Atheists welcome?

<p>My S, a rising HS junior and a lifelong atheist, has been interested in the service academies for years. However, he was quite put off by stories he read about Christian evangelicals at the Air Force Academy and started to worry that if he ever were to enter an academy that he might encounter an environment hostile to atheists. Is the Naval Academy atheist-friendly?</p>

<p>Who knows. But he may want to reconsider his worldview if he determines to go into combat in any of the services. There are no atheists in foxholes, sinking submarines or wounded aircraft. In fact, hope is a very important emotion for Mids, and it's unaccessable to atheists. Iif he's "put off" by the news of evangelical presence, he may need to check his "tolerance" factor. One thing he could be assured is that there would be others with similar worldview. I'm sure he'd be loved at USNA, embraced, an d probably even prayed for often and regularly. If that might put him off?</p>

<p>^ Most of his good friends in HS are Christians, some of them rather devout, and he feels very comfortable around Christians generally. I am sure he would have no problem having Christian friends praying for him. The worries arose from stories regarding the AFA and a strong evangelical presence there that apparently made a number of AF cadets uncomfortable. He has ruled out applying to the AFA for that reason, but is still interested in the other two military academies.</p>

<p>It is uncomfortable to make others uncomfortable and to make them afraid of questioning faith. Obviously there are atheists in foxholes, but If this is a concern, I would check it out carefully before he applies. Have you visited (is this possible?) and asked questions to students, administrators?</p>

<p>Major in the majors. And this issue is about as minor as it could possibly be in the scheme of seeking appointment and attending any of the SAs. Including USAFA. The lamestream media makes mountains out of mincemeat. And your son may have taken the bait, hook, line, sinker.</p>

<p>^ We have not visited yet, though that would certainly be a good idea. I was hoping to get some feedback here from current or former USNA students allaying our concerns.</p>

<p>I just wanted to add that the military role model of my S would be General Petraeus, a military leader and an intellectual.</p>

<p>One might think that, wouldn't one. And maybe even young women with those attributes, although "intellectualism" as it is cultivated and nurtured on a secular campus is a far different beast. Read Thos. Sowell's "Intellectuals and Society" for a glimpse of what you'll NOT find much of at a SA. And not much navel gazing at Naval Academy. ROTC at Michigan might be an option your son might find a fit.</p>

<p>I confess, lost in the almost comical "clouds" of this mental meandering.:confused: The boy might be a perfect fit for USAF pilot if he's a chip off the ol' block. :cool:</p>

<p>P.S. When you mentioned Petraeus, I thought you might be hoping that wherever your son lands, he ends up astutely marrying the Supe's daughter. An excellent strategy for upward military mobility. Not sure of a likely fit, in light of your early descriptors. These men tend to be highly spiritual and spirited. Call 'em "gung ho!" ;)</p>

<p>^ Given the context, a discussion about fit within a military academy, the wide range of reasonable interpretations of "intellectualism" should be narrowed enough to exclude anything remotely connected with "navel gazing." The intellectual tradition is about trying to develop more accurate, dependable, and useful models of reality, though the lack of testing and accountability in such ill-defined pursuits allows for a tremendous amount of useless experimentation, including that related to inspecting one's navel.</p>

<p>However, given that the US military is going to play a large role in shaping the future world, it is imperative that the military use the best possible models of that world in implementing strategies and policies, and that requires some degree of intellectualism for understanding and creating new models of and ways of looking at the pertinent environment. Guys with courage and determination to follow orders at great risk are all well and good, but there need to be military leaders who understand the environment (physical, cultural, social) that they are operating in.</p>

<p>Uh huh. McCain's dad and grandad call this "thinking on your feet." You can be sure that there are mountains of smart kids with diverse worldly perspectives that, with all due respect, might well eat yours (and mine) for lunch. Remember, just a few years back there were 4 USNA grads garnering Rhodes and every year lots of other scholars. Conversely, it takes no research to discern that intellect (different from "intellectual" or variations there of) will focus and manifest in vastly different ways than it would at the so-called "bastions." Read Rickover if you have a hunger for Naval "intellectualism" vs. navel-gazing intellectualism. </p>

<p>The third reich lent lessons to your point. Good luck in your hunt.</p>

<p>July 16, 2012</p>

<p>The Paramus Post</p>

<p>Military</a> Academies Provide Alternatives to Church Contact from the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers</p>

<p>
[QUOTE]
Cadets and Midshipmen at the nation’s military academies have been provided the opportunity for humanist and secular alternatives during their summer training. At the beginning of July, thousands of young men and women reported for training. Within their first week, trainees were given the opportunity to attend religious services as a break from weekly training.

[/QUOTE]
</p>

<p>Luigi, very interesting. Thanks for that.</p>

<p>I'm the squad leader of an atheist in my plebe summer squad. She seems to get along fine with the other plebes and I think she is performing well. I am also a fairly devout Christian. I think most midshipmen and officers are mature enough to look past religious views. That being said, the Naval Academy is a very conservative school and I would say there is a very significant portion of the school that has a belief in God. You already said your S has a lot of Christian friends, so he will obviously be fine.</p>

<p>Not applying to USAFA for that reason is fairly lame - he should apply if he has any desire whatsoever to be an Air Force officer.</p>

<p>WELL stated, Zoo! Especially the "lame" assertion. ;) PC fishing.</p>

<p>Nobody is really going to care if you're an atheist unless YOU, personally, make a big issue of it. Don't tell anybody if you're concerned how they will react. Nobody is going to judge you on this basis. Don't get into theological debates on these subjects. However, it has been my experience that most atheists are more rabid about atheism than many Christians (or any other god-believing religion) are about being a Christian. They love to debate and be confrontational on the subject. That - I wouldn't do.</p>

<p>Well said and very wise counsel, imo!</p>

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<p>So you can see that while this thread's topic is allowable, debating religion is NOT. I had to delete several posts. If there is any more debating over religion, the thread will be closed and infractions issued.</p>