Monday, January 14, 2013
Camp Pendleton officials have rejected a request by Rock Beyond Belief to hold a music festival celebrating atheism on the military base, according to festival organizers.
"...due to the substantial monetary and personnel support required."
A little background: The folks behind Rock Beyond Belief held the first-ever (and so far, only) atheist music festival on a U.S. military base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina back in March 2012. In speaking about the rally, Col. Stephen Sicinski (former Fort Bragg Garrison commander) told Reuters:
"We don't treat soldiers who are atheists as atheists. We treat them as soldiers."
Yet, Reuters reports the vast majority of U.S. service members are religious:
Christianity... dominates the religious makeup of the military. Only about 8,000 out of 1.4 million active duty members in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force identify themselves as atheists, and another 1,800 say they are agnostic...
Still, Rock Beyond Belief organizers say they deserve the same treatment from Camp Pendleton officials as Christian groups who've held large music festivals on base. They've already re-submitted their request to hold the festival at Camp Pendleton.
What do you think of the effort by Rock Beyond Belief to hold an atheist music festival at Camp Pendeton?