Recently there was an article in the New York Times placing focus on a debate in Israel between secular and religious Jews concerning the role of religion in their military. It seems that now there are large numbers of conservative religious Jews in the military there who have risen to positions of great authority. The top-ranking rabbi is seen by many as encouraging wars of Israel to be seen as holy wars. A recent tract sent to soldiers quotes and Scriptural verse that amounts to saying any mercy on the enemy as contrary to Scripture. In addition there is also a debate in the religious communities about the role of religion in the military. Which comes first holy land or people? It seems liberals and conservatives just can not agree all around the world.
What is going on in Israel is strangely reflective of the same issue of right leaning evangelical Christians in the U.S. Army using their positions of power to pressure troops under their command to participate in prayer meetings and other religious activities that has also been in the news of late. What are your thoughts on the role of religion as a motivating factor in nationalism and its role a nation's military forces?
Read the NY Times article here: A Religious War in Israel’s Army
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)