No Atheists in Foxholes

I was listening to “All Things Considered” on NPR the other evening, and this story about atheists came on. One segment of the story described how atheists are deeply offended, especially when used by the media, by the old axiom, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Apparently atheists find it degrading to expect them to give up their convictions because of extreme peril.
I do not doubt that atheists are offended, and I do not expect most atheists to change their convictions in such situations and suddenly believe in God. But the old axiom does illustrate a deep truth. In situations of danger, there is always some element of hope. It is human nature to hope and wish for assistance out of a perilous situation. And although an atheist would deny it, hope is prayer. Hope, like prayer, looks outward from ones self. It places some kind of trust, confidence, assurance, faith, or whatever you want to call it, in someone or something other than ones self, be it luck, human, or God, to save them from harm.
Hope is grace, and it is a gift from God whether you believe in Him or not. Just like your next breath.