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Re: “Secret celebrity guest

@PhotoBrent I served in the Air Force and I'm proud of my service. I didn't originally enlist for patriotic reasons so much as to pay for my way through college, but I am proud of my service to the country.

I didn't attend the Air Force academy, so I can't speak about how things are there, but I do firmly believe the Air Force does a lot to respect all beliefs in the active duty world. While it is true that the majority of the religions represented are Christian, that is honestly the breakdown of the demographics.

There are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Wiccan, and other types of Chaplains available to service members. Obviously it varies by installation, as a smaller base won't have as many of the faiths represented. While in Basic Training, our Training Instructor said that these six weeks are a great time to go to other services you may not be familiar with. I'm an atheist, and I have been for as long as I can remember, but I went to many different services just for the interest factor. Plus it beat just hanging out at the squadron.

The Air Force isn't perfect, but I do feel like they try. Obviously I don't recall any Atheist Chaplains for me, but atheist, along with any other religious association is an option on your dog tags.

At work, you are not allowed to talk about religion, just as you are not allowed to discuss politics. Some may disagree with this, but the point is that it keeps people in your unit from being singled out because they don't agree with the masses regarding their religion or political views. At some point, you may rely on these people to keep you alive and the last thing you want to be is an outsider.

Of course these are my experiences and maybe others have had more negative experiences. But for me, I lived my life just fine as an atheist Airman.

Yes, the military is a conformist society. Mental slavery not so much. Your freedoms are restricted and you are expected to live up to a set of standards. However none of those standards have anything to do with what church you attend or whether you attend church at all.

The Chaplain that had the sermon about saving Muslims is not the view of all Chaplains in the military. And no service member was forced to be at his service. They were there on their own accord just like they would be attending services back here at home getting the same drivel (in my opinion) spoon fed to them. The Chaplain should be admonished and hopefully will use better judgement in the future.

Posted by makdlsk on 05/13/2009 at 8:55 AM

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