Sunday, April 24, 2005


Yesterday I read Mark Twain's short story entitled The War Prayer. It's about a church service that is going on while the country is at war (I don't know which country... I would guess America but it's from the work Europe and Elsewhere). Everyone is extremely patriotic, and the minister prays for victory. A bearded, robed stranger enters and stands up at the podium. He says that he is a messenger from God, and the congregation has just prayed not one, but two prayers - one was spoken, the other not. He says that it is his duty to let them know what the other unspoken prayer was. The prayer is that the soldiers on the enemy's side would meet bloody, painful deaths, their widows filled with grief, their country destroyed. After he articulates this, the story ends with no one paying him any attention because his words do not "make sense."

This story reminded me of the religious right in this country. I'm not posting an anti- or pro-war opinion here, just speculating on something. I wonder why many American Christians have been so gung ho about the war. I thought Christians were supposed to be pacifists. I live in a fairly liberal city, and I remember being in a Christian bookstore and hearing a gentlemen inquire about where the anti-war books were. When he was informed that there weren't any, he asked, "No anti-war books in a Christian bookstore?" And he made an interesting point.

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