Atheist Soldier Drops Lawsuit

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A U.S. Army soldier who claims to be an atheist has dropped his discrimination lawsuit against the Defense Department.

Pfc. Jeremy Hall says he was not allowed to hold an atheist meeting while on active duty in Iraq and that his religious freedoms were violated. Hall's supervising officer at the time has denied the allegations.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which filed the suit on behalf of Hall last year, asked the court Friday to dismiss the case because Hall is leaving the Army soon.

Second Time Suit Dropped

This is the second time Hall, 24, and the Foundation have dropped the lawsuit. They had refiled the suit eight months ago.

At that time, they added claims that Hall was threatened with retaliation from other soldiers and officers. Those threats, he says, included the blocking of his promotion to sergeant and a telephone death threat against him and his wife that was traced to another soldier.

Fort Riley investigators said that the threat wasn't serious and that the soldier who left the message was intoxicated.

Plans to Leave the Army

Pfc. Hall plans to leave the Army next spring. He says he plans to file another lawsuit with another atheist soldier claiming there is widespread religious discrimination in the U.S. military.

Defense officials have declined to comment specifically on either lawsuit. The department says the military has a longstanding policy against discrimination that preserves religious freedom for all in uniform.

It also says complaints about alleged religious discrimination are rare.

Sources: CBN News, USA Today

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