LAST SEPTEMBER, Rock the Fort — a Christian-themed concert backed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — was held on the US Army base Fort Bragg, NC. Through the Freedom of Information Act, it was discovered that the base gave over $50,000 to support the concert.
Military atheists weren’t happy. After several complaints launched by various church-state separation watchdog groups, military officials agreed to give support to another concert at Fort Bragg. On March 31, 2012, Rock Beyond Belief will take place (free for everyone, including civilians) with Richard Dawkins scheduled as a guest speaker. They’ve even managed to squeeze out another $50,000 from the Army for this show.
The main organizer for Rock Beyond Belief, Sgt. Justin Griffith, wrote on the concert blog, “There is no going back in to the ‘atheist closet.’ We’re going to be supported on post for the first time.” Speaking of the blog, there are some interesting insights posted there about atheism in the Army, like this soldier who was kicked out of a dining facility because he was wearing a Bad Religion t-shirt that had an image of a crucifix crossed out.