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Atheist in the Foxhole
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This song was written at the request of the Treasure Coast Humanists in Florida who wanted a song to speak to the discrimination against atheist veterans in VA hospitals.
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Tom Neilson
Tom Neilson 2013

Sat Aug 31, 2013
Acoustic : Folk
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Charts position
» highest in charts:   # 39   (151,610 songs currently listed in Acoustic)
» highest in sub-genre:   # 2   (13,485 songs currently listed in Acoustic > Folk)
About the song
Joe Beck of the Treasure Coasts Humanists asked Tom to write a song about the discrimination against Humanist veterans in VA hospitals.
Lyrics
My name is Jim Barney, I served in the army, at Utah, came under attack
And it never mattered what I believed, my platoon knew I had their back
For 40 years I taught bio and chem, coaching baseball was my job,
But I couldn’t teach boy scouts astronomy cause I didn’t believe in god.
If I don’t believe in god, I can’t teach the constellations
If I don’t believe in god, I can’t play among the stars
If I don’t believe in god I’m a danger to the boys.
Can’t give any merit badges if I don’t believe in god.

My name is Bill Davy, I was in the navy, caught up in that Vietnam fight
Yes I know we shouldn’t have been over there, but I did what I thought was right.
I saved a sailor’s life as the waves came over the rail
And it didn’t matter what I believed when I delivered your mail.
But if I don’t believe in god no one comes mr way
When I’m dying of cancer at the local VA
There were priests & ministers, imams, and rabbis all coming to pray,
But the chaplin must think I’ll be burning in hell from what he had to say

There were Lutheran and catholic clerics to comfort Nazis at Nuremburg
But atheist memories never were honored by any words I ever heard
We died in your wars, suffer PTSD, and addictions all the same
Give us a treatment program, that isn’t in god’s name.
No help for the heathen-no prayers at my bed
No stairway to heaven – what the chaplain said
No god in my foxhole – no lord at my side
No bedside manner when the secular humanist died