Drove 600 miles to Parris Island, South Carolina to see my cousin graduate from the USMC. This was my first military graduation exercise. What a wonderful time we had, until.......

The Marine Corps band started the proceedings by playing the march Onward Christian Soldiers.

Also, are the prayers getting longer at these events or am I getting more atheist?

After the service, oops, I mean graduation, my cousin showed me this wonderful small bible the chaplain gave every Marine to carry with them.

I've noticed more and more public events are becoming religious. My grandson goes to a public school. He invited my wife and me to listen to his high school band and chorus play and sing "Holiday Songs". I left after the third song glorifying god on the highest.

Am I the only one noticing this trend? What's your experience?

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If only!
it's a long time since i looked, but i seem to remember some pretty 'un-PC' stuff about adultery. the reflection of 'outdated' (to say the least) social norms - i.e. two thousand years old - in christianity is an angle that is rarely sufficiently exploited by sceptics, i feel...
What is a Newdow?

I don't have children, but I can understand not wanting to make it any worse for your children by insisting to the administration that god and displays of religious paraphenalia be taken out of their school lives if they are in a particularly religious public school (crazy, isn't it?). Most kids want to fit in, not stand out against the crowd.

That said, my niece, who is now 28, stayed with us a couple of days this holiday and told us about the christian school she was sent to in the middle grades and how she despised every second of religious classes and church. Not one to take anything she dislikes being shoved down her throat, she refused to be baptised and was made to sit outside chapel w/a teacher when the class attended services, and she would ask uncomfortable questions in religion class that would get her noticed at school. She obviously didn't have any adult in her corner, being sent to a school that she hated, but religion was a main theme in a catholic girls school.

It's terrible that children should have to deal with religion in public schools. If you think your children are of the appropriate age, ask them whether they'd like you to step in and assert their rights, or if they'd like to assert their rights themselves and how to best go about it.
I agree that this trend is getting worse, and louder. One cannot go anywhere any more without some version of christianity thrust at them. I walked past a salvation army 'bell ringer' and he said, "Hey, this is your christian duty." That was a final straw in a week of christmas musak, door to door guilt and forgiveness missionaries, and the 4-Hr's gathering for prayer before calf showmanship that I could take. I tried to rein myself in and calmy, though coldly, inform him that the nation does not and will not belong to one religious group. These groups can't even get along with one another, and "love thy brother" goes out the window the minute you aren't one of them. I felt I had perhaps gone overboard but as I was putting my groceries in the truck, an older woman walked by and quietly said, "Thank you." Now THAT made my day!
not just 'love thy brother', what about 'turn the other cheek'? or simply the basic conundrum that pressure or encouragement (or praying for divine intervention, for that matter) all interfere with free will - how can you truly choose christianity (and hence go to heaven) if you've never had a choice?
i'm fighting back with my 'atheist pamphlet', that i'm handing out to all campaigners who try to convert me...
They are getting longer...and they make me want to vomit. My husband usually passes on events if he can just because he doesn't want to sit through all the damn praying...that and he knows I might open my mouth and say something "rude" if I'm having a bad day. He was given a bible when he was in basic training, and encouraged to go to services on Sunday (those that didn't go had to clean). When he deployed he was again given a bible, and while he was gone over Thanksgiving the house he was invited to was the home of a pastor, and they joined hands and prayed before the meal started. Most(not all) military families are exteremly religious*one of the houses in our neighborhood has a giant cross on their house in Christmas lights* so we don't interact very much with those around us. We tried to be friendly at our last base and it was a nightmare. And the most recent event that had me fumming was the placing of religious materials on our door. You are not suppose to solicit door to door on base (that includes leaving materials on doors, cars, ect.). But it was done anyways, and the sad thing about it, is we knew that there was no point in complaining because no one would care.

Our children don't attend public school because of some of the issues we have with the lack of actual education being taught in schools, they was a study done that showed teachers actually spend more time speaking on creation than evolution, if they even mention it at all. Plus being a military family our children would have to attend the school on base where the pledge is said everyday in almost every classroom (I've even spoken to parents who have complained to the school because their child told them that the pledge wasn't said everyday and that was just more proof of god being pushed from our classrooms *gag*). And as hateful as some of these "wonderful Christian kids" are, I would not want my kids in that situation. God and country have become so intertwined that it makes me sick to think about it. But my husband loves what he does so we just try to grin and bare it. But we do have very few friends in the community because I can't ignore insanity forever.
Thank you Rayven for telling us this. It is a sickening story.
You and your husband are doing well to tough it out.

Be comforted to know that quite a number of serving soldiers have joined Atheistweb and some of them are in "Origins" and reading this.
I don't know what to say except thanks for this story. Good luck and keep in touch.
Rayvan--I can understand how you feel. Having been in the military and now having a husband in the military; it seems almost all Christian. I know you stated that you knew not all military are Christian, but I thought I'd let you know about some of us who are out there. I went to an atheist event for parents recently sponsored by the local atheist group and all of the families I met were military. Is there anything like that around you? (I'd been living here for several years and had no idea. I finally did a web search and found this group. Unfortunately, all the members live over an hour away from me, but it was still nice to meet some of them). Even if there is nothing like that where you live, maybe your next base will have it.

I also wanted to ask you how your children are being schooled? Are you home schooling? I have considered it, but when I looked into it all of the resources I could find were Christian. A friend of mine home schooled her son and the materials she used had all Bible history as real history (the creation and characters were put on the same level as real historical figures like George Washington). While I don't think she is actually an Atheist, she did have enough sense to tell him to skip those sections. However, it was so intertwined I think it would be difficult. I can only imagine what the Biology class would be like. If you have found anything materials for secular homeschooling, please let me know. I don't know if I will do it, but it would be nice to have the option.
very interesting - as i've mentioned below with regard to politics, there appears to be no such focus on religion in the British armed forces...
Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826

"The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes, and they believe rightly."


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