Humanists, atheists and other nontheists serving honorably in the United States military now have a home. We provide a unique service by building community for an unprotected nontheistic minority. Fighting for the Freedoms We Defend.
During my military career, I got married, started a family, and never could identify with the ever-present religious community. I labeled myself agnostic and started reading and studying – secular and religious writings – on my own, to understand my own values and understanding of the world.
For while, things were ok. I stayed silent and tried not to complain with many religious activities at official events. However, a time came for a mandatory suicide prevention training. During the training, a chaplain turned off the lights and passed out plastic light up candles. He prayed to his heavenly father and his prayer was very Christian in tone to me. It was just part of what seemed to be unavoidable evangelism and lack of atheist community in the military.
At that time, I looked online and found the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. They provided guidance, resources, and connection with others like me. It felt so good to meet others who believed like me. While the military had provided me Christian church connections from day 1, I never had connections to the atheist community my family and I needed.
I had this overwhelming need to help. I don’t want anyone to be disconnected like I was. I now have community in the military and civilian community. MAAF provided the connection I needed so much. And every day, I meet others helped by MAAF as well.