From All Saints until Veterans Day, I’m posting a blog series on soldier saints at Centurions Guild. “Ten Saints, Ten Days” explores ten lives, their context, and their relevance to soldiers today. In the Bible, the number ten signifies completion and wholeness—something many soldiers today do not feel. The moral complexity of their service is too often brushed away with a quick “thank you” or an upgrade to first class. But soldiers’ experiences, their testimonies, are part and parcel to the integrity of the church—especially in this time of war. A theologically credible account of war requires the voice of soldiers, the actual bodies that participate in it.
war and peace
Shorter Peter Berger: Sometimes when liberals make public advocacy statements, they use the phrase “speaking truth to power.” This started in the 50s and got irritating by the 70s.
Holidays evoke moments of reflection. Americans just celebrated Memorial Day, a time to honor those who have fought and died in wars for the nation. Traditionally, people hold parades, gather in cemeteries and rally around monuments to fallen soldiers. Perhaps it was fitting, then, both that President Barack Obama delivered a signal speech on the war on terror last week and that Google bestowed the honor of “Google doodle of 2013” to Sabrina Brady, a Wisconsin teenager who depicted her father’s return from a tour of duty in Iraq.
Drawing on Harry S. Stout, Stanley Hauerwas argues that the Civil War became a total, unlimited war because the demand to participate assumed a sacral status.