What you find in a foxhole
Religious and civic life alike demand action on the battlefield
A foxhole may provide protection, but it’s not where you find faith, no matter what the old saying tells us. (Photo Source: U.S. National Archives. Digitized by Signal Corps Archive.)
Historians don’t know who first said, “There are no atheists in foxholes,” though something like that was attributed to a World War I chaplain, then to a World War II commander, and it’s definitely true that the actual phrase was uttered by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served in both those wars. Wherever it originated, it’s an annoying notion. Belief that emerges only in extreme duress or upon threat of death seems more like a convenience than a faith.
Maybe it’s because of our current national duress that, unless I’m mistaken, we’re suddenly seeing more about religion in the secular media. Two New York Times columnists have recently written about challenges facing Christianity specifically, with David Brooks this week suggesting that the iron link of evangelicals to Republican politics in recent years is now…