T Nation

Thanks to the Veterans

I just wanted to make a post thanking the veterans for protecting us and our freedooms to give us the ability to live in the greatest country in the world. I read the next paragraph in an article and it sums up how I feel.

You serve and fight for the greatest Nation in the history of civilization. There has never been a grievous wrong that good Americans have not sought to rectify. There has never been a just cause on which America has turned her back for long. You, our soldiers, have been and continue to be, the greatest force for freedom and human rights ever gathered. You have raised our flag around the world, not for domination, but to bring greater liberty and a better way of life. You are the reason America remains a beacon of hope to the entire world.

You seek neither glory nor riches, nor even fame. You are our best, our brightest, our bravest. Please always know that even when we don’t show it, we love you. We appreciate you. We thank you. And we will never forget you or forsake you.

thank you for posting this. I am not in the Armed Forces but have the greatest respect/admiration for those that sacrifice themselves to defend this country. Thank you to all the Veterans out there for everything you do.

Well said. To the veterans out there, thank you so much for your service and sacrifice.

“Thanks” simply doesn’t mean enough sometimes. The sacrifices will never be forgotten.

I agree. Thank you all for your sacrifices to allow your fellow Americans to be free.

I’m not even American but that doesn’t stop me from thanking the troops any chance I get.

A sincere thanks for your sacrifices, vets and servicefolk!

It’s because of you that I have the freedom to make a comfy living drawing silly pictures.

[quote]BSC819 wrote:
I just wanted to make a post thanking the veterans for protecting us and our freedooms to give us the ability to live in the greatest country in the world. I read the next paragraph in an article and it sums up how I feel.

You serve and fight for the greatest Nation in the history of civilization. There has never been a grievous wrong that good Americans have not sought to rectify. There has never been a just cause on which America has turned her back for long. You, our soldiers, have been and continue to be, the greatest force for freedom and human rights ever gathered. You have raised our flag around the world, not for domination, but to bring greater liberty and a better way of life. You are the reason America remains a beacon of hope to the entire world.

You seek neither glory nor riches, nor even fame. You are our best, our brightest, our bravest. Please always know that even when we don’t show it, we love you. We appreciate you. We thank you. And we will never forget you or forsake you.
[/quote]

X 2

Propaganda much?

[quote]orion wrote:
Propaganda much?
[/quote]

Dude, in all seriousness, go fuck yourself. Today is the one day a year in which the people who have served or are serving (myself included) remember the fallen and give thanks to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. For you to even bother to type that shit out speaks to the fact that you obviously have no clue what day it is, so keep your shit to yourself.

[quote]ivandragobc wrote:
orion wrote:
Propaganda much?

Dude, in all seriousness, go fuck yourself. Today is the one day a year in which the people who have served or are serving (myself included) remember the fallen and give thanks to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. For you to even bother to type that shit out speaks to the fact that you obviously have no clue what day it is, so keep your shit to yourself.[/quote]

^^^My thoughts exactly^^^

[quote]ivandragobc wrote:
orion wrote:
Propaganda much?

Dude, in all seriousness, go fuck yourself. Today is the one day a year in which the people who have served or are serving (myself included) remember the fallen and give thanks to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. For you to even bother to type that shit out speaks to the fact that you obviously have no clue what day it is, so keep your shit to yourself.[/quote]

Well, then just for you:

The Christianâ??s Golden Calf

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” ~ (Exodus 20:3)

Most people know the story of Aaronâ??s golden calf.

After the Jews came out of Egypt, while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving from God the ten commandments on “tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18), the children of Israel complained to Aaron, Mosesâ?? brother: “Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him” (Exodus 32:1). So, after the people donated their gold, Aaron made a golden calf and proclaimed: “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4). Then Aaron made an altar, the people offered offerings, and they all had themselves one wild party (Exodus 32:6); that is, until Moses came down from the mount (Exodus 32:19).

Some, perhaps, also know the story of Jeroboamâ??s golden calves.

Years later in the history of Israel, when most of the tribes rebelled under Jeroboam, he “made two calves of gold” and said to the people: “Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28). After placing one calf in Bethel and the other in Dan (1 Kings 12:29), Jeroboam appointed his own priests, ordained a feast, burnt incense, and made offerings on an altar, “sacrificing unto the calves that he had made” (1 Kings 12:32). The people likewise worshipped before these golden calves (1 Kings 12:30). As a consequence, the tribes that sinned under Jeroboam were “carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day” (2 Kings 17:22â??23).

Ever since these incidents, a golden calf has referred to some object that is undeservedly worshipped or venerated.

To their shame, American Christians, who profess to serve the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and wouldnâ??t think of making a god out of gambling, Internet porn, or alcohol, have a god â?? a golden calf â?? they honor, reverence, and pay homage to. This god demands perpetual thanksgivings. This god demands obeisance on national holidays. This god demands special appreciation days. This god demands songs to be sung in praise to it. This god demands prayers to the Lord God on its behalf. This god demands sacrifices of young men and women. This god demands signs, buttons, shirts, bumper stickers, yellow ribbons, and lapel pins inscribed with its various names and slogans. This god tolerates no criticism of its activities.

The Christianâ??s golden calf is the U.S. military.

Not all Christians, mind you, but a great many Christians from throughout Christendom have exchanged biblical Christianity for imperial Christianity. From Catholic just-war theorists who oppose abortion (but not the killing of people outside of the womb) to progressive Christians who oppose the war in Iraq (but not military intervention in Darfur) to the Religious Right who oppose the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries (but not the American killing of Muslims in Muslim countries) â?? Christians of all branches and denominations are engaged an idolatrous affair with the U.S. military.

The worst offenders are the independent, evangelical, fundamentalist, and other conservative Christians. And I say this as one of them. With them it is the majority who bow before the golden calf. Yes, the majority. That is the conclusion I reached during the Bush years and that is still my conclusion now. In spite of the waning support for the war in Iraq and the venom directed toward Barack Obama by right-wing Christians, Christian reverence for the military remains unchanged.

I donâ??t make this golden calf accusation lightly. I say it after years of listening to conservative Christians, talking with them, reading hundreds of e-mails from them (both friend and foe), hearing scores of reports from disconsolate church members about their warmongering pastors and church leaders, reading numerous books, articles, blogs, and newsletters by Christian defenders of war and the warfare state, seeing the negative reaction to my book Christianity and War, and reading countless pathetic attempts to justify Christian participation in the stateâ??s wars.

I still see on church signs and church websites the “support our troops,” “pray for our troops,” and “God bless our troops” mantras. It doesnâ??t matter where U.S. troops go, how many go, how long they stay, or what they do when they are there â?? support for the military is a fundamental of the faith, right up there with the Virgin Birth and the Deity of Christ.

And here is a resolution passed by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Baptist Churches at their annual meeting last year:

C. Support for Soldiers: Whereas there are young men and women from our country and our churches in military service, and some in perilous situations around the world, and whereas we appreciate their sacrifices and willingness to protect our freedom, BE IT RESOLVED that we will pray for our troops, support them in tangible ways as we have opportunity, and encourage them to make their field of service a harvest field for the Kingdom of God.

These are conservative, independent Baptist churches â?? and they are spewing forth anti-biblical nonsense.

And it is not just Red-State Christian fascists, Reich-wing Christian nationalists, theocon Values Voters (who recently expressed their support for warmonger Mike Huckabee in a Family Research Council Values Voter Summit), Christian Coalition moralists, and “God and country” social conservatives who support federal funding of school vouchers, abstinence education, and faith-based initiatives who venerate the military. It is also Christians who donâ??t consider themselves part of the Religious Right, Christians who donâ??t vote, Christians who oppose an interventionist U.S. foreign policy, Christians who denounce abuses of the FBI, CIA, IRS, and BATF, Christians who oppose the Iraq War, Christians who caution against Christian service in the military, and Christians who oppose basically every other government institution.

Support for the military among Christians is pervasive, systemic, sacrosanct, and codified.

It is also an unholy alliance, an illicit affair, an affront to the Saviour whom Christians worship as the Prince of Peace, a blight on Christianity, and the worse form of statolatry. It also violates the whole tenor of the New Testament:

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14).

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:16).

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen (1 John 5:21).

I fear that things are hopeless. I see no end in sight to churches publicly honoring veterans, praising the troops for defending our freedoms, turning national holidays into military recognition days, having special military appreciation days, encouraging or not discouraging their young men (and sometimes women) to join the military, helping young men to become military chaplains, ostracizing those who disparage the military, equating admiration for the military with patriotism and criticism of the military with treason, imploring church members to pray for the troops, regarding the militaryâ??s acts of aggression as benevolent, presuming divine support for U.S. military interventions, accepting the militarism of society, having a superstitious reverence for the military, and remaining in willful ignorance of U.S. foreign policy and its use of the military as a force for evil in the world.

I have spoken about these things again and again and written about them time after time after time after time. I am afraid that my words are being heard and read for the most part by the wrong group of Christians â?? those who already reject the warfare state and a militarized Christianity.

The day is long past (if it ever existed) when the function of the U.S. military was limited to what it should be: defending the United States, securing U.S. borders, guarding U.S. shores, patrolling U.S. coasts, and enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies â?? not defending, guarding, patrolling, attacking, invading, or occupying other countries. And not providing disaster relief, dispensing humanitarian aid, supplying peacekeepers, enforcing UN resolutions, nation building, spreading goodwill, launching preemptive strikes, changing regimes, enforcing no-fly zones, rebuilding infrastructure, reviving public services, promoting good governance, stationing troops in other countries, garrisoning the planet with bases, and killing foreigners in their countries and destroying their property.

A military not strictly for defense of U.S. borders, shores, coasts, and skies is nothing more than the presidentâ??s personal attack force staffed by mercenaries willing to obey his latest command to bomb, invade, occupy, and otherwise bring death and destruction to any country he deems necessary.

Christian, it is time to slay the golden calf.

[quote]BSC819 wrote:
ivandragobc wrote:
orion wrote:
Propaganda much?

Dude, in all seriousness, go fuck yourself. Today is the one day a year in which the people who have served or are serving (myself included) remember the fallen and give thanks to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. For you to even bother to type that shit out speaks to the fact that you obviously have no clue what day it is, so keep your shit to yourself.

^^^My thoughts exactly^^^[/quote]

And look, I have one for you too!

How To Demilitarize Your Church

Veterans Day is one of those holidays, along with Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, when it isnâ??t safe for non-imperial Christians who think the state should be separated from the church to attend church on the Sunday before one of these holidays. Especially troublesome is when one of these holidays, or Flag Day, actually falls on a Sunday.

In many churches, Sunday services on or before these holidays are unbearable because they feature, or are wholly devoted to, the glorification of the U.S. military. Because the Christianâ??s golden calf is the military, it is necessary to demilitarize American churches.

Although the extent to which you can demilitarize your church depends on whether you are a pastor or church leader, some other person of influence, or just a typical layman, here are some suggestions.

First, recognize the need to demilitarize your church. Although I assume that most of you reading this article are opposed to the glorification of the military in church (or anywhere else), it is still crucial that you educate yourself as to the problems with the military â?? its unnecessary size, its bloated budget, its inefficiency, its merchants-of-death contractors, its murderous mercenaries, its weapons of mass destruction, its unconstitutional mission, its inability to protect its own headquarters, its foreign interventions, its foreign occupations, its overseas bases and troop deployments â?? and just how much the military has pervaded all of society. I recommend, first of all, two chapters in my book Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State: “The Military” and “Christianity and the Military.” All of the essays are available in my article archive on this website. Since the publication the second edition of my book in January of last year, I have written many additional articles on the military and Christianity and the military. Again, see my article archive on this website. Second, see the excellent collection of articles on this website by Tom Engelhardt. Third, read Nick Turseâ??s The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (Henry Holt, 2009). And last, but not least, see the Chalmers Johnson trilogy: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. You must be ready for opposition, and not just from veterans. Your whole church may in fact be against you.

Second, there are some practices that you need to stop, or try to get others to stop, in order to demilitarize your church. No more turning holidays into military appreciation days. No more special military appreciation days. No more recognizing current members of the military or veterans. No more encouraging current members of the military or veterans to wear their uniforms on the above-mentioned holidays. No more treating military personnel differently from other occupations. No more references to military personnel “serving” in the military. No more unspecific and unspecified prayers for “the troops in harms way.” No more military guest speakers. No more justifying service in the military because the Bible mentions soldiers. No more “God Bless Our Troops” or “Pray for Our Troops” or “Thank a Veteran” slogans on church signs, bulletins, and websites. No more equating patriotism with admiration for the military. No more calling soldiers returning from overseas heroes. No more blasphemous nonsense about the troops dying for our freedoms like Christ died for our sins.

Third, there are some things that you can do to immunize your church from something that causes more deaths than swine flu â?? the U.S. military. Warn young people about the evils of “serving” in the military. And that includes being a chaplain, a medic, or a National Guardsman. I would feel like a failure as a parent, a pastor, or a youth director if one of my “kids” joined todayâ??s military. Here is a letter I wrote to a Christian young man about joining the military. Instruct people about the true nature of the military. In many cases, they are simply just ignorant of the fact that the military is doing everything else but defending the United States, securing U.S. borders, guarding U.S. shores, patrolling U.S. coasts, and enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies. Emphasize the need for missionaries to be sent to the Middle East instead of U.S. troops. If Christians in the United States are so concerned about the threat of Islam, then they should do everything they can to convert Muslims to Christianity instead of wanting American Christian soldiers to kill them heartily in the name of the Lord. Never cease to point out that although God in the Old Testament commanded the nation of Israel to fight against heathen nations, the president of the United States is not God, America is not the nation of Israel, the U.S. military is not the Lordâ??s army, the Christianâ??s sword is the word of God, and the only warfare the New Testament encourages the Christian to wage is against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Pay no attention to military advertising slogans like the new one that says the Navy is “A Global Force for Good.”

Now, none of this means that churches should not reach out to those in the military and their families. Nothing I have said precludes a church from having a military ministry. Remember, demilitarizing your church means treating soldiers just like plumbers, barbers, or truckers.

Because of rampant nationalism, imperialism, and red-state fascism, demilitarizing your church wonâ??t be easy. But “whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear” (Ezekiel 2:7), it is a necessary endeavor.

November 11, 2009

If someone could take that time to explain to me how that works, Id appreciate it.

So you basically have an ocean east and west and your two neighbors are Canada and Mexico.

You also spend ten times on “defense” what the next guys spend, which is incidentally the UK, an ally.

You also have enough nukes to blow up the world about 20 times, surveillance satellites that make pretty sure that noone can sneak up on you even if they all boarded their canoes and tried to attack the US.

And yet those “heroes” are “over there” “protecting your freedom”. I am not even going to go into this “greatest nation on earth” shit that usually comes from people who only know their own country or have only seen another one while they turned it into a hellhole.

So these soldiers, "the best and the brightes"t, no less, how do they do that?

Is your God an angry God?

Must he have blood or else the sun will not rise in the east?

Seriously, what the fuck?

So if you weren’t in Iraq or Afghanistan would they work like mad in secret for a few hundred years before they could even dream of posing a serious threat to Americas “freedom”?

Meanwhile, your own government take away your freedom at home, with whatever excuse they think will work, and your constantly riding the militaries dick is one of the smokescreens they use, while not giving a damn about how many of them kick the bucket.

This whole hero whorship is childish and immature and should be grown out of shortly after Santa Claus has to go.

They are men with guns and kill for a living. Sometimes that is necessary, most often it is not and is done anyway.

Heroes, they are not.

If you want to whorship “heroes” go blow a fireman.

That is just as gay but actually far less embarrassing and not completely misdirected.

Dude, I’m a busy fucking person, I don’t have time to read your bullshit propaganda. Seriously, get lost in a jet turbine or something

I appreciate the message Orion. Just remember who it is that has murdered the most people to date - Christians.

[quote]orion wrote:
If someone could take that time to explain to me how that works, Id appreciate it.

So you basically have an ocean east and west and your two neighbors are Canada and Mexico.

You also spend ten times on “defense” what the next guys spend, which is incidentally the UK, an ally.

You also have enough nukes to blow up the world about 20 times, surveillance satellites that make pretty sure that noone can sneak up on you even if they all boarded their canoes and tried to attack the US.

And yet those “heroes” are “over there” “protecting your freedom”. I am not even going to go into this “greatest nation on earth” shit that usually comes from people who only know their own country or have only seen another one while they turned it into a hellhole.

So these soldiers, "the best and the brightes"t, no less, how do they do that?

Is your God an angry God?

Must he have blood or else the sun will not rise in the east?

Seriously, what the fuck?

So if you weren’t in Iraq or Afghanistan would they work like mad in secret for a few hundred years before they could even dream of posing a serious threat to Americas “freedom”?

Meanwhile, your own government take away your freedom at home, with whatever excuse they think will work, and your constantly riding the militaries dick is one of the smokescreens they use, while not giving a damn about how many of them kick the bucket.

This whole hero whorship is childish and immature and should be grown out of shortly after Santa Claus has to go.

They are men with guns and kill for a living. Sometimes that is necessary, most often it is not and is done anyway.

Heroes, they are not.

If you want to whorship “heroes” go blow a fireman.

That is just as gay but actually far less embarrassing and not completely misdirected.

[/quote]

Agreed.

I look forward to the responses of the “flag wavers”.

Don’t thank me, thank your local recruiter.

This is really not the right day to have this discussion, no matter how you feel about it.

[quote]spyoptic wrote:
I appreciate the message Orion. Just remember who it is that has murdered the most people to date - Christians.

[/quote]

Who cares?

If all your friends jump off a bridge, would you jump too?

I am sure there exists an American version of this German classic.