Mobile Menu

Freethought Today · November 2015

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Meet a military member: Stephen Murphy

Name: Stephen Murphy.

Where I live: Maryland.

Where I was born: California.

Family: Bride of 21 years; four sons from elementary to college age.

Education: B.A. in cartography from Millersville University, Millersville, Pa.; M.S. in space studies from American Military University; M.S.E. in curriculum and instruction/space and science from the University of Colorado.

Occupation: Space Operations (general knowledge of the architecture of systems that use space; ability to educate the general military public on space-dependent systems; assistance to troubleshooting space-enabled problems; and an interface between the highly technical and the general tactical levels of the military).

Military service: U.S. Army, 21-plus years.

How I got where I am today: I grew up as a Navy brat and joined Army ROTC when I started college. The military paid for my two master's degrees, which kept me in the military longer.

Where I'm headed: Being selected for promotion will keep me in the Army for about 25 years total.

These are a few of my favorite things: Science fiction. Gadgets. Tinkering. Redheads. Podcasts and audio books. Running. Cleverness.

These are not: Greedo shooting first ["Star Wars" reference]! Things that don't work like they are designed to work. Losing things. Inefficiency. Voluntary and willful ignorance. Grinder pumps [wastewater conveyance devices].

My doubts about religion started: When I was about 20 years old while standing during a song at a Catholic Mass. My mind was wandering (as it always did in church services my whole life) and the thought "Why is one religion right and another isn't?" popped into my head. It took another 10-plus years to come to the label atheist.

A year in Baghdad reading medieval history (aka crimes of the Holy Roman Church) and a lot of Wikipedia took me further on that road. A pool-side discussion with a friend of my brother introduced me to Richard Dawkins and his 7 Point Scale. I realized I was a 6.
Before I die: I would love to design and build the ultimate customized house. I would do as much work as I could on it (to save costs and to ensure the tweaks are to my and the bride's liking). I would also like to write a book of sorts but I never seem to be able to settle on an idea that I think would generate enough interest.

Ways I promote freethought: Casual discussion. Bringing situations that overstep the boundaries between church and state (especially in the Department of Defense setting) to light.