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September 7, 2008
It's Sunday...By Greyhawk
...so below you'll find today's sermon, reprinted from a post I did at MilBlogs earlier in the week.
Let's talk about Religion and Politics and War
"that's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan"
Pray for guidance - a Christian will apply that advice to anything. That's in large part because Christians are never convinced that mankind (or an individual man or woman) acts in accordance with God's will - but Christians desire to act in such a manner. (A theological argument can be made against free will - but that's another issue altogether.) Many Americans probably don't know this, but one of the best known Christian prayers includes the phrase "thy will be done". (You can Google it, but it's true, I swear on a stack of Bibles.) Praying that you're doing the right thing is exactly the opposite of assuming that you're doing the right thing. People who pray for guidance are acknowledging that they are capable of acting in opposition to God's will, and likewise not convinced that they are acting in accordance with God's will.
So if you are a Christian, if you know any Christians, or if you understand Christianity you understand that quoted comment at the top of this entry. If you hate Christians you'll hate that comment. If you fear Christians you'll fear that comment. And if you feel that the separation of Church and State means that Christians have no place working in government jobs you'll feel that anyone who utters it is disqualified for any Government job, up to and including Vice President of the United States (or the job one heartbeat higher).
Over at The Sniffington Post they're salivating over the discovery that Sarah Palin is a Christian (no, really!?!). Not since the Democratic primaries have I heard an attack on a candidate's religion - or lack thereof. (Obama is a Muslim! Obama's Pastor is a whack job!) but I suspect that having been denied two well-planned attacks (Romney is a MORMON! Liebermann is a JEW!) the Sniffpo crowd is whipping out some prepared remarks, changing a name and a few keywords, and misfiring on this one instead (ready, fire, aim!).
Here's the comment above in context (there's video at the link). I'd add that the Governor - speaking at a church - also notes that she isn't using prepared remarks, so if this reads like someone talking rather than writing that's why.
My oldest, my son Track, he's a soldier in the United States Army now. He's an infantry man - and so Track sends his love also to his former nanny Christie. And Track - pray for our military - he's going to be deployed in September to Iraq - pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country - that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God - that's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan. So bless them with your prayers, your prayers are protection over our soldiers.(Previous entry on the Palin's son joining the Army here.)
Requesting prayers for her son, his fellow soldiers, and their leaders. Offensive? Disqualifying for high office? I guess that's an individual call. Every vote is sacred, says I - and every voter can make up his or her own mind. Many might even pray for guidance before doing so. That's fine by me.
But here's the Sniffpo interpretation of the scripture - their instructions to the choir on how to feel about this:
Speaking before the Pentecostal Church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.I'm a lot more disturbed by people who twist a member of a religious group's meaning with a goal of fomenting resentment of that religious group than I am by members of religious groups.
And when I was in Iraq I was always happy to open a care package from members of an American Church* that included a note that "our thoughts and prayers are with you" along with the cookies.
I knew just what they meant.
*We never got packages from Atheist groups.
Posted by Greyhawk / September 7, 2008 3:47 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
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