Sunday, April 27, 2008

Onward Christian Soldiers...Oh and the rest of you guys too

H/T LT Nixon Rants

The NY Times entertains us with the story of an atheist soldier who said he was threatened by a Major and then set upon by wolves other Soldiers which precipitated his early return from Iraq.

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

By NEELA BANERJEE
Published: April 26, 2008

FORT RILEY, Kan. — When Specialist Jeremy Hall held a meeting last July for atheists and freethinkers at Camp Speicher in Iraq, he was excited, he said, to see an officer attending.

Specialist Jeremy Hall, 23, outside Fort Riley, Kan., where he has been stationed since being sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers.

But minutes into the talk, the officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” Major Welborn said, according to the statement.

Major Welborn told the soldiers he might bar them from re-enlistment and bring charges against them, according to the statement.

Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers.


It's entirely possible that this occurred as told, but something tells me we aren't seeing the whole story.

Yeah, I know call me skeptical...but before I go running off screaming bloody murder about how the asshole Christians are persecuting this young Specialist...I'd like to hear the whole story. Which I am quite sure we aren't getting.

First, no Major is going to bar anyone from promotion or re-enlistment...it takes a commander to do that, and last I looked Captains command companies and Lieutenant Colonels command Battalions. I wouldn't put it past some Major to make that threat...but after all that's why we have an IG. Which brings to mind another question did he report this to the IG?...which is outside his chain of command by the way.

After his run-in with Major Welborn, Specialist Hall did not file a complaint with the Army’s Equal Opportunity Office because, he said, he was mistrustful of his superior officers. Instead, he told leaders of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, who put him in touch with Mr. Weinstein. In November 2007, Specialist Hall was sent home early from Iraq after being repeatedly threatened by other soldiers. “I caution you that although your ‘legal’ issues are yours and yours alone, I have heard many people disagree with you, and this may be a cause for some of the perceived threats,” wrote Sgt. Maj. Kevin Nolan in Specialist Hall’s counseling for his departure.


Uh, I guess that would be a NO.

I guess they really aren't Christians if they don't love the sinner but hate the sin...those hypocritical bastards. But if you don't believe why would it bother you if someone was engaging in what you as an unbeliever might consider superstitious nonsense? I know, according to SPC Hall he was "threatened". Now that wasn't very Christian-like behavior was it?

In some respects I can understand SPC Hall being uncomfortable if he is a non believer, a lot of prayers are given over in Iraq. I could hear the Muslim call to prayer every time it was given...did that bother him too or was it just the Christians he was forced to be around that bugged him? There's something else going on here...I just don't know what it is...and the NY Times doesn't know or care to find out. Nice story though.

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