Leonard Pitts, a syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald, wrote a decent article about how Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has frequently opposed big government but is now backtracking because of the BP disaster:
[Jindal] is singing a new song, starkly at odds with what he said last year in a speech before the Republican faithful. Now he’s begging for federal “interference.” He wants federal money, federal supplies, wants the feds to help create barrier islands to protect Louisiana wetlands from oil.
But if you read the article, one part stands out for obvious reasons:
As there are no atheists in foxholes, it turns out there are no small-government disciples in massive oil spills. No, with BP oil soaking the sands of his coastline, Jindal turned righteously to that big, sometimes bloated, often intrusive federal government, and asked for help. He said: Send money, send resources.
You will notice he never once said: Send less.
Obviously, there are many atheists in foxholes.
Look no further than the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers for evidence of that.
It doesn’t sound like Pitts was purposely being anti-atheist.
Rather, he was just ignorant about this issue and fell into a harmful cliché. It’s especially relevant considering it’s Memorial Day and atheists (like people of faith) have died in service for our country.
So let’s educate him. Send him an email letting him know there are indeed atheists who serve our country honorably.
Keep it polite and rational.
I personally want to see an apology from him, at the very least. A column about patriotic atheists would be nice, too…
***Update***: You can see Pitt’s response here.
(Thanks to Jeff for the link)