Fort Bragg supports any group, as long as they’re Evangelical Christians

Fort Bragg supports any group, as long as they’re Evangelical Christians March 6, 2011

Last week, the Garrison Commander at Fort Bragg placed crippling last-minute restrictions on our event, effectively forcing us to shut down.

These restrictions are clearly breaking their promise to provide an equal level of support to the controversial evangelical Christian membership drive known as Rock the Fort. This promise has been repeated to me at every step of the 5+ months of planning, and even publicly repeated by the Garrison Commander’s own legal staff (17 February 2011).

Why did they (pretend to?) offer similar levels of support? Basically, they were (are?) bound by this regulation:

The applicable section from DoD Directive 5410.18:

4.2.9. Selective Benefit and Preferential Treatment. Community relations activities shall not support, or appear to support, any event that provides a selective benefit to any individual, group, or organization, including any religious or sectarian organization, ideological movement, political campaign or organization, or commercial enterprise, to include a shopping mall or motion picture promotion. When DoD support is provided to one non-Federal entity, the DoD Component commands or organizations providing such support must be able and willing to provide similar support to comparable events sponsored by similar non-Federal entities.

It also says the same thing in the section regarding use of facilities: The DoD Component command or organization is able and willing to provide similar support to comparable events…

Apparently this, and many other regulations go out the window for Rock Beyond Belief. Here are just a few examples of Fort Bragg not being able and/or willing to provide similar support to our festival.

1) No funding for hotels (Evangelical Christians: $6,668 for rooms. $500 for room service)

2) No funding for transportation (Evangelical Christians: $1,360 for 3 vans for 3 days, $1500 for ‘Air reimbursement’)

3) No funding for A/V support (Evangelical Christians: over $7,000)

4) No funding for meals for performers (Evangelical Christians: over $7,000)

5) Must put warning label on posters/flyers/adverts about ‘Not associated with Fort Bragg’ (Evangelical Christians: ringing endorsement from Public Affairs, Chaplaincy, IMCOM. Advertised as an official Spiritual Fitness Event!)

6) Denied use of the parade field, the only venue large enough for us (Evangelical Christians: got to use it for their membership drive)

7) Golden Knight Paratrooper Jump denied (Evangelical Christians: approved)

8) Denied venue on the basis of musicians not being ‘chart-toppers’ (Evangelical Christians: didn’t have any either)

9) No funding for or venue appropriate for ‘Kiddie land’ (Evangelical Christians: Rock Climbing, Face Painting, 5 Bounce Houses)

10) No funding for advertisements (Evangelical Christians: $12,620)

“We will provide similar levels of support to any other group… as long as they are evangelical Christians.”

***Update 10:30AM – 7 March, 2011***

If you want to see how you can help the non-religious soldiers at Fort Bragg fight back, please read this post.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • what

    Is that grounds for a lawsuit since the Rock the Fort event/organization clearly supported a religious organization?

    • Justin Griffith

      One of many regulations, I’m afraid.

  • Joel Leg.

    We were planning on making the trip from Ohio. It sucks that Ft. Bragg screwed it up for everyone. Having met Mikey last year I am sure that he will do an amazing job representing you. I wish there was more we could do from here.

  • Dan Rawlings

    Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial! — ol’ Billy Shakespeare

  • Marcos

    Can you guys put up a sample letter or petition that we can sign and send it to all concerned? Once the email inboxes of those responsible for this starts filling up, then you’ll see results! You should also get the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State involved, this is clearly a case of discrimination. Make sure you hold individuals accountable, once they are sued individually and realize they might have to pay penalties or even just go to court, they change their tune right away.

  • Rene Reeves

    Isn’t Rock the Fort the event where soldiers who refused to go were punished by loss of priviledges and being sent to clean the barracks? I thought that was pretty vile. Off duty soldiers should be able to choose how they spend their leisure time.

  • MF

    This is a Christian power trip to keep the “Word” of other possibilities away so some of their sheeple don’t wake up and see the lies that Christianity spreads to keep their power. I can see this General loosing his commission over this blatant disregard of 4.29.

  • Navin Johnson

    We all need to request Politifact look into their (Fort Bragg) statements about support.