Thursday, April 18, 2013

MAAF Meeting(s)

There is a small group of Soldiers trying to get a MAAF chapter established on Fort Huachuca. The chaplains are fighting them tooth and nail, the post command group wants nothing the fuck to do with them and even other non-theists on posts are reluctant to sign up. I am one of those Soldiers, I'm the lowest ranking of all of them but I feel like I have to do this or I'll never live it down. Even if it crashes and burns, I have to at least try.

MAAF stands for Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, so far as I have been able to gather their main goal is social support and recognition for military personnel who don't drink kool-aid. The American military is already VERY heavily christianized, to the point that many commanders have been known to allow religious indoctrination to influence their decision-making and for some reason no-one sees a problem with this but us.

I myself have been publicly called out as a "sinner" by squad-mates and supervisors, especially while I was deployed: They didn't realize that I can throw rocks, too.

I recently took a small verbal picking for the Scarlet Letter patch that I wear under the tab of my collar: AR 670-1 is the Army Regulation specifically dictating how our uniforms are to be worn, there is a clearly outlined portion stating how items of a religious (or non-religious in my case) nature are permitted to be worn with any Army uniform: An embroidered patch fastened to the underside of the collar with a cross or even a pentagram/pentacle is a very common and popular choice among Soldiers, and it's perfectly within the rules. That having been said, so is my Red-Letter-A by those very same rules.

Too often, the term "Freedom of Religion" is used in a context that implies "Freedom of MY Religion and you can stuff yours." This mindset has no place in the Armed Forces because if you're that strongly prejudiced against squad-mates or subordinates who think so differently from you then you are clearly not capable of effective decision-making in relation to keeping everyone in your team alive if the shit hits the fan: I hate to resort to an argument from personal experience, but I know this because I've been on the receiving end of it.

My dog-tags, which are an outdated concept in terms of modern-day combat scenarios, now read "ATHEIST" after having to convince the tag-machine operator that yes, that is indeed what I want them to say.

My "job" is hard enough as it is, I'd just like to spend the rest of my time here not taking shit about something so arbitrary in terms of my ability to show up for Formation sober and not cause trouble. Everyone wants to "Support Our Troops" until it actually comes time to really do so, then some of us are left out on our asses with little or no support network. Good job, America!

There was once a catholic Soldier in my unit who tried to convince me that my effectiveness as a Soldier would always be hindered because I lacked god's divine inspiration, he proceeded to rattle off a list of books he thought I should read to engage my curiosity for the catholic faith (which died in me when I was still a child being raised in that particular belief system
.) Two days later he tried to kill himself: He's still alive but no longer in the Army.

I guess god's divine inspiration STILL isn't enough to fix the Army's biggest problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment