By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – Military development. Academics. Athletics. Three pillars of Army values that cadets at America's most prestigious military academy live by.
But West Point cadet Blake Page says there is one other unspoken pillar at the United States Military Academy: religion.
That's why, with just five months left before graduation, Page quit.
And he did it in a most public fashion – in a fiery blog post.
"The tipping point of my decision to resign was the realization that countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution," wrote Page, 24, in The Huffington Post.
"These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation. These transgressions are nearly always committed in the name of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity."
Page said he felt discriminated against for being nonreligious. And that discrimination, he alleged, was systematic.
In his letter of resignation, he said: "I do not wish to be in any way associated with an institution which willfully disregards the Constitution of the United States of America by enforcing policies which run counter to the same.”
He said West Point made prayers mandatory and students who took part in religious retreats and chapel choirs were given extra passes. He said officers incentivized religious activities and there was generally open disrespect for nonreligious cadets.
"The problem is a lot of people don't report it," Page said.
The U.S. Military Academy confirmed that Page's resignation had been accepted and that he was being honorably discharged.
However, spokesman Francis DeMaro Jr. said Page's claim that prayer was mandatory was not true.
"The academy holds both official and public ceremonies where an invocation and benediction may be conducted, but prayer is voluntary," he said.
"As officers, cadets will be responsible for soldiers who represent America’s great diversity in faith and ethnic background," he said. "The academy provides cadets the opportunity to foster an understanding regarding the fundamental dignity and worth of all."
DeMaro said West Point has a Secular Student Alliance club to meet the needs of nonreligious students.
Page went to West Point because, he said, he'd always wanted to become an officer in the U.S. Army.
After high school in Stockbridge, Georgia, he enlisted and spent three years in an air defense unit. While there, his commanders encouraged him to enroll at West Point.
Page knew how prestigious an institution it was. It would be an awesome career move, he thought.
He began at West Point, Page said, as a high performer. He was encouraged to seek out challenging positions. He said his tactical officer and mentor even tried to promote him to squad leader prematurely in his sophomore year.
But later, he struggled after his father committed suicide. He was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety and disqualified from being commissioned as a second lieutenant, the usual next step for West Point graduates.
Still, DeMaro said, Page was meeting academic standards and was not undergoing any disciplinary actions.
Page said he quit before graduation because he could no longer fulfill his dream of being an Army officer.
He had been trying to effect change for nonreligious students, he said, from inside the military. He said he would continue to advocate from the outside through his affiliation with the advocacy group Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
The group's founder and president, Mikey Weinstein, called Page's act one of great courage. But he said he was not surprised by Page's allegations.
"We have the Christian Taliban running amok unchecked in the technologically most lethal organization ever recorded in human kind," Weinstein said about religion and the military. "There's no problem except that we have a small document called the Constitution that separates state and religion."
Weinstein said people like Page were critical in ensuring constitutional rights for all those who join the military.
"There is no difference between this and degrading anyone for the color of their skin or being a female," he said.
But he commended West Point for honorably discharging Page and not punishing him for what he has done.
Page said he's received support from other nonreligious cadets. But he's also been called a coward and a quitter.
A former classmate, Charles Clymer, wrote an open letter to Page on the Facebook page of the Secular Student Alliance. Clymer described himself as a Christian but also an "aggressive, outspoken liberal" who voiced his opinion loudly on what he called the injustice of "don't ask, don't tell" and limited career options for women.
He said he was not a typical cadet, but that he was angered by Page's online post and believed that Page lashed out simply because he wasn't cutting it at West Point.
"I never, not even once, witnessed, heard about, or even thought it implied that non-religious cadets face discrimination of any kind at the Academy," Clymer wrote.
"I saw widespread homophobia and sexism but never any negative sentiment towards those cadets who identified as atheist or agnostic," he wrote. "In fact, the closest thing I ever observed that looked like a pro-Christian bias were the few cadets who believed Islam is evil, and that was a very small fraction of our class. The vast majority of Christian cadets treated non-Christian cadets with respect insofar as their beliefs are concerned."
Page said that, ultimately, he was not concerned with what others said about him.
"That's really fine." he said. "I am not trying to talk about myself. I am trying to talk about church and state."
He is complaining about the lack of committment of others and yet he is leaving just before graduation and not serving his time as an officer. He's trying to take away or diminish the religious rights of those who defend the religious rights (and all other rights for that matter) of all citizens of our country and others. And all over his perception of an unwritten non-existant policy of bias towards the religiously inclined of the Christian community among military officers in the Army at the acedemy. And he does all of this while ignoring the fact that the US military is the most religiously diverse military in the world with chaplains from virtually all major religions present.
If you would educate yourself on Christianity you would realize we all are hypocrites... No one is perfect. Except GOD of course.
this is the best site ever
At the risk of looking like an armchair psychologist, I think the guy is probably clinically depressed, and is using the religion thing as an excuse. There is no systematic religious problem at West Point. Of course, if he ever reported he was clinically depressed, you can kiss his military career goodbye, despite the Army's prohibitions against any form of retaliation or discrimination. If you want to talk about a systemic bias in the Academy, I'd bet there is a much larger stigma attached to anyone who has had depression or minor psychological issues than there ever was for something as trivial as religion.
"West Point 'blatantly violates' oath"
By taking the Oath - the cadets make a pact with $atan
Sell their Souls and agree to be Killer Zombie Mercenaries of Evil.
To be noted - the Purged Generals did nor reflexively obey the Black House.
"Christian Taliban" if such a thing exsisted I'm sure all you sheep would be part of it without question. Don't follow blindly question authority.
5 months from graduation...... he failed and is pulling the religious card.....
He looks like another Bradly Manning...... We do not need his kind.....
Read the article, he was doing very well academically. He will continue to do well. There is a Christian Taliban, albeit they don't call themselves that. The Christian Taliban is at my place of work too.
I do not think he is a gutless shirker. He is DEPRESSED. His father committed suicide, he is overwhelmed with anger, fear,.depressions etc,. anmd he is blaming God and religion, specifically Christianity, for failing his father, and letting him commit suicide. This is all so obvious, and predictable and understandable. This is a horrific hurt in this young man's life,.and he needs to get help. No shame there. I think that formet cadet Page,.being raised in Stockbridge Georgia,.more than likely was brought up in church,.and confessed faith in Jesus at one time or another. The tragic and sudden loss of his father to suicide, has shaken him to the very core,..and The Academy is wise to have accepted his resignation. There is no need to put this young man anywhere with an automatic weapon. He could do himself and others much harm. But he is not a coward or a shirker,.or a vile and contemptable human. He is a kid,.who lost his father,.is horrible depressed,.and needs time and help to heal properly. That is my observation,..and it is worth just exactly what you paid to read it. By the way,.God has BIG strong shoulders,.and he is used to being blamed for all the troubles in the world. But,.He is still God,..and belief in him or not,..will never change the fact that He IS God. I do hope and pray that Mr. Page will seek and receive help.
I absolutely agree with you Jonathan. I work at a VA Hospital and see this on a daily basis. Better for this young man to seek help now than AFTER combat; then his life will be broken even more. Thank you for voicing your insight and bringing to the forefront the ramifications of loss/depression. Perhaps with time peace will enclose around Page's heart once again.
Wrong... He can't handle being an officer and this is his way out. The Diary of a Whimpy Kid....
I agree with Jonathan's statement – the real causes behind this kid's outburst are patently obvous – he lost his Dad to a suicide and who knows what the rest of his family is like? When I first started reading the article, my first thought was "where are this kid's parents and why aren't they slapping him upside the head and telling him to wise up"? Kids need guidance and to handicap his future by quitting so close to graduation – the situation just begged the question – why now?. And then that question was answered – he suffered a major loss in his life and is responding in rather predicatable ways. Some cope quietly, others are a little louder. And Jonathan is also right about not giving this guy a weapon – his reactionary nature is a harbinger of trouble ahead.
Give me a break Mureen – I'm an Officer in the Military – my father committed sucide – lame excuse. Get over it and move on. The reason he wants out now – is once graduated he'll have to fullfill his commitment to Active Duty. Thus, the underlining of all this.... I know of several different people that are religious and not religious in the military all are treated equal. In fact, we even have a Wicca service on base.... This guy doesn't' deserve to be a leader....
This person sounds like he needs some type of attention, the military is not even close to that. If he needed a reason to get out of his commitment he did it but thats all he was trying to do.
Sour grapes. Kid sounds like he screwed up and had to find an excuse for being a loser.
Maybe when you learn to spell people will take you seriously. Then again, maybe not...
What will proabably kill you is the drugs you are taking.
Very glad this nut case is now out of the military.
I beg to differ. The military wishes that most of its members had as a big a pair as this guy.
If he that smart why did i take him until his senior year to figure this out? Seems likesomeone is trying to start another contoversy!!!!
You know why he waited until his senior year – because once graduated he'll have to do his active duty commitment to the Army... that's why.
If anyone were to look at the original charter for the pilgrams coming to america in the first place it was to spread the gospel of jesus christ... secondly the original premis for seperation of church and state was to prevent the government or dictator from declaring themselves god and that we must worship a man and not god the father in haven.... it was put in by the founding fathers to protect us from men claiming to be god.. when the church as a body stands for the truth then ppl like this young man would have heard god is the one to turn to not run from... as the church goes so goes the nation... when christians preach the truth of jesus ppl will seek him for themselves not condem themselves by rejecting him
Wrong but very funny. The country was "discovered" by nut-jobs considered too conservative and out there religiously, to stay in England. You sound like you'd fit in. The founding fathers had a very clear picture of keeping church and state separate. And that includes a state sponsored religion.
Go read the charter the plymouth sailed with. Then read why washinton refused to be named king of america.... while ur at it look for the complete version of the national anthem.. or why ppl had to swear their oaths with their hand on a bible or how many of those oaths ended with "so help me god".... maybe the picture would be more clear if ppl spent more time getting to know god instead of trying to discredit him...its almost like he's hiding in plain sight. If someone would have pointed these things out to this kid everyone would have benifited from it. Like being a god fearing man is a bad thing!?! Wow
Matt, I enjoyed your rewrite of history. Creativity is a great skill.
Matt, Creativity is a great skill. And rewriting history will give you real potential in a certain political party.
Go do a little research and judge for yourself its the truth that sets you free that's why we are still free today... beyond all debate if the kid the article is about delt with more ppl telling him the truth not twisting it to suit politacal or personal agendas he would be in much better shape then he is now... offer me hope in jesus or in man ill take jesus all day everyday I've seen him come thru.... I know athiests hope but in what? Themselves how well is that working out for this kid?
Wake me up when the fake-Christians in this country actually start living their lives according to the true teachings of Jesus.
Matt read the 1st amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (hopefully its not too complicated for you to understand) Also, Thomas Jefferson alluded to a wall of separation between Church and State. Stay educated, stay classy
Except that he himself stated that there was no established religion...only his perception of a christian majority. Our country has a christian majority which makes sense that that demographic would also exist in the military. The military also goes out of its way to allow for all other religions to worship or not worship as they see fit. Since there is no establishement and this is just one, almost a soldier, complaining about his perception of the way he thinks things are despite no establishment, its difficult to take his side against the policies that don't exist.
The pilgrims ran away also – they did not want to stay and effect change in their own country so they ran away to another one. Only when they got here did they realize it was no paradise.
Clearly a case of sour grapes. Had he not been disqualified he would be one of many atheist officers in the Army today.
Separation of church and state has never been respected by the church..Oh well nothing new....
This is kind of sad but his quitting the Military Academy at West Point was made by others due to his depression over his father's suicide. That tendency can run in families and the Army cannot take the chance he might harm himself when stationed to a war zone in command of troops. Anyone who looks into the academies knows of the religious customs that have been fostered there since their founding. This country was founded by religious people. If he wanted a military career but without the religious influence in the academies he could have gone thru ROTC. To lash out at long-standing well-known customs blaming them, is perhaps his way of shifting any blame for his depression and the end of his hopes for a military career. The military is built for war – there is no room for weakness in that formula. His father's suicide is not his fault but he is responsible for how he conducts himself afterward. My father spent his life in the Army and his family has lived in Georgia since 1736. It was founded by a military man, Gen. James Oglethorpe and a military life was encouraged on all males. Depression also runs thru our family but was always held in check. This young man's became obvious when he was diagnosed. You do your best but sometimes fate runs against you. When it does, it matters how you conduct yourself afterwards. His reaction is a shame but he's young, he will learn to do something else. The Army does not hold his comments against him at this point but I hope he puts his pain behind him and carries on.
Islam IS evil. Here to destroy us from within. The oldest, dirtiest trick in the book. Will it work? It all depends on us.
Could you quote the portions of the Quran where it states that all non-believers are to be destroyed?
THE BEST WORD FOR HIS ACTION IS REAL LOSER. BUT I ADVICE IF SUCH A THING IN EXIST THE AMERICA STATE SECURITY IT SHOULD BE DICOURAGED.
The military knows this is a problem. But the majority is behind it and it has been going on for so long. Plus, there has never been any pressure to change it. Until now.
You people are ridiculous. This guy served his country. It takes a lot physically and mentally to get into West Point. The vast majority of you don't even come close, yet you sit behind your keyboards and label this man (who you don't even know) a liar, coward, and a quitter. Complaints about the service academies giving preferential treatment to Christian students have been going on for a long time. Have you honestly convinced yourself that it's all a conspiracy by evil atheists? You're pathetic. You preach this load about supporting the troops, but you only support the ones who believe in Jesus.
Served his country? Yes, in his prior service. He was served BY his country in receiving the USMA education and bit the feeding hand after he was disqualified. Religious military have to stomach atheists every day. If he can't do the same he isn't fit for duty.
again babble. No, he didn't bite the hand that fed him. He is choosing to resign on his own, as opposed to getting a debt free out by being medically processed. His words in no way hurt the army, the army already knows this is a problem. It has been for decades. He's just bringing it to light again.
You hit the nail on the head. He was still a student. He hadn't served his country. I'm getting tired of people who blame others because of their failures.I am an evangelical Christian. And yes the church, Catholic and Protestant, has some hypocrits. But, to blame them for his problems seems like whining to me. I've been through 2 church splits because of so-called Christians. Get over it. Own up to the fact that you didn't want to go to West Point in the first place. Quit whining about the forced prayer and whatever. Make something of yourself.
Ann, he was enlisted before he went to West Point. Therefore, he DID serve his country. Do try to keep up.
Dont wait till you are deployed to tell your unit commander you're a buddist. You will find yurself collapsing from heat stroke and on the recieving end of a two day smoking.
What does Buddhism have to do with any of this?
An athiest peace? Stalin already tried that and history will tell you how that ended up. Not to mention there is no proof that getting rid of religion will suddenly bring about a perfect world. We will still have criminals, war, and children too fat to go outside.
Let's apply your logi... Stalin embraced nonreligous policies therefore all athiests are evil. Hitlter embraced capitalist business ownership, therefore, all capitalisrs are evil.
Hitler was a socialist, he NEVER loved or admired Capitalism:
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions." – Adolph Hitler
Summer, Hitler was not socialist...he was fascist. He did not believe that socialism was the same thing as Marxism. For crying out loud he fought against the communists. Nazism (a form of fascism) is FAR RIGHT and socialism is FAR LEFT. He outlawed strikes, lockouts, favored private property and freedom of contract. Hitler had a different idea of socialism than what is commonly thought as today. Stay educated, stay classy. P.S. Are you one of those people who think Obama is a socialist?
Communist News Network isn't required to follow the law. didn't you know that? They have sanctioning from our lords and masters in Tel-Aviv!
Blake Page was there to be Brainwashed, turned into a Mercenary Zombie of the Evil World Order Oligarchs.
Unless cadets like him are weeded out early,
U$ will have to Purge then later on - as the recent, War reluctant, insolent Generals.
Weinstein.. What a shocker
"After high school in Stockbridge, Georgia, he enlisted and spent three years in an air defense unit." For all of you who didn't read the whole story, he has already served his country and he will have to pay the government back for his education. His depression doesn't appear to be service related so he won't get a medical discharge that will allow him out of it. He does still have a reponsibility to the military. I was in the military and saw a lot of money put into investigating people with "claims" such as this. Not religion necessarily, but off the wall claims because people decided they didn't want to be there anymore. You've made a committment, you should have thought long and hard about it before you did it, now live with it.
Page will not be req'd to pay back anything. At USMA, if a cadet is medically disqualified they do not owe anything.
this guy is way ahead of the other cadets....WAY ahead!!! you cadets have a lot to learn other than organized religion. this cadet chose a spirituallity!!! hello?? can't anyone see that???
Cadet Page's martyrdom seems a lot less heroic now that I know that he already "had been medically disqualified this semester from receiving a commission" due to clinical depression and anxiety. You mean that the Army isn't going to "seek recoupment in the form of about $200-300k...or an additional term of up to 5 years of enlisted service," as you so selflessly noted in your letter to the HuffPo
Correct. I guess he tossed the Honor Code into the trash as soon as he was discharged. He doesn't have to pay anything back or serve if he was medically discharged and he knows it.
what a putz
Mostly babbling crud, but you know what IS perfect? Punctuation. The little dots? Those aren't just to trail off......
The academies aren't for everyone. There's probably more to this story than just some Westpoint "Firstie" who became disenchanted with military service. He was in fact "NPQ" (Not Physically Qualified) for commission – nothing really to do with his religious affliation, merely a coincedence. There are lots of cadets and midshipmen who do not believe in God ...... no harm no foul there. That's a personal choice.
Now, leaving just prior to graduation might be fraught with some other issues .... and payback for the education is just one of them.
There are many points of disagreement with his premise. Religion has nothing to do with the military, and though a convenient scapegoat – the argument holds no water. If he just rides the "NPQ" wave he may live to play another day. Play that religious card too much and he may just end up stapled to a paper cross.
He needs to keep his mouth shut now and just fade away.
Sounds like a bad idea.
it is my understanding if you drop out/flunk out of the academy, you go into the military enlisted.
There are no athiests in foxholes!
Not true, but that always makes me laugh. Why do the ignorant think that because you are in danger, you'd automatically believe in a greater power?
Probably because the ignorant in the surrounding Foxholes can hear the supposed atheists screaming out for God, or Jesus, or the Angels, or the Blessed Virgin to save them the whole time shells are bursting around them!
That would be an ignorant and incorrect assumption. The reality is the atheist is probably quiet, since he doesn't believe any imagined being is going to protect him, and instead relies on his training and comrades in arms to get through situations that they've drilled for dozens of times before hand. :-) Another good laugh though. Thanks.
Or they'll be saying the most common word heard in combat (in my experience), it begins with F and isn't a particularly holy word. :-)
I think what he's trying to say is that fear spreads religion.
Training and your comrades can only get you so far and protect you...the willingness to take action that is beyond the capability of your training and others around you is why people many times turn to something greater than themselves. Go read the countless stories of military service members testifying that their strength to "get through" a situation came not from their training but again, something greater than themselves.
In other words when someone is in mortal danger they can't think straight? And plus, nothing wrong with a last ditch appeal. Plus atheism doesnt necessarily hold there arent powers that could help a person screaming for help. For example aliens. If you are in the middle of nowhere and you only have a signal flare left .. Before you starve or pass out wouldn't you fire it off even if you knew nobody will see it? Just in case.
But with out religion we wouldn't need as many foxholes...
True words from the saggy one!
I'm an Atheist and active duty Navy, 19 years. I've served in Iraq, Africa and Southeast Asia.
You "Veteran Z" are an ignorant fool.
There also are no foxholes on a ship... Go army beat navy
Am I the only one who got the point of this message?
If you're in a foxhole, being attacked or shelled, you start believing almost right away.
Simple as that.
and you'd be wrong if you got that point. It isn't true. Having been shot at, and threatened by roadside bombs multiple times, I assure you, it's wrong.
As a former medical corpsman in the Navy and Marines let me share a little of my military experience in regards to the reality of how the military really works. On paper, the military encourages its members to seek help for any personal/health issues they may be suffering from. No punitive meausures are to be enacted provided it is not illegal according to the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). That is not the reality of what really occurs. The military is very punitive to its members that have issues that the military mindset does not approve of. And believe me, the list is long. I always told my patients that I thought might get screwed over, to inform me if such things were happening. I can't tell how many patients I treated in secret (nothing put in their medical records) so that their military careers were not put in jepoardy. Dozens of times I had to personally inform commanding officers and the patient's superiors that if they enacted any punitive actions against my patient(s) that formal charges would be filed against them. In my day, no one in the Navy could subvert a medical decision from any member of a medical department. Not even the Chief of Naval Operations. Don't know how it is these days. So yes, unfair/illegal treatment of military members has and does go on, and to a larger scale than most people relaize. And no, I am not a atheist or agnostic. Whether this young man's story is 100% correct or not, remains to be seen. But rest assured, the military illegally discriminates/punishes on a daily basis. That's a fact. I know....I witnessed it hundreds of times in my military career.
I know Blake Page personally. He has already been deployed and has served his country, so do not start saying that he is a coward who just wants to get out of serving his country after getting an education. He HAS served his country. But this blog and national interviews is just a stunt to get publicity. He was not going to graduate in 6 months and would have been medically discharged if he had not chosen to resign. He does suffer from depression and he makes terrible life decisions, including going after married women. This guy does not hold up American morals as he would lead his readers to believe. It's actually better that he is no longer enrolled in West Point, putting him in charge of a deployed would be endangering all of their lives. He is unfit to lead, and it's better for everyone that he gets out and stays out.
It's good to see people like you out there. You are 100% correct. In these times, you don't DARE mention to anyone you are having problems. Contrary to all the formal BS said in public, we have a lot of commanders who will do everything in their power to "weed" out members that are "weak" for asking for help. There are a LOT of civilian councilors around here seeing military members in secret (Many pay cash so there is no record). People also don't know that you have NO privacy if you speak to a medical person. It WILL be an issue on your security investigation if you respond "yes" to the SF86 question or your investigator finds out. If it's an advanced investigation like an SSBI, they talk to EVERYBODY who knows you and have subtle ways to ask about your mental state. Members hide it every way they can. That's why there's such a high suicide rate. You dare say something, your career could be over.
Sorry, but military and prestige don't belong in the same sentence unless referring to Call of Duty.
It's perfectly obvious that this clown will now force the Academy to give him his graduation certificate, then he won't have to perform his military duty that has paid for his education. If there is a criminal it's Blake Page. He is a thief of his education, the cost of his education, and now he doesn't want to pay for it by doing what he agreed to do when he signed up. The most important thing the Government can do is to force this boy to pay back the cost of the education and other costs that the Government has had to pay for this education. And just for fun, put him in jail for fraud. Not to mention being a coward.
what? did you read the article? How is that clear? He is voluntarily leaving early. He is not getting his diploma of graduation, and is going to have to pay back the fees.
There is a price for everything, and the better the opportunity the higher the price. This is the law of humanity. I'm sure he knew he'd have to make huge sacrifices to be apart of a massive organization. He obviously didn't know just how much he would have to give.
I think the point is not that he is unwilling to pay prices of inclusion, is he refuse to commit what he believes to be illegal act.
It is the same as that soldier who said he will not obey an command from Obama because he did not believe Obama is legal president.
I know the 2 issues are not the same, the former went through the channels and acquired a discharge. The latter would be charged with insubordination. The logic behind their action is similar, be it correct or not.
I doubt religion is the reason for this, but an excuse to get out of service. I know a lot of grads from military academies, and most are either atheist or agnostic.
Hmm, nope. Read the article. He chose to go there, he can chose not to finish. No one wants a leader in command who doesn't want to be there. The religious aspects of the article have been going on for years, as are recorded in his EO complaints and secular support group records. He was denied his commission due to medical reasons, and he gets nothing out of making such claims. (He'll still have to serve 5 years enlisted, or pay back a bunch of money.)
If he was disqualified from being commissioned as a 2LT, he didn't "get out" of serving out his commitment. He was not going to be given the opportunity to do so as a result of the factors mentioned. But yes, he did essentially, receive 3.5 years of taxpayer funded education.
He will have to pay it back, either through serving enlisted, or monetarily. I believe I read it was either 5 years enlisted or over 250k$.
Hope the military just makes him pay back the money. It'll cost the tax payers more money if he serves enlisted dealing with his trian of thought and all.
His choice, not theirs. Unless they want to forcibly discharge him, and then he won't have to pay anything back since the discharge would be honorable or at worst honorable with medical.
This is so annoying. Mikey Weinstein is a media troll and this poor cadet is yet another example of a soldier who fell for Mikey's rhetoric because he throws out that he use to be a JAG officer in the Air Force, as if that is suppose to mean something. Worst decision this kid will probably ever make in his life and what makes it so bad is that Mikey Weinstein will use it as an opportunity to further spread his conjured up delusions that the military gives a flying f about a soldiers religious preference. This is so disgusting. Mikey inadvertently and unsympathetically just ruined another soldiers military career with his lies and deception.
Not really connected at all. The kid was being denied commission due to "mental health" issues, of depression when his father died. His choice was made for him. He either could drop to being an enlisted soldier, or pay large amounts of money.
not really he is just another Manning in the making If he was ever put in charge of soldiers this little geek would get them all killed then sell secrets the first chance he got just to extend his little 15 minutes of fame
Yes, obviously he'd leak national secrets. That's what he shows in his previous behavior of fiiling EO complaints up the proper channels, and respectfully addressing situations with cadre. Sounds like someone is a bit mad.
Lame weakling. Without religion, our military will fail. Like it or not, it's the truth.
Wrong. Quaint archaic poitn of view, but very wrong. The military doesn't need religion in any way. They have a codified system of laws and regulations, none of which require giving praise or thanks to an invisible power. Such things really don't matter in a court of law.
You obviously don't have a clue, sorry. You have obviously never served in the armed forces, and if you have, never in combat. Stick to topics you understand.
Perhaps it is YOUR point that is archaic. That is what they used to believe in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.
Ignorant and incorrect statement, same as your last ones. Army for 13 years, saw combat in Iraq. The military doesn't need religion. It won't fail without it. If you need an invisible blanky to protect you when you're walking through Mosul, that doesn't mean everyone does.
Spike what is your basis that without religion our military will fail?
The military is a tool of the Masters. The socialist Public Servants, elected by the socialist public, are the ones that failed and will continue to fail. They enshrined their views in socialistic laws. Get a piece of your neighbor by using the government. That's the mob version of "Love thy neighbor."
Five months until graduation from one of the most prestigious schools in the world, and he quits? Senseless decision. He gains nothing and loses much. He has clinical mental illness (depression), which is likely the major factor in this story. Best of luck to him in managing that condition. I expect he'll one day look back on this decision and wish he'd chosen differently. Bravo to all the men and women who serve proudly in the world's finest military!
except that he acquired 3.5 years of school for free and he get out of serving in the military
He didn't aqquire anything for free. The military requires him to pay it back through money or years of service. This will likely cost over 250k$ for his time at West Point. He mentions this cost, and it was no small decision, nor a way to get out of fees. Cute lie.
I agree. He has made a choice that will make his journey tougher. Would have been smarter to 'suck' it up.
Religion is man made
Made up, yes, but so is ice cream and automobiles. :) Religion can be a great comfort in people's lives, as long as they keep in mind that religion is a belief system, not a knowledge system. If it helps people get through life and doesn't harm others, religious belief is fine on a personal level. Really no different from believing in elves and unicorns, but for most people religion is a fairly safe drug.
Great analogy: religion and ice cream. Brilliant!
Religion is “safe”? Are you sure about that? Religion causes “no harm”? Are you sure? Did you happen to notice the Twin Towers falling on 9/11 as a direct consequence of brave and faithful men practicing their “safe/no-harm” religion? The crusades? The inquisitions? Slavery? The Salem Witch trials?…
The list is endless… Are you still so sure?
Christian airheads simply do not get it.
And calling them names certainly helps your cause. :eyeroll:
To Theda Barret, what do you mean "Christian airheads"? What are you, Jew, Muslim, buddhist, atheist, agnostic? Whatever you are, this article is the epitome of non-christian airheads because he just wants everybody to think like him, get it??
You're right, christian airheads don't get it, but no airheads get it, which is they're called airheads. Airheads cannot grasp Christianity, because Christ's words can only be understood by thinking about them. Christ said "treat others as you would like to be treated," "judge not, lest you be judged," and "fix your own sins, don't fixate on the sins of others." Christ was full of wisdom. Problem is many people who call themselves christians totally ignore what Christ was saying. Christ also said "be as wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves" and "blessed is the peacemaker" and "turn the other cheek." Christ was a pacifist. That's not really compatible with military life.
Christ was not a "pacifist"...he laid down his life for people that never met him...JUST like military service members do. His will was perfectly in-line with God's and God certainly isn't "passive" for people that reject his existence...
Dudette, only Christians have the capacity to make accurate judgments. But the military is not about making judgments. It's about following orders. "1Cr 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church."..............Even the least can do it.
This guy is my new hero! There are way more reports than this that the encouraged (read forced) chritianity among military groups is widespread and rampant. The irony is of course lost on the whole lot. WWJD (what would Jesus do) – if you asked, he'd very likely not be shooting at anyone, for any reason. Ahhh, the world we live in..!
Perhaps one day, we'll have true enlightenment, and an atheist peace.
"An atheist peace" just like a Stalinist Soviet Union.
I thought Stalin Russia is Eastern Orthodox?
The Orthodox church nearly ceased to exist as all religion was outlawed by Stalin and the Kremlin at the time.
The reason Page quit is that actually the Christian majority wanted him to think like they do. Good for him!!!
You're my new hero! But you know Zeus will hurl lightning bolts at you for doubting his existence, right?
You will need to send him money. He doesn't have a job anymore.
Scotty not saying that its not true but could you post links to other news reports that the US military is requiring its members to join a religion. I spent 22 years in the Army and never stepped foot in a church and can only recall a few time that a religious leaders was present at any military function
Complaints of religious favoritism and discrimination at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs were so numerous that in 2005 the Pentagon launched an investigation. While they found that there was no official policy supporting Christianity and discrimination against other religions and the non-religious, they did find numerous instances of Christian proselytizing and religious intolerance by individuals on the staff and in the command structure and by religiously affiliated groups. Among those cited were the commandant of cadets, some coaches and other staff. The nature of the discrimination found at the Air Force Academy was similar to that described in this article as taking place West Point.
What a crybaby...sounds like he was about to flunk or get a demerit. Poor wittle soldier-wanna-be , folks holding you down and beating you with a Bible or threatening to behead you for not becoming a Christian? Souds like little trust-fund twerp wanted out and didnt want to upset Mums and Daddums.
Not required to reimburse for any of his education ? I should have thought of this one ...
Incorrect. He was passing all courses and rated highly in his class. Good ignorant remark though. If you bothered to read rather than skim for parts that interested your mind, you'd see his father was dead. Fail.
His record wasn't perfect...just because his grades were good doesn't mean other areas were defficient...
Strengthen the Line '89
yeah, I guess the part where they wanted to promote him early proves he was a lousy soldier :\
Christianity is built upon speculation that cannot be verified. Due to that Christ has become a ridiculous figure to many. There is much difference between Christian Crist that the religions promote and the real Christ that we see in The Gospel of Thomas. In Gospel of Thomas we see him preaching the relationship between the soul and the World to which we are born. There are no miracles, he appears as an intellectual, one who has given maximum expression to spirituality which really is the expression of the soul that we are born with. When faiths take over the mind the followers lose the sensibility of the soul. The soul is the seat of conscience, human consciousness, and thus of morality. Now nobody speaks of all these values because under the impacts of the faiths all these have disappeared from life. Religions have become the Assassins of Spirituality. All evils can be attributed to the loss of the faculty that we get at the time of birth along with life.
What is the verification of your theory? Can you prove He isnt who He said? I am just asking because some say its a fairytale but by what evidence do they deem it so? Why do they want everyone to be as morose and cynical as they are? But i think there is more to this than any religious concerns anyway.
Actually, there is plenty of proof and eye witness accounts.
Read 'The Case for Christ'
The Gospel of Thomas is a random collection of sayings that are believed to have been said by Jesus. There was no plot line or stories, hence no miracles
Actually, you'RE an idiot. But seriously you're right, he's an idiot.
There are a ton of people – men and women – who apply to get into our prestigious Military Academy's and this guy has the gaul to up and quit within sight of graduation? They should make him pay that money back to the government – since I see it as getting around the responsibility he agreed to for a free education! This guy is a joke – and I hope he struggles to find a job and or school that will accept him.
This dude, is just being the normal self-righteous person, who wants to push off his guilt on someone else, and everyone to feel sad and give him comfort, to cover his pride and arrogance. Then he wants to add the 'christian' scapegoat message which so many people do when they post on CNN
Mikey Weinstein sounds like a raging lunatic..."We have the Christian Taliban running amok..." Seriosly?
Sorry Page, your a quiter, and your excuses for quiting the Point don't cut it.
Again in something resembling English grammar, please?
If a Christian Cadet keeps his head in a Bible for four years he will know more than any seminary graduate. That's on his OWN time! Then it might be safe to go in a church, after he gets discharged, of course. No need for any help from a chaplain.
Turn or burn, baby, turn or burn.
My god.(pun intended)
Chritians are not going to suddenly go away. Get over your self man. Im an atheist......
im not going to bring my self to a radical christians level. He is acting worst than they do.
Let's see now, four years of a great education, resign and be discharged, don't go to Afghanistan to be shot at. mmmmmmmmmmm makes me wonder.
I spent five years in the Navy and not once was religion mentioned. Except that we all knew that if you went to church in boot camp, you got to see the girls. Still wasn't enough to make me go and nobody said anything about it.
Go Navy! Beat Army!
Ed, the article says he was disqualified from receiving a commission. Would you rather see him go in as a private and serve his commitment out that way?
@..., Yes, that would be satisfactory.
Both my daughter and who later became my son-in-law were both Marines and neither experienced any form of religious intolerance.
Take a good look at the geek. Who would want him in charge of anything?
the military? they accepted him to West Point and were going to promote him early. I guess you think all soldiers should be like Rambo
Great response to "Sodapop's" post.
So... the real truth is he left school because he is depressed and has issues AND this has nothing to do with religion. This kid did a great job trying to justify his reasons for refusing to return to school. And like some commenters have said - it took him almost 4-years to realize that he was being punished for being an atheist? Nope. Truth is ... he has issues and is using this excuse as a way to make himself feel better about leaving school before graduation. I feel sorry for him ... and hope he gets the help he needs before he "quits" something else...
WHY is this young man considered "incapable of leadership" within the military because he temporarily suffered from depression and anxiety after an exceedingly tragic personal event? Why are we so quick to judge this individual as flawed because of how he reacted to his father's suicide? Those of us that point an accusitory finger at Mr. Page – calling him vindictive or weak – have no idea how emotionally devastating it is to have a parent quit on you by quitting on life.
I see TWO levels of discrimination here. 1) IF Mr. Page's allegations are indeed true, then West Point practices systematic religious discrimination (atheism or agnosticism function as religion for their believers – they provide answers to the mysteries of life and provide a set of codes to live by.) I find it illogical to assume that this discrimination does not exist in any way; why else would there be a NEED for a campus support group for NON-CHRISTIAN students if there is no need for support in the first place? And... 2) Mental illness discrimination; as even clinical depression is temporary in nature and should have been treated as a part of Mr. Page's mourning process.
I suppose they have support groups for atheist/agnostic people for the same reason they have groups for Christians. Humans generally want to talk about life experiences and socialize. Often, they want to do so with people that share similar viewpoints.
I must agree with your second point.
Let's all work together to make sure as many of our military officers as possible have mental disorders.
To KedErnst – having a group for the "secular needs" is the equivalent to having a group for Christians, Jews, etc. Since it is illegal to discriminate in the military, this is the group for those who don't practice religion. I believe you are reading something into the description that isn't there. About the mental illness dicrimination, if someone is suffering from a mental illness, they are relieved from their command untill they are cleared of their condition. The military can not afford to put the lives of others under the command of someone who is known to not be in their right mind. Remember, not following the orders of your superior officer, even if you "think" he's in depression, will get you a room in Ft. Levenworth.
To comment on the second point....
that was the most asinine, mislead, and troubling thing I have seen in a while. what troubles me is someone as articulate as yourself (unlike some of the other yahoos who post on here) would even suggest having people afflicted with mental disorders in charge or weapons and making decisions that put lives at risk is ok. its not discrimination and we all don't live in fairy-tale land. its just not safe. hell, shoudln't we just let all mentally disturbed citizens have guns too?
i suppose you think it is equally unfair that the blind are not allowed to have drivers licenses! Oh the humanity!
You are severely misguided my friend if you don’t think damn near every weapon carrying member of the military doesn’t have some sort of mental illness.
Anyone who voluntarily picks up a gun and heads in the direction of the enemy willing to give up life and limb has at least one screw loose. If that wasn’t the case they wouldn’t need to brainwash Marines for 3 months before they toss them into combat.
Its called 'Courage', not 'a screw loose'. I suppose anyone that gives up their seat on the buss for a pregnant woman is crazy too?
This is so not a news worthy story. He was failing and just wants some attention.
GOOD JOB CNN for furthering your anti religious views, but next time don't tarnish the Academy's name. We are already getting yearly beatings by Navy. Go army beat navy
In the military, religion HAS to be very personal. Christians can pray in the closet and keep it there, no problem for them. Dump those chapels and other buildings. The chaplains have to find other work. Free access to religious literature for all religions should be kept. Unit cohesiveness is a must for survival. Come home, citizen soldiers.
Dump the Chaplains? The military has worked hard to follow the 1st amendment. Everyone want to quote "separation church and state" but leaves out the second part, "prohibiting the free exercise of religion." By getting rid of them we are sending Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines into harms way but blocking their ability to practice their religious beliefs. Second point, who do you think are doing most of the mental health counseling for the active duty? Chaplains are.
Hunting People For Jesus
west point doesn't make officers, it makes politicians and businessmen.
Wow the way my posts are either not showing, or are disappearing must mean that this is a religious moderator. I have said nothing fowl, nor rude; quit simply have pointed out that most in this discussion believe in the god fairy tales. If this is offensive then the country has already gone to the dogs. How sad.
I bet the secular humanists wish this cadet would go away. The world is supposed to be better when religion is gone. Yet here's a kid who doesn't mind being trained to kill mindlessly, but he hates prayer.
What do think would happen here if we abolished all religion, laws, law enforcement and the military in America?
way to jump off the proverbial cliff lol
This guy is full of crap. Probably just want attention.
So true. Man up – and you were going to be a leader. You just wasted an opportunity to make a difference. Now, you just gave in.... way to go.
I find it so hard to understand how anyone can really be cloned into believing this relgious crap. Right... the world is only 6000 years old. Who actually believes this? Eventually people will be laughing about how people actually worshipped a god. Just like blood lettings and the world is flat.
Way to be ignorant about religion.
thank you, making something alot of people cant even start to beleive in a mandatory activity is shameful.
Yeah, the atheists theory is just sooo brilliant; There was nothing... and then BOOM, and there was everthing, and then single cell life started for no reason.
I find it suspect that a person who applied for and pursued this appointment didn't have prior knowledge of the religious aspects of a west point education. That being said it's even more suspect that it took this person almost four years to decide this. It's a shame we can't require this bum to pay back the 100k plus per year he cost the taxpayer. It's also a shame that he deprived another of the opportunity to take the slot he's wasted
Why would anyone suspect that there are religious aspect to studying at one of the country's military academies?
There are several churches on campus and they also require you to visit campus. Not only that, you meet with former Graduates and can ask about their campus experience. If maintaining his freedom to not be around religion was so important, why didn't he ask or apply to Cal Berkley? He found out he wasn't going to become an officer and this is how he chose to get his revenge.
Or a Christian of just about any era (see: Crusades, KKK, Inquisition, etc.), or a Jew of some eras, or a Hindu of some places and times or....
(Hint: the "..." at the end of that statement isn't because there aren't more examples, but rather because there are more than could be cited in one comment.)
Thank you cousin, you did the right thing. West Point will try and cover up as usual.
Three and a half years at West Point and he can't stick it out another five months and graduate? He can't stay on and be the example he wants to see?
The academy didn't think he was officer material, and now he's a quitter with excuses. Whether he likes it or not, he justified the academy's decision not to commission him.
So you wanted him to stay another semester at taxpayer expense when he wasn't going to be serving anyway...that's idiotic.
Who said he couldn't serve? He could have served, just not with a commission. My point is that he could have graduated, and he could have tried to affect the change he wanted from within the system. Now he's a dropout.
The academy did think he was officer material. They disqualified him because of the military's long standing and out-dated views on mental health. He got depressed after his father's death, and due to that he cannot be commisioned.
@ the bear story
I am not surprised. In basic training, for instance, those who didn't attend church had to clean the barracks. I have had to deal with religious people trying to convert me all my life. Its very annoying, especially when they also often treat you as inferior. When you experience it all your life you get very sensitive to it as the frustration builds. Imagine if it was the other way around and a religious person who quit because he felt he was being systematically discriminated against. Would you say "he is just unstable, good riddance", or think "That is not right, someone should investigate?"
I would stand up for your right to worship, no matter how totally crazy and bizarre it seems to me. So please, be understanding of my right not to, even though you do not understand why.
I'd gladly take cleaning the barracks over sitting through a mindless church service any day.
I feel ya there dude, and it ticks me off as much now as then. There answer, if you don't like it don't join; talk about intolerance. Religion in the 21st century, who would have imagined. Hey santa is coming don't forget to put out cookies all you that believe in the myths of the 1st century.
I enlisted at the age of seventeen. My family rarely attended church – civil rights history had taught me that so called Christians were the first to sell the idea of slavery in the new world- and the first Sunday they marched us to a service that I didn't understand or care for. Then there was the United Way – forced to give them money by my T.I. I signed the papers, but for the rest of my life – I haven't given them a dime. I could say more – but I think the services are doing themselves and the nation wrong by continuing to enforce these misguided attempt at coercive thinking. Like cops who themselves are thieves and crooks – the religious police of the military just make underground enemies.
I went through bootcamp and didn't attend church services and never had to clean the barracks because of it.
Strange that nobody has an issue keeping their money in hand even though it is clearly marked "In God We Trust" Back up your comments and avoid US currency at all levels.
oh people have issue.. it might as well say "Santa is lord" and have a picture of the jolly man with the white beard on the front of it. But it is legal tender and we have to use it.
We don't have a choice but to use the money – there's no alternative. It doesn't make it right anymore than jamming "undergod" into the middle of a pledge that was never written that way in the first place or changing our national motto to suit the desires of a few paranoid radicals.
I have personal checks that say "In FSM We Trust" on them, and most of the money I spend is via credit card (paid off in full every month with one of the FSM checks, before you make the usual snide assumption,...). No one receiving one of those has ever complained or refused the payment.
In the few instances where cash is the only practical form of payment,... I ignore it. This doesn't mean I believe any less that in principle, it's wrong for that legend to be there. It boils down to this: any government statement favoring one religion over any other, or religion in general over the absence of religion, is a violation of the First Amendment. The proselytizing by military superiors described in this story is worse in practice than any single instance of "IGWT" on currency, but the legend on currency affects in its minor way everyone who uses it in commerce.
(It's counter-intuitive to me that any religious person would WANT their doctrine so closely associated with commerce in the first place – funny how few people really examine that angle,...)
I'm not sure what you are talking about. There are several secular groups trying to have "In God We Trust" removed from out currency.
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the currency word "God" mean whatever god you want it to mean?
The best comment I have ever read anywhere!
There's a high probability of the cadets are from the south, products of uneducated, republican, evangelic parentage. So, lets not judge this guy, that was his prerogative to quit. It's also his prerogative to speak his mind.
Why didn't he quit after two years? Were things that different in the last two years compared to his first two years? No, he simply found out he wasn't going to become an officer and this is his pathetic revenge.
Or actually he was doing something about it for the years he was there. He helped organize a secular support group, and had passed EO complaints up the chain properly. Ignorant and incorrect statement, but entertaining!
Page was from Georgia. What does that say for your "theory".?
You win the prize for the most idiotic comment on the board.
Religious freedom. Freedom from religion. Freedom of choice. Research where you want to go and what associations you want to be a part of. If those places or associations do not match your personal beliefs, go somewhere else. Man made laws are derived from religous morality. If civilized nations cave to the desires of individuals who want to implement freedom from religion then there will be no reason to follow man made laws, the moral compass will be obsolete and the world will decend into chaos more so than it already is. I practice my religion my way. I do not push it onto others and I expect others to return the favor in kind. Unfortunately that is not the case. I am forced to respect others overt religous practices while mine (which is what this country was founded on) is being stamped out at the rapid rate. If Christians continue to allow their religion to be stamped out, it will be replaced by atheist beliefs which will in turn be replaced shortly thereafter by Islam. American Muslims and atheists should take a look at the middle east. That is what our country is headed towards.
Charlie Mack, Can you point to any federal law requiring no other gods before me to be worshipped? Your claim that law is founded on religion is thin at best. This cadet is correct when he accuses the military of breaking the law regarding separation of church and state.
There is no federal law specifying a single godlike celestial being to be worshipped. Americans are free to worship whomever they please, or not worship at all. How are the personnel at West Point breaking the law by affording cadets the opportunity practice thier faith?
Given the number of people killed in the name of religion, and the number of alter boys violated, and te extensive cover up ... I just don't know if your claim of religion being moral is a rational statement or just a wrong conclusion resulting from your blind faith.
Murders doctors while they are in their house of worship- Right Wingers or Taliban? Wants to impose religious beliefs on secular population, even to the point of using force- GOP or Taliban? Persecutes people with different beliefs or lifestyles- GOP or Taliban? Murders innocent people and leaves their bodies tied to fences to rot – Right Wingers or Taliban? Spends huge sums of money for weapons and ammo caches, compounds and terrorists organizations- Right Wingers or Taliban? Has used weapons of Mass Destruction on U.S. soil (Timothy McVeigh?) – Right Wingers or Taliban? Looks like Law Enforcement needs to name the NRA, Right To Life, Focus on the Family and the GOP as Terrorist Organizations and let loose the Predator Drones. Get rid of the Evil in our midst.
PJ condemns murder and some pretty heinous acts and then, without any apparent sense of irony, advocates the death/murder of anyone on the "right wing" or "GOP." The cognitive dissonance of this comment, wow.
Specifics, please. Unless you produce reports of real names, dates, and details, confirmed by witnesses, you're just blowing smoke.
Nothing feels as good as killing for "god".
What happens to his signed committment to serve in the ranks if you leave during your Junior and Senior years. Wasted a spot for the man or woman behind you that did not get selected.
Most cadets who don't blame their failures on religion are made to pay back their tuition if they quit in their 3rd or 4th year. That's exactly why they offer the option to leave after two years no questions asked. I'm guessing they figure after two years you should know if this is the place you want to be or not. This guy Blake left because he's got diagnosed mental issues and wasn't going to become an officer. At that point he raised the religion card to make a pathetic name for himself.
I agree 100%
The story made it clear why he quit: mental issues kept him from being an officer. That doesn't grab headlines, however, so he made a decision to attribute his resignation to religion. Pretty transparent. The money the US Government paid for his education should now roll over to student loans, payments on which should begin six months after he left school, as normal for those of us who have also had student loans.
Money which will never balance out all the free meal tickets the churches get from the government!
I'm sorry the issue you wish to discuss is not being discussed here, but your comment doesn't relate to the story in any way. This story is about a guy who realized his dreams would not come true and, in true fashion of many in this country today, found a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility.
That's one way to get out of the fight. I am happy to see him go, he's not officer material. But talk about excuses. I would love to see his grades in leadership. I am sure West Point accepted his resignation with glee.
Christian bigots. This kid displays a lot of courage to stand up to the religious drones at West Point. The "religious" are all deluded...each and every one of them interprets mythology literally. In reality, there is not a shred of historical evidence that a historical Jesus even lived. Christianity is the Greatest Story Ever Sold. Glad I'm not in the US military anymore, where there is no justice and where everyone is deluded by religion and faux patriotism.
Indeed. And richard, your book says that the earth was created 4000 years ago; so if you can ignore the fact that there are dinosaur bones older than that, i can ignore a piece of paper written by some human saying your god exists. It amazes me that people have the ability to ignore all that doesn't fit in the box.
Vintel... you sound jealous my friend. I'm glad you're out of the military too....
So, are the 94% of Americans who identify with a religion of some sort, and the 78% whom identify as Christian, are supposed to forsake over 200 years of heritage to appease the remaining 6% who take offense to the mention of God? Last time I checked it was through the majority that this country was run; and in this case, there is an overwhelming majority. BOO to the press for even making mention of it.
The numbers presented here are a Gallup poll conducted on December 24, 2009.
Not to never mention it, but if you go back and review what was happening at the Air Force Academy a few years ago it was definite harrassment. Faculty sent out emails, students were excluded from organization based on religious views. I attended a graduation there when this was still on the upswing and god and religious views werementioned in every single speech (and there were a lot). I had no issue at all with there being a chapel on campus and religious services at graduation for each group that wanted it. But it already infiltrated everything. Sure the kids should be allowed to discuss whatever they want with friends in their dorm room, but when the prof is telling you to go to church and propaganda isposted all over your living quarters that's going too far.
Also, non-religious Americans are growing, another survey shows 15% non religious, growing from 1990s to 2008. So the tendency is for a less religous America.
What if they only pushed Muslim religious views because a majority in this country were Islamic? Would you feel the same way?
Bottom line is gov't should be nuetral when it comes to religious questions.
Because America is not a theocracy, thus, it does not matter if 150% of the people are religious :) Particularly important in a country with so many religions coexisting. Variety is great.
Statistics are in the mind of the beholder. Not everyone who identified with any one religion or said they were Christian did so freely. It was common place when I was growing up to say you were Christian to avoid harrassment even though we weren't. It was also commonplace to say you were Christian because 1) you were hardpressed to describe what, if anything, you did believe and saying you were Christian was just less of a hassle than trying to explain otherwise and dealing with the chance that you wouldn't be socially accepted afterwards; 2) because you were coerced by the locals into believing that not being Christian was associated with shame (albeit unfairly).
And when was the last poll taken where each and every one if the more than 300,000,000 people in the US askes their religious affiliation?
Never you say. Then your stats LIE
You don't understand statistics, then. Fine.
NICE ONE ABDUL .I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU
I have heard about such allegations several times before. I suspect there is more than a little truth there.
I find it interesting that the religious problems he was having didn't surface until he was faced with the fact that he would not become a commissioned officer because of a disability. I would think that he would have noticed these issues in his first two years at the academy and could have left at the end of his 2nd year no questions asked. Sure seems to me that he is trying to grasp at whatever he can to grab some book deal because he's not going to be an officer. I know the admissions process is rigorous, but it sure would be nice if they developed a way to root out these self serving types before they got on campus. Glad he's gone.....
By speaking out about this problem in the military, he is doing much more for our nation than many there ever will.
I don't think most people believe there is a problem with this in the military. This is a guy who has his own set of problems and looks to blame them on everyone else. Definitely not leadership material. And yes, he could have quit after two years no questions asked. Why did he stay? Because he wanted to! Only when he found out he wasn't going to be an officer did he drum up the religion card.
Many people won't speak out when they still feel they have something to lose. Once there's nothing to lose you may as well tell it as it is. I've no idea what happened as we don't have enough information, but he certainly could have held his tongue while he thought it mattered.
Coward and a quitter.
In the land of religious fanatics, how could he ever be a coward when he dared to publicly himself nonreligious? I am atheist, I am afraid to say so when I am in good ole 'merica.
I know you like it to be that way, but as you can see things might be changing thanks to leaders like him.
Wow! How disingenuous. You KNOW him to be a coward? Really? How so?
Calling out the Military in this or any country is not cowardice. Dumb maybe but NOT cowardly.
Your bias is showing.
So, this guy gets 4 years of taxpayer funded military education, and then decides not to serve in the military. Nice. Wish I could have taken his spot
Did you read the article? He wasn't going to get commissioned. That was West Point's decision.
The reason that the service academies exist is the training of military officers! If this guy is not suitable to become an officer after graduation, why was he still at the academy? is he sending a check to the U.S.A. to cover the cost incurred for his education?
The guy in the article is either lying or was probably in trouble with the school and decided to quit before the truth really came out. During my stint in the Corps I was a openly an atheist and never had a issue with anyone from any religious background. The former cadet needs to wake up and realize that 90% of the military is christian and he is going to have to deal with it eventually. If he has a problem with this now he was never going to make it as an officer leading troops from all over the country where people have very different beliefs on just about every issue out there.
I get the feeling that there is something else going on. If you join a culture, and the service academies have their own distinct cultures, you have to expect to conform to a large extent. Immigrants often expect to be able to keep the culture from their home country intact and it does not work very well.
You don't go into the military expecting you have to take on a particular religious view. You're fighting precisely for the separation of church and state, why would you think the culture doing that fighting would be ignoring this principle?
BS he just doesn’t want to serve his obligation in the military and can’t clime to be gay now. He is going to try to find a collage to accept his credits and walk away with a free engineering degree. The military need to make him pay back every penny they have put into him up to now.
Amen. You have seen the lIght!
Good for him! Its time we start standing up tp the Evangelical Christian Terrorists and take America back. FOr too long all of humanity has been suffering from Constatine's mistake.
How about standing up to the evangelical atheists who have no more proof whether God exists or not than the religious have. Atheism is as much a faith as any religion.
As a devout disbeliever, I care not a bit what you believe and make no effort to convince you to believe otherwise. All I ask of believers is that they do the same, whether in the military or anywhere else in society.
If the atheists started tormenting classmates at the military academies I would hope someone should stand up to them too. That doesn't negate the point that you need to stand up to the current set of buyying fundamentalist Christians.
Nonsense – Atheism is the absence of faith in the hypothesis that there is a super-human sitting behind the curtain pulling the levers.
You dont even know if what this cadet posted is true. You just assume there is this evangelical conspiracy to force ppl to believe in their faith. You are pathetic Miwa. As in atheist I am getting real tired of this religious persecution. My belief in no god is the same as someones belief in god. There is no difference between someone trying to force religious beliefs and someone trying to force non-religious beliefs. I have never heard of any of the accusations this former cadet is stating. No none I have talked to who went to west point even remotely mentioned this and a good number of them were liberal so I dont believe this guy for a second
he talks about church and state. i was in the military, preety sure you are a federial employee and this does not violate speration of church and state......"state" not country. I just think he could not hack it in the military.
"State" means "country". Do you seriously not know that or are you putting us on?
Sounds like he had mental issues. He made the correct choice. The US military doesn't need someone unbalanced like that being in command of anybody.
I also dont believe in religion and managed to serve 32 years in the Navy without ever seeing the rampant problem that this poor boy says he saw. Save blatent personal attacks for someone else. He just didnt like where he was an at the wise old age of 23 decided if he couldnt have it his way he was done. Good riddance.
Here here Randy. I've never served but have had many friends serve and this has never even remotely come up and most of them were definitely NOT religious. This former cadet is pathetic. Depression? Anxiety? Dude, sorry your father died but ppl die ALL THE TIME.....get over it.
I was saying the same thing. I retired at 22 years in and the only time a religious activity was "forced" was bowing my head during a benediction at a retirement or change of command. This guy found an easy way out and I am sure other people will use this too soon, to get out of a deployment.
He said he had clinical depression, I believe that qualifies as a mental disorder.
It doesn't work that way. Demanding for evidence that something doesn't exist is outlandish. You can think of a number of extraordinary fictional beings, and you wouldn't be able to disprove their existence any better.
Furthermore, he doesn't insult their religion here.
I didn't know anyone who joined the military who wasn't a religious nut, to be honest
How covenient for you Blake--4 years of eduction paid for, no commitment to the Military, now on to bigger and better things and, oh by the way, you can say they prosletyzed you too much. In short terms you are a con-artist and those that believe you are "suckers."
Why is hsi story so unfathomable to you? This happens in the military, or do you not know anyone in the military? I know myself from an atheist brother who was in the military about virtually forced religious services.
You have issues. No first hand knowledge however.
I have first hand knowledge and it is true. Those that think this kid is wrong and full of it are religious, that simple. This is exactly what those of us had to put up with in the military. Hey if you don't like it get out; after 10 years I did and am so glad, I should never have stayed that long but I thought I was protecting my nation, even those of you that feel you have the right that i helped protect for you by the way, to take my rights away. separation of church and state, this is no place for religion, let me die in peace if it is meant to be.
The Attorney General or Secretary of Defense should look into this. If true it is kind of creepy, watch The Handmaid's Tale..
It's amazing how if one person considers themselves "not religious" how everyone else around them is required to follow their beiliefs. It's a good thing this guy did quit. the first time he heard the blast of an IED or a mortar round hitting close by he'd become religious real quick!!! By the way smokers get extra passes for their "activities" too.
You are truly lacking in reading comprehension skills, and neurons. It is the other way aroudn sweetie, it is reliegious control freaks wanting everybody to bend over to their gods :).
This man is a national hero. He TRULY represents the ideal of American freedom, thank you very much.
day: you dont even know if its true. You just blindly believe whatever this guy is saying...which is funny cause you insult ppl for blindly believing in god. Maybe you should stop commenting until you stop being a liberal lemming.
I was under the impression that heros actually do something. He quit, and just wants to complain when there he has no evidence to support his cries for atteention. In fact, the evidence looks like he was deemed mentally unfit to be an officer.
This cadet is telling the truth. The culture of forced Christianity Insanity needs to GO! When I went thru Naval Aviation Officer Candidate training in 1969 we were pushed to participate in protestant services. I had to tell them I was Jewish, but Jews were allowed to attend Temple only on Thursday night which is not even our Sabbath. So, I didn't go, and Sunday morning I got to sleep in. Whew!
1969???? Ancient history. No this Cadet is telling a lie in order to get his education paid for free and clear of any committment. You didn't go through that in 1969.
Except the same things happened to me all throughout my 8 years of service. Forced to go to prayers, treated like crap. Stay and scrub toilets or go to Church? Seem fair?
He will also get stuck with a huge bill, so people saying he abused the system are confused.
Excwept, his education was already paid for. He could finish his degree at USMA and graduate and have no military commitement, because the ARMY had decided that he was unqualified. He chose not to finish.
This country was based on Pilgrims and religion is embedded in it's very core. I am by no means a religious nut, but I think that it should be important to keep it in our faith as a nation because it's a major reason of why we are all here. The military being a branch of the government, it is important for them to practice this. If you can't handle that, then you are not fit for to represent our country. Just ask yourself these 2 questions. If you joined the military and went to war over a Gaza/Israel conflict, how would you represent our country, defending two nations fighting over solely religious purposes? What if you had joined the military in Israel, Iran, Egypt, Palestine, etc.. and quit because of their religion, how would their military/press treat you?
Quitter. Good luck in the outside world. Couldn't handle a death in the family nor adapt to military lifestyle. Imagine what the overwhelming stresses of combat would have done to your untempered glass pane of self worth and inner strength. Not everybody can cut it and clearly you couldn't. Bye Bye.
That Establishment Clause is a real tough concept for you, huh?
Somebody using the system to get a free education and then ducking out of his committment is a real tough concept for you?
This is not Congress.
Good riddens!! your not cadet material!! But always remember you can make something good out of your life because with god, all things are possible!!
Thanks for that, Perpetual Private No Class Bad Grammar.
Good job! You get an A.
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