Earlier this year I posted a video of Lieutenant Wayne Adkins speaking out about the discrimination in the U.S. military which prompted him to resign his commission after his formal complaint was essentially ignored. To add insult to injury, Lt. Adkins has recently found out that his complaint is being used as by local EO officers in the National Guard as evidence that discrimination against atheists is not actually discrimination:
Now the Army National Guard is telling its unit level Equal Opportunity representatives that it is OK to discriminate against atheists. They are using my formal EO complaint as a training scenario in which a Lieutenant files a formal EO complaint against a general officer for claiming that there are no atheists in foxholes. The Sergeant Major who conducted the EO training for Ohioâ€™s unit level EO reps told them that â€œsince atheism is not a religion, atheists are not protected by the regulation and it is acceptable for officers and chaplains to disparage their own soldiersâ€. This is, of course, a fallacy. To discriminate against a soldier because he has no religion is still discrimination on the basis of religion. The Armyâ€™s position on this is like saying that discriminating against someone because they are black is illegal, but discriminating against someone because they are â€œnot whiteâ€ is fine.
Lt. Adkins recently gave an interview with the HNN and had this to say in response to a question about his resignation (emphasis added):
I do believe that it is the only thing that will ultimately make a difference. The military cares about EO issues because EO issues affect numbers. The only thing that will get their attention is losing quality soldiers and officers at a time when they canâ€™t really afford to lose anyone.
Atheists don’t need anything from the Army. We don’t have special dietary needs like some religions. We don’t need copies of “holy” books printed and distributed to us at taxpayer expense. We don’t need time off from work to attend services. We don’t need chaplains to visit us or perform ceremonies for us. We would just really like it if our leaders wouldn’t publicly disparage us for not believing in the supernatural. That’s it. It’s not too much to ask for.
Truer words have never been spoken. If we don’t stand up and say “no frigging more!”, they’ll never stop and institutions such as the military will never put a cease to the discrimination.
Vote with your wallet and your ass if need be.