Pat Tillman, the football star who left a multimillion dollar NFL career to join the military, and was later killed by friendly fire, was a hard core atheist.


He was not a "dumb jock" by any measure.  This guy was very well read for his age (26) and an intellectual at an extraodinarily high level.  He read the Bible, the Koran as well as The Book of Mormon.  He read all the great philosophers and the greek classics.  He was an avid history buff, including military history.  He was a follower of Noam Chomsky and actually had a personal meeting planned with Chomsky before he was killed.  This guy had an incredible intellect.


In addition to his intellect, Tillman was a man's man.  He was tougher than nails, smarter than smart, and as competitive as they come.  He would also do just about anything for just about anybody.  


His death, by friendly fire, was tragic and unneccessary.  The subsequent coverup attempt was pathetic and dishonored Tillman's life and death.  If you didn't have enough reasons to despise Bush, Rumsfield and co, this story will provide you with even more.


Tillman's story is out in a new film titled "The Tillman Story".  I'd highly recommend it.


Reviews by:

The Week

LA Times

Rolling Stones



There is also a book by Jon Krakauer (also an atheist and an incredible author): "Where Men Win Glory:  The Oddssey of Pat Tillman"


btw, Krauker also wrote "Under the Banner of Heaven", which should be on every atheists reading list

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The way in which Tillman's death was covered up was a world class disgrace. The man was a true patriot, unlike the swine that were in office and their compliant generals, mainly McChrystal. Tillman was also opposed to the Iraq invasion and was outspoken about it. That made me suspect that it was more than "friendly" fire. After all Tillman wasn't the poster boy the the administration had a hard on for - opposing the Iraq war, being an ATHEIST and a popular public figure - bad PR, bad PR ....Arrrgh!
To a lesser degree they treated Jessica Lynch the same way. I listened to an interview with her and she was not the "hillbilly" some made her out to be, She was an intelligent and articulate young woman who was embarrassed by the way she was treated. She also revealed who actually saved her - an Iraqi doctor not the night goggled raiders set up and filmed for public consumption.
The "intentional" friendly fire topic was brought up in Krakauer's book, but not thoroughly. He did report that the pathology of the head injuries was consistent with bullets fired from a SAW, which was one of the weapons doing the firing.

Re the potential for negative PR from Tillman - can you imagine if he had survived and became an outspoken opponent of the war(s)? I wonder how the public image of those wars would have changed had an highly intelligent and articulate ex-soldier had come out with some honest statements about the wars. I'm still hoping his brother, Kevin, who was in the same unit as Pat, will find his voice.

Re Lynch, it isn't widely known that one of the Iraqi doctors donated his own blood for a transfusion for Lynch. I wish she would also be more outspoken about her story.
She and I used the same VA for several years, although, I never met her.  She has significant physical disabilities and a young child.  She is also deeply religious.  I have met tons of people who know her well and it seems she is at least somewhat shy.  I don't think she wants anymore attention than she already has received.
I believe she also started a support group for children who had lost parents in the war but I don't know much about it.
She does a lot of work with the VA trying to get women vets in for health care, too.  I used to get newsletters from the VA with columns from her in it and articles about how she attended VA women's heath care seminars.
Yes, double yes in my book o' life.
I heard his relative, I think, on NPR something like
" ... no god, he's bleeeeep dead! no afterlife just dead!"

Bush needs to be brought to justice. And his co-conspirators.
No matter how slow the economy gets.

they fck with us.
That was his brother, Kevin, who was in service with Pat when he was killed. Kevin was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans and drinking a beer when he made that statement - while standing at a podium in front of thousands of people.

Kevin is the guy I'm hoping to hear more from. I hope writes a book or otherwise becomes more vocal.
That's more like it. Thanks for that 411. Good for the U.S..
Hey LarryL, is there any confirmation out there on the intertubes regarding Krakauer's atheism? I know it fits with his writing persona, but the only direct reference I can find is a secondary reference to an interview and that reference appears on a Mormon site criticizing Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven. I met the guy once and just failed to ask. Thanks for any help.
re internet sources confirming regarding Krakauer's atheism, I haven't looked and really don't know.   He does infer it pretty strongly in several of his books, including "Banner", "Glory" and even "Into Thin Air". 

I also recall seeing an interview of him once where he admitted his lack of belief, but it was a while ago and I can't remember what program he was interviewed on. 

I saw the DVD The Tillman Story. So it goes there was a memo to 'watch' him...

from the über xtian lover of all profits Donald (I don't sit at my desk) Rumsfeld.

Vendettas are how they get their way, those of ill will.

Part of the new ideative revolution is the increasingly sophisticated use of mimetic warfare, which is the use of memes (words and symbols) to subliminally control human thought.  The followers of old paradigms in foreign policy castigate those who disagree with them as conspiracy mongers.  In turn, increasingly these so-called conspiracy mongers cast their critics as the true conspirators.  They both use a boomerang strategy that can reflect back on oneself by using memetic warfare to degrade the very concepts of truth and justice.  Whoever can manipulate an opponent’s mind by either subliminal or merely psychological warfare has won half the battle.




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