When Bush said it was a ‘Crusade’ he really meant it;
Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats
Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!”
Complaints include prayers “in Jesus’ name” at mandatory functions, which violates military regulations, and officers proselytizing subordinates to be “born again.” After getting the complainants’ unit and command information, Mr. Weinstein said, he calls his contacts in the military to try to correct the situation.
“Religion is inextricably intertwined with their jobs,” Mr. Weinstein said. “You’re promoted by who you pray with.”
Specialist Hall came to atheism after years as a Christian. He was raised Baptist by his grandmother in Richlands, N.C., a town of fewer than 1,000 people. She read the Bible to him every night, and he said he joined the Army “to make something of myself.”
“I thought going to Iraq was right because we had God on our side,” he said in an interview near Fort Riley.
In the summer of 2005, after his first deployment to Iraq, Specialist Hall became friends with soldiers with atheist leanings. Their questions about faith prompted him to read the Bible more closely, which bred doubts that deepened over time.
Though with a different unit now at Fort Riley, Specialist Hall said the backlash had continued. He has a no-contact order with a sergeant who, without provocation, threatened to “bust him in the mouth.” Another sergeant allegedly told Specialist Hall that as an atheist, he was not entitled to religious freedom because he had no religion.