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U.S. Soldiers Punished for not attending Christian concert

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/us-soldiers-punished-for-_b_687051.html

This is such bullshit. Generally speaking I am pro-military and I am glad we have such a special volunteer force to defend us but it sickens me the number of religious fundies we have hiding in the higher ranks who are more than happy to turn our actions in the Middle East into the next Crusade.

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I have heard plenty of accounts (two of them very detailed, 2 hour long types of accounts) by reliable sources on the religious pressures in the military. It is important to remember though this is the exception rather than the rule when this stuff happens. Either way it is not good it is happening at all.

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The Huff-Po is a pretty hard source to put any confidence in.

Of all my friends and family in the service I've heard of no such thing.

That said, it needs swift action if true.

I've read pretty much the same report on Fox. I'm not quite ready to trust the soldiers doing the complaining, but an investigation is definitely in order.

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I'm a national guard soldier currently in pre-deployment training at Camp Shelby until November sometime I head to Afghanistan. I signed in late '08 and was in training for 35 continuous weeks. So far of my experience I have not noticed too strict a pressure to any religious teachings or ceremonies. Whenever there were services it was voluntary and during ceremonies such as graduation when the chaplain would do a prayer for the entire brigade and family and we were instructed to bow our heads by command, Myself and several others would not and we never faced repercussion. I wholly agree with the article and I do agree its a grave injustice that those soldiers were punished for their dissidence. I personally would have told my squad leader, 1st Sgt and captain that I wouldn't tolerate compromising my convictions and to gladly face their blatant obstruction of my independence;the very same responsibility of judgement I embraced to sign the 6 yr contract to enlist in this VOLUNTARY army.

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I've read pretty much the same report on Fox. I'm not quite ready to trust the soldiers doing the complaining, but an investigation is definitely in order.

Why don't you trust them? They are acting as faithful defenders of America and the U.S. constitution in combat, why shouldn't they be allowed to do the same outside of combat?

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Why don't you trust them? They are acting as faithful defenders of America and the U.S. constitution in combat, why shouldn't they be allowed to do the same outside of combat?

The officer who is accused of giving the orders is also a faithful defender of the US Constitution in combat. If I applied your principle I would have to accept that neither side can err or lie. We all know contradictions like that can easily make someone's head explode. I've seen it happen in several cartoons.

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The officer who is accused of giving the orders is also a faithful defender of the US Constitution in combat. If I applied your principle I would have to accept that neither side can err or lie.
I want to avoid a head explosion. My way of doing that is to reduce the facts to the perceptible. I can directly perceive that post, and the fact that her reported knowledge of the event derives from material apparently submitted to MRRF, in the form of testimony from two soldiers, one of which (by Anthony Smith) sufficiently details the improper actions of the NCO. Therefore, we have the uncontradicted testimony of one soldier. The investigation being conducted by the Army may turn up contradictions, then again it may not. If the sergeant denies the allegation then we have some reason to suspend judgment, but right now we have no fact that would suggest doubting the veracity of the report.The sergeant may do the honorable thing and say "Damn straight I marched them heathen kaffirs to meet God's musicians!"
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I suspect HuffPo gets it wrong (again). The soldiers in question are in boot camp, so using the word 'punishment' to describe what is going on is simply inappropriate, they were not going anywhere under any circumstances. Here is an informative comment on the HuffPo article.

This concert series is still wrong though. I never had to put up with this crap when I was in the Navy.

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I suspect HuffPo gets it wrong (again). The soldiers in question are in boot camp, so using the word 'punishment' to describe what is going on is simply inappropriate, they were not going anywhere under any circumstances. Here is an informative comment on the HuffPo article.

This concert series is still wrong though. I never had to put up with this crap when I was in the Navy.

Yes, they are in boot camp. However I was under the impression that having all of their privileges removed for the entire weekend (no PX, no electronic devices, etc.) was unusual and could therefore be considered punishment, especially considering that it was likely those who attended the concert maintained their regular privileges as far as I can tell.

I think the degree to which religious crap is being forced on our soldiers is extremely location and commander dependent. It was well-known that religious nutters were in firm control of the Air Force Academy for a long time. I have no idea if that is still the case. What I find really appalling is that the guy in charge of all this concert crap was the general himself.

EVEN IF you think the soldiers are lying, being crybabies, etc (which I don't), the fact that this concert even OCCURRED, and especially because it was sponsored and promoted through the commanding branch rather than the chaplain branch, is enough to get me foaming.

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Yes, they are in boot camp. However I was under the impression that having all of their privileges removed for the entire weekend (no PX, no electronic devices, etc.) was unusual and could therefore be considered punishment, especially considering that it was likely those who attended the concert maintained their regular privileges as far as I can tell.

I think the degree to which religious crap is being forced on our soldiers is extremely location and commander dependent. It was well-known that religious nutters were in firm control of the Air Force Academy for a long time. I have no idea if that is still the case. What I find really appalling is that the guy in charge of all this concert crap was the general himself.

EVEN IF you think the soldiers are lying, being crybabies, etc (which I don't), the fact that this concert even OCCURRED, and especially because it was sponsored and promoted through the commanding branch rather than the chaplain branch, is enough to get me foaming.

When I was in boot camp, and mind you this was about 20 years ago so my memory is fuzzy - but I remember that we had *NO* "free time" for the first 6 weeks. On Sunday mornings we could attend services if we chose, or we could stay in the barracks, but we couldn't sleep. We could sit on the floor, talk, do homework, etc. but not really relax.

It wasn't until like the 6th or 7th weeks that we started getting any on-base "free" time. If there was a relaxation option - like watching a movie, it was a full unit deal.

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When I was in boot camp, and mind you this was about 20 years ago so my memory is fuzzy - but I remember that we had *NO* "free time" for the first 6 weeks. On Sunday mornings we could attend services if we chose, or we could stay in the barracks, but we couldn't sleep. We could sit on the floor, talk, do homework, etc. but not really relax.

It wasn't until like the 6th or 7th weeks that we started getting any on-base "free" time. If there was a relaxation option - like watching a movie, it was a full unit deal.

To be brief, seeing as they were in bootcamp, this really can't be qualified as a punishment, though it could be construed as a bit favoritist (though it's more likely just a case of there not being an alternate event for those who were Muslim/etc).

When I did basic, we had absolutely no freetime, except for Sundays, which were church day. You had the option of either attending a service (there were services for a reasonable number of faiths) or hanging out back at the barracks. Of course, in basic, you're never JUST hanging out, so that actually translated to waxing floors/polishing boots.

It being a highly structured environment, they can't really let you sit around and do whatever you want.

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