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Atheist groups American Atheists Inc. and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, along with religious freedom advocates Military Religious Freedom Foundation, have penned a letter of complaint to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus over what they say is unfairly restricted access to Marines at Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps Times reports.

The groups say they’ve been repeatedly denied access to the base, while “preferential treatment” has been given to Christian groups. They particularly single out Cavalry Chapel Costa Mesa, a megachurch the others accuse of pushing a “doomsday theology,” and which has been embroiled in financial and sexual scandal at its main church and other affiliated organizations in recent years.

“We have men that go down [to Camp Pendleton] and we provide food for the fellows and … parties and picnics for them and their families,” Cavalry Chapel’s chief pastor Chuck Smith told the Times, while denying the doomsday allegations (Smith has been predicting the apocalypse since his 1978 book End Times stated the world would end in 1981). “We do spend quite a bit of money helping them.”

The three groups that authored the letter of protest to Mabus regardless suggest that Smith’s involvement at the base poses more of a threat than they do.

“We are disturbed that the government is giving such extensive support, including assets, resources and personnel, to a single sect of Christianity,” the groups write. “The last thing Camp Pendleton needs is a large group of well-armed Marines convinced of an imminent doomsday crisis.”

American Atheists Inc.’s military director, Army Sergeant Justin Griffith, says he has been trying since April to get permission to organize an event called Rock Beyond Belief 2, a festival featuring atheist speakers and musicians. A similar event was held in March at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

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Comments

whats_not_to_understand Aug. 14, 2012 @ 2:16 p.m.

It's a Christian army and a Christian nation. No one else need apply.

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Godless_Marine Aug. 14, 2012 @ 3:26 p.m.

"America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"' --The Treaty of Tripoli

I served and I'm atheist... in fact many of my fellow Marines are atheist and get sick how those with religious beliefs try to claim us simply by stating falsely that there are "no atheist in foxholes!" Which is just wrong and insulting. You might want to read more before making prejudicial remarks like the one above...

S/F

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EveryoneIsReligious Aug. 14, 2012 @ 3:45 p.m.

Religion is ideas. Everyone is religious. Atheists and Islamics have the most hate towards others.

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Ruth1940 Aug. 16, 2012 @ 2:46 p.m.

No dictionary has a definition of relgion like that.

Atheists have philosophies as varied as Ayn Rand (of Paul Ryan selfish fame) to Robert Green Ingersoll, who said his creed was, ""Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so." The atheists I've known are much like Ingersoll and I've never met one with the Rand/Ryan outlook. More on Ingersoll at http://ffrf.org/day/view/08/11/#robert-g.-ingersoll

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EveryoneIsReligious Aug. 14, 2012 @ 3:59 p.m.

'American Atheists Inc' and 'Freedom from Religion Foundation' people are religious since personalized ideas are religions.

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JasonD Aug. 14, 2012 @ 4:45 p.m.

I don't believe in Santa Claus, the Egyptian's gods, or the Roman/Greek pantheon. Does that make me religious? I don't think so. Superstition is superstition. And believing in a magic Jew who's Father goes around impregnating farm girls without intercourse is just as ridiculous as believing that vampires and werewolves are real.

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CutTheBull Aug. 14, 2012 @ 5:04 p.m.

Great retort. Calling Atheism a religion, is like calling not smoking a habit.

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Ruth1940 Aug. 16, 2012 @ 2:50 p.m.

Too few Americans realize that there is no god in the Constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of Independence told King George III that rights come from "Nature and Nature's God" (thus evolution) rather than from the monarchs who were thought to have been anointed by the jealous god of the bible!

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