What Foxholes?

You’ve probably all heard it. “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Oh really? What foxholes? And why wouldn’t they be down there? Are foxholes lined with Holy Water or some atheist repellant? I understand what this message is trying to convey, but that doesn’t make it anymore based in fact. The fact that people keep repeating this drivel only continues to lend to its credibility.

If you haven’t heard this cocky Christian catchphrase before, it basically tries to purport that atheists, in a moment of emotional duress (aka “wit’s end”, death bed, foxhole) will turn to God (the Christian one, not the others) because all humans have an inherent inclination to succumb to the divine.

(1) There are no Atheists in foxholes.
(2) [Atheist points out Atheists in foxholes.]
(3) They don’t count.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
from GodlessGeeks.com

I even had one of my coworkers try to lay this shit on me. His phrasing was even more holier-than-thou than that of the phrase itself. “Well can you explain this? Every human being, no matter what religion, when put in a life-threatening situation, turns to God.” ………

Yeah, he actually said that. I quickly retorted with, “Actually, I can provide first-hand evidence that that is not true. Last fall was one of the worst periods of my entire life. So much to not look forward to, yet I never let myself lose grip of my direction by surrendering to the imaginary. I took my life by the horns and guided myself to where I am today, and I am a much better person because of it.”

I don’t remember what he had to say in response to that, but it was preceded by a scoff.

Why are Christians so arrogant to think that their belief structure is genetically and spiritually ingrained in all people, and that those who have yet to see the light are just absolutely champing at the bit to be reborn? Let me break it down for you: I was born of the sperm of my father and the ovum of my mother. 8 months and 13 days after conception, I experienced the only birth I needed; that which released me from my mother’s womb.

This meaningless phrase is yet another attempt to discredit logic and reason and further an institution which blatantly denies the truth that man is born an atheist and dies alone. Religion was fabricated to fill in the gaps and answer the questions that curious man had, but did not yet possess the technology to solve. What started as a bedtime fairy tale to explain the origins of mankind has developed into a debilitating social structure that threatens the ability of our world to progress in the areas of science, industry, and education.

Whenever you hear someone spreading the seed of deceit with this sort of nonsense, state loudly and proudly that you do not require the crutch of religion to guide you through life.

3 thoughts on “What Foxholes?

  1. I was once put in a life-threatening situation. I was stuck in the left lane of the interstate in the middle of Denver at night with no way to get off the road because there was a concrete barrier on the other side of my car. My car was completely dead, and, to make matters worse, I had three screaming 14 year old girls in the back seat. Oh yeah and this was the day before I was scheduled to graduate high school.

    Did I call on God? No. I called on AAA and my dad. I survived the ordeal, but it wasn’t thanks to God. It was thanks to my emergency flashers and the courtesy patrol guy whose JOB it was to drive around and look for people like me who break down in the middle of the construction. God didn’t attach the jumper cables, and he certainly did not put in my new alternator (because if he had it wouldn’t have malfunctioned several months later). AAA got my car home, and my dad got the rest of us home. Not God.

    Now some might call this whole ordeal a “life lesson” from “God” or say that “obviously he wanted me to live.” But the only “lesson” I learned was to heed my warning lights, and if “God” really cared about whether or not I lived, then he wouldn’t have had my car die only 10 yards from a breakdown lane.

    Therefore he does not exist. And if by some minute chance he does, he’s one big jerk.

  2. People who make this assertion are confusing hope with prayer. Survival is a basic human instinct, and in a life-threatening situation it is only natural to hope that we and our loved ones make it out alive. We may think, “If I survive this quadruple bypass surgery, I’ll never eat another cheeseburger” or “I hope Johnny makes it home safely from Iraq.” Rationally, we know that hoping is just a natural reflex and will not change the course of events.

    Prayer is entirely different. It is a learned behavior, not inherently human. Also, prayer is directed at something (God) and some sort of outcome is expected in return. It sounds more like “God, if you let me live, I promise I’ll never sin again” or “Please take my life instead of Johnny’s.” Prayer is an active and conscious process of bargaining with God to produce a desired result.

    Now that I’ve separated the two, it should be fairly obvious (even to the most hard-core Christian) how atheists can and do stay true to their beliefs in the most dire of situations. Of course we want to survive. But we have no use for prayer, because to us the idea of divine intervention is as ludicrous as expecting the Easter Bunny to ride in on a unicorn and save the day. We can only believe in ourselves and our own abilities, and we waste no time helping ourselves because we know no higher power will.

    And don’t even get me started on how disrespectful this phrase is to those atheists putting their lives on the line to serve our country, down in the foxholes where they supposedly don’t exist. I hope they know that although there is no god to support them, their fellow atheists sure do.

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