Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Weird Christian Soldiers

Not to get into the legal details of the current defendant in the Haditha massacre, but I just thought this comment was priceless:

"He's a Christian, an upright man," Col. Brennan Byrne testified Saturday in a telephone call from Saudi Arabia. "As a Marine officer, he has shown impeccable integrity. I would trust him with my life."

All snark aside, this is a perfect encapsulation of what informs the operational logic of this (or any) war -- the idea, mirrored perfectly by the terrorists and suicide bombers, that a person can commit or enable atrocious, vile acts, and still be held up as an example of their faith. It hardly qualifies as tautology, it's so intellectually dishonest and reprehensible, yet it apparently passes for a character reference.

For every person for whom religion and spirituality function as a way to contemplate the unknowable to find a worthy personal moral code, there seem to be countless people for whom it's merely a way to escape such self-awareness.


john lenin said...

That brings to mind one of my favorite George Carlinisms: Spirituality: the last refuge of a failed human. Just another way of distracting yourself from who you really are.

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, that seems to be true more often than not, generally speaking. That's a great counterpart to the Falwell quote.

And it's mind-bogglingly vile for that colonel to evoke religion and/or spirituality in the service of something so foul and appalling. I still can't get past that; he may as well have filmed himself drowning a puppy while claiming he was teaching it to swim.