Heathens serving in the American military can now sport beards as part of their faith

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/26/heathens-serving-in-the-americ.html

In my faith, it is an act of devotion to wear a beard of 10,000 bees. Would they be(e) ok with that do you think?



As a profoundly hierarchical and bureaucratic organization, the military expects all religions to be the same. There should be a highest authority that will tell them “THIS is the symbol of this religion, THESE are the religious requirements.” I believe that this is why atheists get the symbol of the “American Atheists” organization on their headstone instead of just leaving the space blank, which would be much more appropriate IMHO.


Seems like rocking a beard - looking like a suspiciously buff Brooklyn barista - has been a sign of Special Forces since about 2001 (and was similarly an identifier of SAS and SBS personnel in the UK back in the late 1970s/ early 1980s).

But I guess this is for regular grunts, not SOCOM


If they were killer bees, you may be a valuable asset. I wouldn’t fuck with you.

Hey remember back in they day in Britain the made you wear a mustache in the army?

Also, I know many of the special forces who were embedded deep in the middle east wore beards as they were given more respect due to the culture. And of course, back in history beards were common int he military. I think it was WWI where they implemented the clean shaven look, because you can’t get a seal on a gas mask with a beard.


And still, neither Heathens nor Christians nor Sikh nor Hindus nor Buddhists nor Muslims nor atheists nor agnostics have even one good reason to join the US Army. No sentient being should ever do that.

Like I said before, “don’t ask, don’t tell?DON’T GO! DON’T KILL! DON’T BOMB! DON’T INVADE OTHER COUNTRIES!

Now all of you please go home, thank you very much. Make a new plan, Stan You don’t need to be coy, Roy Just get yourself free. Hop on the bus, Gus You don’t need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee And get yourself free.


I always thought “heathen” was a pejorative so it’s odd to hear it used this way. Sikhs also grow their hair long (that’s part of what the turban is all about), so do Sikh soldiers get to rock a turban?


(The admonishment to go home obviously only applies to soldiers on duty. Everyone else is most welcome, at least here & and far as I’m concerned.)

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They do, and they look pretty fucking badass.



yeah - I thought “Heathens” (who worship “pagan” gods??) pretty much describes all hindus, sikhs, buddhist … and was meant to mean “lesser”… (as in “savage Heathens”). me no likey.

recent book looks interesting: “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India”

Time to relax a little, my friends …

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If Modern Heathenry hasn’t already been a book or magazine title over at Liartown USA then Sean Tejarachi needs to get on that.


What we really need is a helmet modelled after the strainer which holds our noodly god…


How about Hitler?

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Defeating Hitler was good, but it was also pretty complicated. But I’m talking about now. It’d be nice if You The People abolished the army as it is today by not signing up. As is clear from too many examples to cite, the US Army has not been a force for good for the last many decades, at least not in its operations abroad.


That’s a difficult proposition for many, as joining affords them benefits they might not have access to otherwise. Training, education, healthcare, etc.and if they aren’t a US Citizen it could lead to an easier avenue to become one.

I am also of the mind that our military complex is bloated and pretty destructive. They do however have a place and purpose, i would much prefer to have them operate at a more scaled back scope than not have them around at all.


Well, I agree! Like being able to resist any attack on the country itself without getting involved abroad! Like a standing army for the contingency of being attacked. And with that, your army would be much smaller. (I’m in favor of the same thing here in my own country.)


Why can’t I say “I’m an athiest and I believe people should be able to groom as they wish?”

So the Amish can join the US Military now? Diversity FTW!

Actual heathen checking in. Some of us use the term because “Germanic Paganism” is a bit of a mouthful, and the ancient Heathens didn’t seem to have a name for their religion, it was just a thing they did.

There is, and never has been, one true Heathenry. If your version says a beard is required, I might argue over your reasons (it almost always comes down to aesthetics rather than theology or history) but ultimately I’m not going to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

The racists/neo nazis/whatever, on the other hand. They’re doing it wrong and can fuck right off from calling themselves Heathen and giving us a bad name.

Any more questions, I’m happy to answer. However, see above about how there is no one true Heathenry, so I can only really answer for myself.