WASHINGTON – Three atheist activism groups have complained the Army supported an evangelical Christian concert at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg but did not act sufficiently enthusiastic about a concert for nonbelievers.
The three groups — Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina — complained to the Secretary of the Army about events that they said appear to give “selective benefits” to religious groups.
Fort Bragg hosted a Christian-themed “Rock the Fort” concert last September that was sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The atheist groups allege that Fort Bragg chaplains promoted the event, which received “$50,000 in financial support, and $30,000 in logistical and security support” from the Army. Such actions “cannot be squared with (Army) regulations, much less with the First Amendment,” the groups said.
The letter also complained that their atheist-themed “Rock Beyond Belief” event at Fort Bragg was not granted the same venue or the same level of support.
In fact, disinterest in the event resulted in its being cancelled.