After reading my first article in my current WWI series, Steve, a fellow believer and friend pointed me to an article he wrote last year on his blog.
From “The War to End War”
In this centennial year, there is renewed attention to “the Great War.” I’ve read several excellent histories recently on different aspects of the war: on Gallipoli, on the cascading diplomatic miscalculations in the weeks after Franz Ferdinand’s assassination that inevitably led to war, on the flu epidemic, and on the Sarajevo assassin Gavrilo Princip. Currently I’m reading Philip Jenkins’ “The Great and Holy War,” on the war’s religious and spiritual currents.
Most pointedly, all the western nations involved framed the war as a Christian crusade: none moreso than Germany. The coded diplomatic message that gave the go-head for the Kaiser’s declaration of war was Isaiah’s prophecy of Christ, “Unto us a son is born.” German soldiers’ standard-issue belt-buckle bore the slogan “Gott mit Uns” (“God is with us”), scripture’s “Immanuel.” But every other western nation also promoted the slaughter as God’s Own purpose. Most European and American citizens of the time were quick, and PROUD, to buy into, and echo, their leaders’ religious rhetoric: as did almost-all of the participant nations’ church organizations.
See complete article here: