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3 Bumps

In the Army if your not religious you get punished?

In Basic, if you have "no preference" you have to clean the barracks and toilets, as opposed to getting a break for an hour and sit in the church on Sunday. Why don't they just get an hour off to relax, as well? As such, we would lie about being religious so that we could go sit in the church for an hour an relax too. Shouldn't someone look into that and change that policy?


Asked by Zoeyis at 10:32 AM on Aug. 22, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (34)
  • When I got to Basic, I quickly learned that if you didn't go to service on Sunday, you got to stick around the Barracks and clean. And so, there were a few of us who went just to get out of this punishment. Also, they gave you cookies and juice during Sunday School and who in their right mind wouldn't want the sweets we were denied back at the basics?

    Answer by IhartU at 10:52 AM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Here is why it is set up that way. By law, they have to allow time for worship if they person chooses too. If the military said, okay, you can have time from 11:00-12:00 to either go to a church service or stay in the barracks and have an hour of free time, then which one do you think most would choose? They would choose the free time. In basic it is all about training and molding a person to the way the military wants them. That is why they will make you do physical work while the others are at a church service.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 10:44 AM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • I think the motto is "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean". In boot, you get very specified down time. Church isn't a "down" time.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 11:35 AM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Jessse--I haven't heard that phrase in years and years! You just gave me a Dad-ism flashback. I thought he made that up--but knowing he was a drill sargeant for years early in his career, now I know the origin. Thanks for a good laugh this morning. Man, I forgot all about that.

    Answer by Youngwifey2 at 11:57 AM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • For God and Country is a motto within the military (different commands within the different branches have individual mottos). I believe this one is most connected with the Army Chaplain Corps (Pro Deo et Patria).

    There is a very strong undercurrent in the military--but that should not transpose into a religious requirement for individual soldiers.

    Answer by Youngwifey2 at 12:00 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • We got that time on Parris Island too, but we were not allowed to just sit and do nothing. If we didn't go to church we had to maintain our uniforms, practice cleaning our rifles, we could write letters or a list of other things but those found to be sitting and doing nothing were made to clean the DI hut or the head... just how it was, had nothing to do with forcing us into religion, had to do with maintaining a sense of discipline and military bearing at all times while in recruit training.

    Answer by BlueCollarMama at 3:32 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • That sounds nuts. In the USAF,a "non-religious" member was not punished. At least, when my DH was in the Air Force,on flying status, it was never that bad. VERY narrow-minded,in my opinion, to insist they go to church. Backward and stupid..

    Answer by gertie41 at 4:48 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Gertie, my husband is in the USAF and he had to maintain barracks while others went to worship. He didn't cry about it because he knows they aren't forcing him to be religious but forcing him to stay busy. If you don't like how the military works don't join.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 5:49 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Sorry if this offends anyone,BUT,I think an hour of church a week is a good thing for all soldiers. Its a shame people see it as a punishment.

    not a big fan of the first amendment?


    Answer by autodidact at 7:44 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Sorry if this offends anyone,BUT,I think an hour of church a week is a good thing for all soldiers. Its a shame people see it as a punishment.

    Umm sorry but forcing any body into church is against the law and fucked up. You want it that way move.

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 7:49 PM on Aug. 22, 2010