Monthly Archives: January 2014

Soldiers Are Not Heroes

…as they appear in the “Secret” of Fatima:

And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’.

Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark;third-secret-255x329

before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way;

having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross, he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him,

and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.

Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

(Naturally, someone over at the National Catholic Register assures us that these soldiers represent Communists, or rather those who have been “used” by Communists.)

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

How Waist Deep in the Big Muddy Finally Got on Network Television in 1968

Aired on CBS at the height of the Vietnam War, this song holds just as much truth today…

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
copyright 1967 by T.R.O.
It was back in 1941.
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in Lou’siana one night
By the light of the moon.
The Captain told us to ford a river.
That’s how it all begun.
We were knee deep in the Big Muddy,
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, “Sir, are you sure
This is the best way back to the base?”
“Sergeant, go on, I’ve forded this river
About a mile above this place.
It’ll be a little soggy, but just keep sloggin’.
We’ll soon be on dry ground.”
We were waist deep in the Big Muddy,
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, “Sir, with all this equipment,
No man will be able to swim.”
“Sergeant, don’t be a Nervous Nelly,”
The Captain said to him.
“All we need is a little determination.
Men, follow me. I’ll lead on.”
We were neck deep in the Big Muddy,
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once the moon clouded over.
We heard a gurglin’ cry.
A few seconds later the Captain’s helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, “Turn around, men.
I’m in charge from now on.”
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the Captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn’t know that the water was deeper
Then the place he’d once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
About a half mile from where we’d gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Now I’m not going to point any moral —
I’ll leave that for yourself.
Maybe you’re still walking, you’re still talking,
You’d like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers, that old feeling comes on,
We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy,
The big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy,
The big fool says to push on.
Waist deep, neck deep,
Soon even a tall man will be over his head.
We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy,
And the big fool says to push on.



Pete Seeger, R.I.P.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie.
I learned that soldiers seldom die.
I learned that everybody’s free,
And that’s what the teacher said to me.
That’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that policemen are my friends.
I learned that justice never ends.
I learned that murderers die for their crimes
Even if we make a mistake sometimes.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our Government must be strong;
It’s always right and never wrong;
Our leaders are the finest men
And we elect them again and again.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad;
I learned about the great ones we have had;
We fought in Germany and in France
And someday I might get my chance.


atheistmilitarychaplainatheist 2

These cartoons seem to be making fun of atheists. “What a ridiculous idea!” they seem to be saying. “The idea of atheist or humanist chaplains!” But what is ridiculous about it? I suppose it is seen as ridiculous because, realistically speaking, the main job of the military chaplain is to provide emotional comfort and spiritual reassurance to the troops. Spiritual reassurance is very different from spiritual guidance. Oftentimes spiritual truth is not very comforting at all. As Flannery O’Connor said, the truth does not change depending on our ability to stomach it, or something like that.

If Christian military chaplains were really doing their job of providing spiritual guidance as revealed in Jesus Christ, then atheist and humanist chaplains would actually have a much more comforting message than Christian chaplains.

“If you die, you might go to heaven…but you might go to hell.” — Christian chaplain

“There’s no heaven, but on the other hand, there’s no hell either, so don’t worry about it.” — atheist chaplain

I would take a void of nothingness over hell any day. The only way atheist chaplains can be seen as funny and ridiculous is if Christian chaplains are always implicitly or explicitly conveying a message that what the troops are doing has no chance of sending them to hell, or even going so far as to imply that it will be their ticket to heaven. Only if that’s the case (and we all know it is) can the idea of an atheist chaplain seem funny. Only in comparison to this false comfort can the atheist’s message seem ridiculous or depressing.

job is done

Plenary Assembly, International Theological Commission

*** This was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. We have inserted the images.***

Are the bishops, priests and deacons in the Catholic Church in the United States listening to this fellow? How about Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia? If the Pope had said that Catholics must return to the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue only, the U.S., British, Irish, etc. airwaves, TV, radio talk shows, Internet, papers, magazines and pulpits—from the far right to the middle of the road to the far left—would be ceaselessly and volcanically bellowing in all directions. However, the Pope says, “The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately lifeimpossible,” and the silence is so total that you can hear a U.S. drone strike seven thousand miles away in Pakistan—if you care to listen. Communion on the tongue or in the hand is an utter irrelevancy. Christ’s refusal of violence, His overcoming evil with good, thereby making recourse to violence for the Christian impossible is as strong an indictment as can be made on the failure to catechize and spiritually guide the Catholic flock along the Way of Jesus in many countries of the world. Yet all of the Catholic right, middle and a significant percentage of the Catholic left “ho hum” it. The use of calculated silent indifference as a method of refusing to acknowledge that something of ultimate importance is being said is the bread and butter of corporate mass media, I would think that the use of such a methodology by Church leaders would cause them to sleep poorly at night.

Here is Pope Francis on Vatican radio.

(Vatican Radio, 1/15/14) Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the International Theological Commission on Friday. The three main themes the Commission is addressing throughout the course of its current five-year study period are: the relations between monotheism and violence; the social doctrine of the Church; and, the “sense of the faith.” Speaking of the possible perversions of authentic faith in the one true God, Pope amenFrancis said, “The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately impossible. It is precisely because of [Christ’s] refusal of violence, because of his having overcome evil with good, with the blood of his Cross, that Jesus has reconciled men to God and each other.”

P.S. If you would like a good warm-up piece to read before the International Theological Commission publishes its full text (only a very brief summary has been published at this hour), you might want to read, hopefully read again (!), Violent Monotheism: True or False?  that can be found on either of the two websites below, as Chapter 3 In the book All Things Flee thee For thou Fleest Me, or as Chapter 5 in Christian Just War Theory: The Logic of Deceit. Also as I understand the content of the International Theological Commission’s document, Chapter 5, The Nonviolent Trinity, in All Things Flee thee For thou Fleest Me could be most helpful.


Weapons of Choice

The following was posted on a Facebook page for American military people.

Image posted on Facebook page of American WOLF PACK.

Image posted on Facebook page of American WOLF PACK.

Here is a lecture given by Clarence Jordan from Koinonia Farm in Georgia.

A Word from Clarence on Christian Nonviolence

Clarence Jordan

The following is one of five lectures that Clarence delivered at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1962. To read more of this lecture and others, see Henlee Barnette’s “Clarence Jordan: Turning Dreams into Deeds.”

“Since many questions have been raised about the Christian and war, the Christian and violence, nonviolence, and so forth, I thought perhaps that tonight I would just kind of share with you some of the experiences which we have had in this whole area ourselves. Now, to begin with, Koinonia committed itself to the idea of nonviolence, and it was rooted in the theological concept that God is love, and that the basis of this s the Golden Rule. So, in 1942, when Koinonia was begun, we boldly asserted that – even to a nation at war- that this was out of keeping with the Christian teaching. …

Now it was not until 1956 that the race thing began to horning on us and that we had many, many opportunities to practice this whole business of nonviolence. But, in the earlier days, the opposition to us centered around this view on nonviolence.
We had hardly been there just a few days when an old farmer came down and he was all upset. He said, “I want to tell you something. You know what I don’t like about you folks?”
I could have given quite a catalog of things, but I said, “What?”
He said, “I don’t like it ’cause you won’t fight.
I said, “Who told you we wouldn’t fight?”
He said, “That’s what they’re telling around here. You won’t fight.”
I said, “Well, you got us wrong, Mister. We’ll fight.”
“Will you fight?”
“Yes, sir,” I said, “we’ll fight.”
He said, “How come you ain’t at the war if you’ll fight?”
I said, “Well, we don’t fight with those kinds of weapons.”
He said, “How do you fight?”
“Well,” I said, “we fight with love, and justice, and truth, and mercy, and prayer, and patience, and forbearance.”

And I saw I was losing him. Any time you start talking to a South Georgia farmer and ask questions, you’re going to lose him. So I had to get a little bit more concrete.
Well, I happened to see one of our mules with his head stuck out of the barn down there and a big old ear flopped over and a long old face – looked like this farmer! So I said, “You see that old mule?”

“Yeah, I see him.”
I said, “If you happen to walk down there by that old barn and that old mule reached out and bit you in the seat of the britches, would you bite back?”
“No, I wouldn’t bite that mule back.”
I said, “Well, why not?”
“‘Cause I ain’t no mule.”
I said, “Alright, I’ll take your word for it. You’re no mule.” And I said, “What would you do?”
He said, “I’d get me a two-by-four and I’d beat his brains out.”
“Oh,” I said, “in other words, you wouldn’t let the mule choose the weapon? If he wants to bite, you ain’t going to bite, huh? You’re going to get a weapon that the mule can’t use and you’ll beat its brains out.”
“Yeah,” he said, “that’s what I’d do.”

I said, “That’s the way it is with us, too. It isn’t that we won’t fight. We just don’t fight on the devil’s level. We don’t let him choose the weapon. You go to a jungle and want to fight with a lion, you going to let the lion choose the weapon? No! He chooses tooth and fang or fang and claw. You choose fang and claw and that lion will beat you. You better not let him choose the weapon. You better choose the weapon. So it is with us Christians. We choose the weapon. We do not let the devil choose our means of fighting.”

Vote by Jan. 30!

The Tackling Torture Video Contest has chosen eight finalists for its first competition. The five Serious video finalists and three Satirical finalists are posted for public viewing at  YouTube in the Tackling Torture Video Contest channel. The seriousness of the topic has attracted filmmakers of all ages from around the world: Canada, Indonesia, Germany, Australia and the USA.

Four prizes will be awarded. $500 Jury Prizes will be awarded by a jury of five distinguished filmmakers, activists and historians, Sebastion Doggart, Joseph Jolton, Peter Kuznick, Alfred McCoy and Andy Worthington, in each of the two categories. $300 Audience Prizes, chosen through public voting, will also be awarded in each of the two categories. The public is welcome to vote until January 30, 2014 at Winners will be announced February 7, 2014 in an event to be scheduled in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota (details TBA).

Through this contest, Tackling Torture at the Top, a committee of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM,, hopes to produce entertaining and informative videos that contradict the harmful and inhumane view that torture works and is in any way justifiable, to educate the public, and to raise questions about the direction of our foreign policy and our use of the military, and by so doing, give the public the awareness and courage to rein in our country’s out of control security apparatus. For more information about the contest go to Links to treaties and other documentation are found at the “Background Links” link at the top (

Doves, Crows, Sparrows, Fools



Doves released at Vatican get attacked immediately by a crow and a seagull.

Augurs laugh? Is Fr. Z mocking….”peace” over on his blog, which he likes to put after ellipses and in quotes for some reason? From the comments:

“The next time the Pope wants to release a couple of doves he ought to have a couple of Swiss Guards standing by with pump action shotguns loaded with birdshot.”

“My vote would be that all doves be issued concealed-carry permits.”

“I won’t lie. I laughed when I saw these pictures. I know it wasn’t right, but I still laughed. I just imagined the Pope and the children singing ‘Give Peace a Chance’ as the doves were attacked by the sea gulls!”

Is it all in good fun or do they really think they have a point here?

“I pray we will not become prey to a false Peace as in John 14:27 ‘not as the world gives it’ No ‘peace’ for these doves: They became a delectable ‘piece’ of lunch for the other birds of the air, who do not sow or reap.”

“Perhaps at the next dove-releasing ceremony, a few trained hawks can be released as well– you know, as a deterrent.”

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased by a black crow in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Symbols of peace have come under attack at the Vatican. Two white doves were sent fluttering into the air as a peace gesture by Italian children flanking Pope Francis Sunday at an open studio window of the Apostolic Palace, as tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square below. After the pope and the two children left the windows, a seagull and a big black crow quickly swept down, attacking the doves, including one which had briefly perched on a windowsill on a lower floor. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free of the gull, while the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove. The doves' fate was not immediately known. While speaking at the window, Francis appealed for peace to prevail in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased by a black crow in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

What about Jesus then? No peace for Him either then, He who allowed himself to become the victim of cruel torturers and murderers? Why didn’t He go out and get Himself a couple of well-armed body guards or well-trained “hawks” or a conceal-and-carry permit to defend himself?

Was he a fool?


Matthew Chapter 10: 26-31: ““Therefore do not be afraid of them….do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

“That conversation may be coming”

Arrest of Catholic Anti-war Protestor Highlights Progressive Church Opposition to Drone Strikes, Huffington Post, January 27, 2014

“Anti-war activist Brian Terrell began serving a six-month sentence Friday at the federal prison camp in Yankton, South Dakota. Last April, Terrell and about 40 others staged a protest at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to demand an end to U.S. drone bombings in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries….”