We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites.
The poor embrace the military because every other cul-de-sac in their lives breaks their spirit and their dignity. Pick up Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front or James Jones’s From Here to Eternity. Read Henry IV. Turn to the Iliad. The allure of combat is a trap, a ploy, an old, dirty game of deception in which the powerful, who do not go to war, promise a mirage to those who do…
Any story of war is a story of elites preying on the weak, the gullible, the marginal, the poor. I do not know of a single member of my graduating prep school class who went into the military. You could not say this about the high school class that graduated the same year in Mechanic Falls, Maine.
-Chris Hedges (Entire article at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/war_is_betrayal_20120713//)
The flagrant and foul betrayal and abuse of young Christians, of socially and economically disenfranchised Christians and of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels who teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies by the Church elites, as a service to the economic and political elites of this world, is now, as it always has been, Constantinian Christianity’s modus operandi for keeping its institutional monetary and political coffers filled and for surviving in this world. Ordinary Christians and human beings in general have paid an monstrous price for this betrayal by the Church’s untruthful hierarchs, priests, ministers and pastors.
In 1914, Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the Bishop of London, preached a sermon to soldiers saying, “This is a Holy War, and to fight in a Holy War is an honour…” The following year, the same bishop wrote, “This is the greatest fight ever made for the Christian religion.” He also stated that “the good old British race never did a more Christlike thing…than when, on August 4, 1914, it went to war.”(The potter and the Clay pages 227-9)
The archbishop of Cologne preached to German soldiers, saying: Beloved people of our Fatherland, God is with us in this fight for righteousness where we have been drawn in against our wish. We command you in the name of God, to fight to the last drop of your blood for the honour and glory of the country. In his wisdom and justice, God knows that we are on the side of righteousness and he will give us victory. (La Derniere Heure, Belgian newspaper, January 7, 1967)
In 1915, the Anglican Bishop of London, at Westminster Abbey, exhorted:…everyone that puts principle above ease…are banded in a great crusade—to kill Germans: to kill them not for the sake of killing, but to save the world; to kill the good as well as the bad, to kill the young as well as the old…lest the civilization of the world should itself be killed. (The Church of England and the First World War page 238)
In a published essay, a Lutheran minister wrote:
If Jesus of Nazareth, who preached the love of enemies, was again among us in the flesh-nowhere would he rather be incarnate than in Germany – where do you think he would be found? Do you think he would be standing in a pulpit and saying angrily: “You sinful Germans, love your enemies”? Certainly not. Instead, he would be right in front, in the first ranks of the sword-bearers who are fighting with implacable hatred. This is where he would be, and he would bless the bleeding hands and the death-dealing weapons, would perhaps grasp a sword of judgment and drive the enemies of the Germans farther and farther from the frontiers of the Promised Land, as he once drove the Jewish merchants and usurers out of the Temple (Imperial and Weimar Germany, page 31.
F. B. Meyer, a popular Free Church evangelical pastor said, “This is a Holy War in which we fight with Heavenly Allies beside us.”(Caroline Playne, Society at War:1914-1916, page 209.)
How long, O Lord, how long?