God is on our Side

I’m currently laid up at home with a bad back. I have CNN on in the background, just for the sound of human voices. I muted it to answer the phone and forgot to turn the volume back on.

Anyway, a moment ago, I looked up and what did I see, but Barack Obama, gesturing as he spoke. And the little CNN “blurb” underneath read “Obama asked if God takes sides in a war.”

Is there any good reason for that question, except to generate pointless controversy? The fact of the matter is, that question exists to make the pro-war crowd feel justified. If Obama says no, then the pro-war crowd can bash him around for saying that God is not with us. If Obama says yes, then he also has to agree that God is on OUR side (anything else would get him accused of being unpatriotic, right?). And if that’s so, then not only is being against the war “unpatriotic,” but it also becomes heresy as well. Better yet: it doesn’t matter how many of our troops get killed or maimed because the war is God’s work.

This is, perhaps, the ultimate in ducking responsibility. It’s not even “The Devil made me do it!” It’s “God wants me to do it!”

I think Bruce Springsteen best summed this up in a rare instance where he discussed the meaning of his songs. Performing before an audience, he sang a line, then explained it. Early in the concert, he performed “Devils and Dust,” with the lyric, “I got God on my side.”

Then paused.

And said, “Doesn’t everybody?”

If there is a God and if He can even be bothered to turn His eye to our small segment of the vast universe on occasion, I can imagine his only reaction to war is NOT “Go, team, go!” But, rather, this:

“You stupid assholes. Why are you killing each other again?”

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