STREET PROPHETS (DAILY KOS) – BLAKE PAGE – Conservatives Dismiss Overt Defamation of Non-Believers

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On July 23rd, I sent a message to Colonel Duffy, commander of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, on behalf of 42 clients of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Those 42 clients (nearly half of whom happen to be practicing Christians) were frustrated at the propagation of a decades’ old lie by Chaplain Kenneth Reyes that there are no atheists in foxholes. Much to our satisfaction, COL Duffy conceded that spreading such a vulgar lie from the bully pulpit of military seniority was in fact unlawful and ordered CH Reyes’ article taken down.

Fast forward nearly a month and that article has been restored to the glee of Christian Supremacists like Jerry “my god is bigger than your god” Boykin. One talking point which has become popular among the religious right’s bobble heads is the regurgitation of the the phrase “there are no atheists in foxholes” by our former president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Of course, the words of presidents past or present posses some weight in discourse surrounding our nation’s culture, like Dubbya’s wonderful admission that he’ll “be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” More to the point, Eisenhower, while certainly an exemplary leader in war, was not wholly above reproach in matters of civil rights:

“President Eisenhower was a fine general and a good, decent man, but if he had fought World War II the way he fought for civil rights, we would all be speaking German now.”
– Roy Wilkins
Executive Director of the NAACP (1964-1977)

Conservatives would view Ike’s performance in the field of domestic progress as exceptional, as he stood behind the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes. To lay the claim that no atheist is capable of enduring the rigors of combat and retaining their personally held philosophical beliefs against all evidence to the contrary is welcomed rhetoric among those circles. After all, if their god is bigger than your god, it must be bigger than no god at all.

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