Some atheists took offense recently to a military chaplain’s quoting of the old saying, popularized by Dwight Eisenhower, “In battle, they learned the great truth that there are no atheists in foxholes.”
Some atheists in the military have taken issue with Ike’s quotation, calling it a “bigoted, religious supremacist phrase.” One of them said, “Faith-based hate, is hate all the same.” Meanwhile, constitutional attorney Ken Klukowski, who wrote about this in his article, “Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment” (Breitbart, 7/24/13), said the chaplain was completely within his first amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty.
Obviously, since there are professed unbelievers who serve in the military, the “truism” that there are no atheists in foxholes is not always true. Every man or woman who serves our country in the military, regardless of religious views or the lack thereof, deserves our respect.
But I must admit that the phrase “faith-based hate” galls me, because in reality I see so little of it. And I travel in mostly Christian circles, and have for years. If I see hate, it’s not based in faith in Jesus Christ. Maybe it’s there, despite professed belief in Jesus — like leftovers from an ornery disposition that has not yet been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.