Jeremy Hall is a US soldier in Iraq and recently filed a lawsuit against the US government for being harassed and threatened merely because he is an atheist.
Jeremy pointed out that he has been pressured a lot for his beliefs and has even been ashamed to say he is an atheist. He recounts what many atheists claim, that they are often treated with some form of prejudice.
What is especially interesting in this case is to analyze exactly why the army would be worried by atheists. Could it be that it is the same reason that Bush needed to say that “God told him to strike at Saddam”? Why have there been so many wars in the name of god? The reason is simple. In the name of a god, people are ready to believe (thus do) anything – ready to believe that flour and water can turn into the body of Jesus, that wine can be his blood, that an image on a piece of toast can represent the face of Jesus, that statues of Mary are really weeping, that a President receives messages commanding war from god himself, that people of another religion like the Muslim religion (Iraq) can be killed without any problem and vice versa. The point being that one who believes in a god will never question God’s orders, and in the case of the military, are thus considered good soldiers. Atheists, on the other hand, believe only in what they see, in what they perceive - and then decide accordingly what they will be involved with and what they will not. For military and governments, this is of course much more difficult to control and these people do not make good soldiers since they reason and question instead of just following orders. “Serve God and country” has always been very effective way to send young people to war. Of course enemy soldiers are told the same thing – that god is on their side. It’s been the same in every war. Without believing god is on their side, without thinking one is going to heaven after death, well, there would be a whole lot less people willing to die for their President, Pope or country.