THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES

Artist: Michael Koulermos
Writer: Richard Pels

Even Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the American atheist activist, would have reached for a rosary if she were in a trench on D-Day.

The Japanese on Iwo Jima, defending the undefendable sliver of an island, adhering to the code of fighting to the death, would surely have moved from Shinto to Buddhism in those last few days to hedge their bets on an afterlife.

In the First World War, lo! a Christmas Truce. It lasted ‘til the Feast of Stephen and was never repeated. But the sounds of Noel, Stille Nacht, O Tannenbaum, Joy To The World floated over the no man’s land between the carolers. The notes moving the earth, along with the soldiers.

Soldiers taking communion while a raging war is going on in the battlefield. 

And an ex-chaplain who baptized a boy, giving him the Eucharist, and then later that same day, Last Rites, Extreme Unction.

There are no atheists in foxholes.