- Foxhole atheists speak out against Congress on social media
June 7, 2013
This article is one of two on the issue. Read background on this issue including the MAAF position, arguments and additional resources. This article by Alexandra Meehan covers social media response. Also, the Secular Coalition Action Alert from 6/11 provides additional background.
On the MAAF Facebook page, MAAF posted the following comment and link: “Congress ignorantly denouncing atheists and avoiding ...
- Foxhole atheists denounce Congressional ignorance of humanist values
June 7, 2013
The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers and its thousands of current and prior military members are denouncing the ignorance and prejudice displayed by Representative Mike Conway who declared that atheists believe in nothing and would tell a grieving family their son was “worm food”. Representative Fleming worried a humanist chaplain would tell a dying soldier there ...
- MASH Hawaii to Godless Liberty
May 24, 2013
by Alexandra Meehan
As the need for a stronger community of freethinkers continues to grow, MAAF has expanded to inspire and support affiliate programs in many areas including MASH Hawaii. MASH leaders work closely with the Hawaii Secular Society, which is a “community of atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, brights, skeptics, naturalists, and all other nontheists.” MASH Hawaii consists primarily within ...
- MAAF at Tinker AFB helps with tornado disaster relief
May 23, 2013
Joseph Griffin leads the local MAAF affiliate at Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City. He is one of many rushing to aid those in Moore, Oklahoma. As a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, he has been coordinating his unit’s 24-7 relief efforts. In addition to that, he is planning his own relief efforts ...
- Family Research Council Misrepresents Our Military
May 18, 2013
After adopting military cast-off and anti-Muslim crusader retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, the Family Research Council is taking special interest in publishing their own special spin on military policy. They recently published a list of offenses against Christianity and their own FRC. But, not surprisingly, they got some facts wrong. Unlike their own list which ...
- MAAF Requests Inclusion in Spiritual Wingman Toolkit
May 1, 2013
Click to go to the Add-A-Resource Form, enter militaryatheists.org, and use the quoted text below to recommend the MAAF site be added as a resource. More info below.
The Air Force Reserve Command has created a Wingman Toolkit with a seemingly positive purpose:
The Wingman Toolkit is an Air Force Reserve initiative to empower Airmen and their families to sustain ...
- Review of The God Argument by AC Grayling
April 3, 2013
A new book has been published laying out the case against religion and for humanism. It’s called “The God Argument: the Case Against Religion and For Humanism.” Seems simple enough, but this is by AC Grayling, immediate past president of the British Humanist Association and eminent British philosopher of decades’ experience and renown. Sam Harris ...
- Humanist Chaplains in the Dutch Military
March 29, 2013
In the United States, humanist chaplains are decried as contradictions in terms or as abominations against the Christian establishment. Chaplains provide a valuable service to boost the morals and morale in the military, health care positions, the military and other specialized settings. MAAF continues to reach out to equal chaplain services for humanists. Thus far, ...
- Military Atheists at Tinker AFB Lead Through Service
March 26, 2013
At Tinker Air Force Base, atheists and humanists are building a supportive community. They are doing so through service in the local community. Staff Sergeant Joseph Griffin is stationed at Tinker and wanted to meet with other nontheists like him. He contacted MAAF for support and direction and set up a group on Facebook. The ...
- Dawkins Foundation Continues Care Package Support
March 25, 2013
For more than a year, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has partnered with the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF) to send over 300 care packages to military personnel around the world. These packages have gone from Japan and Djibouti, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Richard Dawkins Foundation, through its existing store has provided increased efficiencies to allow ...
- Mass Invites To Church Unchecked in Military Units
March 12, 2013
What is the purpose of command information systems? Is it for official business or is it an advertising service for Christian events? A common email to “All Personnel” email distributions is the call to worship services. Chaplains do provide services to the command and they should, as command staff, occasionally have access to systems, but ...
- Center for Inquiry Takes Up Fight Against Military Evangelism
March 10, 2013
A new agency has taken up the struggle against religious fundamentalism in the US Military – the Center For Inquiry Office of Public Policy. The Office’s new director, Michael DeDora, commissioned a white paper from Dr James Parco to assess and make recommendations regarding fundamentalism in the US military. Dr Parco wrote 30 pages outlining ...
- A Visit to the Chaplain and a Debate
March 8, 2013
Recently a MAAF member visited the local chaplains office at an Army medical center. He visited the head chaplain and asked what he could do for an atheist.
He started by stating it depended on what the atheist wanted. He was clear that it his job encompasses the entire unit, but he didn’t make any outside ...
- Get Ready for the Secular Coalition Lobby Day
February 28, 2013
The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers participates in several coalitions, including the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination, Coalition for Liberty & Justice, and the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy. Through these efforts, we provide key insights to ensure that nontheists in the military are represented in a variety of policy areas. Our most important coalition ...
- Christian Embassy Video Culprit Given Top Post at West Point
January 26, 2013
Rewards continue for those who were found to have violated regulations by promoting Christianity at the Pentagon in Uniform. MAAF has learned that Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, past President of the Officers’ Christian Fellowship, is slated to be the next Superintendent at the US Military Academy. LTG Caslen was found in 2007 to have violated regulations for ...
- Military Atheists Expanding to Special Ops at Ft Bragg
January 22, 2013
Ft Bragg is the home of primary deployment center for the Army’s combat power. Home to Forces Command (the Army’s deployable forces), including the famous 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations Command, Ft Bragg is one of the most important military installations. It’s not surprising that it would be a focus for atheists and humanists ...
- A Merry Christmas From Military Atheists at Travis AFB
December 24, 2012
At Travis Air Force Base, the local affiliate of MAAF, North Bay Military Atheists & Secular Humanists, has posted an inclusive holiday greeting, wishing all on the installation a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Solstice, and Happy HumanLight. The local local group discussed the proper approach and wanted to make sure to maximize the diversity ...
- Hawaii Military Atheists Celebrate with Charity and Service
December 21, 2012
Across the military, atheists and humanists are reaching out to support their local communities. Hawaii MAAF Affiliate M*A*S*H* Hawaii with organizer Jacob Milich and lay leader Nick Stenkamp support Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hickam AFB, Schofield Barracks, and Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay. They’ve shown their holiday spirit by doing a food drive for local homeless persons ...
- A Tale of Three Christmases at NSA Bahrain, Schofield Barracks, and Fort Belvoir
December 10, 2012
Update: NSA Bahrain spokesperson Jennifer Stride confirms to MAAF that the Nativity celebration will be held in the chapel December 24th. This is the win-win outcome requested by MAAF and originally reported in this article. The prevailing right wing narrative, “Navy Cancels Nativity over Atheist Complaint” was misleading at best when posted and is now ...
- Cadet Leaves West Point After Resiliency Programs Fail
December 6, 2012
Blake Page was scheduled to graduate in the summer of 2013 after four years at West Point. Instead, he will return home to Minnesota and seek a new profession outside the military. Why? More than most cadets, he struggled with the military oversight, the academic pressure, and the long hours. Whereas many cadets have command ...
- UK Boy Scouts Consider Atheist Members
December 5, 2012
Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner for the Boy Scouts, has posted a video asking its members for input on accepting atheist members. In particular, this would require an alternate, secular, Scout Promise to replace the UK Scout Promise currently in use:
On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,
To do my duty to God ...
- Devil’s Advocate: Prayer Lunch Flyer
November 9, 2012
Devil’s Advocate is new recurring article regarding military policy. The focus will be on a specific incident reported to MAAF. The purpose will be to take the facts of an issue to create a vignette that can be used for decision-making by leaders and for training on what right looks like with respect to treatment ...
- Godless Patriots Brand Supports Military Atheists
November 8, 2012
Steven Arauza, a geologist in Austin, has gotten into the t-shirt business. He has a love of country and an atheist worldview. He wants to make sure people know that patriotism and support for troops is common in the nontheist community. Your support through Kickstarter will help Steven to start a business that will increase ...
- Academy Religious Respect Conference Not for Atheists
October 29, 2012
On October 30th and 31st, the US Air Force Academy will celebrate its bi-annual Religious Respect Conference to highlight progress since its 2010 conference. Major changes seem to be in two main areas. The first area is increased services for religious groups that are, according to the official Academy article regarding the Conference, “outside the ...
- Remembering Paul Kurtz, Humanist Pioneer
October 21, 2012
Paul Kurtz has been a leader in the humanist movement for his entire life. He was integral to the development of the American Humanist Association, Center For Inquiry, and his most recent endeavor, the Institute for Science and Human Values. He led the movement from a scholarly perspective, publishing a long list of books and ...
- Growing Military Humanist Groups Hear Trailblazing Speakers
October 18, 2012
For too long, local groups of atheists and humanists in the military have operated without recognition and still struggle for equality. This fall, Academy groups have official recognition and openness by officials have made possible great events off and on military installations. Atheists and humanists across the country have exercised their expanding rights with speakers who ...
- Religious Intrusions Mar Army Suicide Stand-Down
October 1, 2012
Suicide rates in the US military exceed one per day. This has been identified by military leaders as a crisis requiring attention throughout the military. Last Thursday, there was an Army-wide “stand down” to focus on suicide prevention training. However, reports are coming in that chaplain-led sessions on ‘resilience’ showed a priority on religion, prayer, ...
- Humanists host speaker at Ft Bragg chaplain facility
September 26, 2012
At Ft Bragg on Sep 22nd, David Niose presented topics from his new book Nonbeliever Nation. Central North Carolina Atheists & Humanists (CNCAH) coordinated to make the event happen. Ft Bragg chaplains showed openness to nontheists in allowing the event at Watters Family Life Center on Ft Bragg. This is a positive step forward, showing openness from the chaplaincy ...
- Military Academies Recognize Student Humanist Groups
August 29, 2012
For the first time, groups of atheists, humanists, and freethinkers have been given official recognition at the nation’s military academies. USAFA Freethinkers, Naval Academy Freethinkers and Atheists, and the West Point Secular Student Alliance all had tables at the Academy club nights. Between 40 and 60 cadets and midshipmen are participating in each group. Challenges ...
- New Air Force Standards Protect Nonreligious Personal Beliefs
August 26, 2012
Airmen everywhere just received a new foundational regulation for their use – Air Force Instruction 1-1 Air Force Standards. The regulation covers values, conduct, ethics, equal opportunity, and appearance.
This regulation also serves to codify the interim guidance on religious accommodation released in 2000, 2006, and 2011. In particular, this guidance recognizes nonreligious/nontheistic beliefs:
“Leaders at all ...
- Questions Regarding Navy Base Bahrain Gospel Outreach Concert
August 16, 2012
At Naval Support Activity Bahrain, a “Gospel Desert Outreach Concert” is scheduled on the final Friday of Ramadan. The Chaplain sent an all-hands email August 16th to announce worship services, Bible classes, Catholic transition, and a concert to “reach people with the Good News”. Such an event brings to mind the clear violations with the ...
- Legion Publishes Political Platform, Under God
August 15, 2012
The American Legion has supported veterans since they received a Congressional Charter in 1919. They began with a Preamble “For God and Country” to ensure “First things have been put first. All that follows is in conformity.” It’s difficult to see military service co-opted to promote religious values above American values. But maybe the Preamble recognizes religious ...
- New Study Shows Significant Atheist Military Population
August 13, 2012
A new population study of official Department of Defense records by the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers shows religious preference and chaplain endorsements for all components and branches of the military. Findings show atheists are represented in larger numbers than any non-Christian denomination. “No Religious Preference” is the largest individual selection. The Air Force also ...
- Review: Becoming More Fully Human
August 7, 2012
When I write of religious Humanism … I am not referring to belief in a deity … Humanism is religious because it binds people together and helps people to reconnect with ultimate reality as understood as nature or as life without illusion. (31)
Bill Murry is an instructor at Meadville Lombard Theological School, a Unitarian Universalist ...
- VA Chaplaincy Asked to Facilitate Humanist Services
July 30, 2012
Currently, religious, theistic oriented Chaplains are on staff and visit patients including secular humanist atheists like myself. While the Chaplains have been friendly, according to their Christian beliefs I will be burning in hell after my demise. While I respect their right to believe as they wish, I don’t find their perspective on death comforting.
- Review: The Letter by Marie Tillman
July 25, 2012
Review of The Letter, My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life by Marie Tillman, published in 2012
All references are taken from the iPhone eBook version. This version has 557 pages in its vertical orientation. Converting from 557 pages to the number in your version should allow for cross-referencing.
”I ask that you live.”
In a letter labeled, “Just ...
- Time to End Federal Support of Boy Scout Discrimination
July 17, 2012
Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta posted about the Re-affirmation of Boy Scout discrimination. This issue is well-known. The Humanist covered federal funding of the Boy Scouts back in 1995. Scouting For All has spent many years advocating for reform and Margaret Downey is a humanist activist who has brought suit against the Boy Scouts. James Turley, ...
- Military Academies Provide Alternatives to Church
July 16, 2012
Cadets and Midshipmen at the nation’s military academies have been provided the opportunity for humanist and secular alternatives during their summer training. At the beginning of July, thousands of young men and women reported for training. Within their first week, trainees were given the opportunity to attend religious services as a break from weekly training. ...
- Humanists Honor Fallen Warriors For Independence Day
July 2, 2012
On July 1st, the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers honored fallen warriors at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. MAAF presented a red-white-and-blue wreath to represent the American values our warriors defend. Following placement of the wreath, several members continued on to visit the graves of atheists in foxholes who have ...
- Help Colorado Springs Military Communities Threatened by Fires
June 29, 2012
Army Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Murphy is one of many MAAF members in the Colorado Springs area. Massive fires have destroyed homes throughout the area and are even within a few miles of the Air Force Academy. Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, and Fort Carson are also in the affected area. The massive ...
- Pentagon Pride Celebration Should be Optional
June 23, 2012
“Evangelical soldiers, airmen, Marines, they’re going to have to make some courageous stands right now to say to their commanders, ‘Sir, I cannot participate in this type of ceremony because we believe this is a celebration of something that God’s Word is clear about defining as wrong,’” Ron Crews, CH (COL) Ret. and Exec. Dir. ...
- Humanists Question Military Marriage Counseling; Offer Alternatives
June 21, 2012
This article continues a previous article that covered the personal issues faced by MAAF members in pre-marital counseling at the US military’s Defense Language Institute in Monterey California. This article focuses on Gary Smalley’s Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships, the primary training video used for mandatory pre-marital counseling, and alternatives to the program that MAAF hopes ...
- Humanists Raise Concerns With Air Force Family Counseling
June 20, 2012
“The air force chaplain is making married air force couples watch Gary Smalley’s Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships as their “couples counseling” prior to moving off post. They just gather all the couples in a big group in the basement of the squadron building, where they lounge around on couches napping or playing games on ...
- Christian strategy group convenes for Memorial Day
May 29, 2012
Update: C-SPAN Video
Bringing with it a suitably euphemistic and presumptive title, the American Religious Freedom Program (ARFP) has brought together Christian leaders intent on enshrining special privileges for Christianity in US law and government. While inviting complicit Jewish leaders and avoiding too much mention of Christianity, the intent was clear. In the tradition of the Liberty ...
- Atheists at West Point band together despite religious culture
May 24, 2012
The West Point Secular Student Alliance (SSA), including more than 40 prospective members, are seeking official recognition from Academy officials. The Academy claims lack of funding for cadet clubs and is currently reviewing over 100 cadet clubs to find room for more. MAAF spoke at West Point’s November 2011 Diversity Leadership Conference to advocate for ...
- MAAF Network Update
May 17, 2012
Local Groups continue to meet around the world. A new group at Eglin-Hurlburt AFB is hoping to attract members in the Pensacola area. There are also several individuals who have stepped up as Lay Leaders and Local Points of Contact, including at FE Warren AFB, WY, Bagram, Afghanistan, Ft Bliss, TX, Minot AFB, ND, and Kirtland AFB, ...
- Rep. Akin’s office joins evangelical leaders to fight DADT repeal
May 7, 2012
A recent email from the office of Representative Todd Akin (R-MO) office lays out plans for the next battle in the implementation of the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. A House Armed Services Committee session on May 8th will discuss amendments to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act, which updates the military budget and ...
- Playing Favorites: What beliefs should chaplains support?
April 23, 2012
Today’s chaplaincy has been assigned care and counseling, free exercise, and establishment clause responsibilities far outside their faith-based roots. The military chaplaincy, and to some extent the civilian chaplaincy, is faced with a more diverse laity than ever in the past. Chaplaincy originally constituted assistance by the clergy in a Christian fashion from the story ...
- Book Review: Rethinking Depression provides existentialist path to happiness
April 15, 2012
The following is a review of an author and text of interest to MAAF readers. This is not an ad, but an objective review with no financial interest for MAAF.
Rethinking Depression is a resource by a foxhole atheist that would be helpful for foxhole atheists and for military leaders who desire to help foxhole atheists ...
- Army allows for sectarian prayer at mandatory events
April 11, 2012
Last month, MAAF received two reports of sectarian Christian prayer at mandatory military events. At Ft Campbell, a battalion chaplain was leading his unit in prayer during regular morning formations. At Ft Benning, at senior NCO reported mandatory graduation ceremonies often include prayer “in Jesus’s Name”. An Army spokesperson declared these practices entirely within Army ...
- Network Update: Continuing growth after the Rally and RBB
April 10, 2012
The last network update was Feb 26th, prior to the Reason Rally. The Naval and Coast Guard Academies were able to set up trips to visit. They had representatives on stage during the MAAF military tribute. Rock Beyond Belief (click for pics and videos) was also a groundbreaking show of support for atheists and humanists in ...
- Air Force to remove requirement for hotel Bibles
April 9, 2012
In early February, a cockpit atheist in Kadena Airbase in Japan contacted MAAF to ask why there was a Bible posted in Air Force lodging. Because the Air Force is a government agency, there should be neutrality toward religion rather than a special privilege for Christianity. After inquiries from the Military Association of Atheists & ...
- Reason Rally shows patriotism and military support
March 26, 2012
The Reason Rally recently hosted upwards of 20,000 atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheists on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The program included opening ceremonies hosted by the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. Colonel (Retired) Kirk Lamb oversaw a tribute including a color guard of atheists in foxoles, the national anthem performed by ...
- New Humanist Lay Leader joins others seeking chaplain support
March 19, 2012
Army Reserve Captain Ryan Jean has submitted a lay leader application at Ft Meade, Maryland. With support from The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers and endorsement from the Humanist Society. If approved, this lay leader application will allow Ryan to work with chaplains to help out atheists and humanists on his installation. This would ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 9 Mar 2012
March 10, 2012
MAAF has selected 47 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. This month will see the Reason Rally and Rock Beyond Belief. Recent news had a wide range of activities, including featuring of Naval Academy Midshipment, the MAAF care ...
- 98% Christian military chaplaincy reinforces barriers to diversity
March 8, 2012
The military chaplaincy has a diversity problem and it just got worse. The chaplaincy is currently 98% Christian, 90% Protestant, and 66% “evangelistic” Christian (the denominations that may engage in a more political expression of their religion). The same denominations in the general military population are 70%, 50%, and 19% respectively. This mismatch in the ...
- Network Update: Enlistment support and Rally/RBB preparations
February 26, 2012
Only 30 days left, approximately. The Reason Rally is March 24th, in DC. The entire movement is coming. Rock Beyond Belief is March 31st at Ft Bragg. This follow-up event will have strong support throughout the region and from the military. Book your tickets and lodging now.
Local groups continue to spring up, even with only ...
- Humanist literature now available for new enlistees
February 23, 2012
New enlistees are exposed to an imposing new culture as they enter the military. For decades, the Gideons have been treating them to a good Christian introduction. Good for the Gideons for taking care of their people. For the first time, enlistees will see that it’s ok if you’re not Christian. Humanist enlistees now have ...
- Humanists Support Each Other at Naval Academy
February 21, 2012
Two midshipmen at the the United States Naval Academy are sharing their stories so others can understand the challenges atheists and humanists find in military service. Jack Morrow and Kyle Cregge have different stories, but both share an enlightenment that came through a combination of the pressures of military training, difficulty with a religious family, ...
- New veterans cross is perfectly legal
February 19, 2012
Don Vierstra didn’t like the objections MAAF has made to a large Christian cross posted at Camp Pendleton.
Vierstra and some friends installed the 17-foot-tall white wooden cross on land he owns on the west side of Interstate 15 in Murrieta, near the I-215 split … There are no writings or markings on the cross, though ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 15 Feb 2012
February 16, 2012
MAAF has listed below 50 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. January included tributes to Christopher Hitchens, reports of nontheist gatherings in Idaho and Kansas, and encouraging reports from Egypt where a freethought blogger was released.
MAAF was also ...
- Dawkins Foundation care packages go to atheists in foxholes
February 13, 2012
Over the past several months, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has partnered with the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF) to send over 150 care packages to military personnel around the world. These packages have gone from Japan to Afghanistan and Iraq. The Richard Dawkins Foundation, through its existing store has provided increased ...
- Religious memorial bills join long line of Christian nation tactics
January 27, 2012
Congress is playing fast and loose with the sacrifices and courage of our nation’s heroes, and they’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.
HR 290 encourages the use of religious symbols in war memorials
HR 2070 would place a prayer on the WWII Memorial
The term “stolen valor” generally refers to a false claim of military service. ...
- Network Update: Grass roots activism for the holidays
January 22, 2012
We’re coming out of the holidays and Christmas displays inspired local efforts to organize at several installations. Travis AFB now has a thriving community led by Dan Rawlings. Chaplains are holding a grudge; denying access to support but MAAF is continuing to provide assistance where chaplains will not. Dan also joins Ray Bradley at Ft Bragg, ...
- Army Chaplains Deny Soldier Right to Identify as Humanist
January 19, 2012
Army Major Ray Bradley is currently stationed at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. served in Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005, and is a committed humanist. He is an officer on the board of a local humanist group, is active with the local MAAF affiliate, and is recognized as a Humanist Lay Leader by the Humanist Society. ...
- Military atheists invited to chaplain conferences
January 19, 2012
I had the pleasure last week of attending two chaplain conferences. The first was for the Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies (AREB) and the second was for the Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings (COMISS Network). AREB is a collection of some of the most active civilian chaplain religious endorsing bodies, while the COMISS Network ...
- Remove Military Requirement to Choose Religion
January 6, 2012
Sign the Petition to: Eliminate the standard question “what is your religion” in entrance processing.
Change the default entry for religious preference from “No Religious Preference” to blank.
Eliminate the “No Religious Preference” option.
Add an option for “Humanist”.
Add an option for “Spiritual But Not Religious”.
- Atheists in Foxholes News 28 Dec 2011
December 29, 2011
MAAF has selected 31 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. As always, December was filled with arguments about holiday displays and the “War on Christmas.” Justin Griffith, Military Director of American Atheists, helped to jump-start local activism by ...
- Military leaders struggle with diversity in holiday displays
December 21, 2011
As the “holiday” season continues, post officials are extending special recognition to religious service members, specifically Jews and Christians. A nativity scene and menorah combo have been erected at both Travis AFB in California and Ft Campbell, Kentucky. This privileging of religion has led to legal challenges and a groundswell of local atheists and humanists ...
- Study highlights need for secular community
December 19, 2011
A recent survey by the Pew Forum on reintegration identified a 24% bump for “religious” Post-9/11 veterans. This question specifically asked “how often a recent veteran attends religious services.” Those claiming to attend once per week were 24% more likely to declare an easy re-entry back to civilian life than those who never attend services. ...
- Network update: Still growing, but with little official recognition
December 15, 2011
Despite limited support from the military leaders, local groups continue to come together within the MAAF structure and with the diligent work of local leaders. There are new groups established since November at Ft Riley, RAF Lakenheath, and the San Diego Area. Still more are in development.
In particular, at Ft Leonard Wood in Missouri, a still-informal group adopted by ...
- FORSCOM Refers Extremely High Risk to Chaplains
December 13, 2011
The US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) has rolled out a new mandatory risk assessment that identifies chaplains as the primary referral for the most extreme risk cases. The assessment is a counseling form between a soldier and his or her leader with specific actions to take for high risk responses. This use of chaplains for mitigation ...
- Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative
December 12, 2011
To offer an insight into MAAF operations, the following article will put in perspective the collaborative efforts of MAAF. As listed on the site, MAAF is primarily about supporting and growing the community of atheists and humanists in the military. We spend less time pointing out problems in the military, which are numerous but often ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 9 Dec 2011
December 10, 2011
MAAF has selected 43 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. It was a big month as MAAF got a first interview directly with NPR’s All Things Considered with Rachel Martin. MAAF also earned a lot of backlash coverage ...
- Army Chapel Welcomes All and Privileges None
November 25, 2011
Tim Mak at Politico reports a large cross adorning an Army chapel has been removed. Army Regulation 165-1, which governs Army chaplain operations, states “the chapel environment will be religiously neutral when the facility is not being used for scheduled worship” and that “symbols are to be moved or covered when not in use during services” and ...
- Camp Pendleton Cross Privileges Christianity; Marginalizes non-Christians
November 22, 2011
I posted last week about religious memorials on veteran’s day. The Camp Pendleton cross (technically located in the Camp Horno area) was one of two focus items in an article that referred to a long list of Christian monuments defended using military/police service. MAAF spends the vast majority of its time fostering community and providing ...
- Tis the Season to Demand Your Rights
November 21, 2011
We’re coming into the <queue scary music> Christmas Season. All across the United States, government officials are sending out invitations to “holiday parties” when they really mean Christmas parties. Tis the season to stand up and be counted. MAAF stands ready to help resolve local violations, so stand up and be counted. Demand equal treatment. ...
- Unconstitutional Christian Monuments Mar Veterans Day
November 14, 2011
A large permanent Christian cross went up on public land* at Camp Pendleton. A US Congressman is pressuring the Forest Service to provide a special use shrine to Jesus to the Catholic Knights of Columbus. Both are being defended as military memorials. These are two of the newest examples of stolen valor. No cross or statue of Jesus ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 10 Nov 2011
November 10, 2011
MAAF has selected 26 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. MAAF was covered in Mother Jones, the Atlantic, the Alyona Show on RT, the Boston Globe, and the Baltimore Sun. The Baltimore Sun added an editorial in support ...
- Open Letter to Chaplains from Foxhole Atheists
October 29, 2011
This is a second open letter that follows up on a first letter and continuing outreach to military leaders and chaplain endorsers from atheists, humanists, and other nontheists. The intent is the same – to speed support and services to military personnel in need. The original letter (excerpts repeated here in italics) was posted in ...
- Academy-Atheist Collaboration Continues to Bear Fruit
October 19, 2011
Continuing what is now nearly a year of collaboration, the Air Force Academy has made significant changes to training as a result of reviews by the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. New training for senior cadets includes stricter language on government prayer, direct references to the nonreligious, and specific scenarios to clarify boundaries on ...
- West Point To Feature Atheist Leader at Diversity Conference
October 13, 2011
The United States Military Academy Diversity Leadership Council has sponsored a conference at West Point from Oct 19th to 21st. The theme is ”Cultivating Leadership and Inclusion for Service to the Nation.” Principal sponsors are BoozAllenHamilton, Accenture, GE, ITT contractors, Walmart, USAA Bank, and Wiley publishing. West Point has invited major corporations and speakers to a ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 11 Oct 2011
October 12, 2011
MAAF has selected 63 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. The tenth anniversary of 9/11 happened during the past month and played a prominent role in the news. MAAF highlighted those stories in a separate 9/11 section, including ...
- Secular Organizations Find Bias in Combined Federal Campaign
October 12, 2011
The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers conducts an ongoing review of Combined Federal Campaign charities to help its members select charities that align closely MAAF objectives such as respect for conscience and belief and support for atheists in foxholes. MAAF has conducted this review bi-annually since 2003. Since the first review, MAAF has found ...
- Meet the Challenge: Government Funds for Humanism
October 10, 2011
Ray Bradley, a Major in the Army Reserves at Ft Bragg, NC, is a strong supporter of atheists and humanists in the military. He has found an innovative (but still legal) way to transfer his government benefits to MAAF . Every time you feel government officials are promoting religious activities, consider what Ray has ...
- Chaplains and Atheists Meet at Harvard Divinity School
September 25, 2011
via Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy
National military humanist leader Jason Torpy, national chaplain leader Dave Plummer, and national humanist leader Greg Epstein meet at Harvard Divinity school on October 3rd to discuss humanist chaplains and chaplain support of humanists.
On Sunday, October 2, the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy will be hosting a very important community meeting at 12 Eliot Street ...
- Military Atheists Reform Chaplain Website
September 22, 2011
The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers has posted a Chaplain Services Center at spiritfit.militaryatheists.org as a response to an ill-conceived and badly-executed “Virtual Spiritual Fitness Center” published by the Army’s Installation Management Command. This reformed mirror site is posted after months of waiting for IMCOM to respond to outreach efforts. MAAF hopes that this effort ...
- DADT Ends – Celebrate Open Service for All
September 20, 2011
The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers applauds the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the ongoing implementation of that repeal. MAAF has always supported open service and called out the exclusively sectarian biases keeping gays out. Presidential, Congressional, and DoD efforts leading up to this day are cause for celebration. The military’s ...
- Arlington Cemetery Confirms Secular Policy
September 13, 2011
At the end of July, foxhole atheist and WWII Pilot John Hormuth was interred in a humanist ceremony along with his wife at Arlington National Cemetery. Unfortunately, an Arlington Lady provided verbal blessings and a written religious card officially on behalf of the Chief of Staff of the Army. This was done against the explicit ...
- Air Force Chief Institutes Stronger Controls on Command Religion
September 13, 2011
Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz has issued a new memorandum on “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” This new memorandum puts responsibility on the chaplains to maintain government neutrality. There are also positive statements that better validate nontheistic and secular life stances.
The tone of this message validates the importance of both free exercise ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 6 Sept 2011
September 6, 2011
MAAF has selected 29 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the military, society, and government, both in the US and internationally. Stars & Stripes posted a feature and a secondary article highlighting MAAF’s outreach to local organizations. In a major step forward, Ft Bragg atheist concert “Rock Beyond Belief” ...
- City of Simi Valley prays for troops; disregards atheist service members
September 5, 2011
Update 9/7: The local VC Star has printed a letter to the editor based on the text below under the heading “disrespectful poster.”
Stuart Bechman, atheist activist and prior President of Atheist Alliance International, has identified an action by the city government of Simi Valley, California to promote religion in the guise of supporting members of ...
- Military atheists seek rights – Stars and Stripes
August 25, 2011
Stars & Stripes has featured MAAF and its members in a front page article - Military atheists seeking the rights and benefits offered to religious groups . MAAF has provided follow-up and commentary here.
The article talks about the struggles and success of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF) in seeking recognition and rights from military ...
- International humanist congress advocates for humanist chaplains
August 21, 2011
Delegates to the International Humanist & Ethical Union World Congress recently adopted a resolution in support of humanist chaplains for military service. The World Congress was held in mid-August in Oslo, Norway and featured local and state Humanist organizations from around the world, including the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. Their purpose was to ...
- Veterans and Active Duty Sought for Survey
August 17, 2011
The Center for Atheist Research is an unbiased and professional organization of researchers studying the needs and culture of atheists. Through discussions with MAAF and other foxhole atheists the center was informed of the lack of consideration of the military for the needs of atheists, humanists, and other nontheists. In particular, the “spirituality/spiritual fitness” programs ...
- WWII Humanist John Hormuth Honored at Arlington Cemetery
August 11, 2011
On July 25th, 2011, John Hormuth and his wife Mattie were interred at Arlington cemetery. John was a WWII pilot who earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart during over 100 sorties in the war. He was also a loving father and husband to his wife Mattie, who loved him, their 7 children, and her ...
- Local MAAF network continues to thrive
August 9, 2011
Local groups are continuing to thrive with local leaders and some support from the chaplaincy. The highlight is continuing support from the Military Academies. Last month, West Point, Air Force, and Naval Academies started the first chaplain programs nontheist summer trainees.
MAAF President Jason Torpy has been out to visit Air Force and Navy, and most ...
- Ft Bragg Approves Rock Beyond Belief
August 8, 2011
For nearly a year, Justin Griffith, recently appointed Military Director of American Atheists, has received approval from Army officials to hold an atheist festival at Ft Bragg. Rock Beyond Belief will be a free festival for military personnel and the local community on March 31st, 2012. National personalities and rock bands will be posted at ...
- Atheists In Foxholes News, 1 Aug 2011
August 1, 2011
MAAF has selected 25 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the media and military, and in the area of church-state separation. This month is dominated by the hot-potato treatment of Christian terrorist Anders Breivik. Christian pundits say he’s no TRUE Christian while everyone else, including PZ Myers, Ed Brayton, ...
- Justin Griffith, Military Director of American Atheists
July 29, 2011
American Atheists is pleased to announce the appointment of Army Sergeant Justin Griffith as American Atheists’ Military Director. Sergeant Griffith replaces First Sergeant (Retired) Kathleen Johnson, who stepped down in order to focus on her duties as American Atheists’ Vice President.
Justin Griffith, a sergeant in the US Army currently on deployment, has gained fame as ...
- Humanist Network News: The Bookless Humanist
July 14, 2011
How does a humanist, who doesn’t believe in a magic deity (or deities), navigate the rocky road of life without a guidebook?
Chaplains often ask the question above, or a version of it, when atheists and humanists come seeking support. In an article for Humanist Network News, Candace Drimmer has endeavored ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 13 July 2011
July 13, 2011
MAAF has selected 37 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the media and military, and in the area of church-state separation. This month includes a special international section. An Austrian gained approval to wear a Pastafarian collander as religious headgear in his driver’s license photo. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister ...
- Chaplain Reports on Proselytism at Army War College
July 8, 2011
Dr. Michael Milton is a Presbyterian minister and Army Reserve Chaplain who recently visited the Army War College “on behalf of the Reformed Theological Seminary.” In a March 2011 article titled, “The Prince of Peace at the U.S. Army War College.” He spoke about how, during his visit, he found Christ at the Installation, the ...
- Religious Groups Criticize Houston VA for Respecting Families’ Wishes
July 7, 2011
The Houston Chronicle reports that some Christian groups have filed suit against the constitutional policies of the VA cemetery administration. The nation remembers Richard Tillman, who jumped on stage to stand up for his brother Pat Tillman’s wishes. The Veterans Affairs Cemetery Administration protects the family when it restricts the religious speech of ...
- Military academy chaplain services extended to atheists
July 5, 2011
Reinforcing positive trends in respect for atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheists, the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, and West Point (Army) have provided weekly meetings for summer trainees. Jason Torpy, President of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, visited each of the Academies during the spring to request this service. Air Force agreed ...
- Air Force Academy Makes Strides in Religious Respect
July 4, 2011
In a recent visit to USAFA, MAAF President Jason Torpy reviewed current training, programs, and materials. This is a continuation of ongoing collaboration between MAAF and USAFA to better provide for atheists, freethinkers, humanists, and other nontheists at the Academy. It is part of a larger effort to make the military culture more accepting of ...
- Open Letter: Chaplain Support of Atheists
June 22, 2011
As endorsers and related agencies, you oversee and direct chaplains who interact with atheists and humanists daily. The primary purpose of this open letter is to invite chaplain endorsing agencies to agree in principle to the Minimum Statement of Support, a basic statement of equal access for nontheists:
“Nontheistic service members including atheists, agnostics, humanists, ...
- Humanists reach out to injured hero
June 20, 2011
Like many other atheists in foxholes, Oscar Zavala has served his country for years. Like few soldiers and fewer Americans, Oscar is an infantry squad leader serving during wartime with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Having served two tours in Afghanistan, he has shown his dedication to duty and personal conviction. On May 28th, Oscar ...
- Local military humanists continue to thrive
June 18, 2011
Atheists and humanists in the military continue to come together throughout the world. From Japan to Italy and throughout the US, leaders are stepping up. Communities are forming as well, in some cases with the help of local chaplains. The following is a series of reports on successes at the grass-roots level. On-post groups, collaborations ...
- National Chaplains Organization Reflects on Atheists
June 16, 2011
In the recent newsletter of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Services (NCMAF) focused on diversity within the chaplaincy, and the conflict of diversity and religious freedom. The primary focus was on the religious objections some have to homosexual people. The other focus was on the increasing diversity of the chaplaincy, from a primarily ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 10 Jun 2011
June 9, 2011
MAAF has selected 46 recent articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the media and military and church-state separation. That is a lot of coverage, but all interesting. Memorial Day tributes by LA Atheism Examiner Hugh Kramer including remembrance of Pat Tillman and an article and video of MAAF participation in ...
- Stiefel Freethought Foundation Matching Challenge
May 17, 2011
The Stiefel Freethought Foundation has expanded its support of freethinkers in the military by offering a $50,000 challenge to the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. Donations from current military and veterans to MAAF will be matched dollar-for-dollar for a limited time. Now is the time to give. Your support is needed and makes a significant ...
- Atheist Chaplain Follow-up
May 12, 2011
The NY Times covered MAAF efforts to endorse humanist chaplains. MAAF operates a chaplain outreach program with opportunities for candidates to opt into the program. Media including Alan Colmes, Mike Smerconish, and Michael Medved on Fox News, Lockwood Phillips, Canada TV, the BBC, and Sirius.
International media including US, Europe, and Egypt have taken notice. Religious media ...
- Local military atheists groups make headlines
May 11, 2011
Local groups are starting on post as a result of local leaders agreeing to stand up and stand out. There are 17 current organizations, 7 of which are working through the chaplains for greater assistance. There have been delays, but no direct opposition as yet. Local groups at military academies, major US and international installations, ...
- Atheists in Foxholes News 10 May 2011
May 10, 2011
MAAF has selected 32 articles of interest in the areas of atheism & humanism in the media and military and church-state separation. Humanist chaplains and local military atheist groups were most prominent in the news, and there are separate entries about those items.
The current Executive Officer of Naval Station Great Lakes denied the service of ...
- Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military
April 27, 2011
The front page of the NY Times today covered the efforts of MAAF to better support atheists and humanists and to endorse humanist chaplains in the military. The Chaplain Outreach program at MAAF also seeks to ensure that the 3000 chaplains already serving in our military underst and both why and how they should support ...
- MAAF News 30 Mar 2011
March 30, 2011
Trending stories about Atheists, Atheists in the Military, MAAF, and occasional other news items of interest.
Atheists in foxholes in the media
Justin Griffith makes news with local MASH Ft Bragg chapter
Army NG Chaplain Steven Veinotte in Kuwait disparages atheists in foxholes
Hospital chaplain converts sick atheists
Christopher Hitchens shows there are atheists in foxholes
Gainseville writer denies our service
- Air Force reviews academy religious climate
March 29, 2011
Retired General Patrick Gamble, working through the Council of Logistics Research on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force, is conducting a review of the religious climate at the US Air Force Academy. Recently, the Academy completed and published a religious climate survey that showed lingering issues with the climate. Wing Chaplain Lt. Col. ...
- Military atheist visits chaplains
March 25, 2011
(by MAAF President Jason Torpy)
From March 16th to 22nd, I traveled to Virginia and North and South Carolina to put out the MAAF message and improve the support of atheists, humanists, and other nontheists in the military. The intention was to visit local civilian organizations, meet MAAF members, and speak with chaplains. Six local humanist ...
- MAAF Atlantic Coast Trip, March 2011
March 10, 2011
NoVA : Norfolk : Raleigh : Bragg : Jackson
Mar 13-22, 2011
MAAF President Jason Torpy is visiting several locations in the Atlantic coast from March 13th through March 22nd. With invitations from representatives and Ft Jackson, Ft Bragg, and Naval Station Norfolk, Mr Torpy is helping military leaders and chaplains understand why and how to help ...
- Ft Bragg blocks Rock Beyond Belief event
March 7, 2011
Soldiers and civilians can got to the Rock Beyond Belief page for ways to contact Congressional leaders, Army leaders, and Ft Bragg leaders to call for fair treatment of all soldiers, even atheists.
Following ongoing issues with Rock the Fort / Rock Beyond Belief and related spirituality training programs by the military.
In September 2010, Ft Bragg ...
- Update on USAFA Training
February 28, 2011
In November 2010, the US Air Force Academy invited the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers along with other representatives of religious organizations and interfaith advocacy groups to their 2010 Religious Respect Conference. The focus of this conference was dialogue about the religious climate at the Academy and the development of religious respect training for ...
- M*A*S*H Ft Leonard Wood
February 24, 2011
MAAF welcomes a new M*A*S*H Chapter to the MAAF Network at Fort Leonard Wood, with the first meeting scheduled for March 26th, 2011 (updated). Sign up for the next event on Meetup and Facebook is set up.
Lisa Wilson, a wife of an Army communications technician and mother of 3, has stepped up to create ...
- MAAF News 16 Feb 2011
February 17, 2011
Trending stories about Atheists, Atheists in the Military, MAAF, and occasional other news items of interest.
Podcast Frostcall interviews MAAF, MASH Ft Bragg, and MASH Ft Campbell leaders
Reddit atheism trends, atheists joining the military and MAAF in Tampa
Backward, Christian Soldiers, The Nation about proselytism in the military
Humanist Hip Hop, San Diego CityBEAT
New atheist film “Paul, Breitbart
- MAAF attends chaplains history event
February 17, 2011
On 16 February, the Veteran’s History project and Interfaith Alliance hosted a discussion among five military chaplains. The panel was diverse, including three Christian denominations, Judaism, and Islam. Dr Gaddy of Interfaith Alliance asked questions about the chaplains’ motivation for their service, the implications of gays in the military, proselytism in uniform, support ...
- Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers
February 10, 2011
The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers an independent 501(c)3 project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs. MAAF is a community support network that connects military members from around the world with each other and with local organizations. In addition to our community services, we take action to educate and train both the military and civilian ...