’ WWII Dog Tags

Arthur C. Clarke was one of my favorite authors growing up. I never read his war-themed 'Glide Path', but I was aware that he had served in WWII. I had no idea that he rebelled against the RAF's liberal application of the "Church of England" on its service members.Clarke demanded that the RAF reprint his dog tags with 'pantheist' instead of 'Church of England'. He said that organized religion was basically antithetical to the scientific method. Personally, I don't see how 'pantheist' escapes … [Read more...]

“Bow your fucking head down, recruit. Pray with the rest of us!”

Back in December I wrote about a fierce young Marine Corps recruit who was told that she couldn't have "ATHEIST" on her records and dogtags. I gave her some advice; she fought back, and won.She recently graduated from Boot Camp in top form. She had a blast despite the USMC's grueling 13 week training. It's clear that becoming a Marine is something she is quite proud of. If you'd like to congratulate her, do so in the comments here - I'm certain she'll see it. This is long, but certainly … [Read more...]

Navy atheist came out of the closet on Good Friday

Over the last three weeks I've been hammering home the importance of identifying as an atheist on your records. Most atheists in the military are still under the false impression that it's not allowed. Most of us were told that "No Religious Preference" is all we can get. That hasn't been true for at least a decade. But worse than that, "NO REL PREF" can lead to seriously fucked up consequences.Sometime last month in reddit's atheism comment section, I encountered a reluctant closeted … [Read more...]

You have to pick a different religious preference. I can’t spell.

I'm typically not a grammar Nazi when it comes to online chatter, such as a facebook post.However, when you have a really important government form that impacts someone else's life (and even their death)... you simply need to get it right. This is super fail.Anyway... it's extremely important that we all stand up and be counted. Most of us were told that atheist was not an option (first time I've seen the 'I can't spell' defense.)Click here to fix your records in two minutes or … [Read more...]

Military A-Week: How to put ATHEIST on your records (all branches)

Yesterday I told you why it was IMPORTANT to stand up and be counted as an "ATHEIST" and not a "NO-REL-PREF". Today, I'm going to tell you how.Army: Walk in to your unit's S-1 office. Ask them to update your ERB or ORB. Tell them you want to fix your religious preference. Tell them you want "ATHEIST". If they say anything about it not being an option, calmly explain that they are mistaken, and to check the list (it's alphabetical for them.)If  you still need more 'proof', here is the re … [Read more...]

“A-week” for the military: Demand ‘ATHEIST’ on your records

Don't back down brothers and sisters. Out of those closets.If you have NO-REL-PREF on your records, you are wrong. Go to S-1 today.You walk right in. Tell them you want to update your records. Tell them your religious preference is wrong. They will type a few things. When they get to the correct screen, they'll ask you what you want instead of NO-REL-PREF. You look them in the eye and tell them "ATHEIST". That's it. Nothing else to it. It takes two minutes."ATHEIST" is on the list, des … [Read more...]

Jedi dog tags are actually 100% legit

Kris Thomas Flory just added his dog tags to the pile in the American Atheists Military group on Facebook.Kris Flory:Today was my last day in the US military. These tags cause a minor shit storm when I had them made by another soldier on an army tag making machine at our mobilization station prior to deploying to Africa. Anybody else have "official" tags?Thanks for the service, hero!The government legally can't decide which religions are 'true religions'. The dog tags are not the sa … [Read more...]


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