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"fanatical religiosity"

by JP Bill / December 6, 2012 4:06 AM PST

Is alive and well and living in the US Military.

Months before graduation, West Point cadet quits, citing culture of overt religion

A cadet quitting West Point less than six months before graduation says he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayers and religious activities and disrespects nonreligious cadets.

Blake Page announced his decision to quit the U.S. Military Academy this week, telling The Associated Press that he could not become an officer because of clinical depression played a role in his public protest against what he calls the unconstitutional prevalence of religion in the military.

Page criticized a culture where cadets stand silently for prayers, where nonreligious cadets were jokingly called "heathens" by instructors at basic training and where one officer told him he'd never be a leader until he filled the hole in his heart. In announcing his resignation this week on The Huffington Post, he denounced "criminals" in the military who violate the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution.

Make them stand in silence?...They should let them go for a walk, surf the web or watch TV.

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Let him walk away
by Steven Haninger / December 6, 2012 5:19 AM PST

Where one's military service begins, democracy ends. Soldiers don't get to decide whether they will participate in a conflict and that begins with mandatory formations. When I was in and we were marching in ranks, there would be breaks for smokers. They'd be allowed to "fall out" and puff away. Those who didn't smoke, stayed in ranks. No one got to surf the web or watch TV just because they didn't believe they should smoke.

Sounds like the guy just might not fit the mold of being a soldier. Both he and the military are probably better off if they part company.

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RE: Soldiers don't get to decide
by JP Bill / December 6, 2012 5:50 AM PST
In reply to: Let him walk away
Soldiers don't get to decide whether they will participate in a conflict

You consider being forced to listening to someone else pray is "participating in a conflict"?

Do you think ALL military should attend ALL religious services, even Muslim religious services when you are a Christian? Why not?...I mean, it IS a conflict.

Do try and stay/respond ON subject...not that you were ON subject in the first place....listening to others pray is NOT in a conflict.

I'm now going OFF subject

Those who didn't smoke, stayed in ranks

Those that didn't smoke had to go though the motions?

When I was working and I didn't smoke...the guys I was working with were on a smoke break...I went with them...The Foreman came along and asked me "what are you doing here, you don't smoke"...I replied..."Fire Watch."
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You used the term "fanatical religiosity"
by Steven Haninger / December 6, 2012 6:47 AM PST

I don't see anything to suggest fanaticism of any kind. It would also appear that this man is in the minority as far as feeling some imposition by have to be in the presence of people at prayer. Maybe he's the one who needs to either learn greater tolerance and not expect the majority of his classmates to bow to his wishes. The world isn't about him first and him only. Sorry but I don't see a legitimate beef here.

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RE:You used the term "fanatical religiosity"
by JP Bill / December 6, 2012 11:16 AM PST

Yes...I did...I cut and paste the term...of course you knew that.

There have been complaints over the years that the wall between church and state is not always observed in the military. The Air Force Academy in Colorado in particular has been scrutinized for years over allegations from non-Christian students that they faced intolerance. A retired four-star general was asked last year to conduct an independent review of the overall religious climate at the academy.

There also has been a growing willingness in recent years by some service members to publicly identify themselves as atheists, agnostics or humanists and to seek the same recognition granted to Christians, Jews and other believers. Earlier this year, there was an event at Fort Bragg that was the first known event in U.S. military history to cater to nonbelievers.

Maybe he's the one who needs to either learn greater tolerance

Yes...he could "go home and sit on the couch until the strike is over" OR he could go to the back of the bus, sit down and shut up.

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There is a motto
by TONI H / December 6, 2012 5:30 PM PST

and it's been there since the inception of a military here........Love of God, Love of Country, Love of Family.........in that order. If you don't believe in all three, you have no business in the military because you are fighting for all three. We don't have a draft anymore so nobody is forced into service....you go voluntarily just as you voluntarily put in an application for a job because you want to be there. If you don't like the 'company' rules or you don't like the atmosphere, you quit the job and move on.......you don't call in the Union to get YOUR rules enacted instead.

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That's an interesting motto.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 6, 2012 6:06 PM PST
In reply to: There is a motto

So if you're atheist, there's no place for you in the military? Do a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist qualify? Or must it be the Christian god?
What about the Constitution saying "No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States"?

And the poor lonesome orphan, without a family, is left out also?


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The atheist needs to
by TONI H / December 6, 2012 7:29 PM PST

make his/her own place in the military, just as conscientious objectors have found. It isn't his/her place to try to change it and make the majority bend to the will of a minority. If an atheist has a distaste for the vastly religious feelings of service personnel, he/she should walk away from signing those enlistment papers. The military makes many accommodations for different religious groups, including having pastors and imams, etc. available to those who need counseling other than Christian based.

Surprisingly, there was just recently a judicial decision made in one of our cities where one atheist complained about a nativity set up on public land (possibly local government property, not sure). Normally, all it seems to take is one to complain and the local communities have taken down Christian items or plaques rather than use budget funds to fight something; however, in this instance, that community was willing to fight it in court. The court decided that as long as the nativity wasn't a LIVING nativity (using live persons and animals) it could stay in place. FINALLY......sanity ruled.

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So the individual in the article....
by JP Bill / December 6, 2012 7:39 PM PST
In reply to: The atheist needs to

let's say he was willing to stand by silently, while the prayers were said. Can you give a reason why he should be subjected to being called a heathen(a form of bullying?) by fellow Cadets and instructors? ...I mean these are grown men, soon to be 'Gentlemen Officers in the US Military" with VERY high standards, Representing The United States Of America around the world.

What does HIS religion or anyone's religion have to do with his ability to be a soldier...or whatever Military function he was training for?

I guess they were just future officers behaving like schoolkids.

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I would guess
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 12:12 AM PST

he continually upbraided them for what he considered their "foolishness" and what he's describing is their reaction to it. Bait and then complain when you get someone to bite. A true Atheist wouldn't care, only God Haters make such a stink. A lot of those hide behind the label of "Atheist".

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RE: only God Haters make such a stink.
by JP Bill / December 7, 2012 12:31 AM PST
In reply to: I would guess

Said the guy that spouts the Bible/makes a stink.


by instructors at basic training and where one officer told him he'd never be a leader until he filled the hole in his heart.

Out on the Parade Square doing drill, the Officer hollers


What does religion have to do with Foot Drill? or cleaning a weapon? or leading men/women...given that the military has it's Own Code of Conduct. I will trust in my God

7. Code of Conduct VI

a. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
b. A member of the armed forces remains responsible for personal actions at all times.
c. A member of the armed forces who is captured has a continuing obligation to resist and to remain loyal to country, service, unit and fellow prisoners.
(no mention of God in section c...no mention of someone else's God anywhere)

The Officer is a "God Hater"?

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(NT) You seem very confused on this
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 3:49 AM PST
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A "motto" is not a policy, Toni
by Josh K / December 6, 2012 9:49 PM PST
In reply to: The atheist needs to

The Constitution would prohibit it becoming policy, and your statement that people who don't believe in God don't belong in our military is reactionary, insulting and goes against everything this country is supposed to stand for.

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Tradition isn't a policy either
by TONI H / December 6, 2012 10:08 PM PST

but that hasn't stopped minorities who don't like the tradition to try to stop the tradition, even when it doesn't harm them in any way other than their attitudes. Whatever happened to 'majority rules'?

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RE: Whatever happened to 'majority rules'?
by JP Bill / December 6, 2012 10:57 PM PST

Whatever happened to Mutiny?

The only thing I could find on your "motto" is a sign some military families put on a wall.

even when it doesn't harm them in any way other than their attitudes

How does it harm the believers if there is a non-believer in their midst other than THEIR attitudes?

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by TONI H / December 6, 2012 11:04 PM PST

including atheists are always crying "tolerance"........but never show any. If anything they become fanatical about pushing THEIR will on the majority instead.

I'm done here.......

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RE: I'm done here.......
by JP Bill / December 6, 2012 11:36 PM PST
In reply to: Liberals

You could have just not responded...I would've figured it out.

Since you figured I needed telling, I'll tell you to "Do whatever it is you usually do when you're done."

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So you think the majority.....
by Josh K / December 7, 2012 2:57 AM PST

.....should be able to force their religious views on the minority?

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should a majority "force"
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 3:50 AM PST

their political views on others?

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(NT) In a Democracy?
by JP Bill / December 7, 2012 4:09 AM PST
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I didn't think I'd get a straight answer
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 5:07 AM PST

I was not disappointed.

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RE: I didn't think I'd get a straight answer
by JP Bill / December 7, 2012 5:20 AM PST

Since you won't answer

Then I'll assume it's in a Democracy...and say YES....

I've answered your question...Now you answer mine

Is the Military a Democracy?

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your question has no bearing
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 6:08 AM PST

on what I asked JOSH. You however are free to assume anything you wish, however misquided it might be.

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by TONI H / December 7, 2012 5:05 AM PST

and I don't see where they do. You don't see Christians going to a synagog and telling Jews they can't display their minorrah (sp) or other religions defacing mosques. Religions, for the most part in the USA, leave each other alone to practice their religion. Our military branches have traditionally had a Christian based belief in God and have practiced it or shown it without question until recently.........when most Christian based ANYTHING has been attacked and gone after by non-believers. Even to the point that because of ONE person, the Charlie Brown Christmas play in a local school had to be cancelled....and the stupid Mayor in a Maryland town just had to light up the 'holiday' tree, even though even at the White House, it's still called a Christmas tree.

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You're deflecting again
by Josh K / December 9, 2012 9:37 PM PST
In reply to: No...

You asked what's happened to "majority rules" within the context of religion in the military. And despite your claim, there is no official religion in the US military, thank goodness. Your own words suggest that you think non-Christians should just keep their mouths shut and go along with a Christian-based military.

Oh, and it's "menorah."

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No...what I am suggesting
by TONI H / December 9, 2012 10:14 PM PST
In reply to: No...

is that if it is common knowledge that Christianity is the 'majority' religious practice in all branches of the military, then why would an atheist voluntarily join and then try to change that? It's the same thing that happened with Fluke, deliberately going to a Catholic based college and then attacking it from within in order to get her birth control paid for by them. I'm sick and tired of activists deliberately trying to undermine the majority in order to jam THEIR beliefs.......where is the 'tolerance' when it comes from the other direction? It seems that they only want tolerance when it suits their own agenda.

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The US military is a government-run organization
by Josh K / December 9, 2012 10:24 PM PST
In reply to: No...

Therefore it has no official religion. What you're suggesting is that people who aren't Christian should just kowtow and allow themselves to be preached to by the United States government. You might want to familiarize yourself with the Constitution, Toni.

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by TONI H / December 9, 2012 11:38 PM PST
In reply to: No...

>>>>What you're suggesting is that people who aren't Christian should just kowtow and allow themselves to be preached to by the United States government. <<<<

And, yet, you have no problem with Christians having to kowtow to the United States Government over their unConstitutional force of birth control including fertilization/sterilization/abortions/morning after pills, etc. upon their insurance companies?

Can't have it both ways, Josh........

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Nobody is being forced....
by Josh K / December 10, 2012 12:02 AM PST
In reply to: No...

....to use birth control, Toni.

I'm going to assume from your non-response that you don't care a whit for the First Amendment.

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I have no idea what you mean by
by TONI H / December 10, 2012 1:24 AM PST
In reply to: No...

non-response........BUT, when you say nobody is forced to use birth control, you are right, but tax payers who don't believe in it and churches and their affiliates that don't believe in it are now being forced to pay for it via Obamacare forcing insurance companies to provide for it........

You will argue against one thing (Christianity being the majority in the military) but for the same thing when it comes to other aspects of Religious Freedom with the First Amendment......so I'm going to assume that's what you meant by my non-response. But you can't have it both ways, Josh........either we HAVE freedom OF religion and that includes the military (it isn't freedom FROM religion as atheists would have you believe) or we don't.

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And I was forced to pay....
by Josh K / December 10, 2012 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: No...

.....for "faith-based initiatives" under Bush.

And yes, Toni, the First Amendment also protects your right to have no religion at all.

As a Jew I would take tremendous offense at my superior officer trying to force me to acquiesce to his Christian faith just because I'm in the minority. That is not how it works, Toni.

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