[FoRK] South Carolina Atheists, Christian Military, and "Dumbutt Texas"

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Apr 28 07:46:45 PDT 2009

And this link has an interesting, and scary thread:

Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> http://harpers.org/archive/2009/05/0082488
> http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/press-releases/harpers_blast.html
> Older: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/220960
> http://rackjite.com/archives/3324-South-Carolina-Atheist-Movement-Growing-Strong.html 
> South Carolina Atheist Movement Growing Strong
> KicK! Making Politics Fun
> People are Strange
> News From Dumbutt Texas
> Dumbutt
> Religious Truthiness
> The Website
> Multimedia Sixties The Sixties
> rackjite.com
> Monday, April 27. 2009
> South Carolina Atheist Movement Growing Strong
> Of all places, South Carolina is experiencing a public relations boon 
> for atheists. Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry recently put up a 
> large billboard exclaiming "Don’t Believe in God? You Are Not Alone". 
> The sign was in response to the South Carolina Legislature passing a 
> law allowing State sponsored Christian license plates.
> Instead of the expected angst, the group had to find a larger venue 
> for its meetings as hundreds crowded outside the doors of the small 
> meeting room. South Carolina Atheists Growing NYT
> Over the past 20 years the number of people claiming no religion has 
> doubled, from 7% in 1990 to 15% in 2008. It is the tip of an iceberg 
> of millions of Americans who are afraid - for many reasons - to admit 
> they are unable to swallow the Kool Aid.
> If one were to include those millions along with the tens of millions 
> looking for an organized religion void of ignorance and intolerance it 
> could very well become the majority coalition in America. A new 
> religion, for after all, Unitarian Universalist churches are filled 
> with boring people who read books and talk about stuff and just don't 
> have the room. The Kick! Religion Page
> But I have a warning which I hope I can explain by turning on the 
> wayback machine.
> It was the day I reported for duty after being drafted, before the 
> train ride to Missouri for Basic Training. I was in a large room with 
> others filling out the last series of forms. One of these was for Dog 
> Tags, the last line of which asked for my religion. My answer would 
> then be stamped into the steel I would wearing around my neck for the 
> next few years. I put "n/a."
> A few minutes after I had turned it in, an aging bald man with lots of 
> yellow stripes on his arm (I later learned that the yellow stripes did 
> not mean cowardly as one would think, but that he was a First 
> Sergeant) pulled up a chair next to me and asked what religion my 
> parents were.
> I answered "Catholic."
> He advised we put "Roman Catholic" in that field.
> "No", we replied. He shook his head and made his pitch.
> "Listen kid, you are going to Missouri, you are a Yankee who will soon 
> be housed with so many Southern Crackers there won't be enough cheese 
> in the world to make it palatable. If they get wind of your cute 
> little "n/a" there, you will soon learn what a "blanket party" is. 
> [This was well before the movie Full Metal Jacket so I needed that 
> explained.]
> I still balked on the free expression issue.
> The 1st Sergeant went on. "Where do you think you will end up kid? You 
> want to ensure that Vietnam is your final destination? Then let it be 
> known in combat that you are an atheist. You know the old saying? 
> 'There are no atheists in a fox hole?' Well that's only true because 
> well meaning Christians shoot all the atheists in foxholes."
> I was still having trouble believing him.
> He went on, "I can assure you that one Southern Christian Boy or 
> another will frag your butt if word gets out that the Yankee from 
> Wisconsin is an Atheist. Especially if you are in a leadership 
> position. His explanation that "frag" meant shoot your own guys in the 
> back during combat and no one would ever know, registered as logical 
> to me.
> I acquiesced and added "Roman Catholic" to the form.
> I had been somewhat of a wiseass is high school with a barely "C" 
> average and working in a factory when I was drafted. I was not a week 
> into Basic Training when I was pegged for Officer Training School, 
> assigned as platoon leader, and was called Einstein by my drill sergeant.
> That experience was repeated 30 years ago when I moved to Texas. 
> Overnight my IQ rose 50 points. Relatively speaking.
> I am still not quite sure if that boost to the ego compensated for the 
> thirty years I have been banging my head on the table in disbelief of 
> just about everything that happens down here in Dumbutt.
> This month my lumps are regards the 31 to nothing Senate vote FOR guns 
> in schools! Texas and the NRA to Arm College Students to Make Keg 
> Parties more Fun
> Posted by Rack Jite in Religious Truthiness
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