Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Right To Not Believe

Soldier Jeremy Hall says he "was ashamed to say that [he is] an atheist..." during his tour in Iraq, but did so when he was directly asked by his commander, after an enemy attack, if he believed in God. For "coming out" of his atheist closet, some of Hall's peers labeled him "immoral", "a devil worshipper" and--OF COURSE--"gay".

After all the love & all the good deeds associated with Religion American Style, I couldn't begin to understand why this soldier can't find it in his heart to believe in God (I hope you can detect facetiousness when you read it!). :-/

Of course, it goes without saying that any of us American citizens has the right to believe (or not believe) in whatever higher being(s) or lack thereof suits us. That right is not removed or diminished when the uniform of the US Armed Forces is put on either; to the contrary, that right is made more real when you place your actual life & limb & blood on the line to fight for that right and all the others we cherish in the Land of The Free. Jeremy Hall has nothing to be ashamed of...unlike those who feel the need to hurl epithets & who obviously delight in bearing false witness against a brother soldier.

Not that I am advocating atheism, but I can see how some people could come to that conclusion. Unfortunately, not every person driven away from Religion will be able to Keep The Faith. So many mistakenly (I feel) believe that Religion=Faith. It took me a while to really understand that Religion & Faith are really antonyms.

This is certainly a case, for me, of "I may not agree with what you say [believe], but I will defend to the end your right to say [believe] it!"

Since that's what Jeremy is doing for the rest of us, I guess that's only fair.

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