Friday, March 4, 2011

Fort Bragg Commander reneges on promise to atheists, takes hypocritical stance on secular vs. evangelical events.

Big trouble brewing in N Carolina after Fort Bragg reneges on promise to atheists

But this week Griffith was informed by Col Stephen J Sicinski, Garrison Commander at Fort Bragg, that Rock Beyond Belief could not be staged on the parade ground as originally planned. Instead, they were told the event could take place at one of two indoor theaters, with the larger one accommodating about 700 people.

Sicinski also stipulated and that all advertising materials must include a disclaimer that there is: "No endorsement [of the event] by Fort Bragg, the US Army, or Department of Defense."

No such disclaimer was demanded of the organizers of the evangelical event.
The military spent our tax dollars throwing an evangelical concert, and avoided thorny Constitutional issues by putting in writing their commitment to showing the same level of tolerance and support for secular events. Then, when foxhole atheists tried to put something together, the military stopped pretending and revealed (again) their leadership to be hypocrites. (More detail at The Friendly Atheist.)

My take: every officer that supported forcing soldiers to attend an evangelical concert, and has signed off on discriminating against secularists should be disciplined, up to and including dishonorable discharge. And the MRFF and FFRF should pursue every avenue, including filing suit, to ensure the event takes place as planned. Also, now that it can be shown that the evangelicals did, in fact, enjoy exclusive access, anyone else associated with staging that event should be held accountable for violating the Establishment Clause.

Update: Justin Griffith apologizes, but he's right, it's really the Garrison Commander who should be apologizing.
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