Christian and atheist soldiers both pay the ultimate price

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posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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Christian and atheist soldiers both pay the ultimate price


www.telegraph.co.uk

This year, as for all years past, many of those who died fighting will not have their representative at London’s Cenotaph. Yet for some time now the humanists have asked for their representative to stand alongside those from the country’s religions at the official ceremony. They are, after all, the second largest belief group in the Armed Forces after Christianity. Other cities already accept their presence: Edinburgh, Belfast, Sheffield and Birmingham among them. But so far they have been kept away from the major national monument in Whitehall.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.humanism.org.uk
www.politics.co.uk




posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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With Remembrance Sunday approaching, I'm surprised to find out that the UK doesn't allow non-religious representatives at the Cenotaph ceremony. Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and Jews are entitled to figure-heads...but not atheists and humanists.

A nation’s military represents a cross-section of society that includes men and women with differences in beliefs and social backgrounds. If they die for their country, their death is a sacrifice no matter what their beliefs were and deserves respect.

In that light, those who describe themselves as humanists should be equally entitled to a representative being at the Cenotaph to pay respects to their service and death.

Whilst alive, their conscience and perspective on life meant they didn’t subscribe to, or entertain, religious views. They didn’t believe in gods or God and chose to live their lives according to standards that do not rely on religious consequences or bargains.

They should have the respect of their country and still be entitled to a representative who can symbolise the grief and mourning of their passing.

Their deaths were not in pursuit of religious doctrines so why shouldn’t they be allowed a symbolic mourner of their sacrifice?


www.telegraph.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:02 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


This is odd, because currently some 26,000 serving men are registered as having no religion. And the Armed Forces Humanist Association has more members than there are Jews or Sikhs in the Armed Forces. Jews and Sikhs, however, are represented. Until now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which co-ordinates arrangements at the Cenotaph, has not yielded. But this year there may be a chance.

This is just scary.

There's an Armed Forces Humanist Association in the UK? I don't know if there's a similar org in the USA, but it's absolutely true.

WAR IS ABOMINATION.
Thanks for the thread and OP. s/f



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:08 PM
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What are they remembering in this rememberence, the sacrifice the individuals made, or the fact that they may or may not have had a faith to begin with (outside of faith in the country).

Seems to me that remembering is not remembering religion, but of the actions took of the soldiers. They need to rectify this, else the whole ceremony is hollow and is not meant for remembering the sacrifice of soldiers at all verses just some sort of venue for religion.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:16 PM
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oH the grand old duke of York ,

He had ten thousand men ,

He marched them up to the top of the hill ,

And he marched them down again ...

(at hair past arm 's time , SIR! )



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 
Humanist is pretty close to whatever label could be stuck on me and atheism has been taken over by extremists.

Other than post-9/11, most wars in the past century have been about politics and foreign policies. Religious views might have played a part in the decision-making, but they were rarely the public justification.

So...if wars aren't fought on religious grounds, it only seems appropriate that non-religious figures should be allowed space at the Remembrance services in London.

I support the presence of religious figure-heads at these services and think that room should be made for the humanists too. It's just about respecting the dead in terms the dead would have appreciated.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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I deeply apologize if I am not understanding fully, but I do have a question.

Are they completely left out, or are they included without representation to their beliefs? If they had no religious beliefs, but they had to be part of their ritual, that is just as offensive.

By the way, yes I mean part of the religious prayers and such, and the names representing those that had no religion have been included as not to be dismissed, but their beliefs were ignored.

Peace, NRE.
edit on 29-10-2012 by NoRegretsEver because: spelling



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 
Hiya NRE, no, they aren't left out of the ceremonies in terms of being named and/or recognised.

The problem is that there are thousands of UK servicemen/women who aren't being represented by people who symbolise their views in life.

Year after year, humanists have not been given permission to have a representative stand side-by-side with Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Muslim figures.

Why not?

All of the above and Royalty will be there in November.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:07 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Hey Kandinsky


Thanks for elaborating. This in fact should be considered an infringement as they should at least have the right to have representation, but as I said before, having them included into something that they never represented is also very disrespectful.

Including them in the "ceremonies" should be stopped at least. If I were an atheist and died, and afterward was included in something that I didn't believe in that is very upsetting, and I am glad you brought this up, as they also need someone to look out for who and what they believed in when they died during war, regardless if others don't feel the same.


Peace, NRE.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by wildtimes
 
Humanist is pretty close to whatever label could be stuck on me and atheism has been taken over by extremists.


I don't think atheists are taken over by extremists personally.
I find that morons call themselves atheist without understanding what the term means.

But I guess it depends on your definition of extremism...speaking up against legislation that favors faith over non-faith to me isn't extremism, its creating awareness. Some could say these humanists are extremists for trying to rain on a religious ceremony sort of thing.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
With Remembrance Sunday approaching, I'm surprised to find out that the UK doesn't allow non-religious representatives at the Cenotaph ceremony. Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and Jews are entitled to figure-heads...but not atheists and humanists.


Well, I think there are many non religious representatives. Each nation has a representative from the Commonwealth and there are politicians and of course the Queen and others.

This is just an argument to get humanists and atheists somehow recognised as equal to the established faiths. They are not equal. They are not faiths. Besides, who would represent the atheists? It’s a silly notion is just another attempt to erode religious faith.

Regards



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 



Some could say these humanists are extremists for trying to rain on a religious ceremony sort of thing.


Some could. Not me.

Remembrance Sunday is a broadly 'religious ceremony' and wouldn't be diminished by allowing a humanist participant to stand for them and pass on the condolences of families that might also be non-religious.

Can you think of any logical reason why this should not be allowed?



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by NoRegretsEver
having them included into something that they never represented is also very disrespectful.

Including them in the "ceremonies" should be stopped at least. If I were an atheist and died, and afterward was included in something that I didn't believe in that is very upsetting,


The ceremony is "remembering the fallen", not remember religion. The cenotaph ceremony is a public event (government) and not some churches function.

What does a human/atheist believe in regards to the subject matter?
That fighting for freedom/future/nation is a honor and the sacrifice was made so others do not have to.
That courage to sacrifice oneself for the greater good is remarkable and heroic.
That all people, those of faith and with none, do have a common connection to one another that runs deeper than that which divides.
And that the people whom the fallen serve (the citizens) should honor them for their sacrifice.

This is what it was about. Not about Jesus, Allah, Yehweh, Odin, or any other supernatural beings..it was about honoring those whom fought and died in the name of the country in question.

So, ya..it fits perfectly with the intent of the ceremony.
People go to sunday church to honor deities, they go to this ceremony to honor the fallen men and women.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by SaturnFX
 



Some could say these humanists are extremists for trying to rain on a religious ceremony sort of thing.


Some could. Not me.

Remembrance Sunday is a broadly 'religious ceremony' and wouldn't be diminished by allowing a humanist participant to stand for them and pass on the condolences of families that might also be non-religious.

Can you think of any logical reason why this should not be allowed?




From what I read, its a national official ceremony...which means equal representation.
There is no reason they shouldn't be allowed...frankly, sounds like a legal matter.

I am in agreement with you.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by paraphi
This is just an argument to get humanists and atheists somehow recognised as equal to the established faiths. They are not equal. They are not faiths.


In a way, I agree
Whereas the sacrifice of those with faith sacrifice little

Considering they "know" they are going to get candy in heaven 3 seconds after their heart stops

A Atheist who gives his life gives everything for the cause...his life, his existance, etc..with no knowledge of any presents and prizes for being a good person after death..it is a pure sacrifice with no request for rewards..just the intent of the cause.

So, your right...they aren't equal..the atheist/humanist is leagues above the faithful in regards to sacrifice.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by paraphi
 



This is just an argument to get humanists and atheists somehow recognised as equal to the established faiths. They are not equal.


It is no such thing.

When men and women die in the line of duty, they should be afforded the respect of their beliefs as much as the religious denominations.

Would it offend you if a humanist representative stood side by side with the religious figure-heads? One more person in the group? Of course it wouldn't.

So why have they, so far, been refused?


C,mon? If we put aside all the BS, there's no good reason for restricting these participants to being religious.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


You miss the point. Religious leaders are there to represent religions. Atheism is not a religion. There are many players at the Cenotaph and who represent the whole. You do not need an atheist or humanist representative to represent those who gave the ultimate sacrifice because they are represented by the whole.

I am not particularly wedded to a religious angle here, but do not think anything would be gained by havening specific representatives over and above what is already there – main religions, national and political representation.

Regards



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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Perhaps I am too old fashioned.

I feel some sense of regret that the narrative may be determined by popular media in this issue.

What does faith have to do with a simple honor you might choose to give by commemorating the supreme sacrifice and ultimate risk those in the armed forces, by definition, must endure for their nation's well-being?

Regardless of the evil that may drive one group or another (or the good), soldiers recognize that being a soldier is a thing unto itself. Many military cultures are driven by a common religious ideology, but in the West, that is generally not the case. Our soldiers benefit from a relatively homogenous mix, representative of the society they serve. To my mind, a person's culture is a 'non-issue' once they have entered a society of soldiers.

I find myself inferring that this is something to which many cannot relate.

Why taint the gesture by contriving a cultural division between them? Perhaps it spawns a useful dialog; but it defies my idea of such traditions. I suspect most true soldiers will see far beyond the contrivance... but each must make their own judgement, as is their right - or duty - depending on one's point of view.

Whether you feel the matter of personal faith is relevant; please don't forget what some citizens endure to serve you. Military service is rarely "a picnic." Honor them... you'd be surprised just how unrewarding military service would become without this relatively infinitesimally small show of respect for what we ask of our soldiers.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by paraphi
 



This is just an argument to get humanists and atheists somehow recognised as equal to the established faiths. They are not equal.


It is no such thing.

When men and women die in the line of duty, they should be afforded the respect of their beliefs as much as the religious denominations.


What beliefs? Every time I try to bring up beliefs around an atheist, there is a resounding shout of "it's a lack of belief" and every time I try to suggest that there is something more than that, there is a resounding shout of "there is nothing more to atheism than a lack of belief".

It's one thing to send the Archbishop of Canterbury round, but who do you send to "represent" atheists? Dawkins? A lot of atheists I know really dislike him.

I agree with paraphi -- this smacks of a political agenda, rather than paying respect to the sacrifice of atheists in the armed forces. If you're a secular person, make due with the secular representation that already exists.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:36 PM
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Honestly, I considered myself an atheist when I first enlisted in the Army when I was 17. I got no-rel-pref(No religious preference) on my dog tags and I still remember a drill sergeant telling me I was going to hell when he first passed them out.
After I got home on leave my grandmother made me promise to change my preference to catholic, if not for me then for her. So I did it. She was my guardian and was the one who signed and allowed me to go in at 17. On my paperwork it said 11b(which is your job identifier). I had convinced my grandma it was tech related, when really it was Iight infantry. So when she found out, she was upset and made me feel guilty.

I can say that while I was an atheist(Now I consider myself Deist) I could care less what someone said about me in a religious context. I would actually think it degrading. I still would, now that I think about it. I want people to talk about me at my funeral. Not some retro dude in sandals.





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