US Army officials removed a cross from the steeple of a chapel and boarded over its cross-shaped window in response to a complaint by a soldier, signaling a new readiness by Department of Defense official to accommodate service members with religious disabilities, including atheism. The chapel, located in Afghanistan, was also seen as a potential threat to local stability in addition to causing debilitating stress for non-Christian soldiers and civilian contractors.
Atheism is now recognized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires the Department of Defense to make reasonable accommodations for Atheists and others who cannot believe in God. In particular, Atheists experience allergic reactions to religious symbolism, which can lead to debilitating complications and significant distress.
“You can’t imagine the pain,” said Leslie Pudgkins, a religious disabilities activist and Atheist, “Every time I see a cross, this terrible sensation courses through my body. I feel like I’m on fire. I have to get away from it.”
Pudgkins pointed out that military personnel often do not have options to avoid religious symbols attached to government property, nor can Atheists necessarily control their condition, which often drives them to deface religious symbols. In such a case, an atheistic service member would thus be liable for charges of destruction of government property.
“By having the base commander order the defacing of the crosses on the chapel, atheists would find immediate relief from their symptoms,” Pudgkins said. “After all, military chapels are for use by all service members, and so where is someone like me, who does not believe in any kind of God, supposed to go to not worship?”
The Obama Administration is exploring further options to the Department of Defense as it now seeks to place women in combat roles without restrictions. This includes new ‘inclusive’ religious services that would integrate Atheists with more religious members.
Pentagon officials are looking at ways to design religious activities that do not involve religious symbols or the mentioning of God, which would guarantee an Atheist-friendly environment. There will likely also be further modifications to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military’s primary legal document, to ban any kind of offense against Atheists that would trigger an allergic episode.
Some Christian denominations are already incorporating these changes, featuring bands playing secular songs and clergy preaching motivational sermons rather than more ‘traditional’ topics, such as God or Jesus Christ. However, there is still much more to be done to accommodate atheists and make them feel welcome in all houses of worship.
“Someday, I foresee a time when no Atheist will even notice he is an Atheist, because there will be no reminders of what we don’t believe in,” Pudgkins added.
Faithfully submitted to the Collective of the People’s Cube,
Dialectical Progressivism Translator
HA Maybe she is a vampire. Looks like the army has a BIGGER problem than the cross.
Also no mention of burning the sandals left outside of mosques to reduce complaints of foul smells contributing to air pollution and Global Warming™.
I'm also on the Membership Committee of Hell. When Pudgkins shows up, it's the Parochial School classroom and eternity with our specially cloned version of Sister Mary Velociraptor. And I do like my job. Pudgkins believe Christianity is Hell. So mote it be.