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West Point Cadet Quits Citing Religious Pressures

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by Poppy, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    What's this about?...Would have thought the military would not want religion to be a part of it's fibre ....This guy says as an atheist, he was discriminated against at West Point....Anyone here have any issues because of their beliefs within the system?... "While at West Point, Page established a chapter of the Secular Students Alliance to support non-religious cadets at the institution. He has argued against prayer being included in mandatory events. He says he has faced persistent discrimination as a known atheist and has been told by his superiors that he will never be a good leader until he "fills the hole in his heart." " West Point cadet quits, cites 'criminal' behavior of officers - U.S. News
     
  2. Natman

    Natman Member

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    I've seen young army troops talking about the pressure they get to "be into religion" (my words) on the news occasionally the last couple years. Never looked into it until now but it's easy to find references on the net:

    Hunting People for Jesus: Growing Fundamentalism in the U.S. Military | Crooks and Liars

    U.S. Soldiers Punished for Not Attending Christian Concert | Veterans Today

    Are U.S. troops being force-fed Christianity? / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

    These articles are several years old. Don't know anything about the first two sites, have heard of C S Monitor but don't really know about it either? No issues about religion when I was in the army but that was 40+ years ago! They did promise us weekend passes if we went to church one weekend during AIT, it was packed, and they came thru with the passes.
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    West Point isn't a place to stage protests about anything, atheism included. If he wanted to be an activist, he should have gone to Berkeley.
     
  4. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    It's greatly over stated Poppy. It's someone looking for something to be offended about. I know a bunch of serving or recently seperated military personnel. Some are religious, some nominally so, some agnostic or atheist, some Christians, some Jewish, some Pagan, etc., I even know a Sikh. I know of none that religion or lack there of, is an important issue in regards to their service.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice if you're not the one being pressured to hold beliefs contrary to your own.
     
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  7. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Will say I've seen the actual inscription on scope...Cannot find image after short search....But it sort of does show there may be some religious influence going on....Am all for religion, just not the enforced kind....Thinking US military has really bent over to accommodate, compared to what it was 50-75 yrs ago....The article said the church on site @ WP performed a same sex wedding, so would seem like WP is trying to accommodate all. Thinking MacArthur is turning in his grave.
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I don't see any "pressure." It sounds like the guy wanted to be an activist and shut down religious activities at West Point. West Point is no place for an activist. If he was a Vegan who wanted to shut down the serving of meat in the chow hall, he'd have been booted out just as quickly.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Of course you don't see any pressure, you agree with the system.
     
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  10. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Yeah, I do agree with the system. It isn't Berkeley, it's a military institute. And... I'm an atheist through and through.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Fine, if true. But you agree that people should be required to be involved in religious beliefs that they don't agree with?
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    If that in effect is what is going on. More likely that he's trying to accentuate his individuality when the program is pushing suppression of individuality for the common good. Suppression of individuality does not just mean religion, which is just what is being keyed on by this Cadet, but in all aspects of your lives, habits you've developed over years of civilian life that need to be unlearned. Hell, when I went to Airborne School I was the moron that when they asked religious preference, I said Pagan. The response from the SNCO filling out the paperwork looked at me and said, "You're shi***g me right? I said, "No SFC." He shrugged and wrote it down. Next thing I know, before our first jump, we were issued new dog tags and mine had "Pagan" in the slot. I still have them. I also remember my first Sunday at MCRD Parris Island. They had us all fall in line and stated any recruits wishing to go to religious services needed to fall out on the quarterdeck. Those not going would have free time. I wasn't religious and opted for the free time. As soon as the Church Service recruits marched off the drill instuctor on duty came back into the squadbay and shouted, "ALLRIGHT YOU GODLESS HEATHERNS. OUTSIDE IN THE ROSE GARDEN." They PT'd us for half an hour then brought us back inside. Now some would have considered this an effort to force recruits to attend religious services. That was not he case. The next week those that opted not to go to religious services were given their free time and nothing was ever said to them. The reason for the initial harrassment was to see who was attempting to slack. If you continued to forego attending church, it was to be assumed that it was due to a real conviction not a churchgoer compromising their principles to get some down time. I am more religious now than when I was a young dealer in death, but I still don't attend church regularly because I don't like other people trying to shove their personal interpretation of scripture down my throat. If I ever caught a "whiff" that this might be going on in todays military, I'd be right there beside you, outraged by it. I don't think that is the case, again based upon my interactions with current servicemembers.


    Now you will have things occur similar to this scene from Full Metal Jacket. I guess it could be argued that the Drill Instructor was pushing Christianity, and if the news got ahold of the story the ACLU would probably get involved. Any reasonable person that knew what was really going on would realize that it's something entirely different.
    Full Metal Jacket! Happy Birthday Jesus. - YouTube

    Poppy wrote:
    Not saying the inscriptions didn't exist, they did. But they've been on the scopes for 30 years and not just on military scopes, but those sold to civilians also.
    "Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, said the practice of including the references was started nearly 30 years previously by the company's founder, devout Christian Glyn Bindon, who died in a 2003 plane crash."

    Trijicon has since agreed to stop including the inscription on military scopes. They've always been there, it just took someone to notice it and make a big deal about it. Then it morphed into the military proselytizing, when they weren't behind the inscriptions being placed there in the first place.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  14. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Staff Member Patron  

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    What I see is someone who was about to graduate and enter the 'workforce' of the US Military and as I see it, scared he might have to give back and lead real Soldiers in combat. How was he able to endure the discrimination until now? If I'm not mistaken West Point is not only an educational establishment but a training ground for tomorrows leaders. Learning how to deal with undesirable situations in a professional manner part of that training. Poor baby, he should have talked to a few of the first African Americans and Women to attend West Point. Discrimination my a##, an opportunist who gamed the system, received an education from one of the best Institutes in the World and ironically wants out before he must fulfill "his" obligation. Nice that he is going to write a book about his terrible treatment too.
     
  15. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Ah, a vicious attack on the person.
     
  17. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Staff Member Patron  

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    Just questioning the timing and the ability to 'walk away' from an eight year commitment. Not to mention the nearly $300,000 cost of the education. (which I just mentioned:confused: )
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Strange. To me it sounded like you were calling him a coward. My bad.
     
  19. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Staff Member Patron  

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    I assumed there was more to this story and here is something that was not in the 1st post link.

    Cadet quits, cites overt religion at West Point - News - Boston.com

    "The 24-year-old told The Associated Press that a determination this semester 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."

    So was it his cries of discrimination or the fact he failed to get a commission?
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'm an atheist. I served twenty years. I was never forced to pray. I was never forced to go to a church service. When somebody wanted to start a meal or a service of some kind with a prayer, I bowed my head in respect. It's called tolerance.

    This kid wanted to be an activist. He had no tolerance for the religious beliefs of others and wanted to force them to live by his creed (or non-creed). That's not how the world works and the military is far better off without this guy than with him.
     
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