Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Prayers Before Battle

I found myself reading accounts of Israeli soldiers going into Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in January. I end up reading these things on my 'days off,' which is really a poor idea. I end up trembling and shaking at my computer as I read these accounts, knowing that war isn't pretty and happy and victorious, not for everyone. War instead kills and maims people, destroys buildings and destroys life. I came across a prayer that Israeli soldiers said before they went into Gaza.
"May God...grant us the merit of triumphing over our enemies and putting them in their place. May the power and courage of Israel be exalted, and may we fulfill the verse: ‘And all the peoples of the earth will see that the name of the Lord is upon you, and they will stand in awe of you.'"
I am scared of this theology. Believing that God is on your side, assisting you in putting your enemies in their place (which in many cases meant a bloodied young boy draped lifeless across his mother's lap) is extremely dangerous. There is extreme danger in believing that God will assist your national army in overcoming your enemy so that the world may see that God is on your Israel's side. This is bad theology. Bad theology kills people. Bad theology killed Israeli soldiers. Bad theology killed lots of people in Gaza.

Also, see this account of an American Jew's experience in Gaza. After praying the prayer before battle with his comrades, he says, "We went into Gaza, and God went into Gaza with us."






4 comments:

Ben Krauss said...

it is the same as Christian crusaders did when they chanted "God wills it" before going into battle.
Why does God let himself use for this?

Samuel Nichols said...

You are correct. Many religious warriors/soldiers use this theology. Unfortunately I don't God was consulted directly about using her name about these matters. I think God would say something like, "Love your enemies."

David said...

"I end up reading these things on my 'days off,' which is really a poor idea."

Yeah. Ditto. Horrible idea.

"Bad theology kills people."

Elegant in its simplicity. I sort of want that on a t-shirt.

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,