Religion in Society

Yes, there are plenty of atheists in foxholes, don't let anyone tell you differently

| by Jerome McCollom

I have to wonder, why has the most famous veteran (alive or dead) of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars not been mentioned as an atheist? Why should it matter? It shouldn't, it really shouldn't. The religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs of any veteran of any war should not matter anymore then that of someone running for elected office. But, it matters more so then if the veteran was Jewish or Hindu or even Muslim because none of those groups are unfairly labeled with the view that when the bullets start flying, the artillery shells start pounding and the road side bombs start exploding that they will acquire certain religious beliefs. Simply, there isn't any statement that there are "no Jews in Foxholes." Ditto for any statements concerning Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans or Baptists. No, only atheists get that label.

I take this a bit personally because although I have never been in combat, I was an atheist in the military. The fact is that there are and have always been atheists in foxholes. People who were non-believers in combat, suffered through it and never found God in the process. How do I know? Well, because they say so. They have names. Lt. Colonel Renfro, Vietnam veteran. Major Gary Welch, Vietnam. Army Sgt. Secor, Iraq.

Just visit the website, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers to view their names and their stories. So, with such overwhelming evidence that there are in fact atheists in foxholes why does this saying still exist? Are all these men and women liars? That I sincerely doubt. Many believers in God simply cannot fathom that someone cannot believe in God when their life is threatened by enemy fire. But it happens. Now, this other reason of mine I hope is not correct. It is that people want to believe there aren't atheists in foxholes because if none exist then atheists are less patriotic then "normal Americans." Easier to ignore. But, a God's existence isn't contigent on
the basis that while under the stress of combat soldiers remain atheists or theists anymore then human beings exist based on insects believing in human beings as they engage in their own form of combat. Simply no belief system is true or not because of the courage of its' believers, be it religion or anything else, while under stress.