Breaking MRFF Victory: Army to Investigate Punishment of Soldiers for Not Attending Evangelical Christian Concert

Published On: August 20, 2010|Categories: News|12 Comments|

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  1. Brian Southards (LCpl USMC Fmr) August 21, 2010 at 8:18 am

    This story does not surprise me in the least. The largest reason I am agnostic is because of the military. In boot camp we were forced to attend worship services. Our drill instructors said we could worship a bush or jackrabbit for all they cared but we were going to worship something. Needless to say I bounced from religion to religion (Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Christian Science, and even Muslim for two weeks). It’s bad enough that you are issued a camouflage bible when you get to bot camp. I would have much rather been allowed to sit in the barracks and read the newspaper and reconnect with the outside world if just for a few hours. I found that to be much more gratifying.

  2. Former Navy August 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Same thing happened to me when I was in the Navy. If you did not go to Sunday service, you had to scrub the head in the barracks. I also received alot of attention because my dog tags said “NORELPREF”.

  3. Chris P August 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Isn’t it bizarre that Jesus preached peace and non-violence but these guys are in the military wanting to shoot guns.

    So much for religion being “more moral” than atheism. What a crock.

  4. Jamie August 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    This is the same as the eternal debate about going to church on Sunday morning in Army basic training. When I was in basic, the majority of people in my company went to EVERY Sunday morning church service (I think it was a “non-denominational” protestant service) cause the chaplain didn’t seem to mind if you drifted off a little bit during his sermon. Otherwise if you didn’t attend the church service, you had to stay in the barracks and clean. I tried it once and just didn’t feel right sleeping in the church service.

    If you went to the church service, you got out of cleaning AND got some extra sleep. Otherwise you had to clean the barracks all morning.

    Is it any wonder church services for basic were always full?

    Also there is the point of the lower level units wanting to show a large turn out to look good in front of the command officer. At my last duty station in the Army, our unit had mandatory “fun days”, the problem is my section was stationed over 45 minutes away from our headquarters (w/ no traffic). Single soldiers were REQUIRED to go to the mandatory fun day, married soldiers were not. And in fact due to the fact that we had 24/7 operations where I worked, the work schedule usually ended up being the married soldiers were working, all the single soldiers were off (basically one of our 3 days off after working four 12+ hour days). And to make matters worse, all of us single soldiers were required to ride the bus (we could not choose to drive up if we wanted, they actually took a headcount before the bus left and before it came back). The last one I went to for that unit, the bus came back during rush hour and ended up being what would have been 20 minutes away w/ no rush hour (actual distance away for that time of day would probably be closer to a couple of hours). So about 20-30 soldiers in a bus broken down on the side of the freeway waiting for someone from the unit to bring another bus to our location in the middle of afternoon rush hour in July w/ no A/C. Most of us had cell phones and we were not allowed to call for a ride home from a friend.

    The problem for the first item is as long as they can claim that they’re not endorsing one religion over another and their is no evidence to the contrary, they tend to be able to get away w/ things like this.

    The problem for the 2nd one is technically as a soldier, the Military has complete control over your time and low ranking officers (company/battalion commanders) want to look good for high ranking officers (Brigade Commanders/General Officers) to show that their unit supports whatever the high ranking officer wants to throw out as a team building/unity type thing, usually at the detriment of many of the low ranking enlisted who end up w/ no choice.

    I’m going to close out my comment right here since it’s a bit long although I do have a lot more to say on the subject.

  5. wake999 August 23, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I am civilian- worked for the DOD almost 30 years. And since 2000 the religionous (deliberate misspelling)issue has gotten out of hand. On the base I work at now there are 3 large chaplains centers/churches, 2 hidden buildings labeled religious “something” and uncounted missionaries, religious groups and clubs allowed access to the base. They are all Evangelical Christian!! Chaplains get funds out the wazoo! They advertise in local papers for religious or spiritual counselors. Good paying jobs too- no degree required- just be the right religion. This base has at least 2 of those positions. Scares the crap out of me and this paid for with taxpayer funds. Also note that if you want to get a higher rank if military or promoted if civilian- no competence required, just go to the right church.

  6. Jim Kiehle August 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I notice three things are missing from this story. First, none of the eye witnesses have responded; second, there is no description of “contact maintenance” and “barracks maintenance”; and third, there is no description of their normal Thursday evening routine. As an Academy graduate, I remember being required to be at my desk studying every weekday night, never lying on my bunk except from lights out until reveille, and having my “barracks” ready for inspection every weekday morning. Since these soldiers are still marching to class and mess hall, I believe they are in initial training. So my guess is “contact maintenance” means study hall and “barracks maintenance” means getting their space ready for inspection, and that they do it every Thursday evening during initial training.

    So if “locked down” is the normal routine for a Thursday night, it may seem like punishment, but it is not punishment. (All initial training probably feels like punishment to some of these people.)

    If my guess is correct, the story should have been written by an objective reporter as “On May 13, 2010, about eighty soldiers, stationed at Fort Eustis while attending a training course, were offered the option of attending one of these Christian concerts. Those that did not wish to attend returned to their normal Thursday training routine in their barracks.

    Not as interesting a story is it?

  7. Coach Mac USArmy Honorable Discharge August 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

    WOW! All these stories and I’m sure each one has affected each life. I was in the USArmy (Active Duty) for 4 years and I don’t remember at anytime the Officers and or NCOIC’s making us do anything like this or anything that would cause such a story. My experience was one of being a “Christian” in an ARMY that was ANTI Christian at times. If you didn’t PARTY and DRINK… and I mean GET DRUNK… you didn’t fit in and DID NOT MAKE RANK… I was overlooked many times (I AM NOT CRYING about it though) it was part of the Military. I knew this was the battle and making rank was NOT my main motive of being in the ARMY it was PATRIOTISM… and so I sucked up the Christian Bashing… and the comments: “Oh… you don’t drink.. what’s WRONG with You…not American”?…LOL… they would joke about me all the time… Well, no BIG DEAL.. it was part of the territory… I AM and WAS Big enough to handle it. It kinda hurt at times because the soldiers didn’t really know me very well.. and they didn’t want to get to know me unless I fit THEIR Mold of a Buddy or Soldier. I really didn’t sit there and go…. “Look at the Athiest, Non-Believer, Anti-Christs…trying to get me to party and fornicate”…. COME ON guys… there is MORE military personel that go against the “Religeous Christian Morals” than there are following JESUS CHRIST….
    So, quit your CRYING and be a PATRIOT for your COUNTRY and “IF” you had to go to a Concert… or go CLEAN….then it’s not the end of the world. I am in NO WAY supporting… forcing you or anyone into going to a concert you don’t want to go to….but would it have really hurt you…. (If your Athiest…you don’t believe in JESUS anyway…so there must not be any POWER there to FORCE you into believeing in a GOD you refuse to acknowledge…) AMEN?

    PS: DId you use your STRESS CARD? LOL…. WAAAAA!!!!! Grow Up and Support our Country… WE HAVE WAY TOO MANY ISSUES more important than a Christian Concert… offending people…. what a bunch of CRY BABIES…

  8. Coach Mac USArmy Honorable Discharge August 23, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Follow-up on my first post: (A Christians Perspective)
    I also experienced something that affected me from my NCOIC. He treated me like a dog at times and claimed to be a Christian and even took me to his CHURCH. Little did he know but I was a Follower of JESUS already and this Seargent did NOT represent the “Christian Faith” like I found in the BIBLE. My experience with this enlisted man was that he found it to be funny to claim to be a Christian (Everyone knew otherwise) and then treated me and others like slaves… I mean slaves… and then laugh about it… I was older than him and more experienced in life and I had very good people skills where he lacked them. Most if not ALL of our troops hated him….except one soldier. This soldier was made fun of because he would ALWAYS follow this NCOIC’s orders without question and did it with a smile. The others laughed about it and sometimes stood up for this “Christian Soldier”…because it got out of hand… but nothing really stopped this “Unfair” treatment of a soldier. The soldier is obviously “ME” and I did what he asked because I was taught to do what people that are put in charge of me order me to do (If it doesn’t go against CHRIST)… then I do it… so I did…
    PS: NO CRY BABIES….I did NOT cry about it or go around complaining… I sucked it up and moved on….and it made ME a better soldier and person because I knew I would NEVER treat anyone the way he treated me and others. (So, sometimes people CLAIM to be Christians but are truely NOT…and others get offended or hurt…but part of the training)..AMEN?

  9. Coach Mac USArmy Honorable Discharge August 23, 2010 at 10:15 am

    One more COMMENT (Christian Side):
    Most of the time I hear about people claiming that “Christians” or “Religeous People” (NOTE: Fact: Christians are NOT Religeous)…
    are NOT TOLERANT of others beliefs and or immoral acts….or way’s of living…. (Athiest, Homosexuals, Immoral People…Christian Haters…so on…).. and usually people say we HATE them…so on..(NOT TRUE…it goes against JESUS…to just HATE someone…for no apparent reason)…
    So, I am wondering about THIS STORY….about a CHRISTIAN CONCERT… where is the TOLLERENCE for the “Christians”? Why is it that the (NON BELIEVERS) can Party, Curse, make stupid remarks that are insinsitive about others, and fornicate, and do all kinds of acts that HURT OUR SOCIETY and MILITARY…in many ways… but a HARMLESS CONCERT can cause such and UPROAR?… wheres the LOVE…LOL
    The TRUTH about this story?
    The people that are OFFENDED about this story are Spiritually Dead and or just crying about this to try to STOP the CHRISTIAN movement in this COUNTRY (MY USA)…this country is and was FOUNDED on CHRISTIAN fundementals….(Read your HISTORY BOOKS)…so why are we even having this conversation…?
    PSS:While your cursing at me….May God Bless you and his OWN! I LOVE YOU and all the MILITARY HERO’s we have. STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT and quit crying about these…. small issues… that added up to nothing…:)

  10. Coach Mac USArmy Honorable Discharge August 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Setting the FACTS:
    Chris P
    Posted August 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM
    Isn’t it bizarre that Jesus preached peace and non-violence but these guys are in the military wanting to shoot guns.

    So much for religion being “more moral” than atheism. What a crock.
    bizarre? Whata CROCK?….Knowledge makes us informed but not wise.

    Mr. Atheism: your lack of knowledge about “Christians” has made you look like a fool with your unwarranted comments about “Christians or Godly men” in the military. First, you should study up on what JESUS PREACHED and then make comments if you have your facts straight. God will NOT be MOCKED… and because of your ignorance of this subject you are putting falsehoods out and or lies about what JESUS PREACHED. God has commanded that “The King” wipe out nations for their WICKED WAYS and EVIL acts. God has commanded Godly People to WIPE OUT other nations using their military men.
    You Wrote:
    So much for religion being “more moral” than atheism. What a crock.
    Well, I would say that the “MORE moral” act would be to STOP EVIL people by killing them BEFORE they kill YOU…(Chris P.)..If you knew our HISTORY in AMERICA..there are MANY Christian people that have lost their lives so you could MOUTH OFF..(As and Athiest)..about things you know NOTHING ABOUT… (Look Up King Saul….The PEOPLES KING)…and Samuel the Prophet…that warned him that he would LOSE his kingdom if he didn’t WIPE OUT a WICKED NATION and their KING…(EVERYTHING)…Kill it ALL…. (Because it was BEST for MANKIND…to stop the evilness before ALL OF MANKIND…would die away)…. AMEN?

  11. Kirk Ceballos August 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    This doesnt surprise me at all, when I was in boot camp at Ft Leonard Wood MO, they offered us to go to a day away as they called it . Basically it was a bbq setup by some Christian church , under the guise that it was a day off for basic Training soldiers. The only catch was you had to attend a church service at the end. ASnywyas the church service wasn’t a service but an all out recruitment for this church.They wanted us all to convert and sing paper work that we give ourselves to Jesus so on and so forth. A complete scam .

  12. migmigmig September 11, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Ah, yes. Religiosity as Time-Share salesmanship.

    Really classy.

    But, then, remember, if you’re soul isn’t saved, you’re worse than dead. They use that as an excuse to justify any amount of horribly insulting/degrading/prejudicial, etc, behavior on their part.

    (Not all Christians, mind you, just self-proclaimed “true” Christians)

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