Demand that the US Military start protecting atheist soldiers from hate crimes
  • Petitioned Leon Panetta

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of Defense
Leon Panetta
US Army
US Military
Secretary of the Army
John McHugh
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Demand that the US Military start protecting atheist soldiers from hate crimes

    1. Sarah Ashworth
    2. Petition by

      Sarah Ashworth

      Brooklyn, NY

The Sergeant Major who conducted the Equal Opportunity training for Ohio’s unit level EO reps told them that “since atheism is not a religion, atheists are not protected by the regulation and it is acceptable for officers and chaplains to disparage their own soldiers”.

from the MAAF:

"Command promotion and endorsement of religion includes the following and discriminates against atheists and often implies command endorsement of Christianity.

  • Daily prayer at the US Naval Academy
  • Shipboard prayer nightly on most US Navy vessels
  • Ceremonial prayer at many mandatory military formations and activities
  • Religious unit mottos and logos. 
  • Bibles, though not funded by government money, are regularly printed with unit logos, including Special Forces, thus giving evidence to Muslims insurgents recruiting to fight against a Christian holy war.
  • Christian concerts and events are given strong chaplain and command promotion unavailable to other sectarian or even secular events.
  • Spiritual Fitness centers are major, multi-million dollar facilities that are labelled as "multi-faith" but have strong bias to Christianity."


This is the state of things in today's US Military. An environment which has recently turned hostile and resulted in at least one known case of premeditated murder. Spc. Jose Ramirez, of the US Army, was murdered by so-called friends after revealing his non belief in god. He had been missing for 7 years and was only recently discovered in a shallow grave.

For too long the US Military has been intolerant of soldiers who lack belief in the supernatural. They are treated as cowards without conviction. They are told they lack real heroism and cannot be trusted. They live the lives of second-class citizens and are sometimes even forced into therapy or forced into chapels with chaplains against their will.

The US Army needs to actively enforce it's Equal Opportunity (EO) guidelines. They need to include regulations for ALL religious preferences. Atheism is not a religion, but it IS a religious preference listed on dog tags and internal documents.

By non-action and enforcing an environment of discrimination, the US Army is allowing hate crimes to persist against non-believers. The only action that can prevent further deaths will be to acknowledge Atheists as an equally protected religious preference.

As atheists, we need to stand up for our right to be treated equally.
As Americans, we need to fight for our rights to defend this country's values and our moral standards alongside theists.
As humans, we need to defend our right to not be slandered against without cause.

In honor of Jose Ramirez, and those before him, put your foot down and end this intolerance. A government funded, TAX PAYER FUNDED program as large at the US Military should not hold such values of hatred and ignorance in this day and age.

Recent signatures



      Sarah Ashworth
      Petition Organizer

      Do you want to see changes to the Equal Opportunity Forms?
      Of course you do! So let them know how you want your tax dollars spent!

      Users are invited to send comments and suggested improvements on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) directly to:

      Washington, DC

    2. Spiritual Fitness Exams do MORE harm than good!

      Sarah Ashworth
      Petition Organizer

      Justin Griffith recently reported some shocking news behind the US Army's so-called "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness ." Could we be forcing mentally ill and depressed soldiers into forced religious council rather than getting professional medical help?

    3. Reached 500 signatures
    4. 50 signatures!

      Sarah Ashworth
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all so much for helping spread the word. We may only be 12% of the US, but we still deserve a voice. Keep on fighting!

      This small victory from last year was only the beginning:

      Don't lose steam and let them think one little concert is going to placate us.

    5. Reached 50 signatures
    6. Found a Comprehensive List of Improvements

      Sarah Ashworth
      Petition Organizer Is a well organized list of recent changes driven by this cause. Keep up the good fight and someday Atheists will have an equal footing.

    7. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Mallory Shipley TOPEKA, KS
      • 12 months ago

      My boyfriend is an Atheist and he is in the Air Force.

    • Katherine Spence WOOD RIVER, NE
      • about 1 year ago

      I am a medically retired soldier and an atheist.

    • Eric Letourneau COCOA, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      I was in the Army and I had to deal with people like this. I also know many people who got in trouble for voicing their beliefs and troubles on this subject.

      • over 1 year ago

      Because its starting disgust me that people are targeted for not being believing in religion. Religion should not just be follow who we believe in they should have the right to believe what the fuck they want. Bios bastards.

      • over 1 year ago

      It should be a crime to persecute individuals because they chose to reject another individuals imaginary friends.


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