WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Monday it no longer includes a Bible quote on the cover page of daily intelligence briefings it sends to the White House as was practice during the Bush administration.
…“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand,” read the cover quote two weeks earlier, on March 31, above a picture of a U.S. tank driving through the desert, according to the magazine, which obtained copies of the documents.
Not that Air Force Maj. Gen. Glen Shaffer’s use of these passages was anything other than rank idolatry and a willful distortion of the message of the Gospels and of scripture in general, but just so that we are clear, the rest of the Ephesians passage reads thus, emphasis mine:
Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these,* take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Truth, righteousness, proclamation of the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God–note the distance between these beautiful intangibles and a mechanized killing machine. Again, I’ll quote Father Zabelka:
There is no way to follow Christ, to love as Christ loved, and simultaneously to kill other people. It is a lie to say that the spirit that moves the trigger of a flamethrower is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is a lie to say that learning to kill is learning to be Christ-like. It is a lie to say that learning to drive a bayonet into the heart of another is motivated from having put on the mind of Christ. Militarized Christianity is a lie.
Jesus Christ taught and lived nonviolent, self-sacrificing love for everyone, including enemies who wanted (and succeeded, for a few days) to kill him. He expects those of us who claim his name to do the same.