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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/8/11

They Died in Vain; Deal With It

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It is a curiosity that the Bible and the teachings of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, seem to have become OBE (overtaken by events) and no longer inform the sermons of many American preachers. Odd that the relevant teachings from this treasure trove seem to have become passe' or, as former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said of the Geneva Conventions, "quaint" and "obsolete."

I have this vision of Stephen Decatur smiling from the afterlife as he watches more and more acceptance being given in recent years to his famous dictum: "Our country, right or wrong."

Let me suggest that preachers consider drawing material from yet another source in thinking about the wars in which the U.S. is currently engaged. Instead of fulsome encomia for those who have made "the ultimate sacrifice," they might be directed to Rudyard Kipling for words more to the point, if politically and congregationally incorrect.

Two passages (the first a one-liner) shout out their applicability to U.S. misadventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and -- God help us -- where next?

"If they ask you why we died, tell them because our fathers lied."

and

"It is not wise for the Christian white

To hustle the Asian brown;

For the Christian riles,

And the Asian smiles

And weareth the Christian down.

At the end of the fight

Lies a tombstone white

With the name of the late deceased;

And the epitaph drear,

A fool lies here,

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 
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