From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Jewell)
Subject: Separation of church and state? Ha!
Date: 3 Jun 91 03:43:42 GMT
Organization: Purdue University
I used to believe in the separation of church and state in this country
until the Navy corrected that impression for me.
I had an operation at a Navy hospital in May '88 from which I still
have not recovered, but since Navy doctors can't make mistakes, I was
a "problem" which needed a solution. This solution presented itself
when I washed a bottle of sleeping pills down with 3 oz. of bourbon.
"Ah ha, " they said, "he's an alcoholic, even though he's never been
in trouble with alcohol before and doesn't fit any of the profiles and
the corpsmen say he doesn't have a problem. We'll send him to Rehab!"
Navy Alcohol Rehabilitation is like the Soviet mental hospitals, a
dumping ground for "inconvenient" persons.
Here's the point, at last. You have to conform to the 12 step
recovery process or be declared "unamenable" and discharged. Step 3,
to the best of my recollection, reads "I have surrendered myself to God,
as I know him."
I told the counselors that I was having a hard time surrendering to
an imaginary being, but atheism is unsanctioned and I was told I was
being "uncooperative". I said I just didn't believe in supernatural
To make a long story short(er) I'm a civilian, after 16 years of
honorable service. I haven't had a drink in 2 1/2 years, but I was kicked
out of my home because I was not able to be rehabilitated. Should I
be feeling angry or not?
I can't walk very well these days, but the VA says there is no record
of "service connected injury" which is not surprising since the last 8
years of my medical record are "missing" and not even my congressman can
make the Navy produce them. The Rehab center refused to allow me to
attach a statement to my records stating views as to why I "failed" rehab,
and they made no mention my atheism either, instead saying I was "agnostic"
which wouldn't have precluded me from completing Step 3.
I knew I was going to join the Navy when I was 12, and I still love it,
but I could gladly kill some of the people in it!
Larry W. Jewell