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Air Force Republishes Chaplain’s ‘No Atheists in Foxholes’ Article to Base Website

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The U.S. Air Force republished the chaplain’s devotional article to a base website after an official initially removed it in response to a complaint  about its reflections on the famous quotation “There are no atheists in  foxholes,” often attributed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In early July, a devotional article by Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes (USAF) was posted on the website of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in the Chaplain’s Corner titled “No atheists in foxholes:  Chaplains gave all in World War II.”

Shortly after the publication of the devotional, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation requested that the Air Force remove it off the base website  and formally discipline Reyes, claiming it insulted those with no faith,  according to WND.

The letter from the MRFF to the Air Force stated that in his article Reyes  chose to “publicly denigrate those without religion.”

The activist group also stated that Reyes “defiles the dignity of service  members by telling them that regardless of their personally held philosophical  beliefs they must have faith.”

The Air Force removed the article within hours of receiving the complaint,  according to WND.

“Chaplains have the freedom and obligation to speak about faith and religious  values, and this freedom should not be censored or prohibited,” said Alliance  Defending Freedom litigation counsel Kellie Fiedorek in a statement released  Tuesday. “The Air Force should be commended for recognizing this and returning  Chaplain Reyes’s essay to the ‘Chaplains Corner’ portion of his base’s  website.”

ADF filed a Freedom of Information Act request earlier this month in an  attempt to determine what led to the chaplain’s essay being censored in the  first place. “We will continue to monitor that as we stand ready to defend ou  men and women in uniform just as they stand ready to defend us,” said  Fiedorek.

In his devotional  article, Reyes writes that he interviewed a former World War II prisoner of  war and friend who indicated that the phrase has been credited to Father William  Cummings.

Father Cummings was a civilian missionary Catholic priest in the Philippines  and the phrase was coined during the Japanese attack at Corregidor, Reyes  writes.

He explains, “During the siege, Cummings had noticed non-Catholics were attending his services. Some he knew were not Catholic, some were not religious and some were even known atheists.

“Life-and-death experiences prompt a reality check. Even the strongest of  beliefs can change, and, I may add, can go both ways – people can be drawn to or  away from ‘faith.’ With the pending surrender of allied forces to the Japanese,  Cummings uttered the famous phrase ‘There is no such thing as an atheist in a  fox hole.'”

In an American Legion Program broadcast from the White House on Feb. 7, 1954,  Eisenhower used the expression during in his remarks.

Reyes’ devotional article: ‘No atheists in foxholes’: Chaplains gave all in World War  II

By Alex Murashko, Christian Post Reporter


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