Officer Selection CV - Are aetheists accepted?

#1
I have sat down with freshly washed hands at a freshly washed table to begin the grail that is my stack of papers pre-briefing.

I will almost certainly sting you all with a bunch of questions relating to other issues soon, but my first is this:

Is labelling my religious demonination as 'Aetheist' likely to disadvantage me in any way?

I would consider myself open-minded and very interested in science more than anything. But the word 'agnostic' sounds like a bit of a cop-out.

Not that I would misrepresent myself - particularly regarding such an important concept - but is this distinction likely to disadvantage me at all?

I ask in particular, due to the recently publicised issue of a US Army Captain who has been tormented for his aetheist beliefs .

Thank you.
 
#4
Yes, of course it will disadvantage you.

There is absolutely no way on God's earth that you'll be allowed to join the Royal Army Chaplain's department.
 
#5
Well, my concern has also been that I have heard more than one senior Officer use the reference of another officer being a good Christian soldier - apparently implying that one must be Christian to be principled, or at least, that being Christian enchances his moral character.

I don't want to get into any kind of theological debate here - and certainly not at my briefing - but am slightly concerned about there being any form of institutional prejudice.
 
#6
Good move. But bear in mind you still won't be excused Church parades at RMAS nor invited to drinks afterwards. Instead you will march to the chapel in your best kit and then stand out side for an hour with the other denominations. For these purposes declare yourself a Catholic. The service is always shorter and the church door which exits out of RMAS completely is never closed for the purposes of clandestine late re-entry out of hours to RMAS. And you get a top notch funeral if you cop it. ;)

Also being an atheist will not prejudice your application or serving in any way directly but it will open the door to some very difficult questions at interview. Be prepared !
 
#7
Put down whatever you like.

You may like to consider though, just putting down CofE and focus on standing out for positive reasons at hand rather than ephemeral matters of divinity and philosophy.

No matter how unfashionable it may sound, you will in the future have a duty to offer spiritual leadership to your men which means offering a sympathetic ear to their issues regardless of which kirk they follow of a Sunday/Saturday or whichever blessed day they go - and that's more difficult to do with sincerity if they know you believe in fvck all.

Still, you never know, close proximity to things that go bang might influence your chosen path as an Unbeliever.
 
#8
P-Ride said:
Is labelling my religious demonination as 'Aetheist' likely to disadvantage me in any way?
Yes, but only because you've spelled it wrong ;) Candidates are not selected or rejected based upon their religion, race etc.

Bear in mind that your email address features your name; your questions are not anonymous and you'd be surprised who reads this website.
 
#9
Shit. I've already filled that section in - damn honesty.

I don't think scribbling out 'Atheist' and scrawling 'Honest Catholic' in its place would go down so well?..
 
#10
Bumper said:
Put down whatever you like.

You may like to consider though, just putting down CofE and focus on standing out for positive reasons at hand rather than ephemeral matters of divinity and philosophy.

No matter how unfashionable it may sound, you will in the future have a duty to offer spiritual leadership to your men which means offering a sympathetic ear to their issues regardless of which kirk they follow of a Sunday/Saturday or whichever blessed day they go - and that's more difficult to do with sincerity if they know you believe in fvck all.

Still, you never know, close proximity to things that go bang might influence your chosen path as an Unbeliever.
This is quite a thoughtful post - and your concern about providing spiritual leadership is the sort of consideration I was concerned someone on the AOSB might have.

Again, not to get into arty-farty, esoteric debate - but I don't like the word 'atheist' very much, as it has some really negative connotations.

Zen philosophy is something I take a great interest in, and is something I believe to be of great value regarding the development of courage and discipline.

Either way, I'd be the last person to criticize another person's beliefs - as long as they treat everyone equally too.
 
#13
The AOSB are almost certainly going to ask you. Not in a critical or hostile way at all. Far from it. Your religious beliefs are your own. But it opens the door to a lot of wide range inquiry because it stands out. Offering spiritual comfort to your men may be part of it. But having some where to turn in your mind if you need it is another part of it. Traditionally soldiers hate going to church. But before operations commence the services are packed quite voluntarily. There is a message in that.
 
#16
You'll be fine but as has already been said, make absolutely sure you know what you are talking about.

Expect to be quizzed on the difference between that and being Agnostic.
If it turns out you don't know your theological arrse from your elbow, and lets face it you've only just found out how to spell Atheist, you will be left feeling like a prat.

IMHO atheism, saying there is definitely no God is as fundamental a religious view as jumping up and down declaring there absolutely definitely is one.

Be prepared to explain your position intelligently.

My advice - go CofE and keep your head down, but if its too late then get reading!
 
#17
duffdike said:
Good move. But bear in mind you still won't be excused Church parades at RMAS nor invited to drinks afterwards. Instead you will march to the chapel in your best kit and then stand out side for an hour with the other denominations. For these purposes declare yourself a Catholic. The service is always shorter and the church door which exits out of RMAS completely is never closed for the purposes of clandestine late re-entry out of hours to RMAS. And you get a top notch funeral if you cop it. ;)

Also being an atheist will not prejudice your application or serving in any way directly but it will open the door to some very difficult questions at interview. Be prepared !
So intellectual honesty is unimportant to you? You sir, have become a politician.
 
#18
StickyEnd said:
duffdike said:
Good move. But bear in mind you still won't be excused Church parades at RMAS nor invited to drinks afterwards. Instead you will march to the chapel in your best kit and then stand out side for an hour with the other denominations. For these purposes declare yourself a Catholic. The service is always shorter and the church door which exits out of RMAS completely is never closed for the purposes of clandestine late re-entry out of hours to RMAS. And you get a top notch funeral if you cop it. ;)

Also being an atheist will not prejudice your application or serving in any way directly but it will open the door to some very difficult questions at interview. Be prepared !
So intellectual honesty is unimportant to you? You sir, have become a politician.
A couple of Moslems on my intake at RMAS became Catholics for the duration. Said they liked singing and not standing about like pricks outside the Church!
 
#19
Micawber said:
You'll be fine but as has already been said, make absolutely sure you know what you are talking about.

Expect to be quizzed on the difference between that and being Agnostic.
If it turns out you don't know your theological arrse from your elbow, and lets face it you've only just found out how to spell Atheist, you will be left feeling like a prat.

IMHO atheism, saying there is definitely no God is as fundamental a religious view as jumping up and down declaring there absolutely definitely is one.

Be prepared to explain your position intelligently.

My advice - go CofE and keep your head down, but if its too late then get reading!
FFS! Another.

IMO as a former ranker, I would rather have had an honest commander than a game-playing insincere faux religious git.
 

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