Operation Foxhole Atheists August 31, 2007

Operation Foxhole Atheists

We know our non-religious troops are victims of Evangelical Christian proselytization and that people still say, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

I hadn’t heard about this story, but it also deserves a hearing:

[Operation Foxhole Atheists] started after hearing about several atheist soldiers in Iraq that attempted to start a group at their Forward Operating Base (FOB). They were harassed by a major that threatened to go after them with the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). The soldiers did not violate the UCMJ at all. In fact, the major, by misusing his rank to harass the soldiers and try to trump their attempt to exercise their right in the military to the freedom of religion, violated the UCMJ directly.

“Operation Foxhole Atheists” was started by Blair Scott (Alabama State Director for American Atheists) and the North Alabama Freethought Association.

OFA will send atheists in foxholes special care packages and supportive letters, but they can only do it with your help:

  • Donate goods at any upcoming NAFA event or via postal mail.
  • Donate money to help purchase goods and pay for shipping costs.
  • Send letters and cards to OFA to be forwarded to foxhole atheists.
  • Tell us about foxhole atheists so they can receive care packages from OFA.

Information on where to send any of those things can be found here.

Help them out if you can; it’s a wonderful cause for people who many people don’t even think exist.

(via Bjorn)

[tags]atheist, atheism, military, foxhole[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Thanks for the info! I’ve let my local growing atheist meetup group know about it–maybe we will get something together to send!

  • Sharon

    I’ve never sent generic letters to soldiers. I would like to do this. Can anyone give me a hint about how to address it and what I might talk about?

  • James

    I don’t know if it’s much, but I sent in $30 to them.

    If any group needs funds like this in Iraq, it’s this one in my opinion.

  • Lorem ipsum

    This seems like a good effort, helping those far from home, but a surprising need. God and country are so entertwined these days, it makes me wonder how the atheists got into the foxholes. Religion and patriotism are emotional, not rational, appeals – the belonging, the noble cause, so forth – and patriotism is the ultimate sacred cow since 9/11. It’s riskier to publicly question the war than god. Not so much any more, but it was for several years. How does someone immune to religion come to willingly embrace patriotism, to the extent of going halfway around the world to kill or be killed? The atheists I know are skeptics to the bone – without solid evidence of a cause or a need they would not support a war, and they don’t. At least not the one in Iraq, but they are split on Afghanistan. I would be interested to read it if anyone knows of a first-person account by one of these atheists on the front lines.

  • Andrew

    I have been in contact with one of the junior enlisted soldiers who organized this event. I am trying to convince him to file an EO (Equal Opportunity) complaint against the officer in question. It is my opinion that this officer used the protection of his rank to violate the most basic rights of the soldiers who attended this meeting.

    And sending stuff to soldiers is really easy. You just have to go to the post office (USPS only) with your care package, get a customs form filled out, and send it off. Send snacks and books, toiletries are unnecessary.

  • Yvonne Scott OFA coordinator

    I am the coordinator for Operation Foxhole Atheists. I just wanted to let you guys know that we put together our first wave of packages to be sent out to Jeremy Hall and his fellow foxhole atheists. Thanks so much spreading the word and to all those who donated!

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