Essay:Pat Tillman was not an atheist

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The haters of America have found their poster child, Pat Tillman. Gary Smith did an extensive work writing about the Tillman few of us knew, titled Remember His Name. [1] The work is comprised of glorifying the hero he was and publishing little known so-called facts like; Pat was a Bush hater, Pat was a leftist, Pat was an atheist. Of course, he can't defend himself after dying on the battlefield. Gary Smith got much of the story from a greiving family who went through hell trying to find the truth to their sons death. At the time this story was published, the liberal mainstream media were having a field day tearing down the commander-in-chief, during wartime. The story made perfect sense, Tillman died for nothing, Bush's war was unjust (even though 111 Democrats voted for the war.) Liberals were estatic, Pat wouldn't be used as a model for recruitment or as an American patriot, he would be used as an anti-war hero, leftist propaganda.

As I read 'Remember His Name', I couldn't help but think that Gary Smith made a hit piece. As I read other sites reviews, liberals everywhere were congratulating Smith for his work. Leftist blogs everywhere were giving kudos to Smith, creating conspiracy theories, even leftwing hate websites like DailyKos were giving their approval. Nobody was saying his writing stunk, nobody was saying this isn't true, except Ann Coulter. [2] Here is a sample of Smith's writing about Tillman "Gays, for instance. By the last few years of his life, his narrow view of them as an adolescent had so altered that he would argue they were the most evolved form of man." Smith pushing leftwing agenda, Smith pushing evolution, 'most evolved form of man'? Smith did a good job alright, the making of a leftist hero, a Bush-hater, one of them.

As a teen, Pat kept a journal. The writings in it would be a trophy for atheism. "I consider myself an atheist, however, in the back of my mind, I wonder if there is something greater." At age sixteen, most people don't know enough about life to make a profound decision such as that, a young mind still growing. If you look where he was at the time and how he ended up, it is a certainty that he was never an atheist. At age 17, he was arrested for assault and spent 30 days in jail. There is no doubt, his life would change for the better. He left behind all that was wrong (atheism) and he strove to be the best at whatever he did. He became a college football sensation. Tillman was a team player, he had moxy, he had determination to be the best. At his funeral, Chad Schwartz paid Pat homage "morals that could not be compromised,” and "he wanted to be an inspiration. He wanted to change people and he wanted to change his country for the better.” Does that sound like an atheist to you? Pat was an avid reader 'the man with an insatiable zeal for debate and an ongoing thirst for knowledge, the man who read everything from the Bible to the Koran and Emerson to Thoreau', even the Book of Mormons. But the hit piece article focused on Noam Chomsky, 'Pat just loved Noam, was prepared to meet him after the service.' Even though it was confirmed by Noam, I seriously doubt it. This all fits nicely into the leftist soldier who wrongly died for his country. It is true that he was not married in a Church, only an atheist would use that to their advantage. All the talk that Pat said the 'Iraq war was illegal', is hard to believe he truly felt that way. You've heard the old saying 'There are no atheists in foxholes', I believe that and I believe that Pat had issues under the stress of war.

Then there is the issue of Pat's football career. He had already served in war and could be let out of the Army early, the NFL wanted him back. Smith's article goes on to say how he seriously considered this. I don't believe this either. Here is a man loyal to his country, to his fellow soldiers, out of personal hate of the war, Smith argued Pat thought seriously about abandoning them. Include in this fact that Pat signed up for military service with his brother. He would leave his brother behind? Pat had married right before he volunteered. His wife spoke of a man that did not have an ego. Pat had accumulated award after award, trophy after trophy playing college ball. His wife would say the only thing on Pat's mantle was a hand drawn U.S. flag. This is somebody who would turn against his country? How many atheist do you know would sacrifice their life for their country? For others? Selfless is not an atheist quality.

Everybody that paid Pat homage spoke of an incredible man, his courage, his bravery. Pat's brother-in-law would say, "take great notice of his daily pursuit to become a better person. But more importantly, his utter pride, devotion, and love for Marie, his family, and his friends.” Show me another atheist with the same convictions.

Former Arizona Cardinal teammate Zack Walz spoke of Pat's dog tags that he received, "For as long as gravity pulls, they will hang down close to my heart—the place where Pat Tillman has permanently emblazoned his mark.” Can we say that Pat cared deeply for his fellow man? Pat left a mark on people, for the better.

Smith would write 'But it was his character and his convictions that added countless inches to his unassuming stature.' Atheism has but one conviction, the daily fight to remove God from their own lives and others' lives. That is not the Pat Tillman America produced. He is a hero, not a leftwing zero.

References

  1. Remember His NameSports Illustrated
  2. Pat Tillman, Our Hero The Nation, October 6, 2005
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