Are there atheists in foxholes?

Jones Scans1 614In God we trust. It’s the basis of all of our legal systems, our church doctrines, our charitable organizations, even the basis for a family. If you don’t believe in a higher power, than why on earth would you even want to live in a cultural or ordered society? Go ahead and be an anarchist, nihilist, atheist, and deal with your own chaos and lawlessness. I respect the fact that you don’t believe, respect the fact that I do. But why on earth would you want people in the military who think there is nothing worth dying for? That just does not compute!

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. And that kind of sacrifice doesn’t come from an evolved amoeba that formed as the result of space dust; it comes from the help of a higher power, hence the “so help me God” reference in many of our sworn oaths and affirmations.

CS Lewis said if we don’t give our lives to something, we are already dead. In our nation’s military academies, our cadets adhere to an honor code, a willingness to give everything to something bigger than themselves. It is not a religious endorsement or even a violation of the constitution. It’s an indication of the magnitude of the mantle of leadership and sacrifice the soldier is about to bear.

If you’re an atheist, you know that man is just an evolved cell. And how on earth can an evolved cell want to pay the ultimate sacrifice? A basic drive for self-preservation may make the atheist a fierce fighter on the battlefield (after all, he isn’t going anywhere when he dies!), but he lacks the spiritual calling that inspires the person of faith to set aside earthly life and risk everything for a cause greater than himself.

Are there atheists in foxholes? I’m sure there are, but I’m not sure what they’re fighting for.

25 Responses to “Are there atheists in foxholes?”

  1. November 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

    “In God we trust. It’s the basis of all of our legal systems”

    Yeah, no it’s not. Read the Constitution and you might be surprised to find your god nowhere in it.

    • November 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Thank you for your comment. I did not reference the Constitution. Appreciate the read:-)

    • 3 Michael
      November 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Article VII Ratification of the Constitution: “Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the States present the seventeenth day of September in the Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America….”

    • 6 Michael
      November 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      You might want to read the Constitution, before lecturing others about the Constitution. Washington was a religious man, I doubt that he was being casual with an important document. Anyway, you were wrong.

      • November 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        No, I’m really not wrong.

        It references that there should be NO religious test for election. And it gives us a freedom of religion. Your religion has nothing to do with our rule of law, despite your desires to the contrary. America is a democracy, not a theocracy.

      • November 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

        Please stay on topic. The blog is about serving as a soldier and committing yourself to serving something higher, not about getting elected or religion or the Constitution. If you want to discuss religion or Constitutionality issues, blog about it on your own page.

      • November 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        “The blog is about serving as a soldier and committing yourself to serving something higher”

        Because freedom, liberty, and the lives of people you care about isn’t enough?

      • November 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        Thank you, you perfectly just described the basis for Judeo-Christian beliefs. There’s a whole world that is opened up to you when you do call on God. I get where you’re coming from and respect it, but I do believe that an allegiance to a higher power elevates everything that we do to a level that isn’t attainable otherwise.

        At least we’re off the Constitution 🙂

      • 11 Michael
        November 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

        Washington didn’t get his values from atheism. Sorry to keep correcting you.

  2. November 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Our country was indeed founded from a spiritual, if not organized religious belief. From the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

  3. November 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Tracey, I was wondering when someone was going to write about this. I want to know why it’s OK to take God out of something because someone finds it offensive, and yet those of us who find it offensive to have it removed are just suppose to be ok with it?

    Great article. I find “NotAScientist”‘s post offensive. Please remove them. Just kidding, I believe in Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion, and I believe in God, and I believe CS Lewis was right!

    • November 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks so much Jean, it really came to the forefront due to the recent lawsuit brought against the United States Air Force Academy to remove, So Help me God. As a grad, it obviously was noticed by me and many others. I do believe the Presidential oath even says that at the end and when folks are sworn in. Just not sure why it’s so annoying. We can use God in every curse situation freely, but not to ask for help. And you made me laugh with your “NotAScientist” response:-) Love live freedom and help from where ever and whomever we need it! For those of you that can do it all on your own, just leave the rest of us poor saps alone:-)

    • 18 Michael
      November 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Yes, Jean, that is a good point. It’s funny how easily freedom of religion turns into compulsory abstinence from religion. I imagine that tyrants all over the world have believed they were doing everyone a favor by stepping on people’s beliefs, when really they are the worst sort of leaders, and a good example to no one. When I have children one day, I will never allow their religious beliefs to be trampled by ignorant school officials and the like!

      • November 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        Great point Michael. Freedom of religion does not equal freedom from religion. I have lived and served in many different countries. I am always mindful of their cultures and religious sensitivities. That includes worshiping with them. I respect and tolerate all varying beliefs. I expect the same. When we don’t have that, it’s tyranny. Thanks for your comments!! You’ll be a fine father I’m sure:-)

      • 20 Michael
        November 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        Yes, I remember being in South Korea, and I accidentally walked into a Buddhist temple with my shoes on. I was so embarrassed, I had a lot to learn! 🙂 I think that people who are truly spiritual can recognize and respect others who are the same, even if there are some differences in particulars. Ultimately, I think we come from the same origin, and we will be brought together into one family again. Atheism is something different though, it’s an established belief in there being NO god, and I find it all too negative and full of egos amongst its practitioners. Anyway, I think your article here touches on the higher principles that we need to be mindful of. Even if we can’t see or understand, we must believe that there are things bigger than ourselves out there, because it’s always been that way, no matter what our philosophies or mind sets have been.

      • November 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        Beautifully put Michael, a belief in a higher power is what brings us together. If you look at the heart/condition of man, he is inherently intolerant. All you need to do is to look at what is going on in the world and has been for thousands of year. If it weren’t for the humanitarian teachings of Jesus, we would all still be barbarians stoning each other for differences of opinions, religion, and just to exhibit evil.

  4. November 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    It’s interesting that Buddhism has become part of the conversation in that I recently had a conversation with a lady who is Buddhist (born Chinese, raised in Thailand.) She informs me that they consider themselves atheists in that they do not believe in a single entity that we would call a god. They believe in spirit and in the oneness of all, and as I understand her, it is a religion and a form of worship. Just not worship of a god, per se. It gave me new insight into what is and isn’t religion, and what is and isn’t atheism. (Looking at the etymology of the word, it makes sense. A – theo would break down as “no god” not “no spirit.”)

    While religion as an organized hierarchy of people who judge the righness or wrongness of others baffles me, I see the beauty in all ways of experiencing spirit. But if I truly believed that I or others existed only as a combination of elements I expect that those elements would cease to have any meaning to me at all. At that point – what is there worth defending with my life, or even with my deeds?

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Beautifully put Dixie. One note I’ve experienced, it isn’t only organized religion that judges people. Mankind of all shapes, sizes, beliefs and non beliefs makes this too integral apart of their existence. Thanks so much for the read and for your insightful comments!

      • November 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        So true – the human tendency to judge AFFECTS organized religion rather than being a result of it.

      • November 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        You said it Dixie, and not just religion, but any organization. Look at what happened with Stalin, just to name one. It happened with any group where man is involved because it’s in our nature to control and be selfish. A country, a political party, a religion is nothing but a collection of the people at it’s helm, as you so clearly stated.

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Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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