No Atheists in Foxholes
I wrote this a few weeks ago with the intention of polishing it up and posting then. Since I’d bothered to write it, I’m just going to post it as is.
Recently, Leonard Pitts wrote about Jindal embracing big government when it was convenient. In doing so, he casually threw out the old canard that there are “no atheists in foxholes.” When contacted by atheists, who explained that that was both untrue and offensive, he offered a non-apology saying he was just using an old saying and that wasn’t even the point of the article.
Saying that there are no atheists in foxholes is no better than saying that all black people like fried chicken and watermelon, jews are greedy, or muslims are all terrorists. I don’t understand how he can fail to see how offensive that is. Not only does he insult the thousands of men and woman who have in fact been atheists in foxholes, serving in the military and dying for his country, he’s also insulting people’s whole approach to life by flippantly charging them with being either wishy-washy or cowardly.
It’s exactly the same as if he’d said “Jindal loves other people’s money but hates spending his own, just like a Jew.” Oh sure, the point isn’t about the Jews, but does relying on a terrible stereotype to make his point do anything but undermine his legitimacy? That he can’t even see the bigotry in the statement and refuses to apologize or correct it makes it so much worse.