Combat Bibles??

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I saw this over at Balloon Juice:A combat bible??

I asked The Google about combat bibles. The paid link was this. Am I alone in being fascinatedly worried about the fact that there are 13+ bibles with camouflage and American Flag covers on them? Remember yesterday's post about the unfortunate confluence of biblical and constitutional literalism...well, here it is in cammies, ready to fight.

I also came across this link. It goes into a bit of detail about the "problems" this company had with "spearation of church and state" issues and being able to put military logos on bibles. But they are proud to distribute them to service-members for free. Another fun part:

Each Holman Christian Standard military Bible features:

--Special Presentation, Dedication and Records sections for Military Personnel
--Words of Christ in Red
--An Introduction to the Holman Christian Standard Bible
--Explanatory Notes
--The Plan of Salvation
--The Pledge of Allegiance
--The Star Spangled Banner
--The Oath of Allegiance for Enlisted Personnel
--U.S. Armed Forces Code of Conduct
--Battle Hymn of the Republic
--America the Beautiful
--Onward Christian Soldiers
--Where to Turn (Scripture Readings for all Occasions)
--So Great a Faith (The story of Jesus and the Centurion)
--The Apostle's Creed
--The Nicene Creed
--Testimonials and Encouragement from Officer's Christian Fellowship
--History of the Armed Forces
--Symbols & Logos
--Quotations, Prayers and Inspiration from:
D.L. Moody
George Washington
President George W. Bush
General George S. Patton
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker
Jimmy Stewart
and others
--Plus Additional Material Specific to Each Branch of the Armed Forces
Wait a minute. Did I read that right? Among what I would expect (Jesus' quotes in red, the Nicene Creed, etc.) there are also clearly American- and service-oriented pieces in there. In and of itself it's no big deal. But in the bigger picture of our discussions in the last few posts here and on Streak's blog, this is clearly a part of a pattern.

I am not banging on religion, especially in the service ("...no such thing as a foxhole atheist..."). When I was deployed, we didn't get bibles and nobody gave them to us. The Chaplain was someone you saw when you had a personal problem. Services were Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and Jewish, not Catholic and 79 different protestant services.

Something has changed, culturally, within the military. Prayer used to be personal. A couple guys had bibles; one was about to enter a seminary. We didn't have daily prayer circles. Our officers, when they hung with us enlisted guys, had plenty of other stuff to talk about. But when did the military become the enforcement arm of the evangelical wing?

8 comments:

Bob 10:15 AM  

What no qoutes from Obama in their Bible? I guess that will be reserved for the soldier's Qu'ran.

Monk-in-Training 10:23 AM  

Good one Bob!

I am very curious how those who produced this version of the Sacred Scriptures would feel with a Russian or German patriotic version? How would they react to Palestinian Christians having a version pointing out how Israel will be thrown out of the Promised Land if they do not obey the Law (esp. Law concerning justice and fair treatment of aliens).

This is at best a silly pandering to Right Wing Christianists, at worst a monstrous Idolatry!

Romans 1:25 (NAS)
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen.


These people are perilously near worshipping the created thing, the United States rather than the Creator!

Bob 1:37 PM  

Interesting. Sowers is running as a Democrat.

Smitty 1:37 PM  

at worst a monstrous Idolatry

You really hit on what makes me nuts about this whole thing, MIT. It's not so much about God as it is finding a biblical excuse to worship the idea of our country. That is terrible, not only from a blasphemy standpoint but also from the standpoint that it makes questioning our country and our leaders' motives akin to questioning God.

And as a veteran, I *really* hate the near-worshipful attitudes intoned on troops. I feel awkward about the GUSHING I (and other troops) currently get and that somehow Blessing us prevents us from being human. We become, in their minds, soldiers of God. Hoo boy. We are flawed. We are every-man. Supporting us is bringing us home in one piece after a justified mission, not simply saying "Bless You" and putting yellow ribbons on your car. Ugh.

steves 7:30 PM  

I don't have any sales figures, but I would guess that Bibles are big business. Besides the multitude of translations, there are dozens of "theme" Bibles like the combat Bible.

Smitty 7:46 AM  

there are dozens of "theme" Bibles like the combat Bible.

I know you're right, but those themes didn't serve the purpose of my post.

I'd say this site has about every kind of bible you can imagine.

steves 8:48 PM  

I know. I just wanted to point out the marketing around Bibles. It is unfortunately a big business. I tend to agree with MIT in that it is borderline idolatry.

Streak 8:40 AM  

Late to this discussion, but I agree wholeheartedly with MIT and the rest of you. Idolatry and capitalism.

I also have a desire to investigate the working conditions behind all of those bibles. I would hate to find out that they are being made in a sweatshop someplace, but that would probably be oddly consistent.

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