April 30, 2008

Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

With Spc. Jeremy Hall, the atheist soldier who filed a lawsuit to protect his religious freedom, finally getting some media attention, I have been repeatedly asked what we can do to support him. I recommend supporting the Military Religious Freedom Foundation by making a donation and/or helping to publicize their advocacy on behalf of soldiers like Hall. They have been instrumental in making sure Hall's story is told and in bringing this important lawsuit.

I am pleased to see the outpouring of support Hall has received in the secular community. I am also encouraged by a spike in the number of searches I am seeing on Hall. These data suggest that his story is leading many who have not yet explored atheism to investigate more. As people learn more about Hall, they may begin to understand the plight of atheists in the United States.

In addition, Hall's case should remind those who need reminding that atheists do serve in the military. Much like civilian atheists, they often experience discrimination and bigotry at the hands of the Christian majority. But their position is far more precarious than that of most civilian atheists. Just imagine being surrounded by heavily armed Christians determined to convert you! That the U.S. military would promote such evangelism is despicable as well as unlawful.

Simply put, the goal of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is:
...to ensure that our government does indeed adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the Constitution; that it leads by example (source: About the Foundation by Mikey Weinstein)
Sadly, the notion of the United States leading by example has become difficult to imagine, particularly given our current administration. Still, this is the noble goal to which we should aspire, and it is fortunate that we have groups like the MRFF to serve the watchdog function. They deserve our gratitude and support.

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