I’m in the process of learning the alto part to The Battle Hymn of the Republic. One down side to singing in a choir is you sometimes have to sing words that you would never say. (When I sing on my own, that is a factor in the songs I choose to sing). For the Battle Hymn of the Republic, that line is:
“As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.”
Well, it is named “Battle Hymn,” so I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s trying to make warfare an act of worship.
Before that, though, it strikes me as audacious in the first place to equate ourselves with Christ. On the one hand, Christians are supposed to emulate Christ (or so I’ve always interpreted the purpose of Christianity). But this seems to have crossed the line from emulating to putting ourselves on the same level. It even seems like we’re trying to do Christ one better:
“Let’s sacrifice ourselves like Christ, except take out a bunch of people as we’re doing it.”
And the reason this strikes me so strongly is that for 12 years I’ve been hearing Americans claim that Islam is an inherently violent religion and that Muslims all want to be martyrs, while implying that you wouldn’t catch Christians doing or saying that kind of thing.
Wikipedia: In the years since the Civil War, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” has been used frequently as an American patriotic song. This song is usually heard at the national conventions of both the Republican Party and Democratic Party, and is often sung at Presidential inaugurations.
“When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?” –Mike Huckabee, former Republican presidential candidate, 2012
Edited to add: Because Huckabee is a freaking insane lunatic jackass. And I’ve added this quote to my Fanaticism page. Some great company you’re keeping there, Huckabee.
Because this picture cracks me up
So now we have campaign ads that seem to be trailers for horror movies. As a horror movie fan, I like it. As a responsible voter, I think it’s terrible. I like to think everyone who sees this will react appropriate, with incredulous laughter.
Since Santorum wants us to tremble in fear of Ahmadinejad, here’s a great post by Juan Cole: http://www.juancole.com/2012/03/khamenei-takes-control-forbids-nuclear-bomb.html
““The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
So there’s this country where a council of elders is deciding on whether or not requiring insurers to cover birth control violates religious freedom of people who don’t believe in science. The committee is chaired by a male and consists of eight men. Invited to testify: five men. And no women.
Saudi Arabia? Iran? Ha! It’s the United States of America. Jezebel has the story here: http://jezebel.com/5885672/congressional-birth-control-hearing-involves-exactly-zero-people-who-have-a-uterus
A gay Gibson County couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday.
“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,'” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.
Pittman said the attacked was prompted by the pastor of the church, Jerry Pittman, his father.
“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.
“If I was on the scene I would not have allowed that. The deputy should not have allowed it if he did,” said Gibson County Sheriff Chuck Arnold.
Pittman said neither he nor Lee were allowed to press charges while at the church.
“I haven’t talk to him but that would be out of character for my deputy to say unless they were causing a problem themselves,” said Sheriff Arnold.
Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt. Pastor Pittman’s attorney contacted ABC 7 Eyewitness News by phone and said she had no comment and demanded we not contact the pastor.
A US Presidential candidate said earlier this year, “I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God, and say, ‘God: You’re going to have to fix this’.”
The context: a speech in May, explaining how some of the nation’s most serious problems could be solved.
Found on this New York Times blog.
Also from the same blog post:
But Texas is special. By many measures, it is the nation’s most polluted state. Dirty air and water do not seem to bother Perry. He is, however, extremely perturbed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of laws designed to clean the world around him. In a recent interview, he wished for the president to pray away the E.P.A.
To Jews, Muslims, non-believers and even many Christians, the Biblical bully that is Rick Perry must sound downright menacing, particularly when he gets into religious absolutism. “As a nation, we must call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles,” he said last week.
As a lone citizen, he’s free to advocate Jesus-driven public policy imperatives. But coming from someone who wants to govern this great mess of a country with all its beliefs, Perry’s language is an insult to the founding principles of the republic. Substitute Allah or a Hindu God for Jesus and see how that polls.