Atheists in Foxholes

No one knows who exactly said it first.  But it has been uttered by many people including President Eisenhower.  "There are no atheists in foxholes."  It is an idiom which seeks to suggest that in life threatening situations such as war everyone hope or cries out to some higher power, even if they do not in normal life situations.  Maybe in 1942 in America that was true or at at least true enough to not be questioned.  But in what was no doubt a bit of an embarrassing moment for Wolf Blitzer from CNN, he found out that there in fact atheists in foxholes, even in Midwestern foxholes.

No doubt Wolf thought that right in the heart of the country right after a life threatening situation he would find at least some hint of faith in God.  It would have been more than a same assumption in 1942.  But in 2013 America, out of that foxhole came a atheist mother cradling a young child. 

This video to me is very revelatory and not just about how to ask a question as a journalist but where we are in American culture.  Even in the places where you are mostly likely to find faith in God or a biblical worldview, assumptions can no long be made.   You might just find an atheist popping out of a foxhole.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at 2:18 pm and is filed under News Clippings, Theology and Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Atheists in Foxholes”

  1. tom Says:


    This may seem counterintuitive but I find her “faith” refreshing. Any system takes some sort of faith. That isn’t news to you, nor is this my point. I find her answer refreshing b/c while I disagree with her at least she is being more honest to what she believes that many who would have answered Wolf. The person, the athlete, the star that gives a nominal creedance to God, Jesus, etc. but their life is lived in an antithetical way to the way of Jesus. I know that is a blanket statement and surely doesn’t cover every person that “thanks God” or “jesus”…but it covers enough that makes the statement come across anymore as pretty meaningless.

    I am not trying to say what is worse (I think Jesus speaks to which position is worse a lot clearer than me) but you have many people who say it “i want to thank God/Jesus” (and applauded for saying it) but don’t really mean it or live it out; and then you have many who won’t say that and say they don’t believe in God, like this woman, (and,and i am not implying you Phil, are chastised) but who live a morally consistent lifestyle with their belief (and sometimes “live” even better lives).

    A faith in God is not the same as a life transformed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Of course i am not telling you anything new. Just giving my two cents (and probably not even worth 2 cents!)

  2. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Tom, sorry it took me forever to reply. But I understand exactly where you are coming from. It is sad when we see false religions being followed more faithfully than the one true religion.

  3. angelanddevil Says:

    That is a great point, I see plenty of atheists just who think all smart everyone is atheists and everything dumb everyone is religious. This is undoubtedly incorrect as we can pretty easily find stupid atheists and smart Christians. Additionally, it makes the big mistake about people being either stupid or smart, I’m sure basically many people are smart about certain topics and dumb about others.

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