“Apparently, the Marine Corps thinks a ‘lack or loss of spiritual faith’ could be dangerous.” So writes Dana Liebelson in an article for Yahoo news: http://news.yahoo.com/u-military-problem-atheists-065000534.html. The inference is part of a Marine training document that has become the source of a potential discrimination suit.
Civil Libertarians may be up in arms about that inference but the reasoning behind it puzzles me more. Why should the Marine Corp be in the business of promoting religious fervor? Do they presume that faith makes people moral, more honest or reliable than those without? If so, there’s little evidence to support that presumption. A recent survey released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in April of this year reveals, for example, that of the 218,167 inmates who responded to their questionnaire, only .02% stated they were atheists. The rest attested to being religious, the largest numbers identifying themselves as Catholics, Protestants or Muslims. (Reported in FFFR by Andrew Seidel, 8/13)
Samuel Johnson once said “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” The same could be said for any unquestioning obedience to a “higher purpose.” Mixing religion and war can be a dangerous combination. A mind that functions without reason can blind itself to unspeakable acts of cruelty and yes, evil. Think of the Inquisition. Think of My Lai. The Marine Corp’s efforts to proselytize among its troops should be brought into question, not merely on the basis of discrimination, but because, together, faith and war have a terrifying history.
(Courtesy of timededeaux.com)