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CNN Segment Convinces Majority of Non-Christians that Army Discriminates


Soldier Files Lawsuit Against Military for Religious Discrimination
Nearly Half of Christians Agree

Flemington, NJ, July 10, 2008 -Jeremy Hall, a 23-year-old US soldier is suing the Department of Defense for allegedly discriminating against him because of his religious beliefs.  Army Spc. Jeremy Hall, raised as a Baptist, claims that he lost his Christian faith while serving two tours of duty in Iraq and that subsequently his atheist beliefs caused him to be denied promotions in the Army and to have his life threatened by other troops according to an interview Hall had with CNN. The military assigned a bodyguard to protect him and returned him stateside. 

Hall asserts that there is a pattern of discrimination against non-Christians in the military. CNN said Hall filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense in March, claiming his rights to religious freedom under the First Amendment were violated. Michael Weinstein, a retired senior Air Force officer and founder of the Military Religious Foundation, is joining in the lawsuit with Hall.  Weinstein claims that he has been contacted by more than 8,000 members of the military and many of them complaining about pressure to embrace evangelical Christianity.

Mediacurves, a Service of HCD Research studied over 200 Christians and over 100 hundred non-Christians to determine the impact of CNN’s segment on the issue.

While viewing the CNN segment, participants indicated their levels of believability by moving their mouse from left to right on a continuum. The responses were recorded in quarter-second intervals and reported in the form of curves. To view believability curves and detailed results go to: www.mediacurves.com.

Among the study findings:

 “Should US Army soldiers be required to pray with their fellow troops regardless of their religious beliefs?

Before Viewing Video   After Viewing Video
Christians Christians
Yes 24% Yes 16%
No 76% No 84%

Non-Christian   Non-Christian
Yes 16% Yes 10%
No 84% No 90%

“Do you believe atheists should be in leadership positions in the military?”

Before Viewing Video   After Viewing Video
Christians Christians
Yes 50% Yes 59%
No 50% No 41%

Non-Christian   Non-Christian
Yes 82% Yes 86%
No 18% No 14%

 “Do you believe that the US Army discriminates against non-Christians?”

Before Viewing Video   After Viewing Video
Christians Christians
Yes 13% Yes 46%
No 87% No 54%

Non-Christian   Non-Christian
Yes 37% Yes 75%
No 63% No 25%

 “Do you believe that there is pressure to embrace Evangelical Christianity in the US Military?”

Before Viewing Video   After Viewing Video
Christians Christians
Yes 24% Yes 49%
No 76% No 51%

Non-Christian   Non-Christian
Yes 44% Yes 79%
No 56% No 21%

“Do you agree with Army Specialist Jeremy Hall’s decision to bring a lawsuit against the US Department of Defense?”

After Viewing Video
Christians
Yes 53%
No 47%

After Viewing Video
Non-Christians
Yes 84%
No 16%

The Media Curves web site provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.

Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research.  Please contact Vince McGourty, HCD Research, at (908) 483-9121 or (vince.mcgourty@hcdi.net).

HCD Research is a communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ.  The company's services include traditional and web-based communications research.  For additional information on HCD Research, access the company’s web site at www.hcdi.net or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.

COMMENTS
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RE: Soldier Files Lawsuit Against Military for Religious Discrimination
by carolyndancliff (User #64304) on Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 7:29:24 PM (#807)
I feel bad that Jeremy Hall lost his Christian faith while fighting in Iraq., but I defend his right to do it. That is one of the basic ideals of our constution, freedom of religion. It is a sad day when he had to be protected for stating his beliefs. This whole war seems to be happening backwards.
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RE: Soldier Files Lawsuit Against Military for Religious Discrimination
by chris (Anonymous User) on Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 8:57:42 PM (#2247)
I am a Christian and also a veteran. A person should be free to believe in whatever they want, or not to believe. As long as it doesn't interfere with his or her job and does not impede anyone elses rights. There have been times where I have questioned God, but I have always believed He was there. Doubt is a human condition and even God speaks of it in the Bible. I don't think this young man should be punished or ostracized. He has been through enough and I will keep him and my other brothers and sisters in the military in my prayers.
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