Why the hell would you get all offended?
Is this something you atheists do?
A colloquial phrase
Said for decades, not days,
And it isn’t directed at you
It just means that whenever there’s trouble
Human nature determines, you’ll pray
Thus a foxhole will be
And that’s all that we’re meaning to say
So it isn’t directed at atheists
But at regular people, like us
And since turning to God
When you’re scared isn’t odd
There’s no reason to make such a fuss
Since we all turn to God in a foxhole
It’s no insult—it’s just what we see
So it’s all for the good;
We’re just misunderstood…
Yeah, it all sounds like bullshit to me.
The comments that I want to speak to today, in particular, are the ones that say “hey, it’s just an expression, it’s not an insult to atheists, it just points out that when the shit hits the fan, it’s just human nature to look to a deity for help”. Yeah, we kinda knew what it meant, and the problem comes from the fact that it is both insulting and wrong. Not from any misunderstanding.
It reminds me of another “just an expression”, one my bigoted grandfather used to say. Let me preface this by saying I do not intend to equate the two, just to show the similarity in argument. My grand-dad, intending to compliment someone on doing right by him, would say “that’s real white of you.” Which, of course, was not at all intended as an insult to non-whites. It just meant that the attributes naturally associated with whites were honesty, hard work, integrity, and basic goodness, whereas the associated negative attributes were more what we expect to see in non-whites. Just an observation, you see; just a colloquial expression. Nothing personal, and certainly nothing racist.
When you use a phrase that is built upon an insulting falsehood, it doesn’t get to be grandfathered in just because it’s been around a while. Grandfathers can be bigots, after all.
And for those who are so kindly explaining to atheists how our reactions to the false and insulting “no atheists in foxholes” just show how thin-skinned we are… thanks. Really, thanks. That’s real white of you.