There Are No Christians in Foxholes May 27, 2011

There Are No Christians in Foxholes

This must be why the U.S. military is so slow to accept any Humanist chaplains…:

Of course, like all good chaplains, the atheist ones would be able to “minister” to anybody. The only reason we’re not included in the ranks is because of the bigotry of the military brass. The way we can hasten the transition is by supporting the Foxhole Atheists who come out as such.

(via Matt Bors)

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  • NotYou007

    So am I the only one that went and opened their copy of The God Delusion to page 93?

  • I may go quite far, but i think this is somewhat of a step in the wrong direction. :/

    Sorry, its just with all the publicity as of late and the progress made, this is like a low blow.

    We are much, much better then submitting to their pesky tactics, even in a humorous way.

    I decide to respectfully disagree with this cartoon.

  • 1984

    Opened? Some of us have it memorized!
    (joke)

  • @NotYou007: I did! Interestingly, the author of this comic seems to have *no idea* about what is actually on Page 93 of The God Delusion; or at least, seems to have chosen a number totally at random. 🙂

  • Mike

    Maybe I’m just not able to laugh at myself here (full disclosure; I am in the Army), but am I the only person who thinks this is a little bit offensive given the plight of the secular troops in the military? I don’t think it was his intention, but to me it comes off as both mischaracterizing atheists and also belittling to the challenges they face in the armed forces… which are a very real problem.

  • Katie

    There are no Christians in the military, no matter what they call themselves. When you kill people or put the military before God, you no longer fit the definition.

  • mouse

    When I was in Navy boot camp back in the mid-90s I went to see a chaplain because of some crap going on back home. He was some kind of protestant chaplain (I forget what denomination) but confided in me during the course of our conversation that he was actually an agnostic atheist. There are atheist chaplains. They’re just in the closet.

  • Siamang

    This seems to be written by someone outside of the atheist perspective.

    “Religion is for the weak” is an ‘argument’ against religion that I’ve only heard from religious people. It always struck me as entirely beside the point. It feels to me like a ‘safe knock’ against religion that has no real teeth, which I guess is why folks use it.

    ‘Religions are false’ or ‘religions are man-made’ are arguments I’ve heard from atheists. So to have the I (heart) Sagan soldier saying that is kind of strange.

    I guess the whole thing just reeks of straw. Is a chaplain’s only role to tell the dying that they’re not ‘really’ dying? And to tell people what page to randomly turn to in a book?

    Seems to me they do a lot of counselling of the living.

  • Siamang

    Imagine this comic with a Jewish chaplain. It’s bigotry would read much plainer.

  • Richard Wade

    Satire only works well if one actually understands the people one is satirizing. Otherwise it just displays one’s ignorance.

  • Richard P.

    When you kill people or put the military before God, you no longer fit the definition.

    Yes, that’s it, their not real christians. It’s great we seem to have the real christian here to tell us who the fake ones are.

    I think it’s to bad we can’t tell the difference.

  • JW

    I was disappointed in this comic from Bors’ (I saw it a few days ago but thought it was much older, I didn’t check the date). I usually like his comics (although I’ve only seen a few), so I was kind of shocked at his close-mindedness on the topic of humanist chaplains. Though of course the shock wore off quickly…

  • Canadian Atheist, eh!

    I’m not so sure I’d be that quick to call out the entire “brass” as bigoted — no doubt some individuals are, but my hunch is that it’s considered preferable for a soldier to believe in the divine and, more specifically, an afterlife. That way they’ll be more willing to put themselves in harm’s way.

    I mean, in some ways, you probably actually aren’t afraid of death if you think dying isn’t really what you’re doing.

  • Hey now. Not all the brass are bigots.

  • mcbender

    I… really don’t get what this cartoonist is trying to do, aside from demonstrating his ignorance of how atheists actually act.

  • Andrew

    I’m a proud foxhole atheist. Recently I was issued new dog tags on which I changed my religious preference from “No Preference” to “Atheist”

  • stephen goeman

    “Satire only works well if one actually understands the people one is satirizing. Otherwise it just displays one’s ignorance.”

    Hear hear! Most criticism of the chaplaincy movement fits this bill. Anyway, the work that Jason Torpy is doing through MAAF is truly inspiring. Here’s hoping atheists get represented in the military chaplaincy system soon.

  • “So am I the only one that went and opened their copy of The God Delusion to page 93?”

    Ooh, that page is in the Argument from Scripture section!

    “This seems to be written by someone outside of the atheist perspective.”

    It’s something like a Shallow Parody.

  • Tom

    Satire only works well if one actually understands the people one is satirizing. Otherwise it just displays one’s ignorance.

    I doubt this was even an attempt at satire. I thought the cartoonist was christian until I read the comments.

    What, does being an atheist “cleanse” you of your weaker needs to be comforted by a fellow human being who you know shares your view of the world? The comic claims imitation, but are the religious the first to have a friend who helps you reflect on things?

    Reminds me of this comment another atheist made about the challenge someone issued to set a weight loss goal, and if it wasn’t met that money would be donated to a religious group. He said “Why do you need to trick yourself into this. That’s something a theist would do.” Like atheists are the fittest, healthiest, most successful people you’ll find. Bleh

  • Matt

    “There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism. It’s an argument against foxholes…”

    8.5 year Navy veteran and atheist.

  • Tom

    An atheist chaplain seems to be counter-productive. Isn’t a chaplain supposed to be able to cater to all faiths? Wouldn’t being a chaplain involve performing religious rites or something to that effect?

  • Liz

    I didn’t find this funny…I agree with Mike and Richard.

    At first I couldn’t figure out if this was supposed to insult Atheists or what…

    The cartoonist obviously doesn’t understand that Chaplains are the main source of ‘guidance’ that military members go to… much like a counselor. That has nothing to do with last rights, or religious classes…

  • fiddler

    Just not funny in the least…

  • Mikel

    Wouldn’t an atheist chaplain just be a trained counsellor? I would prefer that over a chaplain any day!

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    I don’t know how true it is but I have read that the problem with going through the medical route (professional counselors and psychiatrists) is that your information can go onto your military record. The military would at least know you have consulted them about a personal problem.
    Chaplains can maintain privacy, under the “seal of the confessional”.
    So many people prefer using the chaplaincy to keep their records clear of any nonmilitary taint. (Think if you were struggling with homosexual tendencies or drug addiction.)
    The purpose of atheist chaplains is to give the non-religious a safe counselor who wont tell them to turn to god to solve their problems.

  • Steve

    But as Tom said, a military chaplain needs to serve everyone. That would include holding religious services. Sure, it sounds great to have someone to talk to to for non-secular soldiers, but the chaplain wouldn’t be just for them.

    So would an atheist or humanist chaplain be comfortable holding a service or pray with others? Maybe a former priest who lost his faith would work…

  • Cthulhu

    Except that certain military chaplains have the same answer for every problem even when it doesn’t help. Like the women who was raped by a fellow soldier. The chaplain told her she needs to pray more and something about it was her own fault.

  • Gabriel

    When I was deployed to Kuwait I would have really appreciated an atheist chaplain. There were times that I would have liked someone to talk to about things that were bothering me. As an out atheist (it was on my dog tags) I wasn’t going to talk to a religous chaplain.

  • PCE

    @Richard P.

    Yes, that’s it, their not real christians. It’s great we seem to have the real christian here to tell us who the fake ones are.

    I think it’s to bad we can’t tell the difference.

    I sense the sarcasm here, but you help to make a good point. Katie is actually onto something. There is a HUGE variety of beliefs among Christians. Not all Christians fit the evangelical fundamentalist stereotype that is often portrayed here. Many Christians would agree that fundamentalist Christians are mislead or as Katie calls them, “not real Christians.”

    It is too bad that such a stereotype is so often true. This is where many can agree with Gandhi:

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -Mahatma Gandhi

  • ckitching

    Richard P. wrote:

    Yes, that’s it, their not real christians. It’s great we seem to have the real christian here to tell us who the fake ones are.

    I think it’s to bad we can’t tell the difference.

    I think I’ve got it figured out. Maybe there are no Real Christians™. Once you add up all the things the various Real Christians™ say that other Real Christians™ are supposed to do and not do, it seems by definition impossible to meet all of them.

  • Maybe there are no Real Christians™.

    The rapture really did happen on May 21st. No one qualified.

    Seriously, a chaplain should have training in ( and be able to serve) all religious faiths including no religious faith. A chaplain should also be able to be from any of the religious faiths or no religious faith.