Atheist Soldier Sues Army for Discrimination

Journalist Earnie Pyle used to say "There are no atheists in foxholes" ... but in this case, he was wrong: Army Spc. Jeremy Hall lost his belief in God after two tours in Iraq ... and is now suing the Army for discrimination:

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.

In March, Hall filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, among others. In the suit, Hall claims his rights to religious freedom under the First Amendment were violated and suggests that the United States military has become a Christian organization.

"I think it's utterly and totally wrong. Unconstitutional," Hall said.

Hall said there is a pattern of discrimination against non-Christians in the military.


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I was in the Navy, and I thought that the military was Christian biased. I was raised Hindu, thus I've never ate beef or pork. I was out at sea on the USS Kennedy (CV-67), and the Culinary Specialists tend to use a tong to serve beef/pork, then use the same tong to serve chicken or other meats that I would eat. I complained about this, and about the days when there was no choice in foods because everything that they served was either beef or pork, but they did nothing. I couldn't eat the salad because they put bacon bits in it. I spoke with the Command Master Chief, Master Chief Davis, and he acted as if he was going to do something about it, but it was never addressed. And when I complained about the food to the cooks, they didn't care. Everyone else was Christian. I went days without food and had trouble sleeping because of hunger and my determination to not eat beef or pork.

At night out at sea, the ship's pastor always said a prayer over the ship's intercom (1MC) that seems to be Christian and military biased.

In Navy boot camp, my recruit division commanders used to talk about their belief in god. It was very upsetting to me because I felt like it was a slap in the face, it was as if they were calling me stupid but I couldn't say anything back to them because I would have got punished.

Even though the military states that we had freedom of religion, sometimes while eating at the galley on Naval Air Stations, military pastors would come around and start talking to us about their imaginary god.

Though I was raised Hindu, but I've always been an Atheist, and I still don't eat beef or pork because of personal preference.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
So where's the evidence that Hall was "pushing" his atheism on anyone else? This story has been kicking around for the better part of a week now. Where are those soldiers to stand up and give the other side of the story? Or the superior officers to attest to the fact that the kid was a trouble-maker? Or a statement by the military itself actually saying he got discharged because he was a trouble-maker?

I saw this kid in a video, and he seems wiser than his years, thoughtful, and sensitive. If he were just another a** hole, he'd have tell-tale signs of it, as well as suing for money, which he isn't.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
You got to smoke in basic?! They never let us smoke once we got to AIT we could smoke but not in basic.

Anthony I don't care if you believe me or not I was there I know what happened. And since your name is Anthony and you're a guy I am assuming we weren't in the same platoon or company and I suspect not the same year either so I bet your experience was different than mine. We never had anyone but our Drills or Fireguard in our bay at night looking over us and our Drills office as well as a storage/TV room was part of our bay. I don't think they had to wake girls up I am sure some of them were quite willing to go, still doesn't make it right does it.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I can affirm the "non-smokers got extra duty" assertion. In addition to the extra barracks work, when we were out on long marches, the Drill Sergeants would call for a stop, and shout "Smoke 'em if you got 'em, everyone else, POLICE CALL!" Police call generally meant patrolling the immediate area picking up small articles of trash so we didn't leave anything behind for "the enemy" to find -- said trash consisting mostly of old cigarette butts.

I'll also affirm that as an atheist, I got extra duty while others were in church, was occasionally harassed, and a few times, felt extremely pressured by others higher in the chain of command to convert to some form of evangelical christianity. Never thought to sue over it, though.

Finally, in my basic, they had several drill instructors for our company, and we only occasionally had the one who did final inspection and lights out wake us in the morning. Most of the time they rotated schedules. And they did, in fact, bring a cooler of beer to their office more than once, in large part, I think, to tease us.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Atheist Soldier Sues Army for Discrimination"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More