Reason Magazine Denies Service of Atheists
With a name like Reason Magazine, one would expect a certain level of respect for, well, reason. Apparently that’s not the case. Stephanie Slade, Deputy Managing Editor at Reason, authored an article with the subheading, “There may be no nonbelievers in a foxhole—but there were some this year at CPAC.” This denies my service and that of many others like me who are atheist and have served in war.
Maybe this isn’t so much discrimination as it is lazy and irresponsible journalism. In response to MAAF objections, there is now an update saying that someone complained but Ms Slade refused to delete, change, or retract her statement, apparently standing firm in her denial of the service of all atheists in foxholes, with the support of Reason Magazine editors. Jamila Bey, subject of the article and journalist herself, told MAAF of her support for foxhole atheists and for good journalism:
I am wholly disappointed that Reason Magazine, known for being, well, reasonable has fallen to this same tired and trite expression that is too easy to debunk. The fact that as an atheist, I was invited to an environment presumed to be an inhospitable one, doesn’t rise to the standard of what our service members face in foxholes. And we know that a good many of our service members are indeed atheists.
Several foxhole atheists wrote in to remind reason of their service. “I served as a rifle platoon leader with a US Army mechanized infantry unit (1/61, 5th Infantry Division) in Vietnam in 1970. I spent many a night in a foxhole as such until the end of my combat tour,” said retired Major John Kieffer. And former Special Forces Sergeant First Class Adam Jennings said, “Free Minds and Free Markets should be more than just a tagline under the ‘Reason’ heading. As a 15 year military veteran, foxhole atheist, libertarian, and long-time reader and follower of Reason, I expect better.”
Apparently in covering the Conservative Political Action Committee, Ms Slade and Reason editors have adopted some of the anti-atheist discrimination common at such events. Find responsible coverage of the event at Friendly Atheist.