Monday, December 15, 2008

There are Atheists in Foxholes

In my fifteen years as a member of the US Army, I was one of the few I knew who had no belief in God. I wasn't vocal or outspoken about it, but when questioned about my views or asked to go to "services" on Sundays, I was always honest about it.

Some people in far more difficult circumstances than I was put in have had their "lack of faith" tested even more strenuously. Benjamin Tupper is one of them. His story is both enlightening and heart-rending. That he was able to maintain a strong role in such a difficult situation, leading both Christians and Muslims in battlefield conditions, is inspiring. Even though those serving with and beneath him continually told him he was 'going to hell', he didn't relent and he lead them with honor. He even won the respect of the Afghani interpreter who was assigned to his unit (although the boy remained a Muslim).

Not everyone who serves is religious -- and those without religion are just as dedicated, caring and inspiring -- perhaps more so because they do it without promise of a heavenly reward (and often in the face of those who would have them 'hellbound').

4 comments:

Andrew said...

Of course there are atheists in foxholes, atheists have no particular compunction against killing.

Apparently you didn't if you really did spend 15 years serving the American War Machine.

As to me, I will never submit to rule by an admitted atheist, even if it means going to prison.

Chuck Lunney said...

Of course there are atheists in foxholes, atheists have no particular compunction against killing.

Actually, I know many atheists who are avowed pacificists. I also know many Christians who "have no compunction against killing" -- in fact, the vast majority of the US Military personnel are Christian (many extremely evangelical).

How does that square with your assertion?

Apparently you didn't if you really did spend 15 years serving the American War Machine.

Ummm.... I have this passionate streak about believing in the ideals of the founding fathers.

As far as the "American War Machine" -- you mean the one that liberated Europe in 1919 and the 1940s? The one that beat back the imperialist intentions of the Japanese in the 1940s (and subsequently installed what would become a model democratic government)? The one that liberated Kuwait in 1991 from a murderous tyrant? The one that has subjected it's own servicemembers to trial and punishment (up to and including the death penalty) for war crimes?

Are you sure you know what you're talking about here?

As to me, I will never submit to rule by an admitted atheist, even if it means going to prison.

Why? You do realize that every single president that has sent our military into war (from Washington to GWB) has been Christian?

You seem to have a very distorted view of what it actually means to be an atheist - perhaps rather than disparaging and insulting, you could take some time and actually LEARN.

Did you even read the article I linked to? What in that account of an wartime atheist do you disagree with? Do you think Benjamin was unmoved by the death of his young friend? Do you think it's right for those he served with (both Afghani and American) to condemn him -- to his face -- to hell because he didn't believe as they did? Do you think the soldiers serving beside and under him should have shot him in the back just because he's an atheist?

Or are you just posturing because you know men like him are REAL heros, working hard to protect the very freedoms and liberty you enjoy (and yet refuse to defend)?

AdamH said...

You said you spent 15 years in the Army?

Smart boy says you served the American War Machine, and you ask which one he means?

Did you serve in 1919 and the 1940's? Did you "liberate" Kuwait, the famous War For Oil? Did you liberate IRAQ from that murderous tyrant you are upset about?

Or did you serve in the one that visited chemical (naplam, agent orange, fire bombings) and nuclear death on hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of civilians?

The atheists I know are always telling me what a war criminal Bush is, but didn't he eliminate that murderous tyrant? Well, didn't he?

And Lincoln and Roosevelt were Christians? News to me, atheists are always telling me they were freethinkers or something of the kind. And Lyndon Baines Johnson? Bahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Gimme a break. His religion was political power.

And how many atheists have shot Christians in the back of the head. Read the Gulag Archipelago for the answer.

AdamH said...

So you didn't even have the stomach to answer, but instead instituted comment moderation.

YOU, the guy who always wanted to challenge people in person...probably so he or IGGY could film and record them...but can't take a challenge on his blog.

YOU. MISERABLE. COWARD.

The word is definitely going to get around about this.

Even the little round faced prick Igor Dybal is probably ashamed.