Too much religion in the armed forces may make people think their god condones killing the enemy.

In the current New York Review of Books, dated April 29, 2010, Eyal Press analyzes three books and one study about the growing religiosity of Israeli soldiers and the growing militarization of Israeli society.  I recommend the article highly, and in fact, recommend that all my readers check out The New York Review of Books. Besides presenting reasoned views, slightly left of center, on the politics and economic issues of the day, it is a great way to keep up with what’s happening in virtually every field of research.  The writing is always impeccable.

As Press details, the Israeli military, especially the Special Forces, has become increasingly religious.  Maybe a quarter of all soldiers now wear yarmulkes all the time. One fact on which Press lingers really sent shivers through me: That a large number of Israeli soldiers would refuse to obey orders to block right-wing activists or shut down illegal settlements. 

I thought immediately of the way that fundamentalist Protestant Christianity has overrun the U.S. Air Force, which has been well-documented in many articles in recent years.  Some examples from the last time the Christianization of the Air Force was a major story, a few years back:

Of course, when most of us connect religion and war, I’m guessing that fundamentalist Islam comes to mind.

Now I have no objection to religion or to religious people.  But it does bother me to see an increase in religiosity among soldiers.

4 comments on “Too much religion in the armed forces may make people think their god condones killing the enemy.
  1. Moses was no Jew. He was Hebrew — 35:10 And God said unto him: ‘Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob but Israel shall be thy name’; and He called his name Israel.

  2. Moses God was not God of the Jews — 1:22 And God blessed them saying: ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let fowl multiply in the earth.’

  3. henryrossr says:

    Man, really want to know how can you be that smart, lol…great read, thanks.

  4. paul sheldon says:

    Ahhhh….What happened to Jesus as the Prince of Peace?

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