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Religion
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Title: West Point Cadet Quits Military Academy Because Of Pervasive Christian Evangelism
Source: Christian Science Monitor
URL Source: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/ ... ervasive-christian-evangelism/
Published: Dec 9, 2012
Author: Christian Science Monitor
Post Date: 2012-12-09 11:49:02 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 12764
Comments: 30

When Blake Page announced this week that he was quitting West Point a few months before graduation, citing the overt religiosity on campus, he raised recurring questions about the pervasiveness and impact of evangelical Christianity within the ranks of the US military.

“I do not wish to be in any way associated with an institution which willfully disregards the Constitution of the United States of America by enforcing policies which run counter to the same,” Mr. Page wrote in his letter of resignation to the US Military Academy at West Point, in New York.

He cites, among other things, routine prayers at mandatory events for cadets and the practice of awarding off-campus passes and credit to students who take part in religious retreats and chapel choirs. These activities, in turn, foster “open disrespect of non- religious new cadets,” Page argued, adding that he had been told at West Point that it was not possible for people to have morals without believing in God.

This is not the first time such charges have been leveled within a military training academy. The US Air Force Academy came under similar criticism in 2005 for conferring preferential treatment on cadets who were evangelical Christians and promoting proselytizing in the ranks.

A survey commissioned by the Air Force Academy in 2010 showed some improvements in the climate of religious tolerance on campus, but also found that many cadets still felt pressured to take part in religious activities. Nearly half of the non-Christian cadets surveyed, for example, said their fellow students have a “low tolerance” for atheists, a 20 percent jump from a similar 2008 survey.

Charges of evangelism went international when the Pentagon came under fire in 2010 for using gun sights engraved with Bible verses, fueling concerns that the war in Afghanistan would be seen as a military crusade. Some Pentagon officials at first dismissed complaints against the gun sights, comparing them to US currency engraved with “In God We Trust,” but senior officers demanded that the military stop using them.

This came on the heels of reports that Air Force missileers were receiving Bible- centered ethics training, with the aim of helping them shake off lingering doubts about firing nuclear weapons. The training – which had been in place for almost two decades and was known jokingly among the airmen as “Jesus loves nukes” – was halted in 2011.

“God and country is a big part of the military culture,” says Page in a phone interview with the Monitor. “Anytime we have a ceremony of any type, there’s always prayer.”

During his time at West Point as the head of the Secular Student Alliance, Page helped to establish “nontheist chapel time,” an alternative for nonreligious cadets. “Before [that, if you didn't go to chapel] you could either go back to your room or have cleaning detail,” Blake recalls. “A friend of mine was made to sing and dance and recite knowledge and do all sorts of embarrassing things while everyone else went to church.”

West Point spokesman Francis DeMaro Jr. told CNN that Page's claim that prayer is mandatory is not true. "The academy holds both official and public ceremonies where an invocation and benediction may be conducted, but prayer is voluntary," he said. "As officers, cadets will be responsible for soldiers who represent America’s great diversity in faith and ethnic background."

Though Page says he occasionally felt targeted for his nonreligious views, he also reports that he came to admire many who went out of their way to understand his concerns. He recalls one professor, an evangelical Christian, who called him in for a talk. “He genuinely asked me, ‘Would you please explain to me where you get your morals if you don’t get them from God?’ ”

This professor also asked Page how he could help to prevent a climate of religious intolerance. “He has a moral character, and he really inspired me,” Page says.

Mikey Weinstein, a third-generation graduate of the Academy and head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, calls Page the “Rosa Parks” of his generation. “Blake is in every way, shape, and form an American hero,” he says, adding that “mandated religion has no place within the technologically most lethal creation of the US government.”

Page, for his part, says he decided to go public with his resignation after learning that he would not receive a commission for the US military. Because of his struggle with depression, he received a medical waiver.

“When I knew I couldn’t commission, I knew that there was something I could do. I had such limited time remaining in the system, I thought that by doing this I could get people to think about it as well,” he says.

Since then, Page says, he has received “many, many” letters of support from faculty members and fellow cadets.

That said, many other cadets “respected my decision but didn’t agree with my method,” he says. The way he wrote his public letter, which he released to the Huffington Post, “was very hostile and confrontational – I acknowledge that – but there’s no way to get attention in this country without being confrontational,” he adds.

His next step is to finish his degree at a state university – he’s thinking Georgia or Minnesota. Then he plans to write a book about his experience at West Point, likely focusing on the culture among the corps of cadets.

“There are many other organizational problems at West Point that need to be addressed,” Page says. “The cadets know it, and talk about it all the time – but we’re addicted to tradition.”

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#1. To: Brian S (#0)

West Point Cadet Quits Military Academy Because Of Pervasive Christian Evangelism

Aww.... (((sniff))) Don't let the door hit you, where the good Lord split you...

What an ungrateful little shit.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-09   13:10:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Brian S, *Extended Clip Progressives* (#0)

he would not receive a commission for the US military. Because of his struggle with depression

A section 8 loony tune, Obongo youth. Did he dye his hair red? The military doesn't need any Major Malik Nadal Hasan officers, except maybe for target practice.



"We (government) need to do a lot less, a lot sooner" ~Ron Paul

Hondo68  posted on  2012-12-09   13:12:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Brian S (#0)

Guess he doesn't care about the same sex marriage nearly as much. Real pinnacle of virtue.

war has to do something for entertainment; the voices in his head aren't speaking to him and his imaginary friends have found reasons not to come over anymore.

Rudgear  posted on  2012-12-09   15:17:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Brian S (#0)

Oh, poor baby................how dare they tell him he isn't qualified or fit to be a grad of WP!

This 'victim' needed to have his little hand held and have 'much ado' made over him so he could feel better--to soothe his hatefilled mind about the nasty letter he was about to write.

Could he actually be a gay and unable to find someone accepting of him, to fawn over him? Will he 'out' himself in his next letter to the Huff?

LOL......what people will endure to 'justify' their failurehood!

rowdee  posted on  2012-12-09   17:07:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Brian S (#0)


Navy in their new Helmets and Uniform beat the Army rented mule for the 11th straight time.

Thank ya Jay sus!

You pray Army......you pukes keep pray'n : )

Parrot with speed dial  posted on  2012-12-09   21:58:10 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Parrot with speed dial (#5)

Brian S  posted on  2012-12-09   22:12:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Capitalist Eric (#1)

West Point Cadet Quits Military Academy Because Of Pervasive Christian Evangelism Aww.... (((sniff))) Don't let the door hit you, where the good Lord split you...

What an ungrateful little shit.

Are you saying A BRANCH OF OUR GOVERNMENT has a right to punish a US Citizen for protesting mandatory participation in religious services?

If you are,don't let the door hit YOU in YOUR ass as you exit the country for a police state more to your liking.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   18:42:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: hondo68 (#2)

A Section 8 looney tune,Obongo youth.

Yeah,he must have been because he resisted indoctrination in the One True Religion,huh,Mohammed?

Did he dye his hair red?

A more appropriate color for you Evangelistic types,Comrade.

The military doesn't need any Major Malik Nadal Hasan officers, except maybe for target practice.

Odd you should say that,when that type of officer is PRECISELY what you seem to want. The only difference is you want one that is a member of the Jesus Cult instead of the Mohammed Cult.

Ever hear of Freedom of Religion,Comrade? It is also freedom FROM a state- sponsored religion.

Get with it,or get out of the US.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   18:50:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: sneakypete (#7)

Are you saying A BRANCH OF OUR GOVERNMENT has a right to punish a US Citizen for protesting mandatory participation in religious services?

West Point spokesman Francis DeMaro Jr. told CNN that Page's claim that prayer is mandatory is not true. "The academy holds both official and public ceremonies where an invocation and benediction may be conducted, but prayer is voluntary," he said. "As officers, cadets will be responsible for soldiers who represent America’s great diversity in faith and ethnic background."

He's being booted, and uses this as an excuse to bitch and complain.

Too bad, so sad. [[[sniff]]]

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-10   18:51:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: rowdee (#4)

Oh, poor baby................how dare they tell him he isn't qualified or fit to be a grad of WP!

The ones making that claim because he refuses to drink the Evangelical swill are the ones unfit to wear the uniform.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   18:51:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Brian S (#6)

Navy in their new Helmets and Uniform beat the Army rented mule for the 11th straight time.

That's because bending over in front of other men comes naturally for sailors.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   18:52:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Capitalist Eric (#9)

West Point spokesman Francis DeMaro Jr. told CNN that Page's claim that prayer is mandatory is not true.

It may not be true when it comes to official services,but the Evangelical Mafia that are instructors and upper class smen there get filled with the wrath of the Old Testament God when you refuse their recruitment,and they ARE vindictive little bitches.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   18:56:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: sneakypete (#11)

That's because bending over in front of other men comes naturally for sailors.

Fuck you.

war has to do something for entertainment; the voices in his head aren't speaking to him and his imaginary friends have found reasons not to come over anymore.

Rudgear  posted on  2012-12-10   18:57:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: sneakypete (#8)

It is also freedom FROM a state- sponsored religion.

He wasn't forced into any religion. I could care less what religion, if any, the military personnel are. I'm Christian but not an evangelical, if you don't like it move to another country.

Comrade? It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion! If someone has one of those fish bumper stickers, what are you going to do rip it off because it offends you?

BTW, I've noticed that people with those Christian fish stickers are horrible drivers, beware.



"We (government) need to do a lot less, a lot sooner" ~Ron Paul

Hondo68  posted on  2012-12-10   19:12:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: sneakypete (#12)

It may not be true when it comes to official services,but the Evangelical Mafia that are instructors and upper class smen there get filled with the wrath of the Old Testament God when you refuse their recruitment,and they ARE vindictive little bitches.

Maybe.

But I'll take the word of the people that run the place, over a punk with an anti-religion agenda with a victim-mentality.

Sorry.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-10   19:36:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: rowdee (#4)

Oh, poor baby................how dare they tell him he isn't qualified or fit to be a grad of WP!

This 'victim' needed to have his little hand held and have 'much ado' made over him so he could feel better--to soothe his hatefilled mind about the nasty letter he was about to write.

Could he actually be a gay and unable to find someone accepting of him, to fawn over him? Will he 'out' himself in his next letter to the Huff?

LOL......what people will endure to 'justify' their failurehood!

ROTFLMAO!!! I was going to throw in my 2-cents, rowdee, but you pretty much said it for me...

There was a time when it took real men to get through West Point and all they threw at those men, but not today, today's mamas' boys have sooooo many things, and other people to blame their miserable failures on.

They make me want to up-chuck just thinking about them.

(“You can't always control who walks into your life but, you can control which window you throw them out of.”)

Murron  posted on  2012-12-10   20:11:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: hondo68 (#14)

He wasn't forced into any religion.

Not from a lack of trying,though.

I could care less what religion, if any, the military personnel are.

That's why you are defending Christian recruiting with a heavy hand. I'm sure you would do the same thing if it were Muslims doing the recruiting,right?

I'm Christian but not an evangelical, if you don't like it move to another country.

Exhibit number 1. Thank you for providing the evidence against yourself.

Comrade?

Yes,"comrade". You want a state-supported religion.

It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion!

Exhibit number 2. What you are saying is that an American MUST be religious according to the law.

Comrade.

If someone has one of those fish bumper stickers, what are you going to do rip it off because it offends you?

No. Unlike you,I recognize the RIGHTS of other individuals.

BTW, I've noticed that people with those Christian fish stickers are horrible drivers, beware.

There are so many horrible drivers where I live that the "fish people" would be hard-pressed to stand out.

BTW,I have known a few drug dealers that have that fish emblem on their cars. It's used as camouflage to try to through the police off so they don't get searched.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   22:20:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Capitalist Eric (#15)

But I'll take the word of the people that run the place, over a punk with an anti-religion agenda with a victim-mentality.

Of course you will. You are a whiney little bitch that thinks anyone who isn't religious is evil.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-10   22:22:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: sneakypete (#17)

You want a state-supported religion.

No I don't!

Why should I care if Muslims pray, as long as they're not forcing it on anyone?



"We (government) need to do a lot less, a lot sooner" ~Ron Paul

Hondo68  posted on  2012-12-10   22:41:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: sneakypete (#18)

You are a whiney little bitch ...

I'm a Navy vet, six years on subs. Spook boats, to be precise. And you're a fucking asshat.

When you're in a military outfit, sometimes you have to do shit you would prefer not to do... Being a loud-mouthed, ignorant fuckhead fool, such realities appear to be beyond your... limited... comprehension.

That's PART of being in the military. Go serve, and then come back and talk. If you're a vet right now, then clearly, you weren't worth a fuck as member of the armed forces... Which tend to confirm that you are, indeed, an asshat.

...that thinks anyone who isn't religious is evil.

Nothing like really making a fool of yourself... I don't ascribe to any organized religion... which means I'm completely outside the limits of your limited views.

Putz.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-11   2:23:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: sneakypete (#8)

Odd you should say that,when that type of officer is PRECISELY what you seem to want. The only difference is you want one that is a member of the Jesus Cult instead of the Mohammed Cult.

Hey, dumbshit... did it ever occur to you taht the 1st Amendment doesn't apply in the military...? You know, that little book called the UCMJ????

Ever hear of Freedom of Religion,Comrade? It is also freedom FROM a state- sponsored religion. Get with it,or get out of the US.

Lighten up, Francis.

Putz.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-11   2:29:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Capitalist Eric (#20)

I'm a Navy vet, six years on subs. Spook boats, to be precise.

WOW! You rode around on hidden boats! I can't begin to tell you how much that impresses me. Did you learn to speak spook language? Did you all wear trench coats and sunglasses even after dark?

When you're in a military outfit, sometimes you have to do shit you would prefer not to do...

Really? Did they make you eat cold food sometimes? Maybe the air-conditioning broke down or the ice cream melted?

Being a loud-mouthed, ignorant fuckhead fool, such realities appear to be beyond your... limited... comprehension.

It appears to be your specialty.

Gp serve,and then come back and talk

I did serve. 6 years and 10 months in the US Army,and I wore a Green Beret for 5 of those years.

If you're a vet right now, then clearly, you weren't worth a fuck as member of the armed forces.

Uh,huh. Well,it is true I only rode around in a boat one time. It was a LST,and I had to guard a classified radio truck back to Bragg from the DR.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-11   8:13:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: Capitalist Eric (#21)

Hey, dumbshit... did it ever occur to you taht the 1st Amendment doesn't apply in the military...? You know, that little book called the UCMJ????

WOW! Learn something new every day!

For example,right here I am learning that you were lying about being impartial because you use the UCMJ as an example to justify nullifying Free Speech,which protects Freedom of Religion,which is ALSO freedom FROM religion.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-11   8:16:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: Capitalist Eric (#20)

I'm a Navy vet, six years on subs. Spook boats, to be precise.

Now who's Badeye?

.
Whatcha lookin' at, butthead
Say hi to your mom for me.

Biff Tannen  posted on  2012-12-11   9:43:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: Biff Tannen (#24)

Now who's Badeye?

I wonder if he was also in that hot bed of action, the Indian Ocean in '85 (or '84), ...waiting for WWIII.

Almost every country in the Middle East is awash in oil, and we have to side with the one that has nothing but joos. Goddamn, that was good thinkin'. Esso posted on 2012-01-13 7:37:56 ET

mininggold  posted on  2012-12-11   10:26:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: sneakypete (#23)

WOW! Learn something new every day!

Clearly, you don't. Pity.

For example,right here I am learning that you were lying about being impartial because you use the UCMJ as an example to justify nullifying Free Speech,which protects Freedom of Religion,which is ALSO freedom FROM religion.

Again, you're talking smack. The 1st Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

So it applies to the righs of free speech, religion, press, the right to assemble, and petition the government.

DO try and keep up.

Now, the UCMJ is the law when you're in the military, and supplants Constitutional law while you're serving. That's why you have no 1st Amendment rights while you're in the military.

West Point works to as closely mimic the military life as possible, with the rules, the uniforms, the regimentation, etc.

That the kid was unhappy with that life, is not unexpected. There's always an attrition rate, whether in West Point, in boot, or OCS. That he whines that it's because he's expected to tolerate things he finds unpleasant, makes him a punk bitch.

That he protests on religious grounds, is a laugh.

West Point booted him for being unsuitable. The decision is sound, the logic implacable.

I'm disappointed in you, sneak. I thought you were smarter than that.

My mistake in overestimating you.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-11   11:22:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: mininggold (#25)

No. I enlisted in December '85. I was deployed in '87, after nuke power school and prototype training (the old S1W "Nautilus" reactor, the second-to- last class before it was filled with concrete).

The only surface action I saw was in Panama, when they took down Noriega.

Spent a lot of time off the coast of Russia and under the ice-cap.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-11   12:00:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: Capitalist Eric (#26)

Again, you're talking smack. The 1st Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

You don't think the right to tell people to go piss up a rope when they try to force their superstitious beliefs down your throat or turn them into the law of the land is a Free Speech issue?

You really are one ignorant MF'er.

West Point works to as closely mimic the military life as possible, with the rules, the uniforms, the regimentation, etc.

So what? West Point is NOT the military,and the students there are NOT in the military. You can play at cowboys and Indians too,but that doesn't make you a cowboy or a Indian.

AND there is nothing in the military that prevents you from speaking up on your views of religion. I had "Heathen" as my religious preference on my dog tags after being told I couldn't leave that line blank.

That the kid was unhappy with that life is not unexpected

Yeah,it is. He wasn't a plebe just now starting to figure what he is getting into. He is almost ready to graduate.

In MY opinion he's just using the religious issue as a tool to avoid having to serve and go to Afghanistan,and a leg to stand on to sue if WP demands tuition money for his education. IMHO the burden of proof is on him to prove he has a valid case.

West Point booted him for being unsuitable.""

Where did you get that from? He wasn't booted out of WP,he quit. Or at least he is trying to quit. I am no expert on this,but it seems to me he entered into a contract with the US government that states they will provide him with a "free" college education,and in turn he will repay the US Army by serving a number of years on active duty. In other words,even if he does quit,he probably still owes the army a few years as a enlisted man. This might make him change his mind about quitting.

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-11   12:39:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: Biff Tannen, Capitalist Eric (#24)

I'm a Navy vet, six years on subs. Spook boats, to be precise.

Now who's Badeye?

OUCH!

Think he's going to tell us about almost running into sub propellers next?

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

sneakypete  posted on  2012-12-11   12:41:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#30. To: sneakypete (#29)

OUCH!

Putz.

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-12-11   14:04:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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