FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Victory: “No Atheists in Foxholes” Article Reinstated on Chaplain’s Website
Angry atheists bizarre arguments and incendiary tactics were once again exposed and soundly defeated as a military chaplain’s blog post has been reposted on a base website.
A few weeks ago we told you about a military chaplain’s website posting that was inappropriately censored and removed after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) demanded it.
The inaptly named MRFF, an anti-Christian organization headed by Mikey Weinstein, makes it its mission to antagonize military chaplains for doing their duty. Weinstein has compared Christians serving in our military to al Qaeda and repeatedly refers to Christians in uniform as “monsters who terrorize.”
MRFF again ramped up its anti-Christian rhetoric and illogical demands when Air Force Chaplain, Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes posted an article exploring the history and context of the phrase, “No atheists in foxholes,” on the Chaplains Corner blog of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. MRFF sent a letter demanding the posting be taken down calling it “bigoted, religious supremacist,” “condescending bile,” and “[f]aith based hate.”
The article itself, titled “’No atheists in foxholes': Chaplains gave all in World War II,” merely chronicled the historical context and origins of the famous phrase that was even quoted by President Dwight Eisenhower.
The chaplain’s articled opened:
Many have heard the familiar phrase, “There is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole.” Where did this come from?
Research I verified in an interview with former World War II prisoner of war Roy Bodine (my friend) indicates the phrase has been credited to Father William Cummings.
As the story goes, Father Cummings was a civilian missionary Catholic priest in the Philippines.
The phrase was coined during the Japanese attack at Corregidor.
After exploring the context behind the statement and how Father Cummings’ contemporaries viewed it, the post closes by asking the simple question, “What is ‘faith’ to you?”
Hardly the hate-filled propaganda piece MRFF alleged.
Unfortunately, the posting was removed after the base received MRFF’s letter. The ACLJ then sent a lengthy legal letter to the base both outlining MRFF’s long history of bullying Christians in the military and the clear constitutionality of this particular blog posting.
As our letter explained:
Trying to limit religious speech to avoid offending the non-religious would require military officials to determine which religious speech to allow and which to disallow, in effect, preferring certain types of religious speech over others, in itself something Government officials are precluded from doing by our Constitution.
We urged the military base, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Air Force to return this post to its rightful place on the chaplain’s website.
We are pleased that after receiving our letter, the Air Force has republished the article on the military base website. You can read Chaplain Reyes’ article here.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.