Atheists in Foxholes

foxholememorial_clrGiving respect where it’s due is a basic principle not only of etiquette but of just being a decent human being. On this Memorial Day, it’s especially appropriate to pay respect to the men and women of the military who have given their lives in service.

And it’s worth noting that, contrary to the cliched (and smugly anti-logical) platitude, there are indeed atheists in foxholes. It’s not impolite in the slightest to honor atheists who have given their lives in military service, or to correct people who wrongly try to co-opt Memorial Day into some sort of quasi-religious observance.

If you want to learn more about foxhole atheists, you can visit the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, or look at the Atheists in Foxholes Monument, or read this Newsweek article on the subject, or listen to one Army captain’s story.

And if you’d like to help atheists who are still alive, and still serving in the military, you might want to check out Operation Foxhole Atheists.

(Atheists in Foxholes Monument pic via Freedom From Religion Foundation)

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13 responses to this post.

  1. […] Atheists in Foxholes Giving respect where it’s due is a basic principle not only of etiquette but of just being a decent human being. […] […]

    Reply

  2. Great blog.

    Reply

  3. My own gay activist spin on that tired old cliche “There are no atheists in foxholes” is this:

    “There are no heteros in foxholes.”

    More truth in *that* than the original! 😛

    Reply

  4. Posted by alix1234 on May 26, 2009 at 3:57 am

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    Reply

  5. Posted by conservativealan on May 26, 2009 at 4:23 am

    The fervent effectual prayer availeth much. We as Christian choose to pray to the Almighty God for the safety and security of all who are in the Foxholes. It is a well known fact that the majority of those today killing and taking aim at our soldiers do so because 1, we stand with the chosen Nation of God, Israel, and 2, we are perceived as a Christian nation (despite the Commander-in-Chief denying such an accusation). One only needs to look beyond the humanistic rewrite of history to know that America was a nation from which to escape religious persecution. We were established as a nation that you can worship the Creator in any fashion you choose and would be considered an equal. Or you can choose not to worship any Higher Power at all and also not face persecution. Only there are those today that wish the Christian would “mind his own business” to which I say…our busines is the business of our Heavenly Father, who is not willing that any perish but that all should come to repentance.
    So I will continually lift our men and women in the armed services before the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. For it is He that has charge over men’s souls, and it is He that we all must face at the end.

    Reply

    • Posted by Daniel (thelifeofdavalos.blogspot.com) on May 26, 2009 at 9:59 am

      Amen!
      While I will not go out and persecute atheist or any religious group of people, for that matter, I like to know that there still are people out there who are not ashamed to worship our Almighty Father, even through a comment on a blog.
      Great post, btw.

      Reply

    • Posted by brachinus on May 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm

      Well, if your effort to “lift” soldiers to God consists entirely of fervent prayer, more power to you!

      If you try to take it beyond that, you might encounter some resistance. You may feel your “business” includes winning souls for God, but if you think that requires abusing earthly power or violating the law, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Complete B.S. conservativealan

      Reply

  6. Posted by mzaghloul on May 26, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Great one please visite my website
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  7. Posted by Anonymous on May 26, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    conservativealan zealously pontificated:
    {{ our busines is the business of our Heavenly Father, who is not willing that any perish but that all should come to repentance. }}

    Spoken like a true zealot. You are psychotic, dangerous to all peaceful folks. You use religion to justify pointless and tragic misery, prejudice, hatred and war. If your kind had your way, we’d return to enslaving all blacks (or sending them back to Africa), branding homosexuals as demons (justifying torture and murder of these good Americans), and putting women back in their “place” (barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen).

    True Americans are getting fed up with your Xian nutjobs seeking to destroy democracy. What you just implied in your horrid comment, is that your insane belief is dedicated to ending religious freedom, especially those who choose no religion…except yours.

    And this ideocracy is exactly what happens when church and state are not kept separate. America has failed in this mission, as it cannot seem to get over its ugly homophobia. That is the Achilles heel that Xian loonies use to leverage further hatred against many others. Once gays are respected in this nation, we will begin to live up to the ideals of a democracy. Until then, hell rules in the name of Jesus.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      conservativealan’s comment deserved my reply (complete B.S.): if he took it as complete bull shit or complete Bachelor of Science either would be an improvement to cons. understanding of the issue.

      Reply

  8. conservativealan arrogantly proclaimed:
    {{ I will continually lift our men and women in the armed services before the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords }}

    My, aren’t you the holy and mighty one! Whenceforth does such power come to a mere human? Perhaps therapy and medication will assist you in being so unbalanced as to believe you have some special and intimate relation with the creator, that non-believers do not (and who therefore should be eliminated if they refuse to convert).

    Reply

  9. To deny the service and sacrifice of veterans who are or were not religious is contemptible.

    I’ve heard many Christians (of the ubiquitous fundamentalist variety–the majority) also talk of liberal soldiers with disrespect, often calling them cowards. Oh, really? Perhaps they would like to go overseas and say this to a group of liberal soldiers over there fighting.

    My father was an atheist in a foxhole (a trench, actually). I never knew he wa an atheist until he told me in my mid 30s. I was astonished and delighted. I’d been an atheist since my teens. He didn’t want to influence me or my brother since our mother was deeply religious.

    Reply

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