American Atheists Supports the MRFF

The Current Wording of AFI 1-1 Must be Preserved

Read American Atheists President David Silverman’s letter here (PDF format):

MRFF letter

Text of President Silverman’s letter:

June 9, 2014

General Mark Welsh:

As President of American Atheists, I write to express my outrage at the Air Force’s proposal to weaken
regulations in Paragraphs 2.11 and 2.12 of Air Force Instruction 1-1, prohibiting airmen from abusing their
positions of authority for the purpose of religious proselytization. I share the grave objections of Mikey
Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to this proposal and will fight any attempt by
religious extremists to abuse their positions as leaders in the military by forcing religion into a place where
it does not belong.

It is the duty of every airman to defend the Constitution of the United States, including the First
Amendment’s protection of religious belief or nonbelief. The proposed changes to AFI 1-1 would
undermine the freedom of religion for minority believers and non-believers, a foundation of the promise of
our nation. The task of protecting our nation is already a difficult one; creating an environment in which
religious participation is implicitly or explicitly demanded and expected makes it an even harder one for
atheists and members of religious minority groups.

It could not be more simple: The Air Force does not need a regulation protecting the free expression of
religion because
1. The First Amendment already guarantees airmen that right, and
2. The proposed regulations override current regulation protecting the rights of subordinate airmen
from proselytization from their superiors.

Air Force Instruction 1-1 protects the rights of all airmen, not just religious minorities and atheists, to do
their jobs without being pressured into kowtowing to a god they lack belief in, lest they face unfair or
unequal treatment during the course of their work.

Whether a superior airman’s religious belief is “sincerely held” or not is completely irrelevant to their duty
to uphold the Constitution. This language is a smoke screen designed to excuse impermissible behavior
which would “degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force” and “degrade the trust and
confidence that the public” and other airmen have in the United States Air Force. Accordingly, it has no
place in Air Force regulations.

On behalf of our members and all those who respect, understand, and value a secular government and a
military free from abuses of authority in the name of religion, I urge you to reject the proposed changes to
AFI 1-1.

Sincerely,

David P. Silverman
President

CC:
Ms Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force
General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Admiral A. Winnefield Jr., Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations
General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Mr. Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq., MRFF
  • X-Christian

    Thanks David Silverman!
    You are doing great work. Hopefully we can turn back the tide of Christian privilege.

    • Anti-Jew

      Don’t forget about those priviledged Jews and Muslims too! Jews and Muslins are ruining our society and we need to stop them NOW! I hope David Silverman takes care of them soon too!

      (Sorry if we’re only attacking Christians here ….)

      • X-Christian

        Why are you talking about your little penis?

        You have a problem with your jesus being non-existent? Just pretend – just like you do when you ponder your little penis being big someday. Jesus is BS. And that won’t change either.

        There are no gods; jesus, allah, yahweh – they are all nonexistent – these gods are the BS of the world. But your Nazi Jew hating thingy will be fun to rail against.

        I’m an Ex – Christian for you slow anti-jew folks.

        • Rt

          Apparently you don’t recognize sarcasm, so I’ll be more direct : is it Christianity that atheists oppose, or all religious belief? It often seems (such as in the original post) that atheism is simply anti-Christianity.

          I have great respect for all religions, Jews and Muslims included.

          It’s also hard to convince anyone of anything (other than your own immaturity) when you use penis references.

          • X-Christian

            Atheist = “I do not believe in God, I don’t think there is a god.”

            Theist = “I KNOW GOD EXISTS, and I KNOW WHICH GOD IS THE TRUE GOD !”

            Theist – Muslim (Allah is true)
            Theist – Christian (Jesus is true)
            Theist – Jews (Yahweh is true)
            Theist – Theravada Buddhist (spirit is true)
            Theist – Aztecs (Hummingbird wizard is true)
            Theist – Incas (Devil God is true)
            Theist – Vickings (Thor is true)
            Theist – Greeks (Zeus is true)
            Theist – Egyptians (Osiris and Isis are True)
            Theist – Hindus (Ganesha and Vishnu are true)

            Only the Theists are certain to be wrong because all of these gods cannot be real.

            The Atheist is much more likely to be right.

          • Do Your Homework

            That’s completely illogical. For starters, you do realize that the Muslims, Christians, and Jews all agree that they believe in the same God, right?

            Secondly, the idea that different cultures / religions have different conceptions of God does not invalidate the correctness of a belief in God. If one person thinks a cloud looks like a horse and another person thinks a cloud looks like a camel, that doesn’t mean the cloud doesn’t exist.

            But please continue using copy-and-paste arguments — it shows just how little you understand about religious belief, regardless of whether you choose to accept it or not.

          • X-Christian

            ISLAM SAYS TO OTHERS:

            “The only true faith in God’s
            sight is Islam.” (Surah 3:19)

            “Fighting is obligatory for you,
            much as you dislike it.” (Surah 2:216)

            “Believers, take neither Jews
            nor Christians for your friends.” (Surah 5:51)

            JUDAISM SAYS TO OTHERS:

            “Cursed be he who does the Lords
            work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.”
            (Jeremiah 48:10

            “Seize all the non-believers and
            execute them before the LORD in broad daylight…” (Numbers 25:1-9)

            CHRISTIANITY SAYS TO OTHERS:

            “To those who would not have me
            as their king, bring them to me and EXECUTE THEM in front of me” – JESUS
            (Luke 19:27)

          • Do Your Homework

            For an atheist to claim they understand someone’s religion better than the believer himself is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard

            Scouring atheist websites for quotes and then copy-pasting them into your comments is just further proof of that point. I presume you’ve actually read the Quran (preferably in Arabic), at least a couple of well-regarded tafsir, and spoken to Muslim scholars, right? Or are you incapable of more than repeating inaccurate and out of context quotes you didn’t even gather yourself?

          • X-Christian

            Ignorant fool.
            Almost all atheists are former believers.
            God Smoke a goat for your lord (Exodus 20:19)
            Snort some fairy dust but leave me out of it!

            Your religion is immoral nonsense.

          • Har

            So much easier to hunt for funny Old Testament quotes than to discuss modern belief, isn’t it? How many goats have been smoked by Christians in the last 500 years?

            Pity you have such a warped view of believers …

          • X-Christian

            Old Testament? Ignorant fool.

            “Execute them in Front of me” – Jesus Christ (Luke 19:27)
            “Drown them with a millstone” – Jesus
            “I have come to burn the world” – Jesus
            “If you have money, buy a sword” – Jesus
            “I am impatient to bring division” – Jesus
            “I bring not peace, but a sword” – Jesus
            “The Master (Myself) will cut him to pieces” – Jesus
            “Judge them unworthy…remove your blessing of peace” – Jesus

            You know nothing of your bible and you know nothing of science. That puts you in a very ignorant place indeed.

          • A real scientist

            You do realize that Christianity does not equal the Bible, right? Even the Cathechism of the Catholic Church states that Christianity is not a “religion of the book”

            And speaking of science — are you, in fact, a degreed scientist? I am, so unless you also have graduate degrees in science, I would suggest thatnyou refrain from telling people they “know nothing of science”

            Oh, and I would be VERY happy to prove my credentials by discussing the derivation of some obscure mathematical theorem or the latest journal articles in physics, etc.

          • X-Christian

            I’m glad to know you do not believe in the Bible.

            “He is Risen” is nonsense and you apparently agree.
            Welcome to your life as a non-believer of Scripture. We have a word for people who do not believe scripture:

            We call them Atheists.

            Welcome to Atheism.

          • No

            “So much easier to hunt for funny Old Testament quotes than to discuss modern belief, isn’t it?”
            You say that now, but bring up any convenient issue upon which “Christians” are hot-and-bothered about today (homosexuality, birth control, divorce), and y’all are pounding that book of yours (especially the Old Testament) and screaming those “funny Old Testament quotes” at max volume!

          • Robert Liles

            In all fairness, this was referring to the parable of the ten talents or minas. It wasn’t that Jesus was sayingn literally to execute anyone in front of his eyes who didn’t believe it Jesus. I don’t believe in religion of course, but I think it needs to be pointed out it was a reference to not sharing the idea about Jesus’ message?

            Just sayin’

          • X-Christian

            Actually, you are incorrect.
            Jesus meant exactly what he said, “Execute them in front of me” according to every exegesis of the meaning of “The Parable of the 10 Minas” (Luke 19)

            Jesus is the Nobleman in the story according to every interpretation by every Christian scholar on record.
            The point of the parable of the minas is a lesson about obedience to the master and the giving to the nobleman what he had demanded of them.
            Evangelicals and Catholics refer to this parable as the explanation for the second coming – when Jesus will separate the “wheat from the chaff” and destroy those who did not follow him properly – as is referenced in another saying of Jesus.

            Most Christians give no thought to reading their bible and this is why they believe this garbage. I was a Christian for 44 years and raised my children in it – Christianity is just fear and obedience and it is immoral nonsense.

          • R J

            Sour grapes

          • X-Christian

            Do your homework. You know very little about religion.

          • Andre Nel

            Christians and Jews both believe Yahweh (YHWH or JEWE) is God – The only difference is that Christians believe Jesus (YHWSO or JEWSO) is Yahweh Who saves (YHW = Yahweh, SO = Saves).

            Out of your list, only the religions still in existence, should be regarded as valid, and it boils down to only two trees:

            Tree1:
            Judaism (start <2000 BC, (gave rise to)->
            Christianity (start 35 AD, 30% world’s population – half of which is Catholic)
            <-(opposed by)<-
            Islam (start 600 AD, 23% world's population)

            Tree2:
            Hinduism (start (gave rise to)->
            Buddhism (start +- 500BC, 6% of world’s population)

            then there is the religion called Atheism:

            (start +- 1800 AD) Atheism (2% of world’s population)

            and then

            non-religious (+-16% of world’s population)

            So your choices are:

            1.a Yahweh Elohim is my God but I deny Jesus Christ is the Messiah (Judaism)
            1.b Yahweh Elohim is my God and He came as Jesus Christ the Messiah (Christianity)
            1.b Allah is my god and I deny Jesus Christ is God (Islam)

            2.a Everything or anythings can be my god (Hinduism)

            2.b I will become my own god (Buddhism)

            3. there is no god (Atheism)

            but don’t forget there is also satanism:
            4. the enemy of God is my god

            and then the 5th choice:
            5. who cares… I’ve got other stuff to do…

            I put it to you that there are only 2 choices: either Jesus Christ is your God or the enemy of Jesus Christ is your God.

            choose wisely… look at their fruits… humanity has flourished under TRUE Christianity…

          • X-Christian

            There is no good reason to believe in any of these gods.

          • X-Christian

            I don’t believe in satan either. Where is Satan?
            Where is the evidence that Satan is real? And why is Zoroaster identical to Jesus long before there even was a claim about Jesus?
            Why did so many other gods (which you say are false) live and die and then get resurrected?
            Why is the Jesus story more important than the Dionysus story? Or the Xalmoxis story?
            They are all the same story and they are older than Jesus.
            That doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t real – it just means there is no reason to believe the Jesus story either.

          • nonreligous

            (rolls eyes)

          • nonreligous

            Yay!!!! someone has sense!!!!

          • No

            “is it Christianity that atheists oppose, or all religious belief”
            It’s not opposition, so much as understanding that it’s a completely contrived set of fiction.
            The only “opposition” you’ll see from most atheists is when a religious believer uses privileged position (especially government) to impose his belief in those fictions upon others (by attempting to compel them to express agreement or live under the tenets of that fictional system), or when they’re attacked professionally or personally for being rational and not having a belief in a fantasy.

          • nonreligous

            what the fuck

        • David K.

          Actually, so far as I am aware, when it comes to serious historical scholarship, the “Jesus Myth” theory (the theory that there was no Galilean Peasant who caused a stir in Judea circa 30 C.E. and got Himself crucified, somehow inspiring a religion in the process) is about as reputable as “Flood Theory” is to serious geological scholarship. The fact of the matter is that we have a reference to a brother of “Jesus who was called the Christ” in Josephus, a reference to a “Christus” who received the “extreme penalty” in Tacitus, and at least 27 books claiming to be inspired by the figure, all written within less than a century of his life. However mythologized He may have been by later authors, it’s about as reasonable to deny the existence of a “Jesus of Nazareth” as it is to deny the Holocaust.

        • EXISTING

          You are non existent. I love god always and forever. If you don’t. Keep it to your non existing self.
          JESUS SAVES . I love Jesus . We don’t want people like u in church. So stay home for Christmas . Who the the heck cares what you do, where you go, on Christ mas

          • nonreligous

            what the fuck (LOL)

  • Justin Waltman

    As a member of the Air Force… I really hope this letter speaks to him.

  • Tyler Burdette

    To say there is no evidence for a creator is like saying the thousands of paintings in an art museum couldn’t have been painted because there are no artists visible in the gallery.

    • Cthulhu21

      /:|… We know artists made those paintings because we’ve seen artists make painting before and have historical evidence to reinforce that. What evidence do you have that a creator made things like trees, rocks, or us? And what does this have to do with the situation in the artical?

    • j daniel

      Are you seriously trolling here with that tired, defunct analogy?

  • Tenton

    The Armed Forces need “Atheist Chaplains” as well as “religious chaplains”…..Religious folks are given Commissions in the Armed Forces whereas “non-believers” (Human Beings) usually are not promoted because of their belief in “Truth”. Good Letter, David. (Were you formerly associated with the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC ? If so, You did good work in those days !!!)

  • Tenton

    For about 30 years I have been following the actions of ISLAM. My conclusion is that today’s Islam is not the Religion of the Prophet Muhamad(Pbuh)…and it has no been so since the time of Umar the Conqueror…many centuries ago. The Prophet (Pbuh) and is Wife Khadijah(Obm) had less than most ordinary Muslims…by their own choice.
    The massive bloodshed in the Middle East and other parts of the world involving Islamics will not stop until Our Arabic (and other) Peoples, either successfully change the Holy Quran drastically (Many are trying to do this..at the risk of their lives..) OR….all Peoples abandon today’s false Islamic Religion.
    Muslims have been killing Muslims since the time of the assassination of “Ali”…and only the abandonment of this so-called religion will put an end to misery and death for Our Arabic Peoples ..and others who call themselves Muslims. This spectacle of Muslims murdering Muslims throughout the Middle East is “Proof of the Pudding” for what I have said. These are some of the worst massacres of which Humanity has ever been capable of carrying out….in my opinion. Thank you.
    Tenton Nelson Horton WV USA

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