Are there atheists in foxholes?
Posted on 01 November 2013
In 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.