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I sat outside today at chapel in one of the lounges.  It was
Veteran’s Day chapel.  I’m not usually partial to patriotically
themed chapels, so figured it was best to not get myself worked up.

This is what I wrote.  It’s not supposed to be stunningly accurate.  It’s just how I feel.

At first I want to say its not that I have any bad feelings towards
America.  But that’s a lie.  I don’t even care if the
founding fathers biblically based or deist or serial rapists. 
Where I’ve grown up, culture has isolated me from those around
me.  Is it low to blame isolation on culture?  What if the
culture teaches only the cool people get to have visible
relationships?  And the only visible relationships are
shallow?  I was taught success and independence and what was
apparently what the world, or at least America, wanted of me was for me
to keep my nose clean and to get good grades.  Good grades
equalled success earlier and life, and not much attention was paid to
how success was achieved.  Being smart wasn’t thoroughly doing
consistent, excellent work…it was knowing what the teacher wanted to
hear, and being able to talk your way from a much deserved C- to a
shiny A.  Being a good kid was often enough as well. 
Money.  Do I even need to start on it?  For some reason I
need a hole lot of it, even if I never do anything.  In other
countries they live in poverty.  They say people are
starving.  But some people do survive.  And without money
like we have here.  I’m not saying life is easy, or anything is
right or wrong….but I’m fairly confident what I’ve ben taught is
wrong.  Vietnam, Bay of Pigs….can America’s foreign policy
really be trusted?  Where are the weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq?  Yes, I know from a certain point of view those are
irrelevant, but the point of view of the government was that they were
there, and we were going to get rid of them.  Big question
mark.  Inconsistent war on terror.  We go after those who go
after us, but thats not all.  We also go after those we don’t ,
but where are the troops stopping the sex trade?  We applaud the
veterans, but what are we applauding?  The music filters through,
and it’s beautiful, but does the other side remain the enemy?  Do
they do the same thing in honor of their veterans?  If they do,
does that upset us?  Honor going to those who slaughtered our men
and boys, and women in this enlightened age?  And its slaughter
when its our soldiers.  Luckily, we only kill their men.  And
if our enemies get upset over our rejoicing, so what?  We were
fighting for what was right, anyway.  We view war, at best, as a
necessary evil, going to war only when necessary.  But when its
over, we sing God Bless America, and go into debt rebuilding the
company we squashed.   But I didn’t mean company, I meant
country, right.  So we sing and the music sounds beautiful. 
But the girls being raped in Africa scream that there were no weapons
of mass destruction.  The songs continue to be sung.  over
and over.  In affirmation of America.  America in deep bass,
higher and higher until on the dogs can hear the wonder of America
being preached.  Isn’t that who doesn’t want to hear it?  And
then it switches to Amazing Grace.  Is that valid?  The line
has been drawn.  Can we support it?  Grace will lead
home?  Our soldiers?  Theirs?  Or is home heaven? 
And we think of our noble soldiers, going to a better place. 
Often our enemies go to an even better place, and they have lots of
virgins.  Does that mean we’re on the wrong side?  Or we’re
fighting for grace and justice?  Glory, glory hallelujah. 
Why would you even sing that in war?

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12 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Read holidayrevolver.  Read his xanga today.

    I was sitting there 20 minutes before chapel and I realized I could not go to war for this country.  I don’t love it enough.  But I still honor the commitment of those that did.  They did a great hard thing that I would never be able to do.  Regardless of whether what they did was right, they did it.  They’re better than me.  So I clapped.

    And America sucks.

  2. Anonymous

    Well…. when they’re commitment is QUESTIONABLE… then yeah, I’ll honor it.  Every adult (over 30) whom I respect thinks differently.  So…. I -do- question if I’m wrong.  I have to.

  3. Anonymous

    yeah, i’d imagine that the people we fought against would be pretty proud of their troops as well. that’s their prerogative as the people who live there. feel free to cheer for them if you want, but i hope a marine who held dying people kicks your ass when you do. i’ll stick with cheering for the marines. thanks~

  4. Mike, read some history on fascism/nazism or communism/socialism. Yes, those vets do deserve our respect and I personally have absolutely no problem applauding someone who risked his neck so I don’t have to speak German today. No, our nation is not perfect, but dang, it’s not THAT bad either.  I mean seriously, we’re never going to have a perfect government ever anywhere, but does that mean we act like all are really bad?

    “Do they do the same thing in honor of their veterans?”  Yeah, there are Japanese, German, Italian, and Vietnames war memorials.  The point is though, they honor the people, not necessarily the governments. I think that is the important distinction which needs to be made and I am not offended by it as long as they are not honoring the ideals of Hitler or Hirohito. 

  5. Anonymous

    Oh and… America doesn’t really suck.  I shouldn’t’ve said it like that. 

  6. Then let us honor the people. I don’t see the need to connect honoring those were forced to serve in Vietnam with God Bless America.

    To those who fought in WWII, we give many eprops and good karma, depeding on your tech level and/or religion.

    Many people fought against the “bad guys”, and oftentimes there ARE bad guys, and they may very well be worth fighting against. Some/much military has my respect; but I will not sing Amazing Grace about America’s wars.

    England’s not a bad place either, but I don’t sing God Bless the Queen. America not being “that bad” has nothing to do with it; no matter where I was, I’m sure I wouldn’t like politics. And I don’t sit here and gripe; but when I’m contractually obligated to attend services that are patriotic in a manner that I find moderately distasteful, its not out of line for me to give it thought.

  7. “but I will not sing Amazing Grace about America’s wars.”

    What is wrong with praising God for an Allied victory in WWII or any war?  I seriously don’t see how you can say we ought not to.  If you’re having problem with us automatically assuming we’re doing what is right, then I agree with you completely.  I guess I don’t tend to see wars as “America’s wars” but merely as wars our country happened to fight.

    “but when I’m contractually obligated to attend services that are patriotic in a manner that I find moderately distasteful, its not out of line for me to give it thought.”

    I am not saying you shouldn’t give it thought.  Not at all.  Just that the concept of honoring veterans in chapel or anywhere else isn’t necessarily wrong.  I do however hate it that our spiritual health is questioned when we choose not to go to a chapel that may or may not have any real religious significance.  But that stems from my ideas regarding forced attendence to anything.

  8. None of this is what I’m necessarily saying at all. I’m not trying to ‘solve’ this or get a real answer. Actually am probably done discussing it. I don’t mind that people support these things in general, just think about it. As I have, and it’s let to me where I am.

    Which, by the way, I’ve never actually stated. I’ve just brought up some questions. Questions are good, and definite answers don’t necessarily need to be achieved in these matters.

  9. I categorically disagree and have no time to elaborate.

  10. Anonymous

    ey, i’d like to apologize for my comment. it wasn’t right, and i’m sorry.

  11. what good is asking questions if you’re not going to come up with answers?  that doesn’t solve anything… it just leaves us right where we were to begin with.  confused.  at how America thinks she is God… which I admit, I really struggle with. 

    as for the fighting, i don’t always know if America’s wars are Biblical or not… I don’t know much about foreign relations or politics… I would like to learn more.  but for the moment I trust my president to make those decisions, because I believe he is a man that seeks God and will lead America to do the same.  you may not agree with the decisions made… you may not appreciate the motivation behind the sacrifices made… but if nothing else, we can certainly pray for our country, our leaders, and our soldiers. 

    i believe that any nation that seeks God is a great nation.  Historically, America has sought God more than most other nations, and even currently, (though there are still problems and sin), there are still a lot of Biblical values that are upheld.  That would categorize my nation as great.  she may not be perfect, but I will support her as long as she stays “one nation under God.”  i liked the story in chapel today of the guy who gave everything for his country, because it focused on how he first and foremost loved God and his family and was a testimony to others.  what an example… we need more soldiers like that.  (we need more everything like that… whatever we do should be to God’s glory!)  to the testimony of God’s work in a soldier’s life, I sing amazing grace and glory, hallelujah.  because I will meet that guy in heaven some day.

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