Atheists are brave in war but not in life

While you are praying

According to some

So sometimes I will listen to talk radio on the AM stations. You know, the ones that play Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, and the always comical Glen Beck. I don’t actually listen to those shows most of the time because I feel like my brain is melting…but I do listen to some of the local shows. The local AM shows dial down the rhetoric and are sometimes quite informative…if not a bit too conservative for my tastes.

Regardless I was listening to a station and they were talking about the Oklahoma storm. The DJ, a guy named Sully, basically stated that because the storm was bad that everybody was crying to God or some such BS. He ended his little rant by saying there’s “No Atheists in Foxholes.” Obviously I was more than a little perturbed by his blurb so I decided to send him an email

>> Dear Sully,


>> I’m an active duty Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton. I know you

>> may not understand where I’m coming from and that’s okay (it’s why

>> I’m writing you). You stated that there are “no atheists in

>> foxholes” and it was rather insulting. You were talking about

>> something that the President said, which is something I’m not even

>> going to get involved in, but it came around to you to speak ill of

>> atheists.


>> I know some atheists that were IN the storm and are now volunteering

>> their time, money, food, and clothes helping those ravaged by the

>> storm. I also have a friend who is a Marine and a war vet who was

>> living there. I think this needs to come above religious bickering.


>> There are MANY atheists who rush into life-threatening situations

>> and who serve in the military today. I would ask you to reevaluate

>> what you stated.


>> Very Respectfully

>> Paul Loebe

>> Assistant Military Director, Marine Liaison

>> American Atheists, Inc.

>> Camp Pendleton, CA



>> *Although I am an active duty Marine Sergeant my views do not

>> reflect the views of the Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps,

>> or any affiliated branches.*


I honestly didn’t expect to hear back from the guy but alas he did respond:

> Dear Sergeant Loebe:


> First of all, thank you for your service and may God bless you and

> your family for your service to protect pussies like me!


> Second, what I said was a figure of speech, not a comment on atheists

> who serve.


> I.e, When something HORRIBLE happens to someone, say their kid is

> kidnapped, even the atheist will utter, “Please God – NO!” Hence,

> there is no atheist in the veritable “foxhole.”


> Thanks for taking the time to write and THANKS FOR LISTENING!


> Love your show,



I wrote him back stating that there is absolutely no difference between a VERITABLE foxhole and the real thing. I lost the email because it got sent from my phone so I can’t actually repost the contents.[warning]I also stated that foxholes are for hiding and Marines build fighting holes…because well –>Marines don’t hide. *wink* Sorry, Army brethren! This was intended as a joke – the Army calls them foxholes whereas the Marines call them fighting holes. I do not think Soldiers are cowards. I want to clear up confusion.[/warning]

Disregard for disregard

So what I get out of all this is that even though I might be brave enough to run into a hail of bullets I’m not brave enough to face the stressors of everyday life without running to god. Thanks for the ultimate disregard! Well, folks there you have it.

Maybe he doesn’t know what ‘veritable’ means. I know Merriam-Webster defines it as : being in fact the thing named and not false, unreal, or imaginary —often used to stress the aptness of a metaphor<a veritable mountain of references>

Don’t worry atheists we can handle the stress of dying in a real foxhole but when it’s metaphorical and applied to everyday life we succumb to the pressures of acknowledging the invisible sky bully. I’m glad I’m in such good company. At least I know when the shit hits the fan and we’re all about to die I’ll be with such brave compatriots. I just hope I don’t get any real-world problems in the meantime.

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  • “I also stated that foxholes are for hiding and Marines build fighting holes…because well –>Marines don’t hide. *wink* Sorry, Army brethren!”

    Sigh. “Foxhole” is a euphemism, you dimwit. In the Army, we call them fighting positions.

  • Paul Loebe

    It’s a friendly interservice joke. No need for name calling.

  • xenubarb

    Wolf Blitzer to tornado survivor: “You have to thank the lord, right?”

    Tornado Survivor: “I uh, I am an atheist. But I don’t blame anyone who thanks the lord.”

    Heh. Proof of atheists, if not in foxholes, at least in one bad-ass tornado.

  • dickspringer

    I think the atheist tornado survivor handled the situation very well. She should not be anonymous. Her name is Rebecca Vitsum.

  • Randomfactor

    I read somewhere (so it must be true) that the last word on cockpit voice recordings played after crashes tends to have four letters in it and to refer to a bodily function.

    Guess there are no continent or celibate folks in cockpits…

  • Karl

    Religion is a crutch for weak minded people and most of them cannot imagine people that are not as weak as them.

  • Paul Loebe

    Well that certainly was random

  • Frances Porgal

    First off, the utterance of “No God!” when something happens or OMG as we so often see are mostly on auto-pilot from those of us who were raised in a religion but chose to later on, after much soul searching and intelligent reading, decide that we are Atheists. It is just an automatic reflex just as are so many curse words.

    One’s religion – or lack thereof – has nothing to do with how a person reacts in an emergency situation and I surely am not about to ask about that preference if a person is trying to save my life.

    I felt that the comments made my Sully were degrading and very arrogant at the very least and that is why I have made it a point NOT to watch/listen to whatever he is on anymore. An intelligent answer is one thing but his one does not rise to that level.

    Thanks to Paul Loebe for his comments and his service to our country.

  • Frances Porgal

    Thank you for bring this young lady out of the dark and I, too, feel that she could not have handled Wolf Blitzer’s gaffe any better. She is very brave and I, along, with all of my Atheist friends/acquaintances have made sure to see that her story does not die easily.

  • JJH

    A San Diego, normally financial in nature, broadcast by any chance?

  • Karen Locke

    Paul Loebe, I for one am grateful for your service and your outspoken atheism. You do our country a double service.

  • Paul Loebe


    I think so. It’s not a political show. It’s normally news and finance I believe.

  • lorn

    Being near to the bases at Norfolk and a military family we got to watch the various amphibious landing training exercises. There was one clear difference between army and marine landings: what the sergeants yelled about most. Army sergeants were big, and very vocal, about troops taking advantage of every possible bit of cover on the beach. Marine sergeants were big, and extremely vocal, about pushing forward. Different traditional mind sets.

  • Paul Loebe


    Thank you. There are more of us than you realize. I’m just the vocal one.

  • Paul Loebe


    Never give ground. Always gain!

  • I’m an army vet, and i had plenty of atheist in “foxholes” to keep me company…if as he said it was just a saying…then here is one for him…i’d rather die fighting on my feet than praying on my knees

  • No One

    “There are no atheists in foxholes”

    That is not a true statement. Those who utter it are un-thinking or liars.

  • As for atheists in foxholes, I sort of figured everyone in a foxhole has decided that mounds of dirt and debris offers more protection than the omnipotent and benevolent creator of the universe. That is to say, everyone in a foxhole is an atheist wanting to keep the only life they KNOW they get.

    I avoided the whole thing and joined the Navy. I only held a gun once during my entire enlistment and it was broken (as in it didn’t even have a trigger, not as in I can’t shoot).

  • Hi Mr. Loebe, I hope your health is good. There are no Atheists in foxholes, said no ATHEIST ever. Only a one sided, brainwashed as a child, bigoted Christian makes that statement. A person who knows this is the only life they will ever have and still will fight to protect the freedoms that US citizens enjoy has more scrotal weight than a dozen Christians who think that “fuck, if I die, god will reward me next time around”. That’s why it takes even more scrotal fortitude than Christians can begin to imagine. Wake the fuck up, soldiers. If the guy next to you is atheist he is fighting without an imaginary friend backing him up. That’s some big balls fellas, better respect them.

  • Hi Mr. Loebe, Here is a P.S. to all you Christian soldiers about my previous comment. If your imaginary god was actually in the foxhole next to you and said atheist, I bet his comment would be “man I want a whole team of those atheists on my side; they are crazy, honorable men. To know they will die and be worm food and still fight for other people’s freedom is very, very, classy. To die for another human without reward is the most honorable thing a man can do. And for them to be treated as outcasts? Wow. What the HELL are they thinking?

  • Hugh Beaumont

    You people even lie in your own definition. It is contradictory to hate an imaginary god, yet you all do. It is irrational that someone who denies the existence of the invisible should devote their lives to stomping out the idea. Because there’s no way to prove that God does not exist, yet you deny His existence. You people are not tolerant. You never shut up. You are aggressive God haters. Now I’ll tell you something that makes sense. There is a God, and you have surrendered your will to His enemy, and tirelessly work for him. That explains you – it’s the only thing that explains you. One would think, that after seeing the greatest cruelties to man in history coming out of atheist regimes that you’d hang your head in shame, and ask the believers for guidance.