'A Christian's Duty'
The Nation - 03/31/2003:
Before this Administration came along, it was hard to imagine that something as intensely personal and private as a man's prayer before going into battle could be appropriated in a business-like fashion. Now, according to "A Christian's Duty in Time of War" -- a pamphlet given out to thousands of Marines in Iraq -- our soldiers in the war zone are supposed to fill out a form pledging to pray every day for George Bush. The pamphlet has a tear-out section which the soldier is to sign and mail to the president: "I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff ..." The pamphlets were created by In Touch Ministries, an evangelical group that says "We may not all be in the military, but we are all engaged in warfare ... spiritual warfare."
Today's prayer: "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics." (Translation: Pray that, even if all agree this war is a horrific catastrophe, even if Congress leaps to its feet in anger and despair, even if millions of Americans pour into the streets begging to bring you home -- even then, pray that the president will wave aside his critics and order you forward.) Wednesday's: "Pray that the President and his advisers will be safe, healthy, well-rested and free from fear." (Well-rested?) Friday's prayer cuts to the chase: "Pray that the President and his advisers will recognize their divine appointment ..." It includes some helpfully illuminating scripture, Romans 13:1: "Every person is to be in subjugation to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."