Contrary to the popular adage, it appears there are plentry of atheists in the American military. And they may be facing discrimination. Army Spc. Jeremy Hall went to war a true believer. But after two tours of duty in Iraq, he no longer has faith in god. Apparently, the army is no place for a non-believer:
His sudden lack of faith, he said, cost him his military career and put his life at risk. Hall said his life was threatened by other troops and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him out of fear for his safety.
So, Hall is now suing the military. Not for cash, but to ensure atheists receive their constitutional rights to freedom of religion- or lack of religion- while serving in the armed forces. Among Hall's claims is that the US Army is turning into a de facto Christian organization through the work of evangelical groups like Christian Embassy. And that's a big problem, considering the whole separation of church and state thing enshrined in the constitution the military ostensibly exists to protect.
I hope Hall is successful. For constitutional and scary "God's army" reasons, but also to protect a vital principle of our civic lives together: it's cool if you want to believe in God. But in no way does that give you the right to impose that belief on others.