Hall alleges he was denied his constitutional right to hold a meeting to discuss atheism while he was deployed in Iraq with his military police unit. He says in the new complaint that his promotion was blocked after the commander of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley sent an e-mail post-wide saying Hall had sued.
Obviously it's unfair not to allow a meeting among atheists in the military. As a support group, I see nothing wrong with atheists meeting just as a Christian group might. But, if either group is bashing the beliefs of others during said meetings, then we would have a problem. There is no evidence that this is the case.
The lawsuit alleges that Gates permits a military culture in which officers are encouraged to pressure soldiers to adopt and espouse fundamentalist Christian beliefs, and in which activities by Christian organizations are sanctioned.
That is the wrong approach, IMHO. You can't "pressure" anyone to believe anything. I'm not sure why anyone would attempt to do so.
According to the lawsuit, Hall was counseled by his platoon sergeant after being informed that his promotion was blocked. He says the sergeant explained that Hall would be "unable to put aside his personal convictions and pray with his troops" and would have trouble bonding with them if promoted to a leadership position.
Again, ya can't block a promotion just because someone is an atheist. Now, personally, if I was under the supervision of an atheist during my time in duty, it would be more than a little depressing, but there wouldn't be a thing I could do about it. If I was in combat and daily putting my life on the line, the very last thing I want to deal with is whether it would be politically incorrect to mention my faith or perhaps be ridiculed for doing so.
"It shouldn't matter if one is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist," said Pedro Irigonegaray, an attorney whose firm filed the lawsuit. "In the military, all are equal and to be considered equal."
Yeah, too bad they aren't all considered equal in academia. If this soldier is looking for a more welcoming environment, perhaps he should get out of the military and go back to school...in fact, if he majors in the field of science, he'll be welcomed with open arms!
Good 'ol Pedro...always right in the middle of the battle for atheism, Darwinism, gay rights. I wonder if he'd take a case for someone who had to deal with opposition from Darwinist professors who discriminated against a student who supported Intelligent Design.
Nah, not a chance.