Wednesday, July 19, 2006

How To Keep Atheists Out Of Your Foxhole

Confrontational atheist science-guy PZ Myers offers his take on the ongoing investigation into the fratricide of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. Nobody but the shooter can say with certainty whether Tillman's death was a fuckup or if it was really a carefully planned murder, and if it was a murder, nobody will ever know for sure why the shooter toadcranked his fellow Ranger. One thing I will go out on a limb and predict right now: even if the Army decides Tillman was murdered, it will not allow evidence to emerge that his religious affiliation was a motive in the crime.

Do I think Tillman was toadcranked for being an atheist? No, not really. But I can't really say I believe it isn't possible. PZ, on the other hand, seems pretty cranked up. Maybe he's been following it more closely than me, and I've just not heard the whole story. I'm doubtful, however.

On a related note, I'm not very optimistic that PZ's plan for getting his kids (and mine) a deferment from the draft will work very well.
One useful thing about all this is that we atheists are going to be able to make the case, if a draft is ever reinstated, that we wouldn't be able to trust our fellow soldiers to refrain from killing us, and that we therefore must have a deferment. I know I would never allow any of my kids to go off to a war where they can't rely on the raving religious fanatics around them…and commanding them.
I don't think they'll be asking us for our permission to give our kids tin hats and guns, and send them off to the 21st century Gallipoli.

They'll just take them— at gunpoint, if necessary. They have ways of making our kids trust their fellow soldiers. And yes, if they ever have to notify us our kids have been scragged by members of their own platoon, then they'll be unbelievably condescending twits when they find out we're atheists. Probably more condescending even than Kauzlarich, since they'll remember how Tillman's family wouldn't lie down for it and they'll come at us fully charged for it.

Wouldn't it be nice if the military had a procedure for investing atheist chaplains?

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