U.S. Marine briefly arrested for not attending “all faiths” religious service

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U.S. Marine briefly arrested for not attending “all faiths” religious service

This is an event that happened several years ago, but it is a side of the US military that is not exposed very often, and is still common today. Via (the fantastic!) Sgt. Justin Griffith of Rock Beyond Belief:


U.S. Marine briefly arrested for not attending “all faiths” religious service

By Justin Griffith, on September 28th, 2011

The following is sent in by David Z. – A former Marine Corps NCO. My contributions are clearly marked.

First, I want to say that the Rock Beyond Belief concert is an awesome idea.  I wish the best for you, and I hope it turns out great.  I might try to come to it, if an Honorably Discharged Marine is allowed to come. [Edit - Justin Griffith: Of course!]

I read a story you posted about a Sgt who wore a Bad Religion shirt and at the bottom you asked for people to share their stories.

Boot Camp’s “Optional” Religious Service

July, 7th 1998 I went to Marine Corps Basic Training in San Diego, CA.  Shortly after being assigned to Platoon 1103 and meeting our Drill Instructors, the first Sunday of my enlistment rolled around.  We sat in one of the theaters and listened to a Chaplain speak, telling us that they offered services for almost any form of religion and that after he was finished we were to get in line for our appropriate religion.  He also said that there was a non-denominational group that would discuss our relationship with god.  Lastly he said that we did not have to attend any church services if we did not want to.

I looked for the “not attending church” line, but could not find it.  I was instead ordered to line up in the non-denominational line.

I sounded off, “Sir, This Recruit requests permission to not attend church services, Sir!”

Another platoon’s Drill Instructor interrogated and berated me for quite some time as I continued to respond with that phrase.  Finally he gave in and took me back to the barracks where my Drill Instructor did the same.  Eventually he too gave in and put me to work cleaning different areas of the barracks.

My Senior Drill Instructor (a church choir singer and devout christian) was then informed. ... (continue reading)

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