A Fort Bragg soldier canceled a concert with a secular theme and no ties to religion, saying Thursday that base leadership failed to honor promises to support his show as it had a Christian rally last fall.
Military leaders said at the time they would support similar events by non-Christian groups, a promise reiterated in a letter last month from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Bragg to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"Fort Bragg continues to be willing to provide the same level of support to comparable events proposed by non-federal entities," wrote Lt. Col. Nelson Van Eck Jr.
Griffith and other organizers say that changed abruptly this week, when they were told that they couldn't have the large outdoor gathering with games and activities they had planned. Instead, they were told the event could take place at one of two indoor theaters, with the larger one accommodating about 700 people.
In his letter to Sicinski, Griffith also says the base declined to cover any of the costs for Rock Beyond Belief, while it paid $54,500 toward the Christian event.
Griffith also says he was told that any advertisements for the secular event would have to carry disclaimers that the concert wasn't endorsed by Bragg, while the Christian event was explicitly endorsed by the post.
Got that everyone? Christians get endorsement, tax dollars and as large a venue as they want to opening proselytize to our soldiers. Secular events though? No endorsement. No money. Smaller venue that won't even work for what they were planning.
The violation of rights can not be any more clear without a "Don't ask about atheism, don't tell about atheism" rule.
Having worked with (not IN) the military for almost 30 years, I can tell you . . . atheists are NOT welcome.
It is an attitude which tarnishes our military's reputation for defending American constitutionsl rights and freedoms.
The 'onward christian soldiers' hymn is scary for a reason. But really if the army needs a god, Aries is cooler, just think of all the young new recruits they would get!