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Cadet Quits, Cites Overt Religion at West Point


Society & Culture  (tags: americans, freedoms, religion, society, ethics, culture, abuse, corruption, rights, sadness, society )

Carrie
- 499 days ago - news.msn.com
A cadet quitting West Point less than six months before graduation says he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayers and religious activities and disrespects nonreligious cadets.



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Comments

John B. (215)
Wednesday December 5, 2012, 10:45 pm
Thanks Carrie for the link to the article by Michael Hill. I hope this will focus a BIG spotlight on this problem not only in the Academies but in the armed forces overall. Read and noted.
 

Susanne R. (248)
Wednesday December 5, 2012, 10:56 pm
I can understand how faith would play an important role in the life of someone who puts him- or herself in harm's way, but that's not necessarily true for everyone. Religion shouldn't be forced on anyone.
 

Roger M. (0)
Thursday December 6, 2012, 12:41 am
Disturbing.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Thursday December 6, 2012, 12:43 am
Noted.
 

Jerry B. (118)
Friday December 7, 2012, 9:55 pm
Noted interesting artical..thanks Carrie!
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Friday December 7, 2012, 10:41 pm
It is disturbing, but not necessarily for the reasons immediately apparent:

It has been known for a long time that religion can be a powerful tool against depression. This cadet was diagnosed with depression, and likely had religion suggested as a means of recovery. Looking at a soldier's life on deployment, lack of sleep, regularly facing conditions which would normally be mind-numbing, dealing with death from every possible angle, it looks like it could cause some serious depression to me. Even if soldiers came in secular, or religious but not so much so as to interfere with their work, I am worried that they may become heavily religious over their careers. I don't generally have a problem with that, but a heavily Christian culture in the U.S. military is not exactly going to undermine the anti-Western militias' recruitment-strategy wherein they paint the war on terrorism as a war on Islam, nor is it going to help win the hearts and minds of civilians in counterinsurgencies where that is absolutely central to the war-effort. It's a problemand there may be no solution.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 1:49 am
Thanks, Carrie. *I'm sorry I'm unable to send you a star since I sent one in the past week.
Good for the Military Freedom From Religion Foundation! But, this is terribly sad and wrong for the cadet. He is a true hero.
 

Mitchell D. (123)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 2:27 am
Thanks for posting this.
I wish this young man good luck in ALL his endeavors.
 

Carrie B. (279)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 2:32 am
Too many have ignored this issue. That make me very sad!
 

Frank S. (435)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 3:18 am
The blending of religion with senseless violence, sounds like something only men who are spiritually blind would follow.

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."- Webster's Bible Translation
 

Sarah G. (110)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 3:26 am
It is playing with fire to mix religious fanaticism with military indoctrination.
 

John Gregoire (248)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 6:34 am
I was a professor at Annapolis and NEVER saw enforced religion. I did see and changed some horrible and abusive practices against women who were new to the academies at that point. John B, what the heck are you inferring? Pls explain privately as your comments imply knowledge. Have you served? Where, when and for hoe long?

The academies always lose a few at two critical decision points. This is one where the kid just eralized he was goinf out to play in IED country in a few months time and chose the coward's way out.
 

Phil R. (29)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 6:39 am
"Page criticized a culture where cadets stand silently for prayers, where nonreligious cadets were jokingly called "heathens" by instructors at basic training and where one officer told him he'd never be a leader until he fills the hole in his heart."

If this is true, this type of activity is both unnecessary and unconstitutional. The military has no business coercing people into any specific belief system.
It's quite possible that his depression was brought on or exacerbated by the pressure he was under to submit to religion.

I would think that the USMA and all other branches of the military would be aware that there are people of various beliefs serving this country. To expect all military personnel to subscribe to religion is not only unreasonable, it is un-American.

 

Frank S. (435)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 6:43 am
Throughout world History, evil men have twisted the world’s religions to suit and benefit them as instruments of their greed. Always to justify themselves and their wishes, usually a lust powered by a desire for possessing power over people, by the taking of their wealth, land, humanity, etc. Weapons are meant to kill, war is used only to destroy, and unbridled hate which is used in the name of God’s religion of love and mercy is evil!

This makes me very sad, because these types of people are not only destroying themselves, but they are also hurting innocent people, who trust and believe in them. All of humanity loses, when men around the entire world mix religious beliefs with beliefs of violence and war.

But make no mistake they all in the end will be held accountable one day before the awesome and one and only, true God!
 

Sherri O. (256)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 1:47 pm
Oh, boo-hoo. Too bad for Page. Let him get ear plugs. For young people risking their lives, prayer, and a belief in God, is a great sense of comfort. Too hell with the whiners and all the politically correct sob slobs.
 

Phil P. (88)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 1:53 pm
I'm surprised (not really) that someone hasn't filed a law suit on these practices of the Military. At every government conference sponsored by any military or quasi-military organization that I've attended over 30 years of Govt service, there has not been one where the conference hasn't been opened with an invocation in the name of Jesus Christ and some high ranking officer hasn't expounded on his faith and devotion. And don't get me started on the pressure to attend Payer Breakfasts.

I understand mere mortals, civilian and military, are reluctant to play the Constitution card against god-like Generals and the 2nd tier that want-a-be.
 

Susan Allen (209)
Saturday December 8, 2012, 9:14 pm
Religion is rampant in the military. I worked for the Army as a civilian for about 15 years and I remember the "prayer breakfast" get togethers they had at least once a month or more often and those were mandatory type events. Seems like it was sometime in the 80s when all the religious stuff really started big time which figures since that's when Reagan came in and when Jerry Fallwell started his Moral Majority crusade. I can only imagine how bad it's gotten over the years. As the right-wing religious fundamentalists have invaded our government, they have infiltrated our military just as strongly, if not more, because, as someone noted, soldiers going into harms way, many times want religious counselling. The Blackwater civilian agency that was over in Iraq during the war, until they got thrown out, were very religious. Their leader, Eric Prince, is an extreme fundamentalist nut. I mean, under the guise of "America" at least one or two of our religious leaders, Franklin Graham for one, were over in Iraq handing out bibles trying to convert muslims. And then there's the "Christian Embassy" which all of our top military brass belong to as well as many other governmental heads. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Embassy It's extremely scary how much fundamentalist religious BS has invaded our government. I'm very proud of this man for leaving West Point. Hopefully, it will bring some attention to what's going on.
 

Alllan Yorkowitz (462)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 10:51 am
I question this cadet's reason for entering the military in the first place.
 

pam w. (187)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:39 pm
Sherrie O's comments reflect EXACTLY what's so wrong about this story!

Being forced to take part in religious observances is wrong! It's unproductive. It's divisive. And, in a nation where "freedom of religion" ALSO means "freedom FROM religion" it's especially oppressive.

Teach the cadets how to LEAD....don't beat them into submission with your religion!

So...thanks so much, Sherrie O for your intelligent, sensitive and empathetic approach. (Get the sarcasm?)

(I hope this fellow's book sells a million copies!)
 
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