Becky Phillips: There Are Too Atheists in Foxholes

Anonymous writes to us about our Team Tzvee charter member, Becky Phillips, "Becky has a short article in Newsweek's Periscope section. The article also appears on beliefnet."

There are no atheists in foxholes," the old saw goes. The line, attributed to a WWII chaplain, has since been uttered countless times by grunts, chaplains and news anchors. But an increasingly vocal group of activists and soldiers—atheist soldiers—disagrees. "It's a denial of our contributions," says Master Sgt. Kathleen Johnson, who founded the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and who will be deployed to Iraq this fall. "A lot of people manage to serve without having to call on a higher power."

Steven Colbert makes the matter funny -- suggesting that we stuff our foxholes with Atheists... and more.

1 comment:

Jersey McJones said...

Well, I'm the consumate atheist, no immodesty here. And I'll say this:

You know the ol' expression, "There's no atheists in a foxhole?"

Well, I've been in a "foxhole" - I had a near death experience on a bed in hospital when I was younger.

I'm still an atheist.

I have a new saying - "No one is really all that religious. They just say they are."

That's the flipside of the foxhole. (Let's call it the "FoxMound!")

I don't know if there's a "God," like the God of Abraham. But I doubt it more than I doubt that I can get up and fly off my front porch of my own special arial powers.

Now, that said, as far as I know, we are a synaptic moment in mind of a Squiggliobyte teenager.

I don't know. I can't, as a human, imagine, perceive, visualize, or even dream of what lay beyond a thousand, trillion universes, with any expected accuracy. And, you know what? It really woudn't matter anyway. Said Squiggliobyte couldn't imagine me.

We have to be happy with who we are. Religion makes us unhappy with who we are. And so we strive to be something we aren't. And we fail. And we blame the failures on interpretation of illogical law, and not the illogical law itself. And we fall back on the same religion in an endless cycle of failure, ignoring the proof of the wrongheadedness that created it.

Religion does have wisdom and thought-provoking context. But it's premised on the wrong and the insane. To do the right thing for the sake of religion is to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

I'm the consumate atheist, and I'm very, very happy this way. It's not for everyone. But it's valid and comes from a righteously ethical place - I'd be lying to say I was religious.

So much for the foxhole.