What’s the Opiate of the Masses Again?

Matt Barganier, October 18, 2011

Oh, thank heathens. Once liberals have forged the Great Society among the grunts, they can take another crack at Nam.

A noteworthy excerpt from the article tweeted above:

Mother Jones: One of the most prominent military humanists has to be Pat Tillman, the NFL star turned Afghanistan hero whose death by friendly fire was the subject of a government cover-up. But his religious convictions, or his lack of them, seems under-reported.

Jason Torpy (president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers): Pat Tillman was a hero and an inspiration to the nation. It’s unfortunate that there’s a certain type of hero worship that goes on, where we decide that a person is good and start heaping extra good qualities on him. That sort of hero worship was attempted to be put on Pat Tillman a little bit. But in all the 9/11 anniversary retrospectives, Pat Tillman wasn’t brought up a lot. I think people realized that he’s not their perfect Christian warrior. He was an atheist. You know, he was one of us. We revere and respect Pat Tillman very much. But the family has not reached out to the movement, and we want to respect them.

That having been said, we plan to name one of our new donor societies after Pat Tillman, based on his example, showing secular values, secular commitment, secular patriotism, and his own status as a great scholar-warrior.

Is that really what happened to the Pat Tillman epic? The mean old Christians suppressed it? Or was it a casualty of the inconvenient fact that Tillman was killed by his fellow soldiers? The Pentagon covered that up and stop-lossed Tillman’s corpse for propaganda purposes; I guess Jason Torpy and company are going to call it up again.

Just one question for Jason Torpy: What would Iraq War–opposing, Noam Chomsky–reading Pat Tillman think of being used as a Lee Greenwood for the godless set?




12 Responses to “What’s the Opiate of the Masses Again?”

  1. Maybe Pat Tillman didn't come up much during the 9/11 anniversary simply because Pat Tillman had nothing, whatsoever, to do with 9-11. Did anyone ever think of that? This was obviously a dumb thing to say, but I don't understand where this is going to be honest. If this guy had said something to the effect of:"we need to stay in Afghanistan and 'win' to ensure Pat Tillman and other didn't lose their lives in vein"…I would have an issue… But this seems to be completely unrelated to anything. I hope people don't misinterpret my post…I'm not trying to offend anyone…I just genuinely saying I don't get it. Keep in mind I don’t know who Jason Torpy is, and I don’t follow MJ, so I may missing something entirely as a result.

  2. It seems as if you may be misinterpreting the post (or maybe you're too young to remember how much 9/11 and Tillman were used together by the Bush admin for propaganda purposes).

  3. The Supreme Court declared it legal for groups of atheists to declare themselves a church in America, thereby claiming tax free status. Wouldn´t it then be logical that the military incorporate Atheistic Chaplains to serve all of the non-believers in the military? Where is Madeline Murray O´Hair when we need her?

  4. Or Wavy Gravy, or anyone else irrelevant for the past 30+ years

  5. Hey, you're right; whatever did happen to Madeline Murray O'Hair?

  6. The problem (died by fellow soldiers) is "The Pentagon covered that up and stop-lossed Tillman’s corpse for propaganda purposes". The problem is the state has the power to do that.
    Citizens put up with it or ignore it. Anthropology, shows us that religion and the state have been intertwined for at least thousands of years. (Ex-vice president Dick Cheney used the death of 3000 citizens for a revenge attack on Saddam Hussein. If you don't even own your body and the memory of it, because the state manipulates it, then how moral is the state?
    Why is the US doing that? Presently president Obama is committing wars in Libya and now going into Uganda. There are 7 billion people on this planet, and he is sending soldiers just with a letter to congress into a place largely irrelevant to the US on his or his staff's personal whim.
    The problem is the all powerful state, and the fact that the US has lost direction. Left, Right, Atheists, Christians, Mormons, whatever is just a dividing line. Political manipulators will use dividing lines whenever possible. Do you think candidates like Rick Perry would not pander to atheists if they where the majority? They want power. They will use the state treasury for whatever purpose. My relationship (to atheist-citizens as fellow live human beings) is more than being manipulated by state actors, and politicians. Blind war is inhumane which many modern religions profess to want to be against. If a deity or lack of deity points them into the direction of good government (lack of expensive inhumane wars), I say I stand with them

  7. I'm confused and want a little clarity. Did the Spanish Catholic Church snatch 300,000 babies for over fifty years from those it deemed 'undesirable' to build an army for the second coming of the christ or were they simply experimenting with a new methodology of social eugenics?

  8. Yes, you are confused. Perhaps you meant to comment on another post, at another blog, in a parallel universe where it might be relevant.

  9. Well, I'm not confused about Mrs. Butterworth – she's been around longer than they'd have you believe. She was a major fertility goddess even before they introduced her matronly bottle around the time of the christ and it wasn't in that parallel universe, buddy! (I'm relieved that someone has finally confirmed and admitted the existence of the, you know, place where they take babies for eugenics training). Thanks, Matt.

  10. "Just one question for Jason Torpy: What would Iraq War–opposing, Noam Chomsky–reading Pat Tillman think of being used as a Lee Greenwood for the godless set?"
    I think he'd prefer to be private. Sometimes, however, you don't get to choose to be a hero. He was one of us – a foxhole atheist – and a great one.

  11. The very heart of your writing while sounding reasonable initially, did not really work properly with me personally after some time. Somewhere within the sentences you were able to make me a believer but only for a short while. I still have got a problem with your jumps in assumptions and you might do well to fill in those breaks. If you can accomplish that, I will definitely be impressed.

  12. It was an excellent effort made by you through your nice piece of writing, holding the quality and knowledge together for the readers.