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← Church puts Pat Tillman on a Christian cross for Memorial Day

Church puts Pat Tillman on a Christian cross for Memorial Day - Comments

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 1 by Rich Wiltshir

Do we seriously hope for honourable behaviour from the religious?

Mon, 28 May 2012 23:20:14 UTC | #944099

alf1200's Avatar Comment 2 by alf1200

I believe he was a staff sargent. That should read SSGT

Mon, 28 May 2012 23:23:36 UTC | #944101

alf1200's Avatar Comment 3 by alf1200

And a cheap looking cross with magic marker? What a damn insult!

Mon, 28 May 2012 23:24:43 UTC | #944102

S. Austin's Avatar Comment 4 by S. Austin

Though I can understand the knee-jerk reaction, I am getting increasingly embarrassed by fellow freethinkers who don't take the time to THINK, to verify the foundations for their outrage before they spread their own version of self-righteous shit.

Mon, 28 May 2012 23:42:09 UTC | #944103

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

His rank was Corporal, not Specialist or Staff Sergeant...in the Army he'd have to have been in the service longer than he was to be Staff Sergeant.

S. Austin

I'm not sure what you're on about, but Justin's outrage got the part about Pat's name being on a cross removed from the news piece. This woman may have made an innocent mistake, but you'd have to have been living under a rock not to know that Tillman was an atheist. The news station knew for sure or should have. When you're in the military you take these things seriously because it matters, a lot.

Tue, 29 May 2012 00:03:20 UTC | #944105

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 6 by God fearing Atheist

Tillman isn't on the video any more. Well done Justin.

The writing on the crosses doesn't reach the highest standards of caligraphy. One place where art and xtianity haven't meet.

Tue, 29 May 2012 00:11:30 UTC | #944108

alf1200's Avatar Comment 7 by alf1200

          [Comment 5](/articles/646058-church-puts-pat-tillman-on-a-christian-cross-for-memorial-day/comments?page=1#comment_944105) by  [mordacious1](/profiles/39498)          :


                 His rank was Corporal, not Specialist or Staff Sergeant...in the Army he'd have to have been in the service longer than he was to be Staff Sergeant.S. AustinI'm not sure  what you're on about, but Justin's outrage got the part about Pat's name being on a cross removed from the news piece. This woman may have made an innocent mistake, but you'd have to have been living under a rock not to know that Tillman was an atheist. The news station knew for sure or should have. When you're in the military you take these things seriously because it matters, a lot.

I I stand corrected. In the Air Force SSGT follows SGT and could be earned in three years. (a long time ago)

Tue, 29 May 2012 02:13:15 UTC | #944127

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 8 by mordacious1

Yeah, it's always bugged me that the Air Force calls its E5's SSG, when the Army it's E6.

Tue, 29 May 2012 02:34:32 UTC | #944133

Dave Freeman's Avatar Comment 9 by Dave Freeman

Actually, Tillman WAS a Specialist (SPC) at the time of his death. He was posthumously promoted to Corporal (CPL), which is a lateral promotion with no pay increase. Both Specialist and Corporal are E-4. He was actually in the service for less than two years, so making E5 would have been a little fast even by today's standards.

Tue, 29 May 2012 03:07:00 UTC | #944138

Alex Burton's Avatar Comment 10 by Alex Burton

I'd like to point out that a cross can be an efficient structure for marking a point on the ground with a horizontal label.

I once made one for the grave of a dog I buried, and did not think of any religous connotations at the time.

You could use just a single piece of wood, but then the writing would be vertical. The single manufacturing step of attaching the two pieces of wood shows at least some token effort has been made, and the function of the marker will not be mistaken.

Tue, 29 May 2012 03:57:12 UTC | #944142

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 11 by All About Meme

They put his fucking name on a fucking cross... I haven’t been this angry in a very long time.

I can just imagine the hurt, nay devastated look on my 77 year old Catholic mother's face if she had been the one that fashioned this silly makeshift cross to honor Pat Tillman, and for her efforts received an angry phone call from our Justin Griffith -- however justified it might have been.

In fact, I think this situation is fairly representative of our plight with moderate religious believers.

Mom is truly, genuinely hurt. Griffith is justifiably outraged. Both are being completely honest.

I, of course, side with Justin -- but empathize with both.

The rational side of me says this is effective marketing for atheism, because I think atheism is still at the point where any publicity -- even emotional, highly-charged, controversial publicity -- is good publicity. There are just too many busy, uninformed people who don't care one whit about our fight with religion because they haven't been exposed to its nuances in the few media sources they have time for.

If waking people up to science and reason requires putting a frown on Mom's face, then so be it.

Tue, 29 May 2012 04:19:31 UTC | #944146

sbooder's Avatar Comment 12 by sbooder

You know, this story would have bothered me a year ago. I was thinking of telling everyone, that at my funeral, I did not want anyone to make the sign of the cross or pray for my soul or any of that crap.

But then I thought, I could not give a flying toss what they do, because I’ll be dead.

I know this action of putting the name of Pat Tilman on a cross shows a lack of respect but hey, he is not exactly spinning in his grave now, is he?

Tue, 29 May 2012 05:21:58 UTC | #944152

Sample's Avatar Comment 13 by Sample

I called the number and the man who answered didn't give any indiciation he accepted that Pat Tillman was an atheist. He said, "wait, Pat Tillman the football player?" I said, yes, he was also a US soldier. He asked me how I knew he was an atheist and I said his biography is easily researched but more to the point, I asked why would you think he was a Christian?

I told him I thought the coverage was rude and was simply responding to a request to ask Channel 14 to issue an apology for the use of their media to spread disinformation.

He did not give me any indication he took my call seriously.

Mike

P.S. Maybe the person who answered the phone read this: http://www.conservapedia.com/Essay:Pat_Tillman_was_not_an_atheist

Don't read it on a full stomach.

Tue, 29 May 2012 05:35:24 UTC | #944153

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 14 by mordacious1

Comment 12 by sbooder

I know this action of putting the name of Pat Tilman on a cross shows a lack of respect but hey, he is not exactly spinning in his grave now, is he?

I don't know if you saw the funeral services, with people praying and doing other christian stuff. The brother gave a pretty emotional and angry speech saying that he's not in heaven, he's dead. That's it. I'm sure Tillman's family is not happy with stuff like this.

It's similar, I think, to the mormons converting Holocaust Jews into mormons. Just stoopid and they should be called on it. Each and every time, they should be called on it. I just saw something on the news where Oakland Public Zoo has a big stone monument with the ten commandments on it. Some guy who was molested by priests when he was an altar boy and is now a wiccan or something is trying to force them to remove it or let him put up a wiccan monument. Don't let them get away with anything, they've been getting away with crap for too long.

Tue, 29 May 2012 05:58:45 UTC | #944155

ColdThinker's Avatar Comment 15 by ColdThinker

This may seem like overreacting to something that was done with good intentions. However, it's good to let the religious know their religion is not automatically considered moral, decent or good.

Little by little, the religious must be made to realize there are decent and serious people, who actually might consider some religious practices harmful, immoral, indecent and even evil. It won't affect the fundamentalists, but it will raise the consciousness of the nice, moderate ones.

Comment 11 by All About Meme :

I can just imagine the hurt, nay devastated look on my 77 year old Catholic mother's face if she had been the one that fashioned this silly makeshift cross to honor Pat Tillman, and for her efforts received an angry phone call from our Justin Griffith -- however justified it might have been.

In fact, I think this situation is fairly representative of our plight with moderate religious believers.

Mom is truly, genuinely hurt. Griffith is justifiably outraged. Both are being completely honest.

I, of course, side with Justin -- but empathize with both.

The rational side of me says this is effective marketing for atheism, because I think atheism is still at the point where any publicity -- even emotional, highly-charged, controversial publicity -- is good publicity. There are just too many busy, uninformed people who don't care one whit about our fight with religion because they haven't been exposed to its nuances in the few media sources they have time for.

If waking people up to science and reason requires putting a frown on Mom's face, then so be it.

Tue, 29 May 2012 06:32:37 UTC | #944160

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 16 by Tyler Durden

Comment 14 by mordacious1 :

I just saw something on the news where Oakland Public Zoo has a big stone monument with the ten commandments on it.

Ah, yes, the fourth commandment: "Remeber the Sabbath day, to keep it holy"

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. - Exodus 20:8-11 (ESV)

And yet, the Oakland Zoo is open on Saturday (and Sunday).

Cognitive Dissonance strikes again.

Tue, 29 May 2012 06:34:06 UTC | #944161

ev-love's Avatar Comment 17 by ev-love

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 29 May 2012 07:04:32 UTC | #944165

Sinister Weasel's Avatar Comment 18 by Sinister Weasel

I am quite torn on this, because it does sniff a bit like hypocrisy to get so angry over a small gesture of belief you do not follow. I think it is outrageous when a burnt koran leads angered protests (or murder), so I find it difficult to stir strong emotion over what I consider a meaningless magical tradition most likely meant with good intentions. If this was a story about a group of Christians being furious over a Jewish community putting up the wrong sign, what would you think? Assumption does seem to be a habit of religions in general and I do agree that most things should be challenged, but I am torn because this seems more of a gray area between respect and demanding respect for one's personal beliefs. I thought this was something the secular community generally disliked about theists, the demanding that their own beliefs are more important?

Tue, 29 May 2012 09:24:53 UTC | #944184

S. Austin's Avatar Comment 19 by S. Austin

I'm here to tell you that you do NOT HAVE TO HAVE BEEN BORN UNDER A ROCK not to make the Tillman/atheist connection. I am a non-theist who is oblivious about sports but who at least loosely follows what Dawkins and the other stars in the movement talk about, and when I got the tweet with the link to this story, I had to think "Tillman? Atheist? Tebow? No, omg, not Tebow!!! Tillman! Oh, yes, I do remember something about his being an atheist, and relatively soft-spoken one." Then I was outraged and pitched a fit. But when I mentioned the Tillman/cross fiasco to my husband, who is a non-theist who doesn't follow ever word of the four horseman, but who knows of most sports figures, he had no idea or had forgotten that Pat Tillman was an atheist. It is next to impossible these days, with the way info and stories are thrown at us and the means of getting news is so fragmented, to not miss a lot, especially if the particular issue does not interest you or resonate with you personally. Based on that video, and knowing that type of nicey-nice, well-meaning but rather provincial woman very well, I'm betting 99.999 percent that she had NO idea in this world that she was putting an atheist's name on a cross and had no ill intent. A hell of a lot of soldiers and their families pass through that area, and respect for the military is thick in the air. And, my god, we use crosses to mark the graves of dogs. Perhaps more of us have now heard about the sneaky post mortem antics of Mormons and that is beginning to affect our perceptions. Not to say that the religious of all kinds are not capable and guilty of doing what we originally suspected that woman of doing, so, as I said in my earlier comment, I understand the initial outrage. I do think, though, that all of us--I'm including myself here--who fancy ourselves cultural progressives, need to take a deep breath and get our asses off our shoulders. Thank you, Justin and others, for caring enough about these issues to be passionate.

Tue, 29 May 2012 11:37:56 UTC | #944204

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 20 by drumdaddy

I get more worked up about the agressive governmental and military slights on Atheists than I do about what some misinformed cretin wrote on a stick. Religion poisons everything.

Tue, 29 May 2012 11:58:21 UTC | #944206

nickthelight's Avatar Comment 21 by nickthelight

How's this any different to what the Mormons do to the unbaptised? Yet it won't receive the condemnation it deserves.

Tue, 29 May 2012 15:10:50 UTC | #944238

EvN's Avatar Comment 22 by EvN

Comment 12 by sbooder

I know this action of putting the name of Pat Tilman on a cross shows a lack of respect but hey, he is not exactly spinning in his grave now, is he?

I am uncomfortable with that argument, sbooder. Would it be OK to show lack of respect for women just because they cannot hear the sexist comment? Or to make racist jokes out of earshot of the “other” race?

I often find myself in the situation where people assume that, because we share a skin colour, we share racist views. I find this extremely disrespectful towards ME as well as the “other” race. The Raising of the Eyebrow usually throws the other person into a complete tailspin.

I think we have a similar situation here. There seems to be an assumption that ALL soldiers are automatically Christian or that all “fallen heroes” perforce had to be Christian because heroes cannot be atheist, Hindu, Moslem, etc. This is exactly what Justin has been fighting against and I think this assumption should not go unchallenged.

(I do a better Raising of the Eyebrow than Sam Harris :D)

Tue, 29 May 2012 15:46:43 UTC | #944247

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 23 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Tue, 29 May 2012 17:13:41 UTC | #944262

imokyrok's Avatar Comment 24 by imokyrok

Maybe after three decades of atheism I'm just too old for constant 'outrage' but I just find this a pretty ridiculous issue to gets ones knickers in a twist about. The old lady was honouring a guy in her way and I see nothing wrong with her doing so. Old ladies putting up crosses in their gardens don't bother me unless they are wearing a white hood and setting the cross on fire.

Tue, 29 May 2012 18:39:06 UTC | #944281

Michael Fisher's Avatar Comment 25 by Michael Fisher

Comment 19 by S. Austin :

...Based on that video, and knowing that type of nicey-nice, well-meaning but rather provincial woman very well, I'm betting 99.999 percent that she had NO idea in this world that she was putting an atheist's name on a cross and had no ill intent. [...] get our asses off our shoulders.

The woman assumed he was a Christian. She should have researched her subject. If a famous American Muslim sportsman/woman had joined the military & died in service would she have had the sensitivity not to memorialise him/her with a cross & used a Muslim symbol instead?

Out of curiosity ~ what does "get our asses off our shoulders mean" & where is it said? Never come across that expression before. :)

Tue, 29 May 2012 20:03:26 UTC | #944310

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 26 by Starcrash

Comment 24 by imokyrok :

Maybe after three decades of atheism I'm just too old for constant 'outrage' but I just find this a pretty ridiculous issue to gets ones knickers in a twist about. The old lady was honouring a guy in her way and I see nothing wrong with her doing so. Old ladies putting up crosses in their gardens don't bother me unless they are wearing a white hood and setting the cross on fire.

Well said. It's not as if Pat Tillman is upset about this.

Wed, 30 May 2012 03:23:15 UTC | #944373

whenpigsfly's Avatar Comment 27 by whenpigsfly

Comment 26 by Starcrash :

Comment 24 by imokyrok :

Maybe after three decades of atheism I'm just too old for constant 'outrage' but I just find this a pretty ridiculous issue to gets ones knickers in a twist about. The old lady was honouring a guy in her way and I see nothing wrong with her doing so. Old ladies putting up crosses in their gardens don't bother me unless they are wearing a white hood and setting the cross on fire.

Well said. It's not as if Pat Tillman is upset about this.

I agree with this sentiment - this is just one person's way of remembering fallen soldiers. We ought to know better than to cry out "I'm offended!" and "You're being disrespectful!". It's even sort of nice that someone is taking the trouble to remember these people in their own way - ok, so perhaps not the way you or I would have done it.

The point is - that their names are put on a cross is symbolic only to the lady and perhaps to other xians, to me its about as inert as argon. If people wish to say a prayer over my dead body, they are welcome to - it will be for their benefit. I shall not care a jot.

Wed, 30 May 2012 11:45:17 UTC | #944460

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 28 by Alan4discussion

Comment 13 by Sample

P.S. Maybe the person who answered the phone read this: http://www.conservapedia.com/Essay:Pat_Tillman_was_not_an_atheist

So - to summarise the link; -

The author is a bigoted ignoramus who has concluded Pat Tillman had morals, high standards, and commitment to excellence and loyalty, which conflict with the author's imagined, bigoted, denigrating image, of atheists, so Pat Tillman (as a decent chap), could not possibly be an atheist as this challenges the author's delusions! Sounds very like deluded-theist pseudo-logic, as does the casual dismissal of various testimonies and records, in favour of personal fantasy!

Wed, 30 May 2012 12:05:32 UTC | #944468