The Friendly Atheist discovered the “No atheists in real estate foxholes” subhead from the print version of the article in last week’s Denver Post.
Apparently some atheists wrote to the columnist and complained about the use of the common and untrue stereotype parodied in the headline, and here’s his response:
I am NOT going to apologize to all atheist for a headline. I respect all atheists and their right to not believe in God. They need to respect my right to not believe in ridiculous demands for apologies.
Obviously, God did not give them a sense of humor. Maybe I should start praying for them.
The line about atheists in foxholes is a common expression. Atheists ought to be FOR freedom of expression â€” not against it.
Also, I do not write the headlines on my columns, and did not write this one. In fact, I didnâ€™t see until Eller called it to my attention.
Itâ€™s unfortunate when a headline offends an entire class of people for no good reason, but when youâ€™re slamming words in the paper as fast as you can, well, it happens. Nobody meant anything by it â€” and I will certainly try to never mix the words atheist and foxhole again.
This whole episode has got me to thinking, though.
If atheists are really offended by such an innocuous line, how are they any different than Jerry Farwell, who was offended by Tinky Winky, the allegedly gay Teletubbie? Or Muslims who didnâ€™t like cartoons?
Atheism is starting to sound like just another intolerant and irrational religion to me.
To Mr. Lewis: Atheists are all for freedom of expression. And no oneâ€™s slamming your right to express your belief. Weâ€™re upset that youâ€™re supposed to be working for a credible source of information, and yet, youâ€™re writing about complete pseudoscience.
As for the headline, itâ€™s denying the fact that there are atheists fighting for this country. There really are people out there who donâ€™t believe atheists would fight in a war. The foxhole quotation perpetuates that. Itâ€™s far from â€œinnocuous.â€ …
P.S. I still think the original column was a joke. I hate it when people don’t have a sense of humor. But this guy’s response to the letter-writers was rude and uncalled for, IMNHO. This time I agree with Hemant.