To Atheists in Foxholes

November 11, 2009

A WWII journalist popularized the saying that "there are no atheists in foxholes." In reality, however, non-believers have courageously served in the military. Indeed, Chair Emeritus Paul Kurtz fought during WW II. Other humanist veterans from WWII have visited the Center for Inquiry/Transnational.

During Veterans Day there are noble efforts to remember the valiant contributions of long-neglected groups such as African Americans, Latino-Americans, women, and others. It is also a good idea to acknowledge the important role of non-believers in the military. Pat Tillman, the former NFL player that died while serving the U.S. after the attacks of September 11, 2001, is just one of many shining examples. As a former member of the US Air Force, I suggest we remember that non-believers in the military are no less important than their religious counterparts. 

Happy Veterans Day.


#1 RyanJ3622 on Friday November 13, 2009 at 2:57am

I was an infantryman in the 82nd that served on 2 deployments. Now I work in the realms of Special operations and more than once or twice I have been in some “Oh-s%&*” situations and never once did I ask for gods help. I have always dug deep and found something to keep me and/or my men alive…

#2 Quack on Monday November 16, 2009 at 2:59pm

Someone looked at my dog tags once and saw that they said “none” on the religion line. The guy held them up for everyone to see (with my neck still attached), believing he found a great error and yelled out “Hey look! They screwed up Duck’s dog tags!”

Part II

Sometime later, while getting a new set of tags I was asked “religion?”. I replied “none”. Again… “religion?” - “I said none.” - I had to explain to the guy that if I was laying dying in a battlefield, I didn’t want someone to stand there and say prayers over me while there was likely someone else who wanted him. - When I got the tags, they said ‘Catholic’. I guess ‘none’ wasn’t an option. I lost THAT set of dog tags before I got out. Now they say ‘none’.

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