West Point cadet quits over religion
Blake Page says West Point discriminates against nonreligious cadets.
December 6th, 2012
03:36 PM ET

West Point cadet quits over religion

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – Military development. Academics. Athletics. Three pillars of Army values that cadets at America's most prestigious military academy live by.

But West Point cadet Blake Page says there is one other unspoken pillar at the United States Military Academy: religion.

That's why, with just five months left before graduation, Page quit.

And he did it in a most public fashion – in a fiery blog post.

"The tipping point of my decision to resign was the realization that countless officers here and throughout the military are guilty of blatantly violating the oaths they swore to defend the Constitution,"  wrote Page, 24, in The Huffington Post.

"These men and women are criminals, complicit in light of day defiance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice through unconstitutional proselytism, discrimination against the non-religious and establishing formal policies to reward, encourage and even at times require sectarian religious participation. These transgressions are nearly always committed in the name of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Military

soundoff (383 Responses)
  1. pervert alert

    Lets make special allowances for qu eers. Qu eers the people who gave the world AIDS.

    December 8, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • pervert alert

      They can't keep us from our Lord though. If they, oh darn moms calling I have to take the trash out. Ill be right back.

      December 8, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • sam stone

      still dreaming about doing the lewingsky thing on jeebus, perv?

      just think of the joy when the savior sprays all over your face

      December 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  2. Tax Damned Churches NOW

    Religion is a ludicrously-easily debunked, medaeval,, anti-science, unAmerican fraud. That our military still clings to it reveals fear and brainwashing that should disqualify one from service, rather than be required for promotion.

    December 8, 2012 at 4:37 am |
  3. lastofall

    The unbelieving world insists upon the acceptance, endorsement, and support of the expansion of sin, of which they have accomplished much of sins expansion, and still are not satisfied, but are ever wanting more sin, even as a disease spreads.

    December 8, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  4. Sam Yaza

    oh yeah our military is horribly christian, and becoming more so since 9 11, that's why i can thoroughly say that we are in a crusade against Islam... again

    December 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  5. Patton

    Christians have to put up with atheistic public school teaching. Sad article by CNN, nothing to see here....

    December 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Really, you can name even one public school that teaches that there is no god? That recites poems or songs about the non-existence of god? I didn't think so.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • poopmeister

      Yeah, that's actually offensive. Religion of any form needs to stay out of our schools. There would be too many religions to try and incorporate into school lessons...because they would have to be diverse and that's the problem.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Roger that

      If you feel the need to have your kids brainwashed, then send them to Sunday school.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Mirosal

      If you want YOUR kids to be indoctrinated, send them to a private school. Public schools have a lot more than just Christian kids in them, and for you to MAKE them learn YOUR Christian ways is a violation of the rights of those children.

      December 8, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • sam stone

      come on, patton.....name one public school that teaches that there is no god. just one, punk. if you can't, perhaps it is time to go home and get your shinebox

      December 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • rh

      My child has been subjected to Joel Osteen at school, to make a "point" about religious freedom – yet no other religions were covered at all.

      I agree with you in one respect: teachers should NOT share their beliefs at a public school. Yet my children are told to say "under God' when they do not believe in one, and told to sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in public school. The reason we were told is that if they did not sing Christmas songs, it would let other children down.

      The public school system continually lets down atheist schoolchildren, and supports Christianity. You have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to raise a good, moral, honest, honorable child, when he or she is surrounded by brainwashed people who think that the only good in this world is waiting for what happens after death.

      December 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  6. Patton

    This boy probably couldn't handle the pressures of military life. So he decided to make a name for himself by questioning conduct and ceremony that will remain in the military long after this child retires from flower arranging...

    December 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  7. Carl

    My GAYDAR just went through the roof. Just saying. And my GAYDAR is usually flawless.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Eric G

      Not only flawless, but tastefully dressed, I'm sure.

      December 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • I'm 45 and live with my parents

      I approve of this message.

      December 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Steve, Steve the Carpenter's Second Cousin

      Being gay is much better than being a fvcktard christian sheep moron. Evangelicals actually fvck more dudes than gays.

      December 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  8. sadia

    The Grind Scene represents those individuals who steadfastly pursue success in spite of distraction, difficulty, obstacles or discouragement. These hustlers celebrate the destination, but always embrace the journey. Our brand embodies the struggle and strife that accompanies any journey towards success.For knowing more information about us visit at http://thegrindscene.com/

    December 7, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  9. Broseph

    True. In basic training, you can either go to church for a couple hours on Sunday or stay back at your dorm cleaning bathrooms while training instructors scream in your ear.

    I was agnostic and even I chose church.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • MaryJ

      Why not just go to church and zone out like half the other people there?

      December 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      So much for your integrity...

      December 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      sam thing in job corp turns out the only five people that stayed behind were Pagans (they hate us when we go their, they never stop trying to "save" us. frankly its harassment; so we chose to bleed on or knees, better then church), even atheist chose the church

      December 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      That's definitely harassment, and it takes someone to make this kind of thing public. It’s like the kids in public school whose parents are told they can go to the nativity play with all their friends or stay alone studying in the classroom looking like a loser outcast.

      December 8, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  10. ronvan

    What I see is a person UNPREPARED for what he THOUGHT he was getting into. Did he do any research about the academy BEFORE going? Was religion and religious events kept secret prior to his entering West Point? Was there any hazing going on? Probably so, but with limits! There IS a history in the Army about west point grads. They tend to take care, make exceptions for fellow grads.. How many of us that served have heard the term "ring knockers"? In my 23yrs. in the army I have met and known many west point grads., and like anything else in this world, some are good and some are just stupid! This young man has failed himself and used religion as an excuse!

    December 7, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      One whouldn't have to research whether religion is pushed in a particular government insti'tution. We should be able to start from the premise that it is not; if we find to the contrary, that is a proplem with that insti'tution. It's like telling a woman she was wrong to complain because she found se'xual harrassment in her local town hall when some research would have shown that went on and she should never have applied. No, the harassment shouldn't be taking place and anyone whould be able to apply, regardless of se'x or religion.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  11. Jim

    Too many factors in play here. I can see why he would blame it on the religious environment there, but there were other things that happened to him that probably pushed him over the edge.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      What I wonder is why people are criticiaing him for quitting, when it was already decided he wouldn't have a military career. What did they want him to do...such up another semester of tax payer dollars to NOT serve as an officer?

      December 7, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  12. DUMBAtheiStS

    From the ti.tle, "That's why, with just five months left before graduation, Page quit."

    "In the story, That's why, with just five months left before graduation, Page quit."

    Page is an epitome of how DUMB atheists are.

    December 7, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      From the ti.tle, *"West Point cadet quits over religion."

      "In the story, That's why, with just five months left before graduation, Page quit."

      Page is an epitome of how DUMB atheists are.

      December 7, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • I wonder if his West Point credits will transfer to Whatsamatter U.

      Probably not Battlefield Tactics 301.

      December 7, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • mama k

      Some dumb asses can't even quote a title on the first try.

      December 7, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  13. Reality

    Mickey Weinstein (see the full story) takes 50% of the donations to his "non-profit" as his salary. If he was really concerned about the situation, he would simply donate his time and effort to the cause at no cost but paying himself a quarter of a million dollars every year for writing a few op-ed pieces has the stench and ooze of a money-grab.

    Note: the taxpayers also paid for his schooling at the Air Force Academy and later for his law degree.

    I donate the following prayer at no cost to my former military units:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (references used are available upon request)

    December 7, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  14. Sneezus's Sermon on the Mounties

    I keep wondering if and when elements of the military working with Tea Party extremists will attempt a coup. There are definitely people in this country nutty enough to do it.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      Look up the Christian dominionists

      December 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Yep, they are out there all right. The rational thinkers must stay vigilant.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • niknak

      It is definately comming.
      What the fundies want, is something that cannot be gotten thru the ballot box.
      They want a xtain version of Saudi Arabia here in the US.
      Where we have a xtian nation, where you are compelled to believe in their version of the fairy tale, are forced to go to church at least once a week, where there is no Supreme Court and only a "council of elders" who make laws based on the babble, where the lilly white fundies make all the rules and are in power without question.
      That can only be attained thru a coup d'etait.
      They will try, I just hope enough of the rank and file military won't go along with it.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  15. GodsPeople

    QQ. Cry moar, quitter.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Forget about the Gelgameks?!!!

      December 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yeah, he should have stayed and dropped a big steamer on the altar - take that, gawd!

      December 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The Gelgamek v.agina is three feet wide and filled with razor sharp teeth. Do you really expect us to have s.ex with it?

      December 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Masssacre

      "moar"? Really?

      December 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      QQ and moar are memes, pretty much ensuring GodsPeople is 12.

      December 7, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • sam stone

      GodsPeople.....you are a punk, your god is a punk.

      Thanks for playing

      December 7, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  16. Apple Bush

    "Fundamentalist evangelical Christianity"

    Just thinking about that makes my brain hurt. How is it that what I see as absolutely 100% obviously ridiculous without a shadow of a doubt can be the foundation for belief for another?

    How can the world be so completely illogical and blind to what is so clearly the truth?

    How are we all on the same planet? How can this be?

    I can only conclude that our brains are simply wired differently. It has to be biological. We are not riding the same merry-go-round.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Lodents for Lomney

      Yup, it is a very strange development in Christianity, (as if that were not nutty enough). Not only is it ignorance of the mainstream academic positions of thinkers from the last 200 years, it's a *strange* (uniquely) American insistence on "literalism", which is oddly childish. It's more about "an'al retention" (personality disorder), ie Psychology, rather than Theology.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      not always easy to break cult thinking - especially when most of the people in the society you live are part of that cult. chrstianity teaches its members to obey, never question. but look at the shifts in religious identification in this country - things are changing. the internet is killing religion. people can fact check the bible now. have hope. people are waking up.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • niknak

      No Bush, it is because those kinds of people who still believe in the sky fairy were brought up in homes that closed their minds at an early age.
      They have lived their lives in fear, and all their friends and family believe that same thing. They just can't let go, as that means being cast out. Hard to do when you are weak inside.
      Religion is the worst scurge ever visited on mankind.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Apple Bush

      It is insanity. It seems like a weird unbelievable dream.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Saraswati

      I imagine that brains are wired quite differently and several twins studies have supported this. The first few years of development are probably also a very important time. But I'd also question myself any time something seems obvious, because almost always that's a tip off that it isn't.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  17. Akira

    Apple, you sane fvck!
    What's the word?

    December 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey Akira, running the Daddy taxi cab service!

      December 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ballet, soccer, football, lacrosse, or tai kwon do?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey TT,

      Tonight is:

      Marching band practice, school play rehearsal (so had to cancel voice lesson) , followed by dress rehearsal for the Christmas show.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Those days of running the kids around are largely over; it used to be soccer, dance, cheerleading, more dance, basketball, more dance, competi tion rehearsal, traveling soccer, and dance competi tions.
      (I was a soccer mom AND a dance mom, lol!)
      How did I freaking survive?

      December 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Yup, I hear you!

      December 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  18. Observer

    "Man without wives is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point."

    One vote for polygamy?

    December 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Chadwitch

      Are you allowed pointy things?

      December 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OWWWW! Knock it off, will ya?

      December 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  19. BurningMan


    ...or an invisible ink pen that only those with the secret-holy-spirit decoder fluid can decode...

    How goes it, Cheese? Hope you are well.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      With invisible ink....

      Going good BurningMan! Heathen's Greatings!

      December 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      December 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, it COULD be "Greetings," but considering your name, Cheese, it could just as easily be "Gratings!"

      December 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Good One Tom!

      You 'shredded' me there!

      December 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • BurningMan

      Heathen's gratings to you and Tom, Tom, as well.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Right back at ya.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Akira

      BM, I will say this: I think that some people are entirely too interested in what goes on the bedrooms of consenting adults, and religions should have absolutely no say in legislation of civil rights.
      I see no point in polygamy, really.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Apatheist

      you people are unbearable...

      December 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Unbearable"? Maybe. But compared to the rest of humanity, I doubt we're so awful.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Sybil

      Many names, one keyboard.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Akira

      Thanks for admitting that, Sybil.
      I'm Akira. Just Akira.
      Many names are pointless, and foster ill feelings.
      I dislike duplicity.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What about Apple Bush's multiple usernames? You guys get on quite amicably.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Akira

      He has admitted it; that's the difference, to me, anyway.
      And he admitted it from day one.
      He's at least up front about it.

      December 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well, when I am Apple Bush I am Apple Bush. If I am Toshi, I am Toshi. Etc. I am just having some fun. My different names do not intersect. Meatwad is Meatwad. Has nothing to do with Apple Bush.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Akira

      The difference to me with the name changing sh!t is that some people will use different names to attack a person, for example, and then use another name to act friendly to the same person...use one name to assert a belief and then use another to assert the oposite opinion...it's dishonest to me somehow.
      I know it's the nature of the internet; I'm not naïve.
      Apple being Toshi doesn't really negate Apple's core beliefs.
      There are those that do otherwise.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Apple Bush

      There it is.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  20. Ken Colwell

    Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • BurningMan


      The daily lives and examples set by the Body of Christ begs for the question: "God, what was your point?"

      December 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Life with god is like pretending you have an invisible pencil.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, source of hind criminality hinduism, racism on earth.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Akira

      Ken, what you mean is for for you, life without God has no meaning.
      Fair enough, but don't presume to speak for people who don't feel the same way.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • BurningMan

      have to hit "reply" next time, Cheese :0)....

      Odd how what "there is no other truth" types, when verbally spoken, sounds just like a congregation speaking in tongues.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • BurningMan

      Hi, Akira:

      A fan of yours as well.

      Isn't that odd that Christians are like that...they assume they can speak for others and know exactly what they are thinking and what another's experience is all about?

      It speaks to a fear of living that requires one to maintain some kind of control by "controlling" another's life by claiming "God."

      What the Christian fails to realize, in the context of their concept of "free will," that they rob the other person's free will in the process.

      An odd bunch.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ken, why would you think that? How would you know? You don't have a clue what my life or anyone else's life means to the person living it. Speak for yourself. Shut up when it comes to me and my life–you don't know sh!t from Shinola.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Something that sounds profound but intellectually hollow.
      Usually has the following characteristics. 1. True but trivial 2. False but logically ill informed. 3. Usually a use-mention error or (UME)

      December 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Man without wives is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      there is no other truth but truth absolute, constant, proven by science, source of existence, hindu's, atheist, self centered have no clue of.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • BurningMan

      @ "there is no other truth..."

      I think "man without wives" has a continuous point...having wife tends to create "ED" (despite the scriptural claim).

      However, having "wives"?...hmmm...that might be a solution for the pencil, but most certainly not for the wallet

      December 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • kenny

      Ken Colwell
      If it hasn't been sharpened yet I'm assuming that it hasn't made any mistakes worth erasing yet either, right? 🙂

      December 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Hi, BurningMan,
      And I am one of yours, as well.
      Re: Christians: the phrase "speak for yourself" is always the first thing I think of; it is something everyone should live by; of course, I am just as guilty at times...
      And as for your post on polygamy? Well, I would have no problem with it if the wives can take as many husbands as they wished also...but somehow I don't think that would go over so well.
      Maybe a mechanical pencil is the answer?

      December 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Please, you guys, stop with the pencil analogies. It's too painful to entertain.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • BurningMan

      Hi, Akira...

      Thank you for your thoughts. And no, I'm not a fan of polygamy or much of fan of marriage, for that matter (a child of divorce and a divorcee myself).

      But yes, it is tragic that all of the male ego induced solutions to any issue tend to be pe-nis based. If polygamy were a culturally accepted experience then I would require that women, too, have the option for as many husbands as they desire...

      I wonder if a woman demanded that of Hebrew culture at some point and that is why it became a "God" sanctioned no-no...

      December 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Lodents for Lomney

      Just because you are so feckless, and uninspired, don't project your depression onto others.
      Did you pout for months when you heard there was nu Easter Bunny ?

      December 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Akira

      Lodents, wait, what??
      There's no Easter Bunny??

      December 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      A sharpened pencil is unreliable. The tip breaks off and then you have an uneven edge. Better to work the lead down to a more moderate tip that you can write crisply with or use for shading.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • kenny

      Lodents for Lomney
      Pouting is something best reserved to responses associated with Santa, as in

      You better watch out
      You better not cry
      Better not pout
      I'm telling you why
      Santa Claus is coming to town
      He's making a list
      And checking it twice;
      Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
      Santa Claus is coming to town...

      December 7, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • sam stone

      and life with god is constantly cowtowing to the vindictive little pr1ck for mercy

      December 7, 2012 at 6:53 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.