The more things change the more they get weirder. In my day, the only way you could be a Conscientious Objector was to claim that status on religious grounds. If you were an atheist, tough shit. Now if you are an atheist, they don’t want you to fight. This is something for all you young folks to keep in mind when President McSame or President Hilary get us involved in a war with Iran and they have to re-institute conscription:
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.
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. (New York Times)
Hall went to Iraq a Christian, but apparently got in the wrong foxhole and emerged an atheist:
Specialist Hall said he did not advertise his atheism. But his views became apparent during his second deployment in 2006. At a Thanksgiving meal, someone at his table asked everyone to pray. Specialist Hall did not join in, explaining to a sergeant that he did not believe in God. The sergeant got angry, he said, and told him to go to another table.
Though with a different unit now at Fort Riley, Specialist Hall said the backlash had continued. He has a no-contact order with a sergeant who, without provocation, threatened to “bust him in the mouth.” Another sergeant allegedly told Specialist Hall that as an atheist, he was not entitled to religious freedom because he had no religion.
Religious freedom activists in the military contend discrimination and violation of the regulations is much more common than official complaints to the Pentagon suggest. Hall is suing the military on behalf of those in uniform who want to have freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. The Christian Crusaders in the US military have had a problem before, more recently over overtly coercive and discriminatory evangelical activities at the Air Force Academy. The Pentagon’s response then was to issue regulations protecting the rights of soldiers of all beliefs, including those with no religious beliefs. But it is obvious there are those in the officer corps who could care less about regulations. Sergeant Wellborn has denied Hall’s version, but another soldier who witnessed the meeting said Hall was telling the truth. Apparently Sergeant Wellborn believes lying for God is OK. Why not? He thinks killing for God is OK. There are higher Truths, after all, then the ones provided by mere facts.
Why don’t we isolate these guys in the desert with all the Islamic Jihadists and let them fight it out over who has the best God without involving the rest of us? I’m sure that would be just fine with most Iraqi civilians and most US soldiers who just want the shooting to stop and to get the hell out of there.