Tuesday, August 22, 2006

'Atheists in fox holes' want respect

I forgot to link to this article I wrote for Raw Story the other day, 'Atheists in foxholes' demand respect, recognition and honor, (probably because I was too busy trying to forget that Monday was my birthday...and that didn't work either):

"'There are no atheists in foxholes,' the old saw goes," begins the Beliefwatch column in the latest issue of Newsweek. "The line, attributed to a WWII chaplain, has since been uttered countless times by grunts, chaplains and news anchors."

"But an increasingly vocal group of activists and soldiers—atheist soldiers—disagrees," the column continues.

"It's a denial of our contributions," Master Sgt. Kathleen Johnson tells Newsweek. "A lot of people manage to serve without having to call on a higher power."

Master Sgt. Johnson founded the group, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) as "a community support network that connects military members from around the world with each other and with local organizations."

"In addition to our community services, we take action to educate and train both the military and civilian community about athiesm in the military and the issues that face us," reads the "About" page at MAAF's Website. "Where necessary, MAAF identifies, examines, and responds to insensitive practices that illegally promote religion over non-religion within the military or unethically discriminate against minority religions or differing beliefs."

MAAF keeps a running list of "Atheists in Foxholes, in Cockpits, on Ships, and Hitting the Beach," who are willing to "come out" on the Internet.

Read the rest at Raw Story.


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