Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Are American Soldiers Doing God's Work in Iraq? You Decide
Excellent piece by Brendan Miniter on Opinion Journal. An excerpt:
The most surprising thing an American military officer told me about his work in Iraq came in a statement he later asked to retract. And it strikes me as something worth thinking about in this Christmas season as we go through the annual ritual of pulling crèche scenes from courthouse lawns across America. In the debate over faith in the public square there is rarely an acknowledgement that there is a link between morality and government.Oh I know, some readers get all funky when they hear the words "God" or "Lord" in a political blog, especially my libertarian friends. To them I say, "Fear Not." After all, it's Christmas, isn't it? But I strongly implore you to read the whole thing here and make your own choice.
After describing the good works his men were doing by rebuilding schools and providing food and medicine to Iraqis, the officer summed up this list by saying "We're just doing the Lord's work." At the time the comment seemed perfectly appropriate. I do not know the officer's faith or even if he is a Christian. But his meaning was clear: His men were performing vital humanitarian work in addition to taking on insurgents. The surprise came a few minutes after the interview, when a public information officer asked to retract the comment. Apparently in the post-interview debriefing someone got scared that it could be misconstrued. The officer did not mean to imply that he was doing the Lord's work at all, I was assured.
But that is exactly what he meant and exactly what he is doing.
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