24 hour Internet party to support atheist U.S. Troops

I thought this event was important and wanted to pass on the information!


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Help stop the Army's unwritten policy of "Don't Pray?...Don't Say!"

Please 'attend' our 24 hour interactive video telethon. You DO support the troops, don't you? :)

read more:
http://talkandact.com/ | http://rockbeyondbelief.com/

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A First Amendment issue being challenged has to do with “Spiritual Fitness Tests.” Sergeant Justin Griffith, a “foxhole atheist,” took the test and failed, although he did well in all other areas of his life; i.e., emotional, physical, family and social areas. The computerized test results recommended that he consider prayer, meditation or attending church to improve his spirituality. While spokespeople for the Army say that it is not mandatory for soldiers to train in spirituality, enlisted service members disagree. Speaking for himself and not on behalf of the Army or the Department of Defense, Griffith says that “The whole concept of Spiritual Fitness needs to go. Religion and spirituality have no place in determining how ‘fit’ a soldier is. I swore an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, a thing I do not take lightly.”

Help stop the Army's unwritten policy of "Don't Pray?...Don't Say!"

Please 'attend' our 24 hour interactive video telethon. You DO support the troops, don't you? :)

read more:
http://talkandact.com/ | http://rockbeyondbelief.com/

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A First Amendment issue being challenged has to do with “Spiritual Fitness Tests.” Sergeant Justin Griffith, a “foxhole atheist,” took the test and failed, although he did well in all other areas of his life; i.e., emotional, physical, family and social areas. The computerized test results recommended that he consider prayer, meditation or attending church to improve his spirituality. While spokespeople for the Army say that it is not mandatory for soldiers to train in spirituality, enlisted service members disagree. Speaking for himself and not on behalf of the Army or the Department of Defense, Griffith says that “The whole concept of Spiritual Fitness needs to go. Religion and spirituality have no place in determining how ‘fit’ a soldier is. I swore an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, a thing I do not take lightly.”
He and hundreds of other soldiers are being represented by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation in challenging the so-called Spiritual Fitness Test. As Truth Out reported,
“The purpose of the [spiritual component of the test] though couched in general and vague language, is to strengthen a solder’s religious conviction,” says a December 30, 2010, letter signed by Caroline Mitchell, an attorney with the law firm Jones Day, who is representing MRFF. “Soldiers who hold deep religious convictions routinely pass the spirituality component of this test while atheists and nontheists do not. The Army cannot avoid the conclusion that this test is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by simply substituting the word ‘spiritual’ for ‘religious.’”

“The majority of the spiritual statements soldiers are asked to rate are rooted in religious doctrine, premised on a common dogmatic belief regarding the meaning of life and the interconnectedness of living beings,” the letter further states. “The statements in the tests and remedial materials repeatedly promote the importance of being a believer of something over electing to be a nonbeliever. Moreover, the images that accompany portions of the CSF Training Modules make clear the religious aspects of the spirituality training.”

[Attorney Caroline] Mitchell [of Jones Day] says the Establishment Clause of the Constitution prohibits such religious testing.

“And it’s not just the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which is being blatantly violated here,” [Mikey] Weinstein [of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation] said. “Clause 3 of Article 6 of the body of our nation’s Constitution specifically prohibits any type of ‘religious test’ being used in connection with any government service. Thus, this ‘spirituality’ portion of the Army’s CSF test completely savages this bedrock Constitutional prohibition.”

Weinstein said MRFF currently represents more than 200 Army soldiers who are “vehemently objecting to this clearly transparent ‘religious test’, the majority of them practicing Christians themselves.”
Rock Beyond Belief.
Funds raised will also be used for possible legal representation of the soldiers at Fort Bragg who have submitted a second application for their Rock Beyond Belief event, an event that was planned after the Army supported Franklin Graham’s “Rock the Fort” evangelical rock concert and proselytizing campaign.
The Rock the Fort concert to create a godly army was dubbed “a Spiritual Fitness” event by the Army.
Despite calls to stop the government-sponsored proselytizing event by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Fort Bragg went ahead with the Billy Graham event, with Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick promising that it would not infringe on anyone’s freedoms and that “Bragg would provide the same opportunity to non-Christian religious groups that want to host similar events.”
In response to the Fort Bragg incident, SGT Justin Griffith began organizing the “Rock Beyond Belief” concert.
Things were shaping up nicely, thanks to Justin and other volunteers’ hard work. Fort Bragg’s legal department recommended fully supporting Rock Beyond Belief’s proposal. A stellar lineup of speakers, such as Dan Barker, Ed Brayton, Richard Dawkins, Hemant Mehta, Mikey Weinstein and more were scheduled to appear. Five bands were lined up.
A bombshell letter dated March 1 from Fort Bragg’s Garrison Commander forced Justin to cancel the event that was slated for early April. The letter outlined conditions that were impossible for the event organizers to comply with in time fr their April 2 concert.
A second application for the Rock Beyond Belief event has been submitted. One of the obstacles that event organizers faced was lack of sponsorship funds. The Stiefel Freethought Association generously pledged $50,000. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is assisting Rock Beyond Belief with legal matters.
The Live Streaming Event.
The live streaming May 21 Judgment Day Party is a gathering is to entertain and educate. A wonderful collection of people are participating either with pre-recorded videos and/or live streaming events. The event will feature:
Comedy and spoofs;
Interviews with MRFF personnel;
Interviews with church/state activists;
Discussions about coping with disappointment (i.e., disappointment when the rapture does not occur); and
Live streaming parties.
If you can spare $3, $5, or any other amount to help out the Military Religious Freedom Foundation in its spiritual fitness, Rock Beyond Belief and other litigation, your tax-deductible donation will be appreciated not only by MRFF, but by the 23,000 + military personnel who MRFF represents in its fight against religious extremism within the armed forces.
We are grateful to the people who are contributing their time to the Judgment Day Party. Profiles will be posted daily and a schedule should be available late Wednesday night (May 18).
The live streaming party can be embedded into your own websites or blogs.
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Tags: Atheists, fitness, foxholes, fundraiser, in, military, spiritual, telethon

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