I spent almost an hour on the phone with this excellent reporter, Manya A. Brachear, who wrote the Los Angeles Times story. The more I studied the pictures the more horrified I became that this man was running the United States military, and that our country was actually engaged in a Christian crusade in the eyes of so many of its soldiers. I am so glad the reporter gathered the responses of the Christian community and I do hope that, as I said in the article, there is a bipartisan Christian effort to put this dark period behind us in the United States.
Here is an excerpt:
One passage plucked from the New Testament’s Epistle to the Ephesians instructs believers to “put on the full armor of God.”
An excerpt from the Old Testament’s Isaiah directs them to “open the gates that the righteous nation may enter.”
As American troops fought in Iraq in 2003, these biblical verses and others reportedly prefaced intelligence reports approved by then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Disclosed last week on the website of GQ magazine, the hawkish use of scripture has prompted many faithful to ask whether Americans lost their lives in Iraq defending democracy or fighting a religious crusade.
Read more here.
One picture has the gate of swords below from Iraq with American soldiers marching triumphantly through, accompanied by a quote from Isaiah 26: Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.
One final note. It amazes me, in light of this evidence, that there is a single Jew, Muslim, or non-fundamentalist Christian left in this country that feels safe voting Republican ever again. The Republican Party needs a major overhaul, and it needs to put the Bill of Rights and Constitution back at the front and center of its political ethos, and then we should be happy to argue about abortions, and guns, foreign policy, and taxes. Until the Bill of Rights is back at the center nothing is safe.© Marc Gopin