West Point cadet quits, cites 'criminal' behavior of officers
A West Point atheist cadet publicly announced his decision to quit the prestigious military academy just months before graduating to protest what he sees as the illegal infusion of military procedures and events with fundamentalist Christian proselytizing.
"Countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution," wrote Page, who was slated to graduate in May. "These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation."
When I went to join the USMC I my recruiters ask me, "So what are you Catholic or Protestant?" My response was, "I'm an atheist".
The two recruiters looked at each other then shook their heads. "You need to be Catholic or Protestant, there are only two choices".
I looked at the paperwork and saw, "Other".
I said, "Other".
"No no no, you don't want to draw attention to yourself. If you put "other" you will be singled out. What religion were your parents?"
"Good. You're going to be a Catholic"
I was happy I picked Catholic because we got to get out of the squad bay for a few hours and away from our drill instructors. I was use to the "mass" stuff so I usually just mumbled my way through and sang the songs "Onward Christian Soldier" and "From the halls of Montezuma".
There were two guys who did put "other" and did they get the worst shit details. They were always on firewatch or cleaning the head. The DI's beat the fuck out of them mentally.
In the FMF people who claimed to be atheists or "other" were constantly bashed for their beliefs if it wasn't christian. I remember constant harassment from all angles all day long from mostly the officers towards several friends. I also worked in HQ and recall several high ranking officers mistreating a few marines who claimed their were agnostic.
The mistreatment was really more of a form of hazing and the mental attacks were unrelenting to the point that one marine quit. I mean, literally quit. He sat down on the floor and refused to move. When asked by a superior what he was doing, he told them he "refused to train any more" and that "he was tired of the harassment".
The MP's came and took him away to the brig and he was court martial, stripped of his rank and dishonorable discharged.
The next time I saw him he was getting a "last meal" before going home. He had let his hair grow out, had a beard and was wearing civilian clothes. As I caught up on what happened to him an officer who I guess knew of him walked up behind me and bumped me.
"What are you doing talking to this shit bird?"
"We went through basic and infantry training together. He's my friend and I'm saying 'good bye to him'"
"Well make it quick"
"You aren't my commander nor are you part of my platoon so take a hike, sir"
He continued to give me a hard time when from behind him was my Gunny.
This Gunny was a hard nosed, NCO who put up with no shit from any officer.
"Sir, why are you fucking with my marine? don't you have something better to do?"
It didn't take long for the Lt. to get his ass handed to him by a kick ass Gunny who then told me finish it up and move on.
Right before he left, Gunny looked at the guy who was leaving for home. He said, "Sorry this all happened. It's bullshit and you were a good Marine. We need to change this bullshit"
In the military it's really a bunch of bullshit. There are christian fundamentalists who go in to the military to promote their 'god like agenda' because 'jesus would do this'. They actually consider theirselves "soldiers of christ".
It's bullshit and the military should promote equality for all beliefs, not just christians.