Sunday, October 2, 2011

The War Prayer

"The War Prayer" by Mark Twain accurately described the actions and thoughts of people for their country and soldiers during the war. It seems to be during a time when there is war and everyone is extremely patriotic. They would do whatever they could for the war and are proud that their children are going off to serve their country.  Although they carry on in long prayers, all they really want to ask is "'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!'" The people who are going to war and their families are proud and feel like they are doing the right thing but Twain brings out the hypocrisy of these people with the prayer. Instead of being christian-like they ask for to "tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells" and all of these other horrible requests just so that their country could win the war.
This story reminded me of the way that the slaves were treated back in those days. Slaves were just like animals and the people did not care if they lived or died just used them as a machine. In the war, the people of the country the United States was fighting ended up the same in most people's eyes. They did not care how many died as long as the war was won. This also has to do with ethnocentrism- the idea that their culture is better than all the rest. If people did not have this idea then they would not look at other lives as so insignificant. But this also shows that most of the time religion the way it is commonly practiced does not really have an effect on the way that people lead their lives. But in the end, if religious leaders did not get involved in this people would also not act the same way. It even happens today; both countries ask the priest to bless the war and for them to win when in actuality, the bible does not promote war. Isaiah 2:4 says " Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore" so if people would guide themselves by this idea then there would be less problems then there are now.