Monday, July 14, 2008

Atheists? Not in OUR Army!

The United States Army accepted Blacks, Jews, Muslims, women, and even gays, but apparently being an Atheist isn't allowed. Army Spc. Jeremy Hall's unblemished service record, his two tours of duty in Iraq, and his unquestioned patriotism meant nothing. So severe was the discrimination and harassment against Hall, who became an Atheist while serving in Iraq, that the Army had to assign a full-time bodyguard to protect Hall from his fellow soldiers!

The Intolerance Meme is one of the tricks that religion evolved to further its goals. (What's a meme?) The concept, which arose a few hundred years after Moses, and justified in great detail in Deuteronomy, says that not only is your religion right, but that all other religions are wrong, and furthermore, that because they violate God's commandments, you can persecute, torture or even kill those who don't share your particular brand of religion. (See, for example, Deuteronomy 7)

It would be nice to think that Hall's experience is the exception, that most of the US Army's soldiers who believe in Jehovah/Yahweh/Allah/God have a more modern, tolerant attitude toward their fellow humans. Especially when that fellow soldier has proved his patriotism and courage by deed, not just by talk. But sadly, such is not the case. The Intolerance Meme is still alive and well, and is still an integral part of Christianity in America and our military. The persecution against Hall was so severe and pervasive that the Army had to send him home for his own protection. Instead of fighting in Iraq, he had to serve out his tour of duty in Kansas.

These intolerant soldiers should should be forced, each and every one, to read the words of the main author of the United States Constitution:
I never told my religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert nor wished to change another's creed. I have judged of others' religion by their lives, for it is from our lives and not from our words that our religion must be read. By the same test must the world judge me.
– Thomas Jefferson

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Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

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