Atheists in Alaska: Chaplain's essay condemned over World War II reference

Monday, July 29, 2013
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

A retired U.S. Army chaplain calls it an outrage that the U.S. Air Force once again caved to the demands of an anti-Christian zealot on a mission to crush religious expression in the military. 

“‘No atheists in foxholes’ has been a saying around the military for decades,” says retired Col. Ron Crews, who served as an Army chaplain for 28 years.

Crews was referring to the backlash directed at Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes, who made reference to the 60-year-old adage in a commentary posted on the military website for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.

Crews, Col. Ron (Chaplain Alliance)Reyes told Todd Starnes at Fox News that the commentary was posted on his “Chaplain’s Corner” and was removed by the base commander.

The commentary was entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave all in World War II.” It retold the story of a Catholic priest who coined the phrase at the battle of Corregidor, when non-Catholics were attending his services.  The priest later died of starvation after sharing his food with others.

Apparently it was the “atheist” portion of the title that hurt the feelings of atheists who read it, since a base spokesman told Starnes the commentary was removed “out of respect for those who considered its title offensive.”

But the atheists weren’t finished with Lt. Colonel Reyes.   

Michael Weinstein, who heads the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, learned of the commentary and is demanding that the Air Force punish Reyes for what he called an “anti-secular diatribe” for using the "no atheists in foxholes" reference.

Weinstein’s organization is demanding “punitive measures” and “counseling” against Reyes, and against those who allowed him to publish the essay on the website.  

Reyes

Weinstein says he created the organization to battle the “far-right, militant, radical, evangelical, religious fundamentalists.”

Crews, meanwhile, serves as executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, which has been documenting anti-religous movement in the military during the Obama administration. 

Crews says Weinstein's Military Religious Freedom Foundation is clearly misnamed.

"The proper name for his organization should be Freedom from Religion Foundation,”  says the former chaplain, “because that appears to be his understanding of what religious freedom means: that there should not be any mention of religion or faith in the public square, and especially in our military."

Crews says the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is asking the chaplain's commander to apologize to Chaplain Reyes and put his posting back on the base website. 

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

If Democrats choose Rep. Keith Ellison to head up the DNC, it will ...

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Trump speaks directly with Taiwan's leader, irking China
  Latest: Police: Shooter impersonated cop at Tacoma mall
  Professor fatally stabbed on USC campus, student arrested
  Dean takes himself out of the race for chairman of DNC
  21 Chinese miners trapped for 4 days confirmed dead
House passes $611 billion defense policy bill
Wildfire deaths include parents of 3 young men
Deputy fatally shoots robbery suspect after church break-in

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Bergdahl requests pardon from President Obama, US officials
Trump speaks with Taiwan's president, risking China tensions
Gingrich: Expect stupid, broken systems to be fixed with Trumpism
Religious freedom law doesn't require removing 'God' from currency, judge rules
GOP lawmakers warn against UN unilaterally declaring Palestinian state

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Gun group not keen on Rep. Jackson Lee to replace Napolitano

A gun rights organization says if Barack Obama taps Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to be the next head of the Department of Homeland Security, Americans could all be longing for the days of outgoing-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.