Petition: Demand Equal Treatment for Nontheist Festival
Change.org has organized an online petition to help SCA and others protest the recent decision by Army officials at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to deny support for the planned April 2 "Rock Beyond Belief" festival featuring nontheistic speakers and musicians. Without support, the festival will be canceled.
Even though service members with no religious affiliation compose the second-largest "religious" group at Fort Bragg, the base commander has refused to provide the festival the same level of support that was previously given to a 2010 Christian event, "Rock the Fort," organized by Billy Graham's Evangelical Association.
From the Change.org petition:
It would be better for the Army, like any government agency, to stay out of the business of supporting any particular view on religious or spiritual matters. The Constitution itself and particularly the First Amendment indicate that church and state should be kept separate. However, the Army already supported the "Rock the Fort" festival conducted by Billy Graham Ministries, which openly stated that its purpose was to convert as many people as possible. The secular festival "Rock Beyond Belief" was taking the high road and not looking to de-convert anyone, just to provide a similarly fun festival without the religious pressure. The Army failed to treat them equally.
More than 1,100 people have already signed the petition. Please take a moment to read it over and add your name here.
For more background on the situation, or to find out how to contact Army officials directly, you can read SCA's action alert here.
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