Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I just got Internet installed in my room this weekend (it's a monthy paid service). It's not great service,, not bad for a combat zone. All things considered, I think the Army does a good job of taking care of its Soldiers around here. The ease of communication is a double edged sword, as I have mentioned in past posts. It's nice for Soldiers to be able to stay in touch back home, but if they are having marital or relational issues, it makes it more difficult- and they often end up talking to the chaplain. :)

On the subject of communication: this is part of what it means to be an American. The freedom to express any opinion, even if others don't like it, within appropriate venues. There is a comment on one of my posts, posted by another Lutheran pastor, in which he sarcastically compares President Bush to Saddam Hussein (see the comments section from my post from September 7th). Now, I could comment on how much I disgaree with the comment, about how I believe this man is ignorant of the facts...but, I love the fact that we live in a country where we can hold conflicting beliefs and not kill each other over it.

That is why I am here. To ensure that we retain the freedom to debate, to disagree and to say even the most ridiculous things...and to do so in freedom. We can criticize our President, the Congress, our Governors, and no one will come and arrest us. We can debate whether or not this war is just or not, whether or not it is making us safer, but the bottom line is that our military exists to defend the Constitution. So, blessings to this gentleman who would compare our President to Saddam Hussein. I think he is ignorant for doing so, but, at the end of the day, it is our freedom to say such things which makes us American.

The Soldiers here in Iraq have volunteered to risk their lives to ensure that back home the war protesters, the war supporters, and everyone in between can protest and debate the matter without fear. I moderate the comments posted on my blog, because some people try and post spam (sad but true) but I always appreciate dissent, as long as someone is willing to stand up, say their name, and speak their opinion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UGH! You won't comment on the comment post, so I will--please, dear sir, buy the house next door to me, so that I can laugh at you eye to eye!

It's interesting that in your sarcastic implications, you imply that Iraq had WMD's even though now the liberal media tries to claim otherwise. Yet, this same media reported their use. Now, tell me from a logical standpoint--how can Hussein have used something against his own people that he didn't have? (Never mind that fact that the Kurds aren't "his own" people.)

In your way of thinking, JFK should have never began the blockade of Cuba. You would rather the President do nothing in the way of leadership. You appear to not even like any form of reactionary policy, much less pre-emptive. I am not sure the world you describe exists anywhere except perhaps in your own twisted imagination.

As for the other assurtions regarding the Bush administration and their handling of things--let's look at the antithesis: Gore is elected in 2000 instead of Bush.

Let's see--Sept 11th--US is attacked. Gore makes a speech on network television that life goes on as usual, and that the attack means nothing--after all, it was only 4 planes--look at all the other successful flights that day! Sept 12--Gore administration takes a public opinion poll and determines that 90% of the population wants something done. Gore begins Town Meetings trying to determine what to do. Sept 13, 2002 (no mistake in the date) -- Gore finally announces his decison regarding Sept 11--since the heat from the crashes has caused an increase in Global Warming, his administration will conduct further research and suggests all American's (btw--I hate it when OUR president refers to me as an American--I DO NOT live in Columbia but the United States--I am not an American, I am a US Citizen) tie yellow ribbons around the trees surrounding their homes and then pick a tree to hug.

After doing further research, Gore Administration concludes some sort of military intervention is necessary and as such, has Army invade the most hostile environment he can imagine. Following day, Army invades North Dakota to the protest of ALL 175 ND residents (that number obtained after subtracting the military personnel already living there from the population as reported in the last census).

Bottom line--love him or leave him, George W. Bush has done a much better job as our leader, president and Commander in Chief than either of the clowns who ran against him. Neither of those two (Gore or Kerry) have a clue how to get out of bed in the morning unassisted--much less lead the free world.

So--bad mouth Bush and the military if you chose. Just remember, the freedom you are using has been bought and paid for by the blood of soldiers willing do die so you can have that right. Anywhere else on the planet (with perhaps the exception of France) and you would be shot on sight.

I am darned proud of our military and it's leaders--including the President. And, I am sick and tired of the liberal media trying to sway things their way. The media needs to shut up. Last time I checked, the media's job is to report the news, not try to create it.

And for whatever it's worth--that's my point of view! Or as David Letterman once said, "Though I may not agree with your opinion, I will defend to the death my right to ignore it!"

Paul Smith

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to Paul's comments!!

3:17 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Paul, your satire of the Gore reaction is inaccurate.......did you forget that it was George Bush's fault that there was a terrorist attack? Did you forget that it was the conservatives of the world that are the reason we are at war? did you forget that if we just kept our military at home, and took care of US soil that the terrorists would do the same? And leave us alone by keeping to themselves? Or the dictatorhips would keep to themselves?
Your satire should have read something like this.....Gore is elected, and the world lives happily ever after......the end.

Or at least that is what most anti-Bush propoganda would lead you to believe.

Do I think our government does everything right? NO. Is it just the republican congress and political leaders that are the problem? No. But that is why we have elections in this country, so that if you don't like a political agenda, you and those who think like you have the opportunity to change it by supporting and voting for those officials that you believe in. It is your right as a "US Citizen" (I wouldn't want to offend anyone by calling you an "American" and thereby assuming you live in Columbia...)

Unfortunately, there are a few countries in the world that are oppressed and do not have the option of a democratic election, or the Luxury of a Judicial branch to "legally" remove a government leader who has acted outside the lines of their constitution, or the nations laws. Last I checked, it has been a few decades in Iraq since there was an "election". And anyone who may have suggested an election was efficiently eliminated, along with their families, their friends, and anyone who may have ever had a conversation with them.

I guess the point of my little rant here is to ask people to stop using their hands to point fingers and lay blame, and start using them to help find a better solution. Or at the very least, pick up a weapon and stand next to the very peopl who are being criticized for what they believe in.

One last thing,And this is directed at the ELCA Lutheran pastor who fingerpointed and attacked my point of view in Chris' September 7th post.... here at home, I have not seen many carbombs in front of restaraunts or lobbing mortars at the nearest church or market place "to demonstrate the oppression of the evil american dictator. When that starts happening in the US because of our so-called "evil dictator" that is in power, make sure you don't criticize the other nations of the world that come to our aid.

give some thought to the shoe being on the other foot?

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry, you are living in an idealistic world. Grow up!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Larry said...


What is the definition of idealistic world? One where people are free to have their own opinion and to express it? One where brave men and women make the decision to stand up for what they believe in? A world where brothers stand up for one another, and help those in need? How about a world where we don't only worry about our own little postage stamp of earth that the Lord so graciously provided?
My friend, I am sorry that I was confused, I thought that was the world I was living in....apparently I am wrong?

I am proud of our country, my faith, the courage and faith of the hundreds of thousands of American brothers and sisters that stand up for their fellow humans, Regardless of their beliefs. Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Budhist, wickkan, and even the humanists that exist around the world. Agnostics, atheists, and the hundreds of others.

Thank you Chris, for what you are doing, we miss you and are proud of you. Be careful, be safe, and be yourself, whether you want to talk about religion, politics, Jesus, or American Idol, it is your Blog, and I look forward to it every day!


7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Larry!! My mistake - I meant to point that remark at Kris!

8:07 PM  

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