The Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry

Home
About
Join / Donate
Activities
Newsletter
More

All Forums > Open Discussion >

Open Discussion

Author/DatePost
mccorquodale
May 17 2007
here's an article for all of you foxhole atheists

I know we've got a few military freethinkers who use this discussion board. Y'all will probably be interested in this interview with a fellow non-believer talking about what he perceives as institutionalized discrimination.

Larry_Carter_Center
May 17 2007
Foxhole Atheists typically get low respect, worse if killed

thank you for the link, as a US Navy Vet in "Cardinal Spellman's War" against Vietnamese Buddhists for Vietnamese Catholics, the underlying sentiments of such bigotry, either used as intended motivations to kill the "enemy" from Germans & Japanese & Chinese & Koreans as well as Muslims & Kurds & Afghans & Phillipinos & Indonesians nowadays, this underlying presumption that "our faith" justifies killing others of "their faith" or "godless communists" remains a dirty laundry issue most often swept under the proverbial rug. The presumption that "we are all Judeo-Christians" is not only incompetent fiction, as many Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Atheists, Buddhists & Wiccans have served with distinction as well as gave the ultimate sacrifice.... CHAPLAINS, COMMANDING OFFICERS & those in the margins just continue to presume that heaven makes it all right & sending the enemy "to hell" is enough said. Instead, Lieutenant Atkins proves that today's highly skilled soldier needs reason & justice in mind rather than simplistic jargon that comes out of the false propagandists that handled Private Lynch rescued in Iraq & Pat Tillman killed by our own troops in Afghanistan. Congressmember Waxman had hearings that revealed that some nameless officer sent an email to many who were investigating (read continued cover-ups) the deadly event "that the reason the Tillman family won't come to terms with his death is that they are not christians..." Lt Atkins should have been there & citing his legal channels as the pathway to deal with the problem. Again & again, I must say that if the canard were true, that there are no Atheists in foxholes, then more Christians should become suicide bombers??? When faith is injected to the chain of command, too often insanity is the result. I was no coward & remaining cool under fire is a better trained response than knee jerk mindless attitudes that somehow alleged deities will guide your battlefield performance? Bullshit, I say.

Chemrobb
May 17 2007
My thoughts....

Well, as one of the "military freethinkers" Mccorquodale mentioned in his/her post, I'll offer my thoughts on that article/attachment:

Young First Lieutenant (1LT) Adkins is of course entitled to his opinion of what Lt. Gen. Blum said (and to be offended by it). But his EO complaint was probably dead on arrival when it reached the Inspector General or EO reps, and for good reason from a military perspective....

1) LtGen (LTG) Blum's remarks, if true, were unfortunate and distasteful in my personal opinion. I am not trying to make a case in support of anything he said. But:

2) 1LT Adkins had no "actionable" complaint. Was he denied promotion or was he being discriminated against? Not from what I read. He basically didn't like what the General said, and was apparently trying to file some sort of "class action" complaint against a General Officer with whom he, as a 1LT, would certainly have little to no direct contact. Adkins fails to realize that the General is as entitled to his opinion ("there are no atheists in a foxhole") as Adkins himself is to his beliefs.

To have a case against this General, and be due an investigation and formal response to his discrimination complaint, Adkins must claim he is directly being discriminated against (read: harmed). He can't do that. So...what does he want ??

The services are not going to tolerate this kid basically whining publicly about a General Officer, which is all it appears to be (regardless of his concern that there is a tendency for chaplains and/or others to disparage atheists. This tendency is indeed bad, and it reflects society as a whole - as we know all too well. But he's focusing his discontent about that - formally - on one person).

3) Chain of Command: this is your first step in getting redress for a percieved wrong in the Army. You attempt to work it out through your immediate Command chain. (Company Command, Battalion Cmd, etc). Adkins didn't appear to attempt that - and how could he for something loose like this? The point is, the IG (Inspector General) is usually intended to be the last resort or it used to be, anyway:). Adkins could have sought out someone in intermediate leadership to discuss this first...Now, there are EO people on major command staffs, and you certainly have the option of going directly to them, esp if you have reason to fear some retribution. But I didn't read any evidence of any pressure on Adkins.

4) The statement "there are no atheists in a foxhole" has been around for years. Its pretty much just that - an old saying.

5) I notice the article is from the Institute for Humanist Studies. I'm suspicious that the whole story wasn't told (for or against, either way. Be that as it may, it almost certainly has a spin on it. Lets face it - the secular side does it too ! ).

Bottom line for me is it sounds like 1LT Adkins was out of line. I get a sense he was sour on the service anyway. (Notice he resigned his commission on his own). I'd love to see his OERs (evaluations) and/or to know firsthand what sort of Officer he was, performance wise. I suspect there is more to the story than his "interview" revealed.

As distasteful as LTG Blum's remarks were, Adkins probably didn't do a particularly good job of representing us secular types in his complaint... That is a shame, esp if it resulted in the loss of a good junior leader. But I fear that may not be the case:) .

-- "Chemrobb"

Larry_Carter_Center
May 23 2007
Chemrobb, Lt Atkins & LtGeneral Blum

Minimizing conduct unbecoming an officer is what Chemrobb has done.

If LtGen Blum had made disparaging remarks about Jews or Catholics as some sort of advocate for fundamentalist protestantisms, he would have been severely censured by his superiours. It is simply open season on Atheists until we have specific mention in civil rights laws & the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A very similar case was discussed during Congressmember Waxman's Hearings on how the military created much false propaganda about Private Lynch captured then rescued in Iraq & Special Forces soldier Pat Tillman killed in Afghanistan by "friendly fire" which is still being covered up by more obsfucations of the sort that Chemrobb is pooh poohing.

An unnamed LtCol sent an email to many others in the chain of command during the many investigations (read coverups) discussing the family of Tillman disrespectfully reading: "the reason why the family of Tillman will not come to grips with his death is because they are not xian."

Favoring xian afterlife claims is no different than disparaging living armed service members on their courage in battlefield situations.

It is not mere "opinion" as it rises to the level of espirit de corps. No LtAtkins did not apparently lose a promised transfer to a requested post or a likely promotion. However, as a Reservist on active duty, he might have been forced to extend his term of service & resigning his commission early is a mark of wisdom, not to be a subject of suspicion by Chemrobb. He avoided future worst cases of bigotry.

Even if LtAtkins were a poor officer, it does not excuse the LtGeneral from making remarks which causes dissention & poor morale in our uniformed services. Humanists are one of the few audiences open to calling a spade a dirty spade in this case.

Turning a blind eye to bigotry is what kept blacks & women & Jews unequal in our military & larger society until Commander In Chiefs Truman & Eisenhower successively made Executive Orders stick that they knew would be followed as they both were veterans.

Jimmy Carter tried to make the draft universal, but the US Sup Ct ruled it was "ok" to keep women out of the draft.

Reagun memorized the eyechart to fraudulently enlist in the cavalry nearsightedly blind & did no favors to our military.

Daddy Bush & his deserter son escalated the military industrial complex corruptions to the point that only diversions like Clinton's claiming his office was "active duty service" making him eligible for avoiding legal actions "back home" in Arkansas.... only sexual controversies have shielded the more necessary scrutiny of why & how our military does what it does.

Accordingly, The Air Force Academy is a political extension of James Dobsons religious empire. Boy Bush has made chaplaincy posts political spoils, one particular fundamentalist sect has only 7000 members & less than a hundred on active duty yet 21 chaplains have been hired from that sect. Theocracy in our military is a major problem.

LtGen Blum is the tip of a massively corrupt iceberg where religion is the facade for DOD contractors raiding the US Treasury.

Chemrobb asked important questions but jumped to false conclusions regarding a heroic American Atheist national guard officer.

Just how complaints ought to be handled must not be shuffled under the rug of attacking the messenger. If Chemrobb really wants to see performance evaluations for this fine officer, will he apologize when he finds nothing? Why call bigotry merely a matter of opinion when Generals run trillions of dollars worth of past & current Congressional appropriations? I wonder how Chemrobb will post upon the lies of the Latin Cross by the City of San Diego on MT Soledad?

We have a serious political problem with religion favored to the extent that all lies are favored rather than a simple truth when an Atheist is involved? Paulson & Tillman deserve better. As a US Navy vet '71-'73 I'm with Atkins. Theocracy is Treason.

Return to Open Discussion Forum
Return to Discussion Home

Webmaster: Alex Kasman 2016