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Freedom of Religion in the Military....

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  • Freedom of Religion in the Military....

    Let me try to make this short. I have been in the Air Force as a Security Forces member for over 5 years, including 2 years being deployed to Baghdad and SW Asia, where I am now. There is absolutely no threat here, other than boredom and trying to stay awake. We are (were) allowed to have college study materials, newspapers, and professional progression materials at work and on post. Somebody brought up religious materials because they were wondering if it was allowed, because it was not stated in the Special Security Instructions that we must follow. Here is where it gets bad....

    Recently my flight chief asked me and my supervisor what he thought of religious reading materials being allowed on post. I told him it should be fine, if we can have all of this other reading material, then obviously they are not worried about someone reading in a tower or on a gate. He then said it was not authorized because it was not in the SSI's. I asked if he could get it authorized, because a lot of us have bibles on post with us, it helps us get through the day. He said that religion and politics could cause an argument or offend somebody. I was astonished because the newspaper we have on base has political stories every day and the chaplain comes to pray every sunday before we go to work and nobody has a problem with it. He stated that he would ask but he would give out paperwork to anybody caught with this material, including a bible.

    He asked and leadership said no. I went with a few people to the chaplain to talk to him about what we should do. Well in the end, the chaplain talked to our commander who supposedly was furious and then discontinued us being able to read the newspaper, or any college study material, along with no bibles or religious material. There is more to the story but to summarize it, what is our world coming to? Where we can not even read a bible on post but we can read about how to get promoted?! I am getting out in a few weeks so what do I need to read about how to get promoted? Everybody is shocked about this and we will continue to fight this all the way until it gets changed.
    "Saying guns cause crime is like saying pencils cause spelling mistakes"

  • #2
    No offense but apparently your commander is poor excuse of an officer.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rifleguy View Post
      No offense but apparently your commander is poor excuse of an officer.
      +1.

      In our current run up to deployment, the division actually issued us our religious book of choice. I've got this great little ACU covered NIV Bible with our Red Bull patch on the cover and sized to fit in our field gear.
      Originally posted by kontemplerande
      Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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      • #4
        Contact your local IG.... If that doesn't work.....call your Congressman....

        Just sayin'......

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        • #5
          I agree with your chain of command.

          I have seen the stupidity of SP's on the gate over such things turn into a massive **** sandwitch.

          I was at a base where we could have study materials, Newspapers and magazines on the gates. The standing SSI was no religion based materials. A

          a new DO came in and was enlightened enough to suspend the order and allow bibles on post as well. He was kind of rightious and pushy and quickly progressed to leaving baptist Tracts at all the gates.

          Airmen, being themselves adopted several bizzare obscure religions and in addition to Wicca, Hinduism and Shintoism, several airmen decalred themselves "Followers of Krom".

          Along with the tracts at the gate, things soon escalated into a contest to construct the perfect shrine to your chosen religion at the gate. There were people lighting candles and leaving the little "Prayer Flags" fluttering at the gates. At one point a Voodoo ceremony was performed with a Chow hall chicken sandwich sacrificed in place of a live chicken.

          90% of security would be able to have a bible or koran or whatever on post without causing insanity. But that 10% that like to push the line will take it too far.

          M-11

          (Odins Chaplain)
          “All men dream...... But not equally..
          Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
          but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
          for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

          TE Lawrence

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          • #6
            No Threat?

            The batteries in your crystal ball must be running low.

            There's always a threat.

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            • #7
              Well when you can go offbase at will in civilian clothes, the threat doesnt seem so real. I have been to places where we have people trying to kill us every day, this isn't one of them. You are mistaken if you think this place has a real threat, besides staying awake on post without ANYTHING to read now. Don't get me wrong, I know something COULD happen but the chances are not big enough to even mention. There is more of a threat working back home than here...we are a base inside a base inside a friendly country.
              "Saying guns cause crime is like saying pencils cause spelling mistakes"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by M-11 View Post
                I agree with your chain of command.

                I have seen the stupidity of SP's on the gate over such things turn into a massive **** sandwitch.

                I was at a base where we could have study materials, Newspapers and magazines on the gates. The standing SSI was no religion based materials. A

                a new DO came in and was enlightened enough to suspend the order and allow bibles on post as well. He was kind of rightious and pushy and quickly progressed to leaving baptist Tracts at all the gates.

                Airmen, being themselves adopted several bizzare obscure religions and in addition to Wicca, Hinduism and Shintoism, several airmen decalred themselves "Followers of Krom".

                Along with the tracts at the gate, things soon escalated into a contest to construct the perfect shrine to your chosen religion at the gate. There were people lighting candles and leaving the little "Prayer Flags" fluttering at the gates. At one point a Voodoo ceremony was performed with a Chow hall chicken sandwich sacrificed in place of a live chicken.

                90% of security would be able to have a bible or koran or whatever on post without causing insanity. But that 10% that like to push the line will take it too far.

                M-11

                (Odins Chaplain)
                +1...

                Even in the civilian world of LE, there is always that small group who will take it too far. We have had officers decide to 'save' people who had no interest in being saved, and these same saviors began to pepper our substations, cruisers, and the academy with bible tracts, handouts, and posters. Jewish and Muslim officers have felt harassed at times. The amazing thing is the people responsible believe there is nothing wrong with this... Why? Well, because it is Christianity they are pushing, so they figure it is OK...

                I think your COC took a safe and prudent course of action. As far as you losing the ability to read other items, it is possible that you were not allowed to all along, but that the senior NCO's turned a blind eye... Just a thought.
                Lighten up Francis!

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