I was going to include this with this post but I can't really (it also explains the odd introduction to that post).
The US Military seems to have a problem. (The site for Anderson Cooper 360 has some extra information but it is more opinionated.)
There isn't very much I can say apart from good on Hall for doing what he is doing. From what I have noticed the view in the US is that the word "Atheist" is some sort of insult or slur, instead of what it actually is, a term for people who don't believe in any deities whatsoever.
But that view is quite common in all fundamentalist groups though too.
As a small digression I might as well point out that I am one of the non-religious, and I may actually be an apostate. I'm also from Adelaide, known as the "City of Churches" and also the least religious capital city in the country.
Here we don't experience as much of a problem with our religious views since most people don't actually care what you are.
What worries me is that the US military seems to. It also is one of our allies over in Afghanistan.
You know that joke that goes along the lines of "The single statement that the US can say that can have even the most powerful nation trembling is 'We're behind you all the way'"?
It's because the US is secular, it also makes fun of their friendly fire record.
Imagine that joke again, only with a US military that is very, very religious.
Not so funny now huh?
For those who don't understand why, there are, in essence, two simple reasons, firstly the God in the Bible does come across as something of a genocidal maniac (take a look here.) and secondly there is only one true church and every church is it, while every church is also not it.
(While you're at it, take a look at the lists of Cruelty and Violence, Injustice, and Intolerance on from the Skeptics Annotated Bible.)
You probably would be a bit scared if the guy in charge of your air support loves Chick tracts now wouldn't you?
As history has shown religion is an organisation that is more then willing to sacrifice the lives of its followers, and show no mercy to the lives of people who don't follow your religion, or specific brand of religion.
This makes me worry far more for the people that would be fighting with the Americans. The other thing that I have learned about Americans is that there are quite a few who, if they could, would list "Patriot" or "American" as their religion.
As a government institution in this day and age, the military should not be under the influence of religion. Especially one where the guy you are supposed to be worshipping says (Deuteronomy 2:31): "See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to take possission of his land." Or how about 1 Samael 15:3; "Now do and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey".
That is the God that Christianity follows. If it wasn't then you wouldn't find these same fundementalists using Deuteronomy as a reason to oppose gay marriage.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has a press release, where I finally figured out where I heard the name Jeremy Hall. Back in April he tried to found an atheist group and after getting all the proper paperwork organised basically had it forcefully closed by a Major Welborn because, I guess that the Major being a Major and outranking Hall, could do just because he didn't agree with Hall, or apparently the US Supreme Court which says that no religion is still constitutionally protected.
Maybe what we are seeing here is just another part of the battlefield that the world sees involving the small secular US taking on the larger religious US.
Personally I hope the secular side wins.