As reported by Sgt. Justin Griffith, military director for American Atheists, the U.S. Marine base outside San Diego recently denied a request to host the second-ever atheist festival on a military base even though religious groups have been given base access.

Griffith said in a blog post that Camp Pendleton rejected the festival on several grounds, citing: “too expensive,” “too little manpower,” “all-day rally” and “8,000 attendees.”

American Atheists fired back, noting that the group would cover the same portion of the costs as previous groups had, that the event would be a concert with speakers rather than an “all-day rally” and that Camp Pendleton has accommodated events in the past with more than 10,000 attendees.

Curiously, those in charge of the base haven’t shown the same concerns about events put on at Camp Pendleton by Armor of Light, the military wing of the evangelical Christian Calvary Chapel. The California based group, which has been embroiled in child sex abuse scandals, has held events at the base for more than a decade, including a concert for 15,000 people in 2009.