I’ve heard about evangelism and proselytizing at West Point for years … kudos to this guy for taking a stand and letting himself be heard. If I found myself in that position, I would likely have just gone through the motions of believing / praying / going to church whenever anyone was looking since it doesn’t change what I believe in the slightest. Maybe that makes me a coward; maybe it means I would just choose my battles differently.
A West Point cadet publicly announced his decision to quit the prestigious military academy just months before graduating to protest what he sees as the illegal infusion of military procedures and events with fundamentalist Christian proselytizing.
“Countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution,” wrote Page, who was slated to graduate in May. “These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation.”
While at West Point, Page established a chapter of the Secular Students Alliance to support non-religious cadets at the institution. He has argued against prayer being included in mandatory events. He says he has faced persistent discrimination as a known atheist and has been told by his superiors that he will never be a good leader until he “fills the hole in his heart.” … and says that applications to leave campus on routine “rest and relaxation” outings were systematically denied him and his fellow secularists.
“It’s very clear that there is a considerable level of distaste for atheists here,” he said.
The best part is that after news of this broke, it was discovered that he’s going to be honorably discharged and will not be required to pay “recoupment” costs for his time there. I suppose that’s because even the folks at West Point know they’re violating the Constitution by trying to shove God into everything they do there and the last thing they want (but what they most desperately need) is a legal precedent.