Jerry Newcombe

Some atheists took offense recently to a military chaplain’s quoting of the old saying, popularized by Dwight Eisenhower, “In battle, they learned the great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”

Some atheists in the military have taken issue with Ike’s quote, calling it a “bigoted, religious supremacist phrase.” One of them said, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same.”

Meanwhile, constitutional attorney Ken Klukowski, who wrote about this in his article, “Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment," said the chaplain was completely within his first amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty.

Obviously, since there are professed unbelievers who serve in the military, the “truism” that there are no atheists in foxholes is not always true. Every man or woman who serves our country in the military, regardless of religious views or the lack thereof, deserves our respect.

But I must admit that the phrase “faith based hate” galls me, because in reality I see so little of it. And I travel in mostly Christian circles, and have for years.

If I see hate, it’s not based on faith in Jesus. Maybe it’s there, despite professed belief in Jesus---like leftovers from an ornery disposition that has not yet been changed by Christ.

I’m rereading To Kill a Mockingbird, and I note that the deep-seated racism is there, despite the professed Christianity of the townspeople. Yet the hero of the story, Atticus Finch, is also a man of Christian faith. He says, “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience---Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.”

He adds, “The one that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

In our time, people of faith, acting on their consciences shaped by the Judeo-Christian tradition are being accused of hate. “Hate” has got to be the most overused word of our time. If someone is politically incorrect in their views, they are often falsely accused of hate.

According to Webster’s, hate means “To feel great hostility or animosity toward.”

Some people assume Christians are hateful because we favor traditional marriage. We favor bringing babies to term. Does that make us hateful?

Does it not seem absurd to accuse conservative traditional Christians of faith based hate, simply based on their views of morality (which we believe were revealed by God in the Bible)---and which have stood the test of centuries?

Jerry Newcombe

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer.