Friday, October 19, 2007

Pie In The Sky When You Die

"Death is not the end and soldiers need to be spiritually prepared for war, according to the head of the British army" (Times, 18 October).

The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, was reported as saying:

"In my business, asking people to risk their lives is part of the job, but doing so without giving them the chance to understand that there is a second life after death is something of a betrayal".

Actually, it's the other way round. It's a con to tell soldiers sent into battle possibly to die that, if they do, there's a better life in the skies (or, perhaps, a worse one down below). It's what Al Qaeda tell their suicide bombers too. They think they go to Muslim heaven for their second life. Is this the same heaven that Sir Richard tells his soldiers they will go to? And what about any of his soldiers who might be Hindus or Buddhists, their second -- or third, or fourth, or whatever -- life, is it to be recycled as another human or maybe as an animal or an insect? And where do his Jewish soldiers end up?

The sad truth is that all of the evidence suggests that we only have one life -- the one we now have -- and that when we die that's it. It's all over. So it doesn't make sense to throw it away dying to secure oil resources or trade routes or investment outlets for a ruling capitalist class. But it does make sense for the ruling class to tell those who fight for it that "death is not the end".

We are not saying that General Dannatt is a cynic. He's not. He actually believes what he said. But that's just as worrying: a person with such an irrational view as head of a killing machine.

And some people wonder why we in the Socialist Party take a hard line on religion.



Anonymous said...

lol, are these the same ppl preaching to them that 'all good soldiers go to heaven' that also preach 'thou shalt not kill' - to which they seem to have added, animal farm style to change too - 'thou shalt not kill, except when 'your' (sic) ruling class uses nationalist b.s. to get you to kill for profits, new markets and strategic bases to secure these markets,etc'.

I notice in the U.S. the M.R.F.F. (military religious freedom foundation) are bringing several cases, including one against the US Sec of Defence and an army major for violation of constitutional rights - after an army spec. Jeremy Hill, with permission from his chaplin, posted flyers for and held a meeting for atheists, which was disrupted by a major who also threatened retaliation.
Other complaints from Hall include being publicly derised for not joining in a prayer and being forced to submit to religious tests to qualify as a soldier.

The most worrying thing is, quite a lot of those in the army preaching, believe and preach 'end times' b.s. - where they have a good reason to hasten armageddon, and may want to help their all-powerful god along!!

Proletarian Librarian said...

This is why the "religious right" is so strongly tied to the most radical Zionists. It really is all about hastening the second coming.

It is so hard for mainstream America to accept that religion and religious thought is behind war in general.