More Military Bible Stories that Couldn’t Happen Today

The Stars and Stripes published an AP story about Catherine Corpening receiving, after a 75-year absence, the World War II Bible her father had been issued:

When [her father] Ira Royster enlisted in the Army in September 1942, he received this book, a pocket-sized New Testament with an introduction by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Royster wrote his name in the Bible and, as did many other soldiers, probably placed it in his shirt pocket, where it offered a shield of protection for his heart should a bullet or a piece of shrapnel come flying his way.

It’s a poignant story for the 76-year old Corpening who barely knew her father.

What’s sad, though, is people don’t seem to realize the very foundation of that story could never happen today.

What do you think would happen if the US military issued every basic trainee a New Testament with an inscription from President Trump encouraging them to read it?

It’s a shame that, as a Nation, we recognize the value and beauty in our past, yet prohibit the very existence of that value and beauty for our future.

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7 comments

  • Stay strong. Keep encouraging all of us to serve Our Lord. God has a great plan and we know how wonderful our nation could be if these simple things were done. I am praying.

  • Your logic is unclear to me… you seem to be saying that because something was done in the past, it is appropriate to do the same thing today. Like it or not, the citizenry of the US is pluralistic, as is the population of men and women who serve in our military. Given that fact, why would it be appropriate (aside from the obvious Constitutional limits) for our government to highlight and encourage a dogma that is shared by only 7 of 10 Americans?

    • @Mike Challman

      you seem to be saying

      On the contrary. The “we’ve always done it” is a ridiculous justification — and it is neither said nor implied here.

      why would it be appropriate…[when it] is shared by only 7 of 10 Americans?

      Your logic is unclear. Must the government limit itself only to policies, statements, sentiments or ideas to which 10 out of 10 Americans agree?

    • I am sure our society was just as pluralist back then as it is today. Gideon’s still pass out New Testaments today for our soldiers. Would you want to stop someone from reading the Good News of salvation from Jesus Christ?? If so, then their souls are on your head that you will answer for it, and there is no pergatory to save you either, just heaven or hell.

  • JD said:
    “On the contrary. The ‘we’ve always done it’ is a ridiculous justification – and it is neither said nor implied here.”

    MC response:
    I’m glad to hear that you are not taking that tack. Still, leaves me curious as to what motivates your nostalgia… and make no mistake, your nostalgia for times gone by is clearly expressed when you say, “What’s sad, though, is people don’t seem to realize the very foundation of that story could never happen today”… and again when you say, “It’s a shame that, as a Nation, we recognize the value and beauty of our past, yet prohibit the very existence of that value and beauty for our future”.

    Frankly, I find your nostalgia bemusing. No person of faith in America today is prohibited from cherishing his or her particular religious book, be it a pocket-sized New Testament or any-sized version of the Old Testament, New Testament, Koran, Book of Mormon, Torah, Talmud, Bhagavad Gita, or any other religious text.

    That is the true value and beauty of religious liberty in America – each individual may choose to believe, or not to believe, whatever he or she wishes… and each individual has the freedom to worship or not worship in whatever manner he or she wishes. So it is true for both John Q. Public and Anne Q. Airman.

    JD said:
    “Your logic is unclear to me. Must the government limit itself only to policies, statements, sentiments, or ideas to which 10 out of 10 Americans agree?”

    MC response:
    Your logic is unclear to me, as well. What I think is most important is that our government limits itself to actions which are compliant with the US Constitution and, in the specific case of our topic at hand, with its amendments comprising the Bill of Rights. It would be an unequivocal breach of its obligations to all citizens, as articulated in the Bill of Rights, for our government to, in your words, “[issue] every basic trainee a New Testament with an inscription from President Trump encouraging them to read it.” If you have a cogent argument as to why such an action would not be unconstitutional, I’d be happy to consider it.

    Lastly as to whether an action by the government is favorably viewed by 7 of 10 Americans or 10 of 10 Americans is a bit of a red herring. Constitutional rights are not granted by majority rule, not even a unanimous majority. But if it does happen that 7 of 10 Americans might find common ground, it is incumbent upon that majority to avoid exercising a tyranny of the majority. As long as our government puts Constitutional principles and protections above all other motivations, all Americans will enjoy the fruits of American liberties and freedoms, including freedom of religion for all.

    • @Mike Challman,

      You have a very…stream of consciousness…way of conveying an idea. It’s difficult to follow what you’re trying to say, but it seems like you’re trying to criticize something without either identifying it or having people accuse you of criticizing.

      Cut to the chase. You think it was illegal for the US military to issue Bibles and for FDR to put a note in them, and you feel the same about Trump. Why the need to be so obtuse about it?

      It would…breach…its obligations to all citizens…

      You are entitled to your opinion. At least two and potentially four Supreme Court justices would probably agree with you. On the other hand, a large number of US citizens and likely four (potentially more) Supreme Court justices would disagree with you.

      7 of 10 Americans or 10 of 10 Americans is a bit of a red herring.

      How forthright of you to criticize your own argument. Might think of that before you say it next time.

  • JD said:
    “It’s difficult to follow what you are trying to say”

    MC response:
    Don’t be so hard on yourself, [redacted]. You seem to have comprehended what I’ve said just fine. I can tell, because you continue to elect not to respond to direct questions or to the substantive parts of my comments. But I’ve no doubt that you understand what I’m saying. Remember, you and I have the same great collegiate education.

    JD said:
    “Cut to the chase. You think it was illegal for the US military to issue bibles and for FDR to put a note in them….”

    MC response:
    You do have a tendency to presume you know what others are thinking. That’s cute.

    However, you err again. I acknowledge that I am not an expert in legal matters of the early 20th century, so I will not claim with any certainty that those actions were “illegal”. I can say with greater certainty, however, that based upon my understanding of constitutional protections of individuals and constitutional limits on our government those actions seem grossly inappropriate and unconstitutional.

    JD said:
    “You feel the same way about Trump.”

    MC response:
    There you go again, presuming how I “feel” about something. So cute!

    My interest and concern, as they relate to the constitutional rights and protections of US military members, are not based upon what specific individual may hold any particular office at any time.

    JD said:
    “You are entitled to your opinion.”

    MC response:
    How sweet of you to say so, [redacted].

    JD said:
    Something-something-something about how a couple SCOTUS justices may agree with me, while more may agree with you.

    MC response:
    I’m not sure I got your point because you seem to be suggesting that your opinion trumps mine based on a count of noses? It is unclear to me.

    JD said:
    “How forthright of you to criticize your own argument.”

    MC response:
    Hmm, maybe there is something to your lack of reading comprehension after all. You’ll note that I was asking you a question, which you chose not to answer and instead ask a question, which I subsequently answered. Or perhaps it’s less a lack of comprehension on your part and more a desire not to state your positions directly. But it’s your blog so you can certainly be as obtuse as you want.

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