Sunday, October 02, 2011

Atheists in Foxholes

I have been an atheist for about four or five years now, and I'm proud of it. I like telling people about it because it really is a part of who I am. Being an atheist has made me so much happier than I ever was when I was trying to force myself to believe in god.

I've heard a lot of family and friends say things to me like, "When you run into trouble, you'll run back to god," or "There are no atheists in foxholes!" (I've also have plenty of family and friends say that they're happy that I'm happy and let's make brownies.)

I visited the Freedom from Religion website, and saw this article posted,

I copied and pasted the poem below that was inscribed on the monument, written by Alice Shiver.

Atheists in Foxholes

Atheists in foxholes, some say they are myths,
Creations of the mind who just don’t exist.

Yet, they answered the call to defend, with great pride.
With reason their watchword, they bled and they died.

They took Saratoga from the British crown,
Secured America’s freedom at the Battle of Yorktown.

From Sumter to Appomattox, fields flowed with their blood.
When the cannons grew silent, the flag proudly stood.

From the Marne to the Argonne, in trenches and tanks,
They defeated the Germans -- the whole world gave thanks.

They were bombed at Pearl Harbor, fought on to Berlin.
Many freethinking women served along with the men.

Still war keeps erupting -- Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
Where is the peace that eludes people so?

It is broken by tyrants who bear crosses and creeds,
That overshadow reason with hate and cruel deeds.

So atheists prevail until your work is complete.
Mothers mourn, children cry, and bigots plan your defeat.

By air, land, and sea, you answer freedom’s call.
Without god or faith, you seek liberty for all.

The thing that strikes me about atheists during wartime, is their bravery. See, religious soldiers believe that when they die, they go to a better place. They think that they and all their loved ones will be together again in eternity. They don't want to die, but it's not the worst thing, right?I mean, they believe heaven is awesome, don't they?

Atheists know that this life is the ONLY one we have. They know that when they die, it's finished, there's nothing else. They won't be able to see the fruits of their valor from a cloud on heaven. They know they aren't going to see any eternal rewards from their sacrifice. Their atheist loved ones will have to live with their death, knowing there is no hope of ever seeing them again. Don't you think that requires more bravery, more morality, more commitment, more honor from a person?

I don't mean to diminish anyone's sacrifice or devotion. Any brave, moral soldier gets my respect, regardless of religious affiliation/lack of affiliation.