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Saturday, August 23

A War Prayer

Whenever we read ... the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind. And, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
-- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Petraeus endorses book that slams 'non-believers' in the military
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann noted on Thursday that "General David Petraeus ... has endorsed a book written by an evangelical Lutheran chaplain in the US Army, in which the chaplain claims non-believers can lead to 'failure' in their military unit."

A dust jacket quote from Petraeus says the book "should be in every rucksack for those times when Soldiers need spiritual energy."
I don't know what's in the book, but if it's written by someone who takes god's war manual, the holy bible, literally, I'm sure that it should be the companion piece to every soldier who is out there fighting for the "christian" cause (the war on Iraq and Afghanistan) if he or she isn't already carrying a bible in their backpack for inspiration. (See How Many Has God Killed)

But wait! The atheists and non believers have taken exception to this book endorsement by Petraeus. They too can kill for the cause. They don't need no stinking book.

A MRFF (Military Religious Freedom Foundation) representative called Petraeus's endorsement "a slap in the face from the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq to the 21% of the men and women fighting there who define themselves as atheists or having no religious preference ... a reprehensible betrayal of all of the non-theists who are putting their lives on the line for our country with every bit as much bravery and dedication as their religious comrades."

Weinstein himself stated, "General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism."
Indeed. But Keith Olbermann took the most exception to the fact that Petraeus' name has been floated as a potential VP candidate for McCain, the future war president who will make bush look, well bush league.

"How about army regulations against promoting religion, against proselytizing?" Olbermann asked. "General Petraeus, who never has been troubled by Army regulations, nor Constitutional ones, claims that when McCoy asked him for a recommendation, he didn't give him to publish it, that it was only intended for McCoy personally."

Petraeus has claimed he "never knew" his comments were being his comments were being seen publicly. However, as Olbermann points out, "Petraeus's endorsement has been on that book jacket since the book was published last year."

"O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
-- From the War Prayer by Mark Twain

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