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Old 12-06-2012, 07:29 PM  
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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Cadet quits, cites overt religion at West Point

By By MICHAEL HILL | Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A cadet quitting West Point less than six months before graduation says he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayers and religious activities and disrespects nonreligious cadets.
Blake Page announced his decision to quit the U.S. Military Academy this week in a much-discussed online post that echoed the sentiments of soldiers and airmen at other military installations. The 24-year-old told The Associated Press that a determination this semester that he could not become an officer because of clinical depression played a role in his public protest against what he calls the unconstitutional prevalence of religion in the military.
"I've been trying since I found that out: What can I do? What can I possibly do to initiate the change that I want to see and so many other people want to see?" Page said. "I realized that this is one way I can make that change happen."
Page criticized a culture where cadets stand silently for prayers, where nonreligious cadets were jokingly called "heathens" by instructors at basic training and where one officer told him he'd never be a leader until he filled the hole in his heart. In announcing his resignation this week on The Huffington Post, he denounced "criminals" in the military who violate the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution.
"I don't want to be a part of West Point knowing that the leadership here is OK with just shrugging off and shirking off respect and good order and discipline and obeying the law and defending the Constitution and doing their job," he told the AP.
West Point officials on Wednesday disputed those assertions. Spokeswoman Theresa Brinkerhoff said prayer is voluntary at events where invocations and benedictions are conducted and noted the academy has a Secular Student Alliance club, where Page served as president.
Maj. Nicholas Utzig, the faculty adviser to the secular club, said he doesn't doubt some of the moments Page described, but he doesn't believe there is systematic discrimination against nonreligious cadets.
"I think it represents his own personal experience and perhaps it might not be as universal as he suggests," said Utzig, who teaches English literature.
One of Page's secularist classmates went further, calling his characterization of West Point unfair.
"I think it's true that the majority of West Point cadets are of a very conservative, Christian orientation," said senior cadet Andrew Houchin. "I don't think that's unique to West Point. But more broadly, I've never had that even be a problem with those of us who are secular."
There have been complaints over the years that the wall between church and state is not always observed in the military. The Air Force Academy in Colorado in particular has been scrutinized for years over allegations from non-Christian students that they faced intolerance. A retired four-star general was asked last year to conduct an independent review of the overall religious climate at the academy.
There also has been a growing willingness in recent years by some service members to publicly identify themselves as atheists, agnostics or humanists and to seek the same recognition granted to Christians, Jews and other believers. Earlier this year, there was an event at Fort Bragg that was the first known event in U.S. military history to cater to nonbelievers.
Page said he hears about the plight of other nonreligious cadets in part through his involvement with the West Point affiliate of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The founder and president of that advocacy group said Page's action is a milestone in the fight against "fanatical religiosity" in the military.
"This is an extraordinary act of courage that I do compare directly to what Rosa Parks did," said Mikey Weinstein.
Page, who is from Stockbridge, Ga., and who was accepted into West Point after serving in the Army, said he was notified Tuesday of his honorable discharge. He faces no military commitment and will not have to reimburse the cost of his education.
West Point confirmed that it approved his resignation and that Page had been meeting the academic standards and was not undergoing any disciplinary actions. Page said he had been medically disqualified this semester from receiving a commission in the Army as a second lieutenant like his classmates will receive in May because of clinical depression and anxiety. He said his condition has gotten worse since his father killed himself last year.
It's not unusual for cadets to drop out of West Point, an institution known for its rigorous academic and physical demands. But the window for dropping out without the potential for a penalty is in the first two years. Dropouts are rare after that point.
Page expects to leave for his grandparents' home in Wright County, Minn., in the coming days. He plans to remain an activist on the role of religion in the military.
"I'd really love to be able to do this for the rest of my life," he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/cadet-quits-ci...211844765.html
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
I have a feeling that he was going to fall out for some other reason and that this is a preemptive move.
Exactly
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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I bet there are no Muslims there.

****ing pathetic institution.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
I have a feeling that he was going to fall out for some other reason and that this is a preemptive move.


Well, he wasnt going to get commissioned so im sure that played a part.

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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
West Point confirmed that it approved his resignation and that Page had been meeting the academic standards and was not undergoing any disciplinary actions. Page said he had been medically disqualified this semester from receiving a commission in the Army as a second lieutenant like his classmates will receive in May because of clinical depression and anxiety. He said his condition has gotten worse since his father killed himself last year.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning View Post
I bet there are no Muslims there.

****ing pathetic institution.
...anti-God advocate white knighting?

I'm sure it's just a coinkydink.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:41 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning View Post
I bet there are no Muslims there.

****ing pathetic institution.
You'd lose that bet.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-2274638.html
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning View Post
I bet there are no Muslims there.

****ing pathetic institution.
Holy shit....you should pack your bags and head to France, or Bangledesh. If you are serious, so am I.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
I have a feeling that he was going to fall out for some other reason and that this is a preemptive move.
X2
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #23
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
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Sounds like a true leader of men. Sounds like the kind of guy soldiers could depend on in a fox hole under extreme adverse circumstances.

I'm glad this pussy quit.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:14 PM   #24
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IMO the guy went into this with an agenda. He was out to make his atheist views well known and to remove ties with religion in the military. I can state with certainty that there is no religious litmus test to be in the military. They do not track or care who goes to services. To remove that religious line of support for those who serve would be a grave mistake.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #25
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What a loser. I'm agnostic. And I think he's just being a little bitch. Oh no, they are holding silence for prayers. Don't pray then. Problem solved.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
IMO the guy went into this with an agenda. He was out to make his atheist views well known and to remove ties with religion in the military. I can state with certainty that there is no religious litmus test to be in the military. They do not track or care who goes to services. To remove that religious line of support for those who serve would be a grave mistake.
Like I said earlier...wonder if it's Dave Lane's son?
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
Well, that's cool.

It's still pathetic.

He's a bitch, no doubt, but that's shitty leadership. From pea brains. That place needs some reform.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:06 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning View Post
Well, that's cool.

It's still pathetic.
Yes, we need less West Point Grads and more quality people like message board posters.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #29
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Well, that's cool.
right on schedule, Lancelot
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning View Post
Well, that's cool.

It's still pathetic.

He's a bitch, no doubt, but that's shitty leadership. From pea brains. That place needs some reform.
Leadership? Seriously, Clayton? Whigga, please. You know Jack-Shit about it....so shut your pie-hole. Seriously.
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