Duh, right? You’d think that would be obvious because I had it listed on my speaking schedule, blogged about it four different times, and even turned down other speaking events that conflicted with it.

But Fort Bragg doesn’t believe me, or any of the speakers. They’re telling reporters it’s okay that they refused to fund the event, because no one really intended to come. No one filed a “Statement of Intent” – a document that wasn’t required of the evangelical Christian Rock the Fort event, nor was it ever mentioned to organizer Justin Griffith until after the fact.

Richard Dawkins and other speakers have now openly given their “Statement of Intent,” so consider this mine. I was one of the first speakers approached to participate in Rock Beyond Belief, along with Hemant Mehta. I agreed wholeheartedly, because the separation of church and state is supremely important to me, and I wanted to help respond to that evangelical festival in any way I could. As I saw more and more speakers and performers added to the schedule, my excitement grew. I couldn’t wait for April 2nd! I was doing this without honorarium even though grad students aren’t exactly made of money, and I would miss at least a day of work for travel.

I fully intended to speak. But now I can’t, because Fort Bragg is apparently run by a bunch of hypocrites.

If you want to respond to the shameful action Fort Bragg is taking, at least sign the petition here. That link also lists contact information if you want to express your outrage, and specific instructions for what you can do if you’re part of the military and don’t want to face potential consequences.