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Quote# 86204

["Should the military be testing the spirituality of its soldiers?"]

I know that religious people have security that atheists don’t. If you believe in life after life, you fight harder, risk more, and serve better than a guy who thinks, “this is it!” If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon, or charge a machine-gun nest expecting to meet Jesus. You’re going to be reserved, second-guessing, and probably be a big fat chicken.

Look, you just read the stats: “Researchers have found that spiritual people have decreased odds of attempting suicide, and that spiritual fitness has a positive impact on quality of life, on coping and on mental health.” Atheists be damned. They will be. So I really don’t care what they think regarding these tests. I’m tired of having their constant nagging, their constant opposition against God — their evil. They contribute nothing positive in the long run. Their very name, “a” theist, means they are “against,” with a big “no” regarding America’s “creator” and “Nature’s God” (the one mentioned in our Declaration of Independence). I’m frankly sick of them. Why they are here on the In Theory cast is beyond me. It’s like saying, “I have no spiritual input because I don’t believe in the spirit. So here’s my ignorance....”

I wonder what the military puts on gravestones of atheists, a thumbs-down? Listen, all religions are protected by our laws, but atheists don’t countenance America’s documents that mention God. They don’t actually deserve rights that even bizarre religionists have. If it could be shown that people who deny God create military weakness, however small, what should commanders do when choosing a winning military? I agree with you.

Rev. Bryan Griem, Pasadena Sun 69 Comments [2/26/2012 5:04:07 AM]
Fundie Index: 69
Submitted By: Night Jaguar
WTF?! || meh
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MuffinOfFun

So religious soldier's are reckless. That's not a good trait.

2/26/2012 5:34:02 AM

OhJohnNo

This guy's a reverend? I thought they were supposed to be happy and forgiving.

2/26/2012 5:37:45 AM

Eppur si muove

Then all soldiers should be reckless christians, and all officers sensible atheists who don't waste the life of their men.

As Patton said, it's not about dying for your country, it's about making the enemy die for his.

2/26/2012 5:44:55 AM

solomongrundy

OhJohnNo wrote

This guy's a reverend?

The KJV only uses 'reverend' of God himself. Surely any human calling themselves that is getting a bit uppity to say the least? ;-)

2/26/2012 6:05:34 AM

Atheissimo

Gee, I would never have thought that the concept of heaven made you more likely to be willing to die for somebody hundreds of miles away, sitting on a chair with a big map. I mean, that's totally not the reason it was created in the first place, right? He's basically saying 'I've been manipulated into being a willing meat shield and I'm proud of it'.

Plus, you sound an awful lot like the Taliban here. They prize religious observance very highly. To the point that their soldiers will die on a whim because they believe it is God's will. Is the army a collection of disposable pawns or a group of well trained men and women who want to come back alive?

But just a second... You say that atheists are less likely to risk their lives in combat because they only have one, but are more likely to kill themselves. Lolwut?

Finally, I know at least one atheist Royal Marine who would turn you inside out for suggesting he's a 'chicken', why don't you say it to his face?

2/26/2012 6:11:25 AM

Katsy-Watsy

I have an atheist friend in the military. He's in the hospital after protecting his fellows from a few bullets. Please, DIAF.

2/26/2012 6:48:17 AM

D Laurier

"I know that religious people have security that atheists don’t. If you believe in life after life, you fight harder, risk more, and serve better than a guy who thinks, “this is it!” If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon, or charge a machine-gun nest expecting to meet Jesus. You’re going to be reserved, second-guessing, and probably be a big fat chicken."


The heroes who held the line against facism...

The Soviet troops who fought at Brest-Litovsk, Yelnia, Kiev, Moscow, Sevastopol, Stalingrad, Kharkov, Kursk, Leningrad, and Berlin...

would like a word with you Bryan
... and so would she

2/26/2012 6:50:47 AM

c4ndide

Language fail.

'A' as a prefix to a word doesn't mean against (that would be 'anti'). 'A' just means without something (like, say, anoxia, which means to be without oxygen.)

Early Christians were called atheists by the Romans because Christians denied the pantheon. I'd consider Christians (and anyone who believes in a god or gods) alogos -- without reason.

"We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." – Richard Dawkins

As atheism really originated as a slur (and you can't be without something that *doesn't exist* anyway), I've always thought that as a self-label we should pick something better -- humanist, naturalist, and skeptic come to mind.

2/26/2012 7:09:16 AM

WWWWolf

> If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon, or charge a machine-gun nest expecting to meet Jesus. You’re going to be reserved, second-guessing,

...and employ actual military tactics that mean you'll be fighting another day?

> and probably be a big fat chicken.

...fuck that. I have nothing but contempt for military leadership that expects soldiers to do nothing but die for the country. That worked in 1800s, but it got many many many many people fucked up in the World Wars and beyond.

I'm not an atheist. I'm a video gamer who completed basic military training in my country. They didn't tell us that you don't respawn in 5 seconds after you do something stupid, because they figured that we'd figure it out on our own, dammit. Lack of respawning in real life = very good incentive to look after your own hide, whether you believe in world beyond or not.

2/26/2012 7:27:46 AM

Reynardine

Atheists are cowards in battle? You tell that to the Red Army.

2/26/2012 7:51:03 AM

Matante

"They don’t actually deserve rights"
No matter how long the rant, the whole argument or fundamentalists eventually boils down to that. Thanks for being straightforward about it, Bryan.


And about putting one's life on the line, (for whatever reason, not just in battle settings) it's rarely done in a calculated way. Someone who dives on a grenade to shield his comrades, someone who jumps in an icy river because a child is drowning, or goes back in a burning house because he heard someone calling for help, didn't think of the personal consequences. They know they don't want another human hurt, they feel the situation is urgent, and they think they can help. That's all it takes to take action. There's no time to be scared of death, even less to think that it's ok because Jesus.

2/26/2012 7:54:59 AM

Brendan Rizzo

In Europe, they'd pillory him for this.

2/26/2012 8:02:15 AM

Darwin

This atheist with 10 years in the infantry says BULLSHIT!!!

2/26/2012 8:03:26 AM

Stonespiral

My dad was an Atheist in the army during Vietnam. He was given a choice, a gun for three years in the swamp, or communications for four years in a city in Vietnam somewhere. He chose communications, eventually got to Sergeant before his term was over and only had a gun pulled on him once. He even wanted to serve a second time but they wouldn't let him. He used what he learned during that time and now has his own business.

He did the *smart* thing, not the dumbass thing like charging a machine-gun nest for glory and honor when another tactic might get the same result with less loss of life.

I'd call that a point for Atheist soldiers.

2/26/2012 8:07:22 AM

rubber chicken

Other countries have militaries that are manned - and womanned - by brave and concientous soldiers who are as capable of acts of extreme self-sacrifice as any American. You fucking Americentric, bible huffing ball of knobcheese

2/26/2012 8:13:59 AM

fmitchell

"I wonder what the military puts on gravestones of atheists, a thumbs-down?"



It's called the Internet. Or Wikipedia at least, for pity's sake.

2/26/2012 8:40:21 AM

Mayhem

"I know that religious people have security that atheists don’t."

We atheists have more security because we don't need some omnipotent imaginary friend to get us through the day.

2/26/2012 8:46:00 AM

= POPE =

To paraphrase Robert Klein:

"I'm not only a believer, I'm also the head of a religious hierarchy. What possible motive would I have for lying?

Please give what you can as we pass the plate."

2/26/2012 8:56:12 AM



yes the military needs christian shock troops who will without hesitating throw themselves on grenades, get shot and jump on landmines. Thats a sure way to victory .. oh wait ... isnt that what the muslim bombers believe ?

hmmm

2/26/2012 9:01:11 AM

checkmate

Anybody remember Abu Ghraib?







Well, that's our own Private Charles A. Graner, Jr. He was a devout, long time, active member of the "Bread of Life Tabernacle" evangelistic church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. A card carrying, church-going christian full of the love of Jesus.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot, he was charged with:

Maltreatment of detainees
Conspiracy to maltreat detainees
Assaulting detainees
Dereliction of duty
Committing indecent acts
Adultery
Obstruction of justice

He also attemped to kill his wife.

"If you believe in life after life, you fight harder, risk more, and serve better." Yeah, right.

2/26/2012 9:14:52 AM

Doubting Thomas

Or, and this may be a crazy idea, but someone who believes that life is precious and death is the end of existence might fight harder to stay alive and protect the lives of his fellow soldiers than someone who isn't afraid to die because he knows he's going to meet Jesus.

There's a term for people who charge machine gun nests expecting to meet Jesus. It's called KIA.

2/26/2012 9:20:59 AM



Oh look some jackass who probably never served in the military feels the need to demean people who are fighting for his right to demean them.

2/26/2012 9:30:54 AM

The Watcher

I disagree with most of this rant, but I would totally have "Thumbs Down" on my tombstone.

2/26/2012 9:31:10 AM

JSS

So...

'Non-believer' soldiers would be bad because they apparantly value their lives more than the believer, who'll just think he's going to heaven by jumping onto that grenade. Come to think of it, a believer in charge would devalue and unneccessarily risk the lives of his comrades under this logic.

And apparantly with this value of life comes a stronger tendency to commit suicide and devalue the quality of life than the believer.

And apparantly they [non-believers] do nothing for society, and they are 'sickening'. Of course then again, it should be taken into consideration that this opinion is that of none more than one who devotes his whole life to religion. Pound of salt anyone?

And finally, we have the promotion of 'religious freedom' to actually undermine the freedom of those who aren't religious.

I guess it all was to be expected...

2/26/2012 9:31:23 AM

Anon

There are plenty of states with mostly atheist militaries (including my own, the UK) and every single one of them has a more competent military than the US.
I know this because I was in the RAF and served in Afghanistan alongside the US forces, almost all of them seemed to think that they were playing Modern Warfare rather than engaging in a real war, and as a result they tend to be collectively a bit of a liability.

To sum up: those in grass houses should not throw stones.

******Disclaimer******
Of course I'm not saying they're all like that, and some of the guys and girls I met were clever, professional and motivated people up to the same standard as the best of any military anywhere.

2/26/2012 9:51:51 AM
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