"'There are no atheists in foxholes,' the old saw goes," begins the Beliefwatch column in the latest issue of Newsweek. "The line, attributed to a WWII chaplain, has since been uttered countless times by grunts, chaplains and news anchors."
"But an increasingly vocal group of activists and soldiers—atheist soldiers—disagrees," the column continues.
"It's a denial of our contributions," Master Sgt. Kathleen Johnson tells Newsweek. "A lot of people manage to serve without having to call on a higher power."
Actually, that quote comes from Lt-Col. William J. Clear, speaking on a radio program. The best response to this line that I've ever heard is a quote from novelist James Morrow -- "'There are no atheists in foxholes' isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes." Especially the foxholes in this war.
Historically, radical religious groups and cults have retreated from society. The puritans left for the new world, the Mormons went out into the west, the Amish built insular communities. What has changed is that the cult can no longer escape the world. It's everywhere. The religious right freaked out when Janet Jackson flashed her boob at the Superbowl and see TV shows like Will & Grace and Desperate Housewives as a challenge to their beliefs. When The DaVinci Code played in theaters, they felt they had to go on an offensive with a campaign to tell people the obvious -- that movies aren't real.
This concern over secular culture has been hitting the fundies at the opposite end of the spectrum, as well. In her autobiography, Diary of a Lost Girl, Sudanese poet and novelist Kola Boof writes, "[Ossama bin Laden] told me Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He would say how beautiful she is……….what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband - Bobby Brown." In the book, Boof says she was bin Laden's 'sex slave' -- I guess there's some fundie version of the Q'uran that allows that. But the sane version bans both premarital sex and slavery. Like christian fundamentalists, muslim fundamentalists apparently pick and choose what verses they have to obey.
In the fundie mind, the world must be made safe for Ossama bin Quixote and his Dulcinea. It isn't addiction that's brought Houston low, it's the godless culture. Ossama's obsession is typical of fundies of all religions -- they hate what they love and they blame the world for their own problems. Whitney Houston isn't who bin Laden wants her to be because the culture she lives in has corrupted her, not because he lives in a whacked out fantasy world.
Ex-Gay Watch offers a western example:
The Recording Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Church has been arrested for propositioning a male undercover officer for oral sex.
The Oklahoma City police were conducting a sting operation to respond to complaints about male prostitution. The Rev. Lonnie Latham, pastor of the South Tulsa Baptist Church, was arrested after he invited an undercover policeman back to his room at the Habana Inn for oral sex. The charge was not prostitution or solicitation but rather offering to engage in an act of lewdness.
At present there may be facts of the case that are not fully understood. However, it appears to me initially that without any suggestion of money taking place, the pastor was arrested for offering to engage in sex with another man.
Latham claimed he was 'ministering' to gay youth. The more obsessed a fundie is about gays, the deeper in the closet that fundie is. If proof of the obvious is needed, The Advocate reports on a study that proves the obvious.
IT HAS LONG BEEN A STAPLE OF PSYCH 101 THAT THE THING YOU hate most in other people is the thing you hate in yourself. It doesn't take Freud to figure out that those who hate gay people with the most passion may be suppressing a considerable amount of gay passion of their own.
The idea was never scientifically tested, however, until last year, when Henry Adams, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Georgia, conducted the first Study to measure--quite literally--the homosexuality of homophobes. Adams recruited 64 straight white male college students, rated their level of homophobia according to a standard psychological test, and divided the men into two groups: those who were homophobic and those who were not. Then came the good part. He hooked up the men to devices called penile plethysmographs, which measure arousal, and showed them three different kinds of porn videos: heterosexual, lesbian, and gay male. And you'll never guess what. The men who tested nonhomophobic were, for the most part, left cold by the gay porn. But the men in the homophobic group were turned-on.
These fundies believe they're 'normal' and it's society that causes them to be attracted to gays -- if gay porn didn't exist, then gay porn couldn't give them a woody. Since there's nothing 'wrong with them', then it stands to reason that everyone experiences the same urges they do. This explains their obsession with the 'homosexual agenda'. They always claim that gays are out to destroy families and, if everyone were as gay as these religious nuts believe they're not, sex for the sake of procreation would definitely take a nosedive. So they need to remake the world so that no 'gay triggers' exist. Like bin Laden, the objects of their obsession must be saved from themselves and their culture.
Neither side can ever possibly succeed. But the weird thing about it is that, while both sides fight each other, they have the same enemies -- 'decadent' western culture, religious liberty, and those atheists in foxholes.
Technorati tags: politics, religion, Ossama bin Laden, Whitney Houston, atheism, fundamentalists -- whether from christianity or islam -- should be the enemies of Atheists in Foxholes