I’m In the Lord’s Army

the lords army

Yesterday, I caught up on back episodes of the TV show Tyrant. One episode featured a Muslim cleric telling a group of school children that they were soldiers in God’s Army. These children were later killed in a government attack on a terrorist training camp. This same cleric forgot to tell these children that they would be used as pawns in the war against America and the government of the fictional country Abuddin. Killed in an attack on the terrorist camp, the dead bodies of these children were filmed so they could be used in anti-government propaganda videos. A horrific scene to be sure, one that is played out time and again in the Middle East.

As I listened to the Muslim cleric tell the children that they were soldiers in God’s Army, my thought turned to the Evangelical Junior Church staple song, I’m in the Lord’s Army. Everyone now:

I may never march in the infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes Sir!
I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!
I may never march in the infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!
I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes sir!

Video Link

Harmless kid’s song? Sure, but consider for a moment how much time and money Evangelicals spend indoctrinating their children. (Please see Do Fundamentalist Christians Indoctrinate Their Children?) Throw in Christian nationalism, American exceptionalism, Bible literalism, and “Second Amendment remedies” — why, it is easy to see that, in the future, some Evangelical churches will become training camps for youthful recruits for The Lord’s Army. Preposterous? Perhaps, but consider how easily fascist Donald Trump has turned countless Evangelicals into supporters of policies that could plunge the United States into civil war.

Earlier this year, armed Christians took over a government building, believing that God wanted them to take a stand against tyranny and attacks on personal and religious freedom. So-called Patriot Pastors are now defiantly breaking federal and state laws, believing that freedom of religion is under attack by liberals, secularists, humanists, and atheists. Calling for more “Christian” laws, scores of Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons now believe that the Separation of Church and State is a myth. Many of the domestic terrorist attacks over the past thirty-five years have been committed by Christians who have turned to violence to right perceived wrongs. White power groups such as the KKK — once thought to be buried beneath the rubble of the race riots of the 1960s — are drawing new soldiers to their war against multiculturalism and non-whites. These groups are almost always Christian.

Given the right circumstances and motivations, I can envision Christian churches, pastors, and parents encouraging children to be soldiers in the Christian God’s Army. One need only to watch how Westboro Baptist Church uses children to promote bigotry and hatred. Is it really a stretch to think that rabid Christians could turn to violence to advance their agendas? And even if you think I am out of my mind to think that such thing are possible, consider the fact that millions of American children are taught that there is no greater privilege than to give one’s life for Jesus. Be it in a life devoted to servitude or being martyred, these children are taught, “only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will pass” – Only One Life by C.T. Studd. (Please see The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss, A Book Review) Martyrdom is very much a part of the many Christian sects. What better way to prove one’s faith than to die for it?

print

Subscribe to the Daily Post Digest!

Sign up now and receive an email every day containing the new posts for that day.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Powered by Optin Forms

6 Comments

  1. anotherami

    This is what frightens me the most about the “radical right” as they are often wrongly called. (Radicals are on the left; those using similar methods on the right are reactionaries.) Was my public school system special in that they actually required one to take and pass “Civics” in order to graduate? Am I just too damned old and they quit holding the mock elections in high schools on the Monday before Presidential elections after 1978? What in the hell happened to make this even possible? How did we get to the point where ignorance is mistaken for piety and anyone with a secular education is “too worldly” to be a “Good Christian”? Seriously people, WTF?
    I heartily recommend reading Walter M. Miller’s “A Canticle for Leibowitz” for a look at where the politics of these people led by Donald Trump could lead, if anyone hasn’t read it already. Sometimes it seems they read Miller or Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and don’t see a cautionary tale like most of us; they see a fucking blueprint. I firmly believe that there is a significant portion of them that really do want to overthrow our current government and establish a theocracy while screaming about how much they love the Constitution they trample on daily. Their Pledge of Allegiance ends like this; “With liberty and all, for just us.” Not while I still breathe, assholes, and while I pray that it doesn’t ever get to that point, I’ve got a couple of long guns in my closet too.

    Reply
  2. Matilda

    Only last week I was clearing out my garage and found some old kids’ praise CDs. I was quite shocked and embarrassed to recall how I taught that awful militaristic song to many dozens of kids in Sunday Schools and how we jumped around doing military actions. Then I saw the song called ‘Deep and Wide’ and shudder to think I was gleefully and thoughtlessly singing a happy song about fountains and rivers of blood!

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Matilda, every time I sit down to seriously remember my Christian childhood/youth, I am shocked by how willing I was to be duped and stupid for Jesus. I see myself as a victim then but it is humbling alright, humbling to know what I have been. I was able to dig myself out before doing that to my kids. They will never have to be harmed like that and will always know they are worthwhile, loved human beings who did not come into life fallen and in need of the Woo.

      Reply
  3. Trenton

    This song specifically gave me severe vertigo a couple months ago when it got stuck in my head. I usually have other songs to drown out earworms, but even the infamous “its a small world” failed. I eventually had to leave work early because I couldn’t funtion anymore. Im glad I made it out of the bubble but its amazing how something like this can cause so much trauma later. Of course there is also the song where god told noah(cough ken ham cough) to build him an arkie arkie that had the same effect

    Reply
  4. S

    Dammit, Bruce. I haven’t thought about that song in about 40 years since I had to sing it at the IFB school I attended as a child, and now it’s stuck in my head. Complete with all the zooming and shooting arm motions that we used while we marched (yes, marched) while we sang it. Talk about repressed memories…

    Reply
  5. Roxanne Olson

    Apparently, the song is stuck in people’s heads like an old grey (night)mare. See: http://www.dltk-bible.com/in_the_lords_army.htm. The tune is particularly odious, having been tormenting people since about 1843, which is coincidentally about the time that the horrible curse of photography was invented. I daresay selfies have killed more people than the old grey mare or even sharks. https://petapixel.com/2016/02/09/numbers-behind-selfie-deaths-around-world/. Beware of jumping to divisive conclusions by taking random things too literally: “Love Literally” by Ryan Higa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zouGFPlbtkk

    Reply

Leave a Comment

You have to agree to the comment policy.