A friend left this quote on my facebook wall.
“The sermon was based on what he claimed was a well-known fact, that there were no Atheists in foxholes. I asked Jack what he thought of the sermon afterwards, and he said, “There’s a chaplain who never visited the front.” –Kurt Vonnegut Hocus Pocus
Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors of all time. Some people don’t realize that he was an atheist. Many people are familiar with his military service. Vonnegut was a soldier during World War II, a POW, Fire-bombing of Dresden survivor, and a Purple Heart recipient.
His writing never portrayed war in a glorified manner, and even his most realistic descriptions of war usually involved genuinely odd plot devices. Shrinking Chinese people, being ‘unstuck’ in time, gravity being as unpredictable as the weather, dogs that could talk but simply chose not to speak… But I think these strokes of slanted and enchanted science fiction made the underpinning emotional journey more visceral and more memorable.
I rarely read fiction anymore. Every once in a while I’ll curl up with some Vonnegut novel that I somehow missed (or had an urge to re-read). His writing is just timeless.
I’m all about shattering that old canard about atheists in foxholes. I think the person who shared the quote with me was alluding to some similarities with my ‘famous’ attempt. Every once in a while, this picture makes the rounds again: