Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Official American Holy War Hymn

I am a retired Army artillery officer and I agree with Laurence M. Vance: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is blasphemous (at best) and has no place being sung in Christian worship services. It is found in The United Methodist Hymnal but let us pray it will be excised when(ever) the next hymnal is published.

Killed in action soldiers of the Battle of Antietam, near Dunker Church. Why do churches sing a hymn that celebrates wholesale killing and destruction and calls them holy and good?
Read the whole article for a detailed, line-by-line explanation why this "hymn" is best described as a satanic perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is the conclusion:
The “Battle Hymn of the Republic” ought to be parodied, satirized, and lampooned. It has nothing to do with God or Christianity. It is not a Christian hymn. It does not belong in a Christian hymnbook. It should not be sung in any Christian church — Northern or Southern. It should not be on the lips of any Christian — Yankee or Southerner. It is partisan political paean to bogus history and faulty theology. For much too long Christians have sung this “hymn” with religious fervor while remaining in ignorance as to its history and theology. For much too long pastors and song leaders have included this “hymn” in church services without stopping to consider whether it is an appropriate song for a Christian worship service. Disparaging the singing of this song has nothing to do with being a Confederate sympathizer, or being unpatriotic or anti-Lincoln, but it has everything to do with exercising biblical discernment. Traditions are hard to break, and especially religious ones, but the singing of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is one that must go.
And the sooner the better.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Maybe the best war movie ever made is Russian

I thought about posting this on Memorial Day weekend but the fact that White Tiger is a Russian (post-Soviet, 2012) movie made me reconsider. summarizes it thus:
Great Patriotic War, early 1940s. After barely surviving a battle with a mysterious, ghostly-white Tiger tank, Red Army Sergeant Ivan Naydenov becomes obsessed with its destruction.
Which is true as far as it goes, but this is not just a duello movie of two single-focused, even near-fanatic tank crews gunning for one another. It's not a land-borne version of The Enemy Below. White Tiger is a penetrating inquiry into war and the human condition. The German tank and the Russian protagonist are archetypes not just of soldiers anywhere, but of fallen humanity itself. Fortunately, you can watch the whole movie, subtitled in English, right here. It seems its copyright does not extend to the United States (update: it is also now in Amazon Prime).


At the very end is a monologue by Adolf Hitler, speaking to an unidentified man couched in shadows. Despite the identity of the speaker - and the screenplay's words in his mouth are reflective of what Hitler said and thought - the monologue is quite thought provoking, coming as it does following the last view of the Russian tank we see, and why and how we see it.

This is a very serious, compelling work of cinema. I hope you will agree.

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