YOU ARE IN A "VERBAL SHRAPNEL" RICH DOMAIN
18 November 2008
The Butter-Cutter On Protecting Nonbelievers
On walking into the virtual Mess Hall, I sensed that The Butter-Cutter was going to over-react to the issue at hand. Cautiously, I said, “The Marine Corps Times recently reported that President-Elect Obama has been petitioned to protect nonbelievers in the Armed Forces from those that believe. How do . . .” (1)
“Hold on there Officer-Type,” he said in cutting me off. “Who . . . what's petitionin' . . .what?”
“OK. 'The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers' and 'The Secular Coalition for America' are asking Obama to prevent 'religious discrimination' against those members of the Armed Forces who have 'no religious affiliation,' ” I explained.
“Yer shittin' me, ain't ya?” he said in response. “Yer here today ta mess with my head!”
“No, that's what the article reports.”
“Atheists . . . nonbelievers . . . don’t believe in God; so, they don’t got religion! How the f*** d'ya protect somebody from ‘religious discrimination’ if he ain’t got no religion?” The Butter-Cutter asked.
“Specifically, the petitioners are asking that nonbelievers be 'explicitly' identified as a protected class of personnel,” I further related from the article.
“They wanna be a protected class? Let's see . . . how about me 'n' my buddies gettin' protection cuz we're needy 'Freethinkers' about screwin' 'n' we oughta have them needs protected. That means, the Corps has gotta come up with some chaplainette Celestial Virgins fer 'Freethinker' whoopee services at reveille--ya know that's our most needing . . .”
“STOP!” I shouted before he finished. “You are profaning a serious issue. These people are deeply concerned as demonstrated by their petition to the president-elect. They want protection from religious groups proselytizing them.”
“Pros . . . elly . . . sizing . . . ya mean they don't want anybody ta talk ta them about religion?” he asked.
“Well . . . it's . . . kind of like that,” I said hesitatingly.
“So, if some guy says: 'Hey man, come on over ta my place 'n' try some bagels 'n' Jewish sushi,' he could get hammered? Er some Mackerel-Snapper sayin' 'Merry Christmas' ta somebody could get Office Hours? How about one o' them Muhammad-types sayin' 'Uh salami? I like 'em!' Does he go ta the brig?” The Butter-Cutter asked.
“Those things seem innocent enough,” I suggested.
“Oh, yeah? I hear some religions make their . . . 'affiliated' go out ta get nonbelievers ta join up: when Catholics get confirmed they're told that they're soldiers fer Christ 'n' their supposed ta go out 'n' spread the word; them Evangelicals . . . they're supposed ta do like them confirmed Catholics in puttin' out the 'good news'; Mormons gotta put in time recruitin' new Mormons; 'n', so on. That's all part o' practicin' their religions, I'm told!”
“Now you are closing in on the issue. These petitioners want protection from the actions you just described. They say, and I quote from the article, 'What we are asking is that nontheistic service personnel be extended the same institutional protections and support that traditional faith groups enjoy.' ”
“Halleluiah! That's it. The believers got the right ta believe out loud 'n' the nonbelievers can non-believe out loud! How's that fer equal protection, rights, 'n' all that good shit? Did I solve the problem?” he said with a smug.
“No! That's not the solution,” I corrected The Butter-Cutter.
“Bull Shit! That IS the solution! Everybody in the military swore ta defend the Constitution 'n' the last time I checked it guarantees the 'FREE EXERCISE THEREOF' religion. So, what the f*** d'ya think 'free exercise' means? We can all go ta Gold's Gym 'n' pump iron without payin' money? Hell NO! it means ya can 'exercise' yer religion 'n' the government can't keep ya from doin' it!” he shot back. (2)
“These people are nonbelievers and they do not want other's trying to foist their religious beliefs on them: They want freedom FROM religion!” I corrected again The Butter-Cutter.
“First of all, the Constitution don't got the word 'nonbeliever' in it; so, them petitioners got a problem from the git go. In the same breath, the Constitution gives ALL o' us the same protection OF religion 'n' OF speech. The Constitution don't give ANY protection ta anybody FROM religion er FROM speech! That's what the Constitution does with its words. If ya don't got that loaded in yer brain housing group, go read the Constitution! Then, tell them nonbeliever petitioners ta get 'AFFILIATED' WITH THE CONSTITUTION BY READIN' IT!” he shouted out in closing. (2)
Anthony F. Milavic
Major USMC (Ret.)