Justin Griffith, Military Director of American Atheists

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 a relentless promoter of atheists in foxholes and opposer of religious privilege and bias in the US military.

He began his activism by opposing the Ft Bragg Rock the Fort effort in September 2010.  He quickly turned this instance of evangelism by military officials into a positive story by preparing his plans for Rock Beyond Belief, a concert for nontheists.  He spent months organizing the concert, interacting with Ft Bragg officials, and gathering speakers such as Richard Dawkins.  The event, originally scheduled for March of 2011 has been hampered by denials and delays from the Ft Bragg chain of command.  Efforts continue for a Spring 2012 event.  In addition, the Rock Beyond Belief site has provided a platform for SGT Griffith that will mesh well with his new duties as Military Director for American Atheists.

In a recent post, Justin highlighted his new role at AA as well as his continuing collaboration with many groups:

Although nearly every major secular organization has helped me tremendously these last ten months, American Atheists is my new home. I’m grateful to know that these organizations all play nice with each other. I was a little worried about creating the perception of picking sides. But, at this level – if you don’t pick a team you don’t get to play at all. They all know this.

SGT Griffith has also been a staunch opponent of the Army’s Spiritual Fitness program.  This program surveys soldiers to determine their level of “spirituality,” causing Justin and many other nontheistic soldiers to feel unconstitutionally marginalized by their military leaders.

Justin as also been a leader in the local community, starting Military Atheists & Secular Humanists Ft Bragg.  This effort provided a catalyst for the MAAF Network, especially for groups on post.  As Justin focuses on national activism, MAAF is providing local groups direction and support, with Justin’s local Ft Bragg group providing a great example.

Justin has also been the first Army lay leader (DFGL) candidate.  MAAF has been pushing paperwork for months, working with Army leaders at Ft Bragg, the Army’s Installation Management Command, the Army Chief of Chaplains, and the Department of Defense Armed Forces Chaplains Board.  MAAF has candidates seeking official recognition in all branches of service, and Justin’s candidacy in the Army has really helped to highlight the need for chaplain support of atheists and humanists.

Justin is a leader within the atheist community, and his position as Military Director for American Atheists takes perfect advantage of his passion and talents.

  • Brainbuster

    I’m a little different than most Christians. I believe in protecting Christians and Christ’s scriptures. I have a radar for people like the slime of Justin Griffith. The only way to fight slime like Justin is to show the narcisist for what he is. Include his childhood history. His parental rearing. His never being taught the Bible or at the least Integrity.

    Like I said. I’m a little different than most Christians. I’M COMING FOR YOU. BELIEVE ME YOU WON’T ESCAPE.

    YOU’VE LOST YOUR SOUL. IT’LL BE PAINFUL

    God Bless your soul in spite of me. God bless your family in spite of me.

    You’re doomed forever.

    Brainbuster, Jr
    Hot Springs, AR

  • Ncolclough1664

    I read about you on the BBC’s website. I’m a former British Royal Marine Commando and when I served religion was never discussed or an issue. Interesting to see how big of an issue this actually is in the U.S. Full disclosure I was Christened in the Church of England, I’m not a practicing Christian as I have too many questions and concerns about the faith including some of the human acts that it has influenced. My position is i don’t think anyone knows what powers may be out there and we should remember that and try to do good regardless.

  • Qad

    Athiesm is a reaction to organised religion, be it Christianity, Judaism or any other religion. There are things we do not know and these religions that have been modified by man don’t fulfill our quest for answers, but don’t give up on the almighty, it is a test. Find a way to break barriers between people of the world and help all people understand each other and live in harmony. Organised religion needs to be sidelined so people can live purer lives.

    • Debra

      Why does it need to be sidelined? Billions of people believe, it is their right. Why do you desire to control the behavior of billions of people. I for one am really leery of people who wish to dictate the behavior of billions of people… Why don’t you just live your own life more purely…

  • Anonymous

    What are you going to do when you know when your position will be overrun and be killed the next day. Twiddle your thumbs?

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  • Sergeantjkelley

    If an atheist believes there is no God, why do they work so hard to tell there isn’t. It should not matter to them if there is a God or not, they don’t believe in God. But yet they try to spread and share their unbelief as much as those that believe. Why? What will they gain if they convince someone there is no deity? In a sense they have gained nothing, but their own denial, because a true atheist would not be bothered by those that believe….bunch of idiots.

    • Howhardisittopickauniquename

      For one, I hope you’ll understand the humor in asking why atheists attempt to dissuade others from adopting theism as though this vigilance undermined their position. It is within Mark 16:15 that Jesus’ character reads, “Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to all creation.” “But if it’s SO evidently the truth, then WHY campaign to convince everyone who doesn’t think like they do?”

      /endsarcasm I hope you see my point.

      By a theist’s conception of the world, the world would be a better place (but really, the afterlife) if everyone believed as they do. Some atheists join the debate for the same reason, but coming from a different angle. Sure, there’d be material things to fight over, but if we could demonstrate to others that there are logical flaws, contradictions or errors in these holy books, maybe they’d stop placing those books over temporal concerns which face all of humanity, because this is the world we *know* exists. Many anti-theists such as myself debate theology with others because every action is born of a thought, and if you change the way people think, you can change the way they manifest themselves. This is the premise at the foundation of any grassroots movement for any cause, I feel.

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