Blog of Rights

Rock Beyond Belief

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 12:38pm

On September 25, 2010, an evangelical Christian concert was held on the military base at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. After receiving complaints about the "Rock the Fort" concert, military officials claimed that they would support similar events sponsored by nonevangelical groups. But when one such event, "Rock Beyond Belief," was proposed by Sgt. Justin Griffith, an atheist, military brass refused to provide the same level of support.

The ACLU of North Carolina first became involved in October of 2010, when it sent a letter and Freedom of Information Act request regarding the "Rock the Fort" concert. Since then, the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, ACLU of North Carolina, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent two follow-up letters (here and here) encouraging the officials at Fort Bragg to do the right thing — and the constitutional thing — by not playing favorites with religion and, at the very least, showing the same amount of support for "Rock Beyond Belief" that it offered to "Rock the Fort."

And it looks like it worked! According to the Rock Beyond Belief website, "On March 31st, 2012, Fort Bragg will be hosting Rock Beyond Belief with the full support it was promised."  It's good to see the military honoring all of its service members equally.

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