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Playing the Atheism Card Against Pat Tillman’s Family

Posted on Jul 28, 2006
Tillman memorial service
AP /Gene Lower

Pat Tillman, father of former Arizona Cardinals football player and Army Cpl. Pat Tillman, speaks during a memorial service for his son in San Jose, Calif., May 3, 2004. Cpl. Tillman was killed by “friendly fire” in Afghanistan.

By Stan Goff

Editor?s note: The author of this essay, Stan Goff, is a retired veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces. During an active-duty career that spanned 1970 to 1996, he served with the elite Delta Force and Rangers, and in Vietnam, Guatemala, Grenada, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Somalia and Haiti.

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He is a veteran of the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama and also taught military science at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Goff is the author of the books ?Hideous Dream—A Soldier?s Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti,? ?Full Spectrum Disorder—The Military in the New American Century? and ?Sex & War.?

In this article Goff writes on the events surrounding the fratricidal death of Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman, and the possible military coverup that ensued.

Goff argues that Tillman?s commanding officer, in a recent ESPN magazine interview, made a series of shockingly callous statements about the Tillman family?s search for the truth because the officer was trying to divert attention from the role he may have played in the alleged coverup.


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Goff’s previously published articles on this subject can be found at the online publication From the Wilderness.

His research for those articles included a detailed review of more than 2,500 pages of official briefings and documents from three investigations, in addition to extensive interviews with Tillman family members and some of the soldiers in Tillman?s unit.

Editor’s note #2

Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich, was originally described as the Cross-Commander at Forward Operating Base Salerno on Khowst, Afghanistan.  That was incorrect.  The Cross Functional Team Commander (“Cross-Commander”) under which Pat Tillman’s unit was working at the time of his death was a Major Hodney. Kauzlarich was one step above Major Hodney, as his Regimental Executive Officer.  The Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan was under the operational control (OPCON) to a highly secretive joint command, which accounts for much of the difficulty in clarifying both the circumstances of Pat Tillman’s death and the subsequent actions taken at several levels of command to conceal and spin the circumstances surrounding his death.

Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich has taken Christ into his heart, or so he says.  Like my old colleague, Lt. Gen. William G. (?Jerry?) Boykin, he has also carried the organically entrapped messiah onto the heathen-infested battlegrounds of Southwest Asia.  Kauzlarich is the subject of my exposition today, but Boykin is his context.

You all remember Jerry Boykin—the general who, as part of the Bush 2003 civil relations effort in Iraq, called Muslims idol worshippers.

Back in the Reagan days, Boykin and I were simultaneously assigned to the allegedly super-secret Delta Force.  He was a major then, and he would organize prayer breakfasts for the unit, driving many of us out of the building to purchase sausage-biscuits.  His evangelical lunacy was already under siege then.  Special Operations is a motley fraternity, in which operators are as likely to worship Odin or an oak tree as they are to attend Sunday services.

Boykin?s recent rise is symptomatic of War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?s fascination with Special Operations—in spite of its generally dismal record.  Kauzlarich was on the same career fast track when he was the 75th Ranger Regiment?s executive officer* (see editor’s note #2 above) at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Khoust, Afghanistan, in 2004.

Bishop Boykin, shooting from the lip, asserted in 2003 that the U.S. military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq involved ?an Army of God? squaring off against Satan.

Beelzebub himself!  Can?t say Jerry lacks ambition.  Of course, the Satanists in this case were the very Muslims that the administration was trying to recruit as political puppets in the oil patch.

For this subtle bit of international relations, Boykin was punished by promotion to the position of deputy undersecretary of defense for? intelligence.  Yes, the pun is nearly unbearable.

And so Boykin ascended. As the Haitian proverb says:  The higher the monkey climbs, the more you see his ass.

Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, on the other hand, is not exactly being placed center-stage at the Pentagon.  More than any other single person below the rank of general, he is probably most responsible for the Pentagon?s embarrassment when NFL-player-turned-Army-Ranger Pat Tillman was killed on April 22, 2004, by his own comrades.

Kauzlarich has been energetically avoiding responsibility for the fratricidal incident ever since.

It appears from reading the documents in the incident that he and others in the military may have violated multiple laws—including obstruction of justice, evidence tampering and conspiracy.

Kauzlarich may have conspired with others to award an inappropriate Silver Star, complete with a phony account of the events surrounding Tillman?s death.  Members of Tillman?s chain of command attended Tillman?s memorial service without breathing a word to the family about what really happened, and it appears, again from the documents, that Kauzlarich deep-sixed the original investigation, which he then had redone under his personal supervision.

The Army?s criminal investigation division and the Pentagon?s Inspector General are currently investigating Tillman?s death and the events that ensued.

Kauzlarich now looks to Nov. 7, 2006, with a gnawing disquiet. Only a thin congressional majority that stand between a nemesis like Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee. Subpoena authority might transform a mere gavel into a mighty political weapon.

But in the meantime, a recent exposé by Mike Fish aired an interview with Kauzlarich, who was the ?cross commander? of the Rangers in Khoust, Afghanistan, in April 2004.  Kauzlarich, in a stunning display of Christian empathy, blamed the family for continuing to ask questions about the circumstances of Pat?s death, and suggested that the reason they?d found no closure was that infidels such as themselves (the Tillmans did not belong to a church), when they die, are only ?worm dirt.?

A choice of words worthy of Bishop Boykin, who is surely beaming with pride at this officer?s devout diction.

?His parents continue to ask for it to be looked at,? Kauzlarich told Fish petulantly. ?And that is really their prerogative. And if they have the right backing, the right powerful people in our government to continue to let it happen, then that is the case.?

Playing the victim.  A broadly effective tactic in the case of international military aggression, domestic battery (she made me do it) and politically motivated coverups.

In fact, powerful people in government have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the case by the dogged persistence of Pat?s family.  So far the government?s efforts have been to assign aides to do enough to get the family off its back, and submit queries to the military that are answered with the same contradictions and equivocations that provoked the family?s suspicion in the first place.

?But there [have] been numerous unfortunate cases of fratricide,?  Kauzlarich told ESPN, ?and the parents have basically said, ?OK, it was an unfortunate accident.?  And they let it go. So this is—I don?t know, these people have a hard time letting it go. It may be because of their religious beliefs.?

Nothing to do with the fact that the Department of Defense lied to them until the impending redeployment of in-the-know Ranger batallion back to the U.S. made the revelation of fratricide inevitable ? oh no.

The office of Defense Department public relations official Lawrence Di Rita should have purchased high-quality shredders for all commanders.  The documents pertaining to the first three of six investigations contain generous and often gratuitous redactions.  They were given to the Tillman family, and through them to CNN, to ESPN—oh yes, and to me.  They show that it was the impending redeployment of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, Pat Tillman?s unit, in which the real story of his death was general knowledge, that compelled the Department of Defense to come clean, sort of.

?When you die,? the Reverend Kauzlarich explained to ESPN?s Fish, ?I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right?  Well, if you are an atheist and you don?t believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to?  Nothing. You are worm dirt.?

A theological term perhaps.

Next page: “Kauzlarich, like Boykin and all their ilk, has the spiritual depth of his own skin, which is what he is trying to save ? whether in an exchange of faith for immortality or in deflecting the sorry truth onto a bereaved and angered family with cheap revival-tent accusations of ‘atheism.’ ”

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By peggy, November 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First of all how do some of you sleep at night, PAULA? 
I have just finished Mary Tillman’s book, “Boots On The Ground By Dusk.”  I loved the book, I cried on some parts, laughed on some. 
Mary, (Pat’s Mom) made so many good points, like why wasn’t military time used instead of dusk or dawn?  The different dates of the autopsy report and about the CPR.  And then Saunders makes the statement that the AMF soldier was supposed to be south of Corporal Tillman.  And his Brother Kevin’s gun jammed.  It sounds like it was all planned out.  Amazing how something like this could happen in the first palce, and i know Pat’s not the only one.  My heart goes out to his family.
  I have two sons of my own and i hear them talking about joining the marines when they get older.  That just scares the hell out of me.
Pat’s Birthday is on the 7th of Nov. My Prayers go out to his family.  R.I.P. Pat Tillman.

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By David Prior, April 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just found this site 4/09.  ALL I can say is, are you people out of your minds?  Listen to yourselves! Conspiracies all around, he’s a christian he’s a atheist. He was taken out by someone or some group for his beliefs and words.  Nuts all of you.  The guy who wrote the original article Stan Goff? Were you really with all those units sf/delta/rangers?  What or who turned you?

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By Michael Jourdan, December 13, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The same thing happened a thousand times in Viet Nam, were only reading about it here because it was Pat Tillman. The U.S. Military is a powerful and extremely corrupt organization and it has been for a long time. They kill soldiers that display bravery as a warning for other soldiers not to try to be heroes. This explains why there are over 4,000 soldiers dead in Iraq in the war versus cavemen.

Wake up and smell the coffee everybody. You have to be a fool to enlist in the U.S. Military.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, October 8, 2007 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While the relevance of “John’s” statement to the Tillman discussion is a stretch, it is the end statement from one of the most treasured paragraphs in the Bible to me….a paragraph that begins:

“Let this Mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…”(Philippians 2)

The Kenosis (self-emptying) and Tapeinosis (Humiliation) of Christ is held out to Pauline believers, in this passage, as the MODEL for those who claim Christ.  In the Tillman discussion the “Christian teacher” who commented on Tillman has come the closest to reflecting that Spirit.

My experience with the Kauzlarich-type “Christian” and Bible-quoters in general, is that they reflect the Spirit of Anti-Christ.  Their version of “Christ” is totally antithetical to the context of brother “John’s” quote.

Often today’s Christian is a “Christian supremacy” thinker who has the Bible misquoted, out of context, and mistranslated.

The word “Lord” in an example of this Anti-Christian imperialist re-interpretation of Jesus/Yeshua the “Christ” or “Anointed One”.  It is a bad translation.

The word in the Bible languages best translated “Lord” is the Hebrew “baal”, the designation of a false god, a manufactured idol.

The plastic, manufactured “Jesus Christ” of modern    
Christian seeks “domination” and “Lordship”.  I maintain that this is the Trickster takeover of the Bible.

The word translated “Lord” in “John’s” quote is best translated, not “Lord” but Caregiver.

Christ as the ultimate Caregiver is an accurate, in context, description of what Paul is referring to in the larger passage.

I want to tell the modern defenders of “Christianism” to stop bastardizing the Christ of the Bible for your own supremacist ends.

Love to brother “John”.

Love to the Tillmans and the Tillman family.

I acknowledge that the Presence is the Great Caregiver….and, because my background is “Christian”....I seek to follow the example in my personal life. 

I have miserably failed.

And I may be wrong about my beliefs.  I would not think of projecting a domination fantasy like John’s on the world….unfortunately that fits the Bush plan and the plan of rightwing imperialist Baal Christianism today.

I want no part of that.

What has been done and is being done to the Earth and my relatives and the generations in the name of this bastardized Christ, is diabolical, IMHO.  grin

Steve Pipkin-Savage
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By John, October 7, 2007 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.

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By leigh, August 29, 2007 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

I taught Pat Tillman in my middle school biography/history class as a role model for sacrificing material and selfish things for what matters more and that is to give your country and the freedom we live under more dedication and love and comittment than your own personal gain.  Country was stressed, not government or politicians.  I did not reveal he was an Atheist as I am a Christian (very modest and quiet) as were many of my students. We just looked at what he did and what would be his inspiration and legacy.  We can leave his non-faith belief to a higher power.  It does not diminish what he did.  I choose to believe in Christ because it helps me in a hard life that I have and the critical problems I face with personal family and health issues.  I also want hope that this is not all there is.  If I am wrong which I do not believe, I am still glad I chose the teachings of Christ and not of mere man.  I dispise Christian hypocrites and think the person in this article at issue here about Pat is deplorable and not of the Christ that I serve.  Please don’t lump all Christians together.  I try to separate myself from those that do not show goodness and love.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, July 27, 2007 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to this blogger, Pat Tillman was shot in the forehead at close range, and execution, not friendly fire:

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By, July 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems that Pat Tillman was murdered for being an atheist, after reading his reported “last words”. This should be a HUGE story. I hope someone makes it so!

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By George Vreeland Hill, July 15, 2007 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Shame on the military for lying to the family of hero Pat Tillman and the public about the circumstances of Tillman’s death in Afghanistan.
Why cover it up?
Just tell the truth.
One man saw what happened to Tillman, and he was told to keep quiet about it.
Tillman and others who have, and are serving their country, are not doing so to have their families lied to.
Bush started the war with Iraq based on a lie.
Military leaders lie through their teeth to make the war on terror look better than it really is.
Some leaders like Bush, even laugh about it.
In 2004, during a black-tie event, George W. Bush laughed at our soldiers. 
He said…. (While looking under a piece of furniture) “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere.” 
Then, while pretending to look out of a window, Bush laughed as he said….. “Nope, no weapons over there.”
While he was laughing, soldiers were fighting and dying in Iraq because of WMD.
We better get answers, and fast!

George Vreeland Hill

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, May 23, 2007 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The investigation by Congress continues apparently.
Kazlaurich is now on the hotseat and he and his commander are not talking due to the ongoing investigation…it appears to have degenerated into a “what will happen to Kazlaurich for bad PR?” situation with President Bush weighing in that he hopes someone is held responsible for the mishandling of the info.

Hope remains, because Kevin Tillman has testified and is being very outspoken, that the family can push for and receive at least some criminal prosecution of somebody for their grief and troubles.  Nobody appears to be going for the “murder rap”, because all investigations so far have found all involved not guilty (of ANYTHING except mistakes)...that’s all I know…I am on a daily Google News alertand recommend you do the same….my gut feeling is that Kevin Tillman will pursue this all the way, so I’ll quit probing it when he does….he’s still very much on the case, insisting that criminal acts were committed and that this is more than a bad PR move on the part of Kazlaurich who was the investigating officer in 2004.  Obviously, Kazlaurich wanted the Tillmans to accept a sanitized version of the story and go away.  Why?  Savage

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By morgan -lynn lamberth, May 22, 2007 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is the current status of the situation?I haven’t heard anything lately.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, May 18, 2007 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

my email to Stan Goff did not make it because the recipient was “over quota”, so I am submitting it here, in the hopes Mr. Goff will read it:

“To Stan Goff:

Many thanks for your work on Pat Tillman.
I am one of those who thought it possible that Pat was murdered for his
criticism of the “fucking illegal war”.

I have now read your elimination of a conspiracy to do away with him.

Is it possible that a single person carried out his murder for personal reasons, those
reasons being precisely that he was famous and opposed the Iraq War as a soldier?

Is it not still possible that, after the fact, all of the issues still came to bear to result in
a coverup for other reasons?

I was a Captain in the Minuteman II program, a launch control commander, 1968-72,
for SAC during Vietnam.  I have since become opposed to all such wars.

The only war I see worth fighting, maybe, would be a second American Revolution
to reclaim the legacy left to us by the founding fathers.


Steve Pipkin-Savage
Mesa, AZ ”

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, May 18, 2007 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“August 8th 2006, 1:12 [PST] - Let me say for the record, again, that I do not believe that Pat Tillman was targeted for assassination.—Stan Goff”

I respect Mr. Goff’s conclusion and arguments for why the military covered it up.  But, in my response to his statement and lengthy article on the botched investigation into Pat Tillman’s death (elsewhere online), I wrote to him questioning whether it was still possible that a single person executed Pat Tillman for his own reasons which included the fact that Pat had spoken out against the War. 

We know that, in an exposed war situation, a person with a personal agenda can take out a brother for personal reasons, or privately ordered reasons, without it ever coming to light publicly.

Goff’s arguments that if the military did that type of thing he himself would have been take out of action for what he has written doesn’t stand the test of logic:  if Mr. Goff is testifying that Pat Tillman was NOT taken out, the military would tolerate his apparent criticisms at lesser points and want his voice heard and believed.

Disinformation comes in many packages.  An apparent expose of military ineptness might actually be attractive to a clique guilty of much more heinous crimes.  Kind of like a known murderer copping a plea to a lesser crime.

I’m not convinced, Mr. Goff.

You acknowledge that the investigation was botched, which simply proves we can’t know.  Therefore, to reach the conclusion that there was no “hit” on Tillman for “political” reasons, either by conspiracy or a single shooter, is unwarranted, given that very lack of or taints on evidence!

Steve Pipkin-Savage
Mesa, AZ

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By Freddy the Nietz, May 2, 2007 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kauzlarich is already worm dirt, and he isn’t even dead yet.

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By morgan lynn lamberth skeptic griggsy, March 28, 2007 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Steve,thanks .I support his family in getting at the whole truth .And the press could at least say that one atheist   soldier was in a fox hole, as it were !The no atheist in a fox hole is so wrongheaded !

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, March 26, 2007 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


the Bible-worshippers (I grew up in it and jumped through all the hoops) do not realize that their worship of and trust in the infallibility of the (old English!) Bible is itself a violation of their own laws.  Book-worship violates the first “commandment” at least.

what they believe is that, when they are quoting “Scripture”, they are letting “God” speak for them.  they are supremacists who believe that God authored the Bible infallibly through fallible men!(you mentioned “rational”?)

for Christ to be Christ he/she/they would have to pre-exist and transcend the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth, the entire Jewish genealogical family and, of course, all history and pre-history.  So,
you see, “quoting God” in such a fashion is a narrowing exercise without much point…

Yet, I studied those words and found them helpful, but not as helpful as the posting of an old friend with whom I had lost touch!

What this all has to do with Pat Tillman and the crimes against him and his family escapes me.  I think the “enemy” has accomplished one goal:  distract us from the evidence that Pat Tillman was murdered because he spoke out against the War in Iraq. 


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By morgan -lynn lamberth griggsy, March 26, 2007 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Richey, how they think quoting verses would mean anything of value there for us rationalists.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, March 26, 2007 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Great to hear from you!

I’m in Mesa, AZ for the moment.  Where u?:-)

email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thanks to the group for allowing this reunion of “brothers” here.  I think it is fitting that it happens in memoriam,incidentally or not, of Pat Tillman whose own brother has written so eloquently OUR (Pat’s and mine) position on the illegal War in Iraq.

Also a comment on the breaking news….the “officials” are now holding high-ranking officers responsible for this “mistake”(the misrepresentation and coverup of the circumstances of Pat’s death).  It wasn’t a mistake, as Charles Goyette ( so pointedly said this morning on one of the best Goyette shows ever (Tom Delay exposed himself and the religious right bigtime today, without recognizing it, of course)


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By Richey, March 26, 2007 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reading the comments posted by religious wackos quoting the bible makes me wonder what century this is. I just wish that the wackos and rednecks would stop talking tough, and join the Army. Standards have been lowered to the extent that their poor educations won’t stand in the way. Furthermore, even 42 year old people can join—-like a second chance in life!! Nice pension, too. Pay is MUCH better than in all other wars. Most of these losers would then be in their hick town’s upper-class—-front row pew!

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By J D Beukema, March 25, 2007 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Steve - where are you!!

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By morgan lamberth, March 25, 2007 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Steve, if God only means good ,then we are gods gods [gospel of John] !

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By Roger, March 23, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

¶ Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isaiah 44:24

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.
Isaiah 45:22

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
¶ If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
John 14:6,7

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By morgan-lynn lamberth skeptic griggsy, March 22, 2007 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Steve, then we are on the same path but looking at different trees . ” Confronting Believers ” is a deist book after your heart .Anyway she who helps herself ,helps herself in a godless cosmos or one with God. Thanks !

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, March 21, 2007 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Morgan, I came out of organized religion at extreme personal cost and over years of enormous struggle. What I believe is, that, when I needed the Presence the most, the Presence came to me.  Far from being “masturbatory”, my friendship and walk with the Presence is the joy of my existence and delivers me from all manner of trouble.

When the Presence helped me, that’s when I chose to believe.

Crazy, isn’t it?:-)

Because of that fact, however—which I never argue about, with myself or anyone else—I did not and do not need either AA nor your “rational” program
nor any church. 

As Joseph Campbell once told an inquiring priest, “I don’t need (the Catholic) faith, I have experience.”

It doesn’t bother me at all that others, like yourself or DF or Pat Tillman don’t appear to “need” what/who came to me.  I’m just grateful for the help I received.

Sorry to have misled you in my comments to cause you to jump to your conclusions.  I’m perfectly happy to have the experiences I have and not expect anything else when I die.

I have no doctrine or religion, only that.  I am one of the chief critics of modern Christians and organized religionists, generally, BECAUSE I know everything about them, have argued with them and learned to stop arguing about God…from the Indians…many moons ago.

God is just a word that means “good”.

I believe in good.  What happened to Pat Tillman and the use of religion this way is abominable.  It is not “Good”.

Glad I was wrong about the drinking.  Beautiful! 

I’m 12 years sober and don’t miss it a bit. (most days).  But, I was nearly dead from it.  Death cures everything.  I mean Pat is in the good place; whether that’s the Earth or somewhere else.

We live one r the ones still experiencing upset and distress.  R.I.P. Pat Tillman.


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By morgan-lynn lamberth, March 21, 2007 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Steve, I am abstemious- medical reason.Anyway, I just had to comment on your just choosing your religion,apparently without argumentation. And thanks for speaking up for Pat and for your service.I did not measure up [59 yrs.] .  By the way, Rational Recovery and SOS work to help alchoholics without religion . Thanks, Joy.We non-theists need to fight as Dawkins does .  Yes, Mythmenot! It is indeed a sorry spectacle to harm Pat’s memory . He was a hero !

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, March 19, 2007 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Gee, you’re funny!

????I don’t get it, doctor.

How do you feel about hypocrites covering for murder and attacking grieving families of the “atheist” victim.  That’s what the original subject is…and I addressed it.

You didn’t.

I also shared something practical that works for me…in response to DF, who is a thoughtful, obviously open skeptic.  I can admire that.  You sound more like a confused Jack Daniel’s drinker to me. grin (used to be one)


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By morgan lamberth, March 19, 2007 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So you chose it for a krutch: like a placebo , it makses you feel good .Gee, self-brainwashing using faith does that alright.That is “mustabatory”- what isn’t really needed but thought so powerfully. [If one wants more[not to self-promote but to add to debate]use search engine for m name.]

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, March 18, 2007 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


As one who has chosen to believe in “all things spiritual”, including what is commonly called “the afterlife”(a misnomer: all is life, including death and beyond), I applaud your logical, thoughtful and humble reflections, your willingness to be surprised by the deity, if any.  (I fervently believe in the Infinite, but that is my choice; I further believe the Infinite cares for me and walks and talks to me, so, you see, I’m the crazy one here!:-))

I believe that your confession is “closer to the Kingdom” than these aggressive, hating, war-mongering professed “evangelical Christians”.

Obviously, we are all “worm-dirt”, physically speaking, at some point.  We come from Mother Earth and return to Mother Earth.  I am not certain what good speculation about other dimensions is when it is “targeting” damnation on others, especially grieving families in a shadowy
case of “establishment murder.”

Seems to me that squeaky wheels need more than grease in this case.

Keep that skeptical open faith, brother!


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By morgan lynn lamberth skeptic griggsy, March 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are atheists in fox holes! Gee, I would expect living in danger in such would make for atheists ,but most people just rationalize away the lack of action for the good on the part of God.

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By DF©™, March 17, 2007 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now, I don’t believe in an afterlife.  It makes no sense, given what we know about the physical universe today when compared to what people understood a couple of thousand years ago when such notions were codified.

But does my lack of belief make this afterlife false?  What the Boykins’ and Kauzlarichs and their ilk say about this has me confused.  Let’s see if I understand.  If I don’t believe, I’ll be “worm dirt”; but if I do believe, I’ll cheat death.  However, if this afterlife exists—in whatever fashion my time on Earth merits; heaven, hell, or something intermediate—and I don’t believe in its existence, doesn’t that mean I’ll experience it despite my lack of belief?  Either it’s real or it’s not, no matter what I think.  Right?  Wouldn’t the deity take special delight in giving me such a big surprise on my deathday?  Kind of a big “I told you so!”. 

And I’d be happy with that.  I’d admit my error and get on with eternity.  It is no dishonor to the deity if I use the brain it gave me to think for myself.  Currently, this brain doesn’t think a deity has anything to do with human existence; rather, quite the other way around.

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By Bob, December 5, 2006 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
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What are you talking about?  Where did I say adding to their numbers honors the fallen? Or are you one of those people that are going to try and twist my words into fitting into what you are thinking?

Furthermore, I appreciate you being a vet as well, but does that make your or my logic any better than everyone else’s?


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By Conchobhar, December 1, 2006 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
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Excuse my interrupting your dialogue, but I’d like to ask you a question.  Could you please tell this Vietnam vet how adding to their numbers honors the fallen?  I didn’t see the logic in 1968, and I don’t see it today.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, November 30, 2006 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
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what lies, Bob?  I gave you detailed references of the evidence that Bush lied us into war in Iraq.  Have you read them;  how can you call them lies?

which of de la Vega’s charges are lies?
which of Ray McGovern’s charges are lies?
Which of Charles’ Goyette’s charges are lies?

Thank you for your report.  Not once did I say we should withdraw now.  I said Bush should resign and submit to the Iraqis.

You’ve called me a liar;  tell me which lies I wrote here or anywhere….you can Google my name—I can’t very well google “bob”—and find my statements and other stuff online.  I stand behind everything I’ve written and I think you owe it to our “readers” here to back up your statement that I am promoting horrible lies. 

I think Bush and cronies are criminals.  That’s a lie?  Just about the whole world, outside the U.S. and a lot inside the U.S., view that the same way. 
Why?  Because of the evidence.

You cite examples of good things that are going on.  I do not argue that there are good men in uniform honorably going about doing the best they can in an illegal and unjustifiable context, because they were lied into being there.

Thanks for your agreement with me on the article about Pat here.

This is good.

Happy to correspond with you privately, Bob.

Please initiate it.

Steve Pipkin-Savage
Mesa, AZ

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By Bob, November 30, 2006 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
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Steve Pipkin-Savage

First of all I did read the article and no I don’t condone what they are trying to do.  I think what they are doing is a disgrace. 

I responded to your comments.  I don’t appreciate people telling lies.  Although you know the saying that if you tell a lie often enough then it becomes true. 

The lies you are spreading are horrible.  While I was in Iraq I saw the good we are and were doing at the time.  I was told stories by the Iraqies of the horrible things that Sadam and his sons did. I see the fact that the have clean, safe water to drink now. I see the fact that they have electricity now, and sewage.  They have more hospitals up and running than they did under Sadam.  Little girls can go to school now for the first time.  Also, the schools aren’t teaching hate the way they used to.

Also, our medic’s interpretor told us that Sadam did have weapons of mass distruction.  That was good enough for me.

Also, being in the military I pay attention to the news to see where my butt might be getting shipped next.

In 1998, when Bill Clinton was president every major news channel was making a case for their to be a link between Iraq, Sadam, and Osama.  Because they thought he might go into Iraq. 

Then Bush gets into office and all of a sudden everyone forgets about the link.

Furthermore, Bush and his administration can’t send a country to war on their own.  It was voted on by the house of reprresentative and the senate, which both voted on it.  So if anyone needs to resign or be arrested, I think everyone needs to be.

I don’t get where you think it’s an illegal war, just because a few lackies that oppose it say it is?

Do you remember what happened in Vietnam after you guys pulled out? 

THe same thing if not worse will happen in Iraq if we pull out.

I know the war isn’t favorable to a lot of people.

I’m also one of those people, I don’t think politicians over here should run a war over there.

We can’t pull out of the war now or the whole thing would have been for nothing. And all the people that have given their lives would have done so in vain.

When I left the Iraqies where doing a lot more for themselves than when I got there.  I communicate with friends that are still over there now and the Iraqies are taking more responsibility daily.  We can’t leave until we make sure they can defend themselves.

If you want to continue this conversation we can.

My email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, November 29, 2006 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment
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Elizabeth de la Vega, a prosecuting attorney, I believe, for twenty years has given us a brief of her book being released now, I think here:
is an indictment against Bush and company and the ILLEGAL war in Iraq.

Ray McGovern, an ex-CIA analyst and his professional associates, have opposed the war, on the same grounds as I did from the beginning, but they have far more detailed reasons.  I am a regular subscriber to, his associates’ organization online.  Daily updates about the illegality of the War and related subjects.  Ray confronted Rumsfeld with his dishonest statements about WMD in Iraq.

Charles Goyette, Phoenix, now online streamed at, has been making the case that Kevin Tillman recently made about the illegality of the War in Iraq, with numerous qualified guests, and is someone I know and trust, not from the liberal media.  He is on M-F from 6-9 MT.  Charles, a longtime Conservative/Libertarian, lost his job at one radio station because of his opposition to the War in Iraq from the beginning.

Ultraconservative Pat Buchanan has opposed the war from the beginning as being wrong.

I opposed the War because I knew Bush was lying about his reasons for going in there, because I knew something about the goals.

If you read Kevin Tillman’s statement a couple months ago;  de la Vega’s book indictment, or even the brief;  listen to Charles Goyette for three years; and subscribe and get all the information at Truthout and listen to ex-CIA people like Ray McGovern and Philip Giraldi, whom I have heard speak in person, then you will know everything I know and you will know that there is, and has been from the beginning, when I first opposed the War in 2003, at the beginning, in writing and on-air talk shows, considerable support for my position.

I very seldom listen to any “liberal media”.  I check in to CNN and Fox once in awhile to see what the hot issues are.  Both are pretty much under the control of the rightwing criminals in control of our country.

So, thank you for your service.  I understand, believe me, the felt need to justify what you have done in the context of an illegal war.  But, you seem to value your own opinion over the opinions of TWO others who served also.

As an ex-officer, I am committed to bringing down the criminals who lied us into this illegal War.  Pat did see Iraq, as I understand, and Kevin served there.

My guess is that you are a rightwing person who hates “lefties” and wants to justify your position that way.  What evidence do you have that justifies us being there to begin with?

It’s an unwinnable war, like Vietnam, which was my
“war”.  We were lied into it and we have lost many of our own and the Iraqis have lost tens of thousands of lives and a civil war is threatening to destroy any good we might have done by being there.  Bush needs to resign and submit to the Iraqi People.  He and his neocon cronies are criminals, in my opinion.  As an ex-officer in the military, I have renewed my oath to defend the Constitution against such “enemies”, both foreign and domestic.

Anyway, read all that stuff and get back to me
at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Otherwise, this will be my final posting in response to you.  I think the evidence speaks for itself. 

The article here that we are supposed to be responding to is about some really bad military folks, who claim to be “Christian”,  whipping the “atheism” thing on Pat’s family. 

I feel it is characteristic of “Bushies” to both miss the point, make ad hominem attacks on their “enemies” and distract from the original point.  Did you read the article at all?  Are you supporting bad people in the militay when they are obviously out to hurt, damage and destroy the reputation and family of one they killed?

Steve Pipkin-Savage
Mesa, AZ

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By Bob, November 29, 2006 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
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Steve Pipkin-Savage

Oh so because Pat and Kevin Tillman say it’s an illegal war it makes it that. 

Thank you for your service.  It is much appreciated.  Just for the record I’m also a vet.  I served in desert storm and I spent a year in Iraq for the illegal war you speak of.  I saw what is really goin gon over there and what the media tells us is far from the truth.

No I don’t know what a nuclear launch control officer does?  I could guess, but why don’t you tell me.

It suprises me that being a vet you oppose the military.  Have you not seen how the liberal media distorts what really happens in war?

What clue have you given me?
You still haven’t backed up your statement.

All you did was tell me you are a vet and what you stand for.  Am I missing something from your statement?

Also, considering Pat Tillman wasn’t serving in Iraq I don’t know why everyone has decided to make him a pro on the subject.

I’m not trying to bad-mouth him in any way.  I think he is a true hero.  Someone that gave up a ton of money to defend the country.  I don’t understand why he joined the military if he didn’t believe in the cause.  That really confuses me.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, November 20, 2006 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
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Well, Bob, I was quoting the late Pat Tillman who said that the Iraq war was a “f—-ing illegal war”.

I agree with that assessment and have nothing in common with either the so-called “liberal media” nor the Democrats except that the “extreme left” were, as a bloc, the only bloc right about the war from the beginning.  So was I, on principled and moral grounds.

You should also note that Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother and a Ranger in Iraq, has come out and speaks my view exactly and much more eloquently.

let us honor both the living brave dissenters and the honorable warriors who have passed.

BTW, Bob, I’m 62 and a Vietnam-era vet.  Was a nuclear launch control officer;  do you know what that entailed?

I have been a dissenter against evil for a very long time;  and I don’t care which “party” is wearing the devilhat at the time.

I’m a live free or die guy.

Now YOU have a clue.


Steve Pipkin-Savage

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By brian ferguson, November 20, 2006 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
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well paula i suppose its the root of the problem that people like u will never have the intelligence to understand why people like me are so frightened by the fact that people like u exist.and no it wasnt funny,but of course u dont understand that either.

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By Bob, November 11, 2006 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
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Steve Pipkin-Savage

What illegal war are you talking about?  Get a clue.

To the guy that commented that Bush intiated 9-11.  Get a clue as well.  It was proven that 9-11 took at least two years to plan out.  Do the math your President Clinton was in office when that plan was started.

You people are lost and clueless.  You really need help, quit beeing puppets for the liberal news media and the Democratic party.  Do some research on your own and make you own conclusions.

Then again this probably won’t get posted because I’m not bashing Bush and the republican party.  However, they public comments where people use innappropriate language.  I guess that’s ok as long as you are anti-Bush and anti-republican.

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By Guenter Monkowski, November 10, 2006 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
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Kevin made are complete statement of all American perceptions, which are proven wrong.

Doesn’t the Bible say in the new testament - not the phony American Bibles which are made up shit - that God is forgiving and merciful?

What this commanding officer said about Kevin is a statement of a mad man.

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By D Baldwin, November 10, 2006 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
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Paula Waller—you are a disgrace to none other than yourself. I don’t know which hole you live in but it must be pretty dark and smelly there.

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By nplus, November 10, 2006 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
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I always greatly respected Pat Tillman, but I was never inspired by his story - until now.  Thanks.

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By Pat, November 8, 2006 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
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I agree, we were all caught up in the hype of going to war, but after the fog clears and dust settles, it was all for OIL and MONEY.  I am in the reserves, been there and done that….just say,  ” it is what it is ” and will continue until we as a nation get off the high horse and get back to reality.  “If not now, then when”?


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By Russ, November 5, 2006 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
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On November 8th when the republicans have been thrown out of power and the investigations have begun let’s not even bother with them here…plenty of secret prisons overseas to hold them.  As for Dick Cheney…waterboarding’s a no brainer.

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By Spinoza, November 1, 2006 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
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>>>>This Spinoza sounds like an idiot (the guy on this site, not the philosopher.) I do not believe in a God, but I serve in the military for several reasons, which are personal and cultural.  But I am not sure what this Spinoza fella means by not “believing” in the military.<<<<<<<

I am certain I have made idiotic remarks in my time but I couldn’t figure out what you were referencing to.

But it would be correct that I don’t believe in the military meaning I am anti-militarist and we should try to do away with all military organizations. It is for your very personal and cultural reason that I want to see the end of your kind.  I also have a hatred for the school yard bully and would love to see them all disappear from the planet. Does that make sense to you?

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By Spinoza, November 1, 2006 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
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Unfortunately there are many things to be ashamed of for being a Republican, not the least is the current attack on John Kerry.

We need higher ethical standards and I mean much more than the misuse of Pat’s death. I mean the ethics of patriotism.

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By kyjoe, November 1, 2006 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
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Paula is apparently a mental case. No normal person could write such a distasteful article about another.
This type of rhetoric is directly in opposition to any christian teachings. It is extremely hypocritical and filled with hate. She must be a very miserable person.
Please do not judge all christians by people like this!!

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By Airman, November 1, 2006 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
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Wow, Paula…... do you have a heart?  Do you have a family?  Have you ever lost anyone? Think about it…...... although you are pretty cold and heartless, it probably wouldn’t even phase you.  your comments make me embarrased to call myself a republican.

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By Progresswear, October 30, 2006 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment
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So Paula, did you write that with a crayon?

You preface your statement by thanking Pat Tillman for his service, only to heartlessly tear him and his family apart once you hear that their beliefs are different than your ancient and ignorant superstitions, otherwise known as religion.

This is a life we are discussing.  A life that didn’t need to be lost due to bumbling and lies.  He is not in heaven.  He is returned to the earth. 

It’s so fortunate that the depth of your understanding of the world can be summed up in a few short paragraphs with the depth of a coloring book.

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By Alex, October 30, 2006 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
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I don’t think that it takes a lot of courage to criticize a dead man’s religious beliefs…or his living brother who went to more than one combat zone with him: concerning the individual who said that his brother was cashing in on his 15 minutes of fame. Get some psychological help: this is not the way we act in a civilized society.

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By Chris, October 29, 2006 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
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If all the National Security files were released to the American people right now do you think our country would still exist?

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By Paula Waller, October 29, 2006 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
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Football is my favorite passtime of all time and when I heard that Pat Tillman gave up a lucrative career in the NFL to go fight for his country, I was so amazed.  To do that is one of the greatest personal sacrifices and great displays of character I’ve seen in a very long time.  And regardless of any politic or religious believe on his part, that still takes guts to do that.  No one can take that away from him. And any other men and women who chose to serve our country voluntarily.

Having said that and just recently discovering Pat is a self-proclaimed Atheist,.. well,,I’m betting he sh*tting his pants right now!

I am not being mean by saying that.  I only am saying, if I’m right about my beliefs and he was wrong…you know he’s gotta be freaking out.  Any one got any Angel Soft?  (ok now that was funny)

I have a personal statement to his brother Kevin who is a total disgrace in my opinion.  Riding on his brothers coattails to get his 15 min of fame.  Wow.  Kiddo, no one would even know who you are if you didn’t cash in on your brothers noterity.  Get a life of your own and let your brothers rest in peace.

Make that two more things…All you Bush and GOP bashers out there. Guess what? A lot more people wanted Bush in office then they did Kerry. I shrudder to think what would have happened if that fellow had won instead.  Whether this war is really about defending this nation, subterfuge, oil greed or what ever anyone else can imagine, the fact remains that the majority of the people believed in the ways of George W Bush or he would not have made it back to the White House for another 4. 

Now bellyache all you wish, rant and rave what a lunatic all you Dems think that Bush is.  How about shutting up and putting up? You want Republicans out of office?  Get off your whining lazy rears and go vote like the ones of us who knew what we wanted did do.  Then maybe you will have a right to be griping.

Paula Waller

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By Conchobhar, October 27, 2006 at 8:32 am Link to this comment
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“Imagine religious people (of whatever stripe) speaking with such hatred for atheists…”
  Wake up.  We don’t have to imagine it, we can see it all around us, from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in their post 9/11 rants, to Ann Coulter, to Bob Jones, to any “Christian” who would presume to call another person “godless.”

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By Karen Duarte, October 26, 2006 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
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A couple weeks ago in Sterling, VA, Pat Tillman’s high school jersey was retired. I wasn’t there but I felt a deep anger and hurt that our government has seen to lie and make right the foreign policy that is unbeliveably ignorant of the world at large. While everyone criticizes the Secty of State and Defense, I would like to remind everyone that it is the Commander -in Chief ( read the Constitution please) that has the power to run this “immoral war”. He needs to be brought to his knees but that won’t happen. I also have been told that he is this born again Christian that is awaiting the “shining”. He will receive wonderful rewards in heaven if he pulls this stuff off. Can someone out there get enough support to expose this man’s religious madness?

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By Jaimon, October 26, 2006 at 3:25 am Link to this comment
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There is so much anti-religious hate on this site it is amazing.  Should the actions or words of one person be generalized into a hatred of entire groups of people?  Jews for instance?  Imagine religious people (of whatever stripe) speaking with such hatred for atheists…

But maybe introspection and empathy are for the weak..

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By coolrunnings, October 25, 2006 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
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This Spinoza sounds like an idiot (the guy on this site, not the philosopher.)  I do not believe in a God, but I serve in the military for several reasons, which are personal and cultural.  But I am not sure what this Spinoza fella means by not “believing” in the military.  Is he saying that, in spite of much empirical evidence, he doesn’t believe that militaries exist?  If this is not what he means, then what does he suggest we are supposed to disbelieve about militaries?  That they can be cruel?  That they are violent?  That they are full of people who sometimes make tremendous mistakes?  That, in the harshest environments under incredible pressure, people in militaries do not always take perfect decisions?  Well, so what.  How does this differ from the rest of the world?  I choose to serve with my fellow servicemen because I like them, I understand them, and I respect them.  And by the way, I have never been forced or pressured in any way about religious belief in 12 years in the Marine Corps.  The other services may have some of that bullshit happen, but I have not seen it. I have also been a part of several military investigations during that time, sometimes as a witness, sometimes as a subject of investigation, and sometimes as an investigator, and I have never seen even a hint of anything like the Tillmans’ experience within any Marine unit I have served with.  I do not suggest that it didn’t happen, just that such things are not rampant, at least not in the Marine Corps.  And to civilians who struggle to understand me and others who serve, be comforted.  I don’t understand you either.  In my culture, if you don’t serve in some capacity, you are either a coward or an ingrate.  I salute the Tillman brothers.  Though I don’t completely agree with his statements, Kevin Tillman has earned the right to have his say.

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By Ellen Liversidge, October 25, 2006 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
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My son was killed, too, by the Bush Administration, wrecking the Drug Safety job of the Food and Drug Administration.  The drug he took, Zyprexa, by Eli Lilly, had no warning on the label or instruction sheet and there was no warning given by the doctor that it could be dangerous or lethal.  Other countries, however; those that were doing their jobs, made Eli Lilly put a warning on the label of this drug.

I extend my condolences to the Tillman family and I wish them strength in their effort to find out the truth.  I am fighting the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA - currently basically unregulated, doctors, and drug reps, and lobbiests - all out to make a buck, as is the Bush philosophy in this Administration.  If I saw the President, I would have to be restrained from going for his neck.

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By SteveC, August 23, 2006 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
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AT this point, after studying religion, and talking with religious people for several years, I have concluded this:  If you are religious, you are fucking retarded.  Period. 

Get a fucking brain, morons.

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By Garthvader, August 12, 2006 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
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I have a solution to Iraq (and the Hezbollah) problem. Have all the allies pull their support from Israel. The Hezbollah, Fatah et al will see their chance. They will attack and start pushing Israel back til there’s no where to go. There will then be no more muslims (think “the bomb”) as Israel ends it. The holes in the globe that was Damascus, Tehran, etc. will be all thats left.

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By, August 7, 2006 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
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So true,John.Tell it to Durash.

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By John, August 7, 2006 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment
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“If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, RELIGION must surely be the first.”
  “Amongst warmongering nations, the gods are the first weapons forged.”
  “Men will kill for many reasons; a pack of cigarettes, a pair of Nike sneakers, a stick of gum, but there are damn few things for which they will die.  A bogus promise of an eternal life of bliss in some afterlife is the snare that traps many a fool.”
  Quotes by German-American philosopher, Hugh B.Gottfrei

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By Spinoza, August 7, 2006 at 12:43 am Link to this comment
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> But according to you, that was a wrong, unethical result. Do you think the real Spinoza would have objected to the use of military force to stop the Holocaust?

As Mr. Mandel has said the USA didn’t give a hoot about the Jews and after the war Jews were turned away from this country.  And as far as I remember it, it was the Germans who declared war on us and not the other way around.

I am against war but I would favor killing war makers.  The only capital criminal/crime in my view is political, particularly those who promote war or hate.  I would have no problem with killing right wingers or anyone who promotes war.  I would love to see the Bush administration people brought to the guillotine.

Spinoza was a rationalist so I would doubt that he would be in favor of war or war making.

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By elmo, August 5, 2006 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
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iraqi shiites yelling death to america, death to israel. fuck these assholes . we are over there to help them and then they start this shit!!!I know to many people who are over there risking their lives to provide a safe place. anyone who had come in contact with the people was always weary about them.ex, did they have themselves wired up with dynamite? you can’t tell.they seem to have littie regard for human life. if they die for allah that is a great thing. well i’m sorry but i personally think this is bullshit. if our forces are told to use caution and dont fire till fired upon what the fuck is up with that! one friend is an mp over there, he was just home on leave, he said driving around in bagdad was insane. a PUCKER FACTOR OF TEN. HE SAID YOU NEVER COULD TELL IF A CAR OR TRUCK FULL OF THOSE BASTARDS WOULD TRY TO RAM of the worst things i think i have heard yet is putting these soldiers on trial for shooting unarmed women ,men kids. THIS IS A FUCKING WAR

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By Howard Mandel, August 4, 2006 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
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The military has an obligation to the country to promote service. We need a military, and we need good men and women to recruited into it.

Using Pat as they did when he inlisted was a reasonable PR campaign. However, the very least the military owed him for that was to make him a partner in that use. And, after his death the army should have reached out to his family with the truth, before anyone else found out. This would have given them the opportunity to participate in how that information would be released to the public, so damage to recruitment could be minimized.

As we see time and again with this administration, they hold ordinary citizens in contempt. They so distrust the public that their first instinct in every situation is to cover-up and attack. This tactic is effective initially, but as we see the truth finds a way. I think this kind of thing is wearing thin with the American people. I know I’ve had it.

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By Howard Mandel, August 4, 2006 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
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Yahzi wrote:

“Your namesake, Spinoza, was a Jew. Pat Tillman’s organization, the US Army, spent hundreds of thousands of its soldier’s lives to prevent the Nazis from exteriminating the Jewish people.”

The US entered WWII because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The US would not have lifted a finger in those isolationist days before the war to help anybody, especially Jews.

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By morgan-lynn lamberth, August 3, 2006 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
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Ron,  amen! It takes a vacation as it did in the time of the Holocaust! Fox holes should make atheists alright.

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By Ron, August 3, 2006 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
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Those who have never served and those, like me, who served long ago are often confused about military rank. As someone pointed out, Specialists and Corporals are both E-4s, but a Corporal is a non-commissioned officer while the Specialist isn’t. BTW, things are similar in the Air Force. An Airman First Class and a Sergeant are both E-4s, but the Sergeant has at least four years time in service.

As for religion and military service being compatible or not, during my 22-plus years of active duty I rarely heard religion even mentioned. In my experience, exposure to combat and, even more so, to the aftermath of battle was as likely to turn one away from religion as it was to lead one to embrace it. I would rather that god didn’t exist than to believe him indifferent to the suffering I’ve witnessed in the world.

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By Barbara, August 3, 2006 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
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There are still SP4 & SP5 ranks & those are reserved for non-combat MOS’s. Never heard of a SP6. SP5’s become a SSG at pay grade E6.

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By observer 5, August 3, 2006 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
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I understand the surprise of older veterans about the amount of religiosity in the military today, I was surprised too when I was on a base and saw the praying in the mess hall, the prayer books there, etc.

Also, minor point, but a corporal outranks a SP4 (now abbreviated as SPC, as there are no longer SP5s, SP6s, etc.) even though both are paygrade E-4.  A corporal is an NCO rank, and thus are put in positions of authority.

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By Yahzi, August 3, 2006 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
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Spinoza wrote: “Believing in the military is wrong because the military only will produce wrong, unethical, results.”

Your namesake, Spinoza, was a Jew. Pat Tillman’s organization, the US Army, spent hundreds of thousands of its soldier’s lives to prevent the Nazis from exteriminating the Jewish people.

But according to you, that was a wrong, unethical result. Do you think the real Spinoza would have objected to the use of military force to stop the Holocaust?

Safe in your little bunny slippers, you watch Saturday morning cartoons and wonder, “Why can’t we all just get along?” But of course you don’t let your naivete and ignorance prevent you from lecturing other people on morality.

Pat Tillman died so that idiots like you could remain idiots, remain uneducated by the brute stomp of the fascist bootheel, remain untainted by harsh reality. Pat made that choice because it was the right choice. Pat is a hero, a man to emulate, admire, and appreciate. Quite simply, Pat was a man.

You, on the other hand, are a spoiled child so protected from the world that you cannot see past your own fantasies.

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By Richey Hope, August 3, 2006 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
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From 1964 to 1969 I was on active duty, ending up a LT. I was in VA-52 (1966-67) and on Adv. Tm 86 (1968-69. In all that time, I can’t recall a single conversation about God. I never spoke with a chaplin. Never wanted to, didn’t have to, so I never did. I have no idea what my superior officers’ thought about religion. They could have been into voodoo for all I knew. AND THAT IS THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE! I recall a story in the newspaper during the Iraq invasion that a chaplain required church attendence in order to shower with “his” water—-this was in the field. In Vietnam I would have either shot him or just beat him up.
I for damned sure don’t think anybody’s fitness report should be based on “Prayer Breakfast” attendence. What kind of chance, being an atheist, would I have had with a nutcase like the constantly promoted Boykin above me?  Religion has NO place in our military. Chaplains are worthless, overpaid BSers.

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By Barbara, August 3, 2006 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
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One cannot be promoted to Corporal unless one is a PFC (private first class) or in a combat MOS. If one is a Specialist, then one is a Spec4 or a Spec5. A Spec4 is = to a Corporal, while a Spec5 is = to a Sergeant. One, however, could be converted to a Corporal from a Spec4, but you cannot be promoted there unless you are a PFC.

Got it?

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By, August 3, 2006 at 3:30 am Link to this comment
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Once again the Republican party puts their own profits over the lives of regular people.

If a professional football player joins the military and he doesn’t quite agree that Iraq appeared a legitimate war and he gets killed by his own soldiers, the Republican party will throw the dead Pat Tillam and his family under the bus.

The Republican party stands for radical capitalism instead of responsible capitalism. Why did we go to Afghanistan? because George W Bush provoked the 9-11 attacks which was blowback for failed Bush foreign policy with the Taliban government of Afghanistan between Jan 2001 and July 2001.

So pat Tillman goes toAfghanistan out of love for his country. He gets killed by his friends and the Republican Party embarrassd about this killing covers it up until it cannot cover it up anymore. Hoowever the character assassins of the Republican party continue to heap calumnies on Pat Tillman and his family.

The Family of the dead soldier won’t let MiniTruth ( the ministry of truth )  let the story of the Brave here O’Gilvy rest as a lie. No these family members just won’t leave the Republican party alone.

We have a pattern with this Republican party. Deaths have occurred since 1995 since they took over congress. We have had the Ford/Firestone tire driver deaths, the Vioxx and other prescription medication deaths, the 7 astronaut deaths, and we have the Pat Tillman death and the deaths of 2500 soldiers in Iraq.

It comes out of the Radical capitalism of the Republican party ehich does not want companies regulated, does not want companies to pay an adequate minimum wage, does not want to stop companies from war profiteering, and mainly wantscompanies to function like a private unelected government over parts of or lives.

I consider it the point in American life that we peacefully put the Republican party out of power buy massive boycotts against the companies that give them money for elections and for the legislative process in the form of lobbying.

Pat Tillman appears one of many people who have diied for the Republican party and their fundie supporters and their radical capitalist beneficiaries.

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By Spinoza, August 3, 2006 at 1:35 am Link to this comment
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> “If he didn’t believe in god why did he join the military? “ What does that mean?

If he knew god was wrong why did he join the military, another “wrong” belief.

Believing in a god is wrong because there is no god.

Believing in the military is wrong because the military only will produce wrong, unethical, results. There is nothing good/right about the military.

I am suggesting that Pat’s thinking was inconsistent and that he should have been able to see two wrongs.

The ethical question is:  What is right and what is wrong?

What values do we teach our children? And when should they be taught to make distinctions

Yes all people change their views from time to time but we who have come to certain ethical conclusions should insist on the truth of our views.  We should reject a relativism that says it is ok to believe in god or military solutions to conflicts.

We should agree with Kant’s categorical imperative to “do what if done universally would be universally good”.

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By Just the truth-PLEASE, August 2, 2006 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #16069 by ReverendZafod on 8/01 at 9:47 am

In the caption to the top photo, you’ve demoted him from O-3 to E-4.  Pat Tillman was a Captain [Cpt.], not a Corporal [Cpl.]  Where do you get this mis-information. He was an enlisted grunt and was a Specialist at his death and was promoted posthumously to a Corporal.

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By dumbya, August 2, 2006 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
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Organized religion, war and George W. Bush all fit into the category of profound frauds perpetuated for the purpose of controlling the masses and increasing the profits of the ruling elites.

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By saul2006, August 2, 2006 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
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People think that I am nuts when I say that we must put an end to the Christo/fascists or this country will become a theocracy.
That is why I started the web site
While the site has some of the usual stuff, it also shows why the God of the Bible is not what you would expect of God unless you believe that God is a stupid lying baby killer

This I verify using the King David story where David took a married woman to bed which according to God of Bible law was punishable by death for both. Then instead of seeing them killed God of Bible causes death of son of this illegal affair again against His own Law in Deuteronomy 24:16 that a son shall not die for the sins of the father. Then their next child, Solomon is smiled on by God and what does this blessed Solomon do but build altars to other Gods. When David was told that he would be spared he was told that the child would die because David by his actions gave ammo to the detractors of God, allowing me to call this God a stupid baby killing liar.
If ypu go to the site you will also see why Jesus lied.

If you know anyone that wants to refute what is said at site please have them contact site which has an offer to close based on the Misinformation given Christians about the O.T. Messiah message

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By Angela Oxender, August 2, 2006 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment
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Re 16139-I couldn’t have stated it any better!

God has got to be pissed off at the things being done in His name.

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By cstrut, August 2, 2006 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
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To claim love of god and belong to a military organization is anti-thetical and then to use gods name to slander a soldier who died because of what his country told him to do is just psycotic.

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By Ron, August 2, 2006 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
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Actually, Tillman was posthumously promoted from Specialist to Corporal.

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By Hadley, August 2, 2006 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
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Heartbreaking, and has nothing to do with being an athiest. Like the saying goes, ‘nobody gets out of this world alive’ - which one hopes it will be more torture on some who deserve it, than others. The ultimate falsehood of ‘devine devotion’ is upon us.

Gives yet another new meaning to the tune: “Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching On To WAR, With The Cross Of Jesus, Going On ((as)) Before”.....and again, and again, and again…stop the madness - deny using paperless voting machines & VOTE.

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By JohnieB, August 2, 2006 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
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I’m a Christian and a Vietnam Veteran; my bullshit detection system is continually being updated.  I know CYA when I trip over it.  Fucking fascist gobsmacks like Boykin and Kauzlarich are ruining our country.
Give a fair trial, then jail ‘em.

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By Alice, August 2, 2006 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
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It is interesting to see all the events Jerry Boynkin has been involved in.  He is like Forrest Gump.  He was involved in the attempted hostage rescue under Pres. Carter….(Maybe he made sure it was a fiasco?) He was involved in the Waco disaster under Clinton.  He was involved in Gitmo torture and subsequently Abu Graib.  He has probably been involved in alot of other shitty’s, but these are just a few I know about or can remember.

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By Radmeister, August 2, 2006 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
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Pat Tillman was screaming out “Stop Shooting, It’s me Pat Tillman” and they kept shooting until he was dead.

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By morgan lamberth, August 2, 2006 at 1:46 am Link to this comment
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As a skeptic who thinks that skepticism that there is no god is warranted as there is no foundation for the notion and it is a god of the gaps notion and a redundant one I support Pat’s family. That officer brings discredit upon his rank!

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By baz zgray, August 2, 2006 at 12:47 am Link to this comment
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God does not stop wars, abortions, death penalty for innocent people, slavery, pornography, poverty..what else? wild fires, Tsunami, earhtquakes, cancer, genetic mutation, heat waves, Enron, high gas prices, high unemployment for highly educated people, homosexuality, illicit sex, racial hatred, pollution, black TV Preachers who take poor peoples money for god’s word and homelessness. I wonder why such an omnipotent being has not been doing his or her job to eliminate bad things or things that are against hiser will..Maybe I am just too dumb/stupid to believe the truth..whatever that is..

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By Mad As Hell, August 1, 2006 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
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It is terribly sad that once again, the “Big Game” matters more than truth and honesty for the American people, and, far more importantly, for the families of American service men and women.

Pat Tillman is a hero and big news because he played pro football.  Big deal.  Football is nothing more than entertainment, like TV, the movies or going dancing, or going to a Broadway or Vegas show.  Don’t get me wrong—I LIKE football, alot, even have season Jets tickets (which is almost as depressing as rooting for the Cubs).  But it’s a game, no more.

Yet Pat Tillman IS a hero. As are ALL the young men and women who serve, even when their precious, precious lives are squandered by the Coward-in-Chief, the TOP Chicken-Hawk.  Every man and woman who risks their life and body is a hero to me, whether they suffer the dreadful outcome or not.  Pat Tillman is one of those, but no more or less than any other—he just has a famous name and Christopher Reeves Superman good looks. 

His family is, like so many others, in needless agony brought on by Mad King George’s need to vicariously prove his manhood, despite in EVERY crisis getting that deer-in-the-headlights frozen, terrified stare. But Pat Tillman’s family has had heaped on it the unbearable pain of being coldly and callously used for MKG’s propaganda, to cover the pasty, fat rears of the neo-cons who have been WRONG about everything.  Why is Dick Cheney’s political rear, or Don Rumsfeld’s political rear more important than Pat Tillman’s life? or the lives of EVERY Smith and Gomez lost in idiocy of the second Iraq war?

Oh, yeah, I FORGOT—they are the ones who call themselves “Pro-Life”—while they lie to Pat Tillman’s family, and lie about Casey Sheehan’s death, and lie about his mom as well.

And, do they think a family of Atheists doesn’t hurt when their son dies?  How dare they!

I’m not an Atheist. I’m Agnostic.  I have too much trouble separating the intellectual Atheists from the Marxist type—the latter of whom struck me as just as faith-driven as Jerry Falwell.

I’m a skeptic, not a cynic.  I distrust the concept of belief, whether it’s belief in a god, or belief there is no god.  I’ve been asked “What would you think if you saw a miracle?” My answer? Distrust my eyes—I’ve seen stage magicians do things more extraordinary. 

I see miracles as fundamental contradictions of the very universe the perfect deity was supposed to have made.  If he/she is perfect, why interfere? OK, maybe George Burns is right: The ‘69 Mets might well have been a miracle, but beyond that?  Nope.  Where was this interventionist god in the Holocaust? Or in the Stalinist purges and starvation of millions? Or in Rwanda? or Yugoslavia? Or in Africa today?

Nope, it’s hard to accept an interventionist god in the face of that.  The Deist god of Jefferson, Washington and Madison? Maybe.

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By Steve Pipkin-Savage, August 1, 2006 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
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What is really hard to accept is how successful, in the short term these really evil folk, claiming Christ, are:

1)A great American warrior is dead at the hands of his own countrymen and the reason, if any, for his death will not ever be known for sure….

2)The senior officers “skate”

3)The “fucking illegal war” continues and is expanding with the aid of God’s other, original, boys and girls….Israel

4)All those fundamentalist, rightwing, “patriotic”(not) book-worshipping hatemongers are raking in the dough (in addition to normal taxes/tithes, they are getting “faith-based initiative funds”

5)All of their children, even if they “get out” (at 61, I am one who did, and still have “programming effects”) will have stress-filled, disappointed lives unless they snag a cushy spot in the upper echelons of business, church, military like these fascists who killed Pat Tillman.

I’m sorry for the oppressor, however.  The real Jesus was authentic and long ago condemned what hypocrites do in the name of “righteousness”.  According to him (Matt 23) “it will be worse for (them) in the day of Judgement than for Sodom and Gomorrha”, a pretty extreme example of judgement to Judaists at that time…..(Sodom and Gomorrha disappeared and left the Dead Sea behind, which produces some really great products for humans to use, btw!)

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By konopelli/wgg, August 1, 2006 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
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There is one and only one way in which religion will cease to be a divisive threat to the polity of the USofA:

Everybody just has to SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT!!!

Doctrinal disputes among sects and cults have no place in the discourse of a secular state.


Love ‘God,’ or not; believe or not. No big deal, if you just SHUT THE FUCK UP about it, and let the nation’s citizens negotiate the best way foreward…

why is this so hard?

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By Leon Felkins, August 1, 2006 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
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When George Bush was campaigning for the presidency, as incumbent vice-president, one of his stops was in Chicago, Illinois, on August 27, 1987. At O’Hare Airport he held a formal outdoor news conference. There Robert I. Sherman, a reporter for the American Atheist news journal, fully accredited by the state of Illinois and by invitation a participating member of the press corps covering the national candidates, had the following exchange with then-Vice-President Bush.


Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

Bush: I guess I’m pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I’m just not very high on atheists.

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By malcolmjames, August 1, 2006 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
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Pat Tillman was murdered, plain and simple.  He was either killed because he angered some of the Christian true believers in his unit or because the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans knew that it would be unable to create enough spin to overwhelm the media firestorm that would have exploded upon Tillman’s return from the war.

Pat Tillman hated Bush (as should any thinking person), he was an atheist, he opposed the Iraq war, Noam Chompsky was one of his favorite authors, and he would have campaigned for Kerry once he returned.  He singlehandedly would have caused 90% of football loving American men to abandon Bush like the fascist lackie he is, and then the whole Neo-Con cabal would be serving time.

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By ReverendZafod, August 1, 2006 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
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In the caption to the top photo, you’ve demoted him from O-3 to E-4.  Pat Tillman was a Captain [Cpt.], not a Corporal [Cpl.]

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By racetoinfinity, August 1, 2006 at 1:54 am Link to this comment
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“Pat never felt separate enough from the world to despise the worms. And so Kauzlarich’s expression of fear and loathing for the world would have amused Pat.”


Pat was at a higher (deeper/bigger) level of spirituality (although he wouldn’t have called it that) than the neo-medieval orthodox mythic-membership anti-organic fearful one Kauzlarich (and so many others) cling to.

“We are seeing a return of the tyranny of religion. We must complete the task of the Enlightenment for once and all. Only when the Enlightenment is firmly established can we shift upward to a greater vision of humanity.” - Ray Harris -

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By TruthPlease, July 31, 2006 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment
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One of the craziest things going on in this crazy administration is that the very bedrock of our nation - “religious freedom” - also means freedom FROM religion, should you so choose.  Why is it that ultra right wing Hyper Christians think they’re any differant than the Ayatollahs forcing their people to worship the way they demand them to?  What’s free about that?  If we are to save anything of our American way of life after 911, we MUST remember what it is that has made America a great nation and SAVE that - or “they” won - don’t let the neo-conmen legislate away our “God-given rights”.  If we are to be forced into a rigid religious theocracy run by a priveleged few, then how did we not lose the war?
You can call it Democracy, but “Security” is sounding more and more like repression to me.  Sure wish we could nationalize the electronic voting machine monopoly and get a real election - wonder how differant things would have been in a fair election?  Guess we’ll never know now.

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By john, July 31, 2006 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

has anyone thought about what would have happened if pat tillman would have come be elected to high office in arizona…costing some
low life politco his job…well maybe someone
did think about it!!!!!!!

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By Amicusbriefs, July 31, 2006 at 11:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The point of the piece was the malicious nature of the church. Religion running amok has opened up the biggest divide in this country’s history. You can assume the existence of God through logical inference, but logical inference is not proof. Additionally, the ancient texts upon which religious traditions have been founded are not intact in their current translations. Centuries of additions and omissions have produced doctrines suited to the agendas of the compilers and translators. What passes for Christianity today bears little resemblance to the teachings of Jesus, known in his time as Yeshua Ben-Joseph. Since today’s churches have no ideological basis in original scripture, they should not enjoy any tax-exemption, nor should they receive any funding from tax dollars. These Bible-thumpers are being paid to spread hatred, racism and intolerance. America was founded by those wishing to escape the totalitarian Church of England. Congress and the courts should heed the writings of the founding fathers and put an end to charlatan fanaticism that hides behind scripture.

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By Dolemite, July 31, 2006 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
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Anon, you are missing the point of the article, and most likely the reason why Tillman’s family is still seeking the truth.  Everyone knows that when you join the Armed forces, you may have to kill, and you may be killed.  That is not the issue here.  The problem people have with this situation is that the military, now seemingly fully controlled by evangelical zealots who see the armed forces as their own personal fire and brimstone brigade, tried to spin his death in a way that resembles a made for TV movie.  Nothing is sacred to these ideologues in power right now; they will take the death of an honorable young man and twist it into some sort of propoganda peice simply to further their own agendas, and that is sickening.  These people have no shame, and are as anti-American as any suicide bomber or Al-Quaeda terrorist.

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By rras, July 31, 2006 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
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Great piece of writing. Would it be dreaming to wish for some film maker to take this story to it’s limit. With just a small amount of creative writing we could see a film that could make everyone think. It seems like it’s time for the public to start using their brains.

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By hem, July 30, 2006 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

being an atheist - one who does not recognize ‘god(s)’  really doesn’t require that one disbelieve in anything else ... afterlife, what ever ... an atheist does not necessarily reject unverifiable beliefs ... tho’ many do, and maybe Pat Tillman was known to be one ..

but i don’t think an author slaps the family in the face closing with a statement like that ... they have bigger issues to wrestle, like why would a military officer lie so baldly with such utter lack of integrity, honor, duty to corp and country?  why would the government exploit his death so cynically.

a reporter’s line, by contrast ...

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By Yogi Carpenter, July 30, 2006 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When we allow our military PR people to spin these stories, like they also tried to with Jessica Lynch, and as they did with the so-called terrorist cell in Florida, and as they did with the nonexistant connection of Saddam to Al Qaida, we allow our own hoodwinking. Lots of people read the National Enquirer not because they think it’s true but because it’s fun. Unfortunately far too many of us believe just whatever we want to even while we know better. The time for such indulgence is way past.

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