After receiving the responses to a survey known as the Global Assessment Tool back from scores of soldiers who admit they are atheists, the Army has deemed them spiritually unfit, and is requiring the heathen soldiers to take remedial training to help them develop some type of spiritual awakening.
This recent development is leading many atheist soldiers to admit to knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior even if they don't even know what that means. Many of them are saying that this new measure replaces the repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell measure with another that they have dubbed "Don't Pray? Don't Tell" and are doing everything they can to circumvent being placed in training programs which require them to read the Bible faithfully every day as punishment.
Part of a new $50 million Army program known as Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, the spiritual component is deemed just as important as the other components, i.e. physical fitness, emotional fitness, social skills, and family skills. While some soldiers balk at the idea that you have to be a believer before you can effectively go to war, the Army sees it differently.
"When those mortar shells are falling all around you," claims Colonel Joe Yagatme, "most soldiers will naturally ask a higher power to protect them. The atheists, however, don't seem to get it, and those are the ones we are concerned about. Ask an atheist where his soul goes when he dies and he just laughs. We consider that borderline psycho, and we are ramping up a program to save these poor souls from themselves."
Said Yagatme, "It's one thing to not believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny, but to not believe in a supreme being? That's just nuts, especially when you consider the alternative."
Many atheist soldiers, however, believe that is precisely the kind of thinking that sets them apart from the faithful and, while they want to be true to themselves, they know the reality of the situation is that if they don't do what the Army wants them to do, they have to answer to a power higher than God their commanding officer.
Yagatme acknowledges that while most soldiers, regardless of their spiritual preference, do utter phrases such as "Oh, God" and "for Christ Sakes" in the normal course of discharging their duties, that is not considered evidence that the soldiers have a strong spiritual base. "There's a fine line between calling on the Lord to help in harrowing situations and taking His name in vain," said Yagatme, "and we're here to help them discern the difference."