The US military is an institution I have the highest respect for. Yet there is little doubt that over the years the military has been tilting toward the religious right. The most recent sign of this is the resignation of a cadet, Blake Page, in protest to what is going on at West Point, which was not without risk. You can see an interview with Page here. Those who have smugly called atheists crybabies and have said that they have never been subjected to discrimination may want to take note.
Here are some of the reasons he gives for his resignation.
I do not wish to be in any way associated with an institution which willfully disregards the Constitution of the United States of America by enforcing policies which run counter to the same. Examples of these policies include mandatory prayer, the maintenance of the 3rd Regiment Shield, awarding extra passes to Plebes who take part in religious retreats and chapel choirs, as well as informal policies such as the open disrespect of non-religious new cadets and incentivizing participation in religious activities through the chain of command.
And his hopes for the future:
Perhaps with enough external pressure brought to bear by continued civil rights activism, America’s military leadership will one day soon be forced to realize that non-religious soldiers are not enemies of the state to be shunned, ridiculed and marginalized, but rather patriotic, honorable Americans to be respected as equals.
(Image credit: Chris Rodda)