Atheists in Foxholes

They say there are no atheists in foxholes.  And yet, here we are, many of us feeling as if the battle has come to our doorsteps, and from what I have seen there has been no rush to a belief in the divine.  Instead we’re rising up, pulling together, raising voices.

So, is the aphorism simply false, or is there a different kind of higher power we’re seeking here?

I wonder now if we’re looking to each other, to our collective strength, as the source of a power we can put our faith in.  In these times of threat and trouble, we’re looking to each other for protection and salvation.  I’m not sure if it’s just because we’ve reached a point in the history of our society where a belief in an actual deity is becoming uncommon enough that humans simply don’t behave the way we used to, or if it’s because the threat is coming under the name of religion, but the world seems to be pinning its hopes on humanity itself rather than god.

It’s an interesting development.  Movements grow to counter oppressive religions, we gather for marches rather than worship, we read the words of revolutionaries rather than spiritual scholars.  We seek to be motivated and inspired more than we seek to be soothed and blessed.  We have reached out to support our neighbors as a way of fighting injustice rather than a way to please a god.  We’ve replaced dogmas with missions, scriptures with manifestos.

And it is beautiful.


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