One of the purposes of returning to full–time(ish) blogging was to engage the public with the ideas that religion is part of our everyday life. Regardless of what specific religion, we all have a varying relationship to the supernatural. I would even go so far as to say that some people value their supremacy over supernatural things to be what they would call their religion.
I won’t argue with that. That’s the central idea of Atheism, the belief that humans are not subject to some set of supernatural laws. It is the belief that myths are the natural outcome of fear and ignorance. Atheism can be convincing.
It would make sense then, that Atheism wouldn’t be popular in the armed forces, One of the ways the soldier keeps himself in good morale is through the use of the supernatural. The idea that someone or something is going to keep them safe, even though logic would say otherwise. Another manifestation of hope — whether it be real or imagined — is always encouraged.
After reading a story today about a Soldier who was decrying an ‘unconstitutional’ treatment by the US Army, I could see his argument. That would be, of course, if there was at least a token effort to research the most salacious claim in the article:
His sudden lack of faith, he said, cost him his military career and put his life at risk. Hall said his life was threatened by other troops and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him out of fear for his safety.
Excuse me, but WHAT?
The part about the bodyguard makes this entire story read differently. Of course, the reporter wouldn’t know (or care) that Army units only do that as a last resort. They just don’t have enough people around to babysit all day.
From my (admittedly limited) experience, I know there are only thee times you put a bodyguard on somebody:
1. They are a threat to other people (think sociopath)
2. They are a target of revenge
3. They are wholly incapable of performing their job (thus need protecting)
For the sake of argument, I’ll give him that he is the target of revenge. Okay, so where are the investigations? If the Haditha Marines taught us anything, it’s that the military will eat it’s own young long before any of us find out about it. Is there any more to this story than a claim of ‘intolerance’?
Probably not. But that’s more of an experienced–based gut feeling than from the (horribly biased, incomplete) known facts of the case. My opinion is that this is just a trouble–maker whose story got to the right desk, and now it’s part of the leverage in some political statement, and not about (and never was about) this kid.
“Our Pentagon, our Pentacostalgon, is refusing to realize that when you put the uniform on, there’s only one religious faith: patriotism,”
Don KingWeinstein said.
Um, yeah. What I thought.